Munsiyari - Little Kashmir, Pithoragarh
Munsiyari is a comely hamlet situated in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state, nestled in the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas Munsiyari offers splendid vistas of natural beauteousness.this scenic hill station is perched at an altitude of 2298mts above sea level.
Munsiyari literally translated means place with snow, and is also referred as Little Kashmir.
Why Visit Munsiyari?
It offers stunning views of snow capped higher Himalayan ranges. Panchachuli is a group of five peaks and is the star attraction at Munsiyari as they look like chimneys and are amongst the gorgeous treasure trove among the magnificent peaks of Nandadevi, Nandakot, Rajarambha and mountains of Nepal Himalayas. The Virgin environs of the valley offers breathe taking views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Munsyari is famous for its picturesque beauty and trekking excursions and is popular with high altitude trekkers and adventure enthusiasts as this place is the base of Milam, Ralam and Namik Glaciers.
It was a previously a restricted area as it is wedged in between the borders of India, Tibet and Nepal but Munsiyari is now emerging as a popular trekking destination and the government of Uttarakhand is also promoting this little paradise of Kumaon.
Treks from Munsyari
Namik Glacier Trek: The Namik glacier is situated on Kumaon Himalayas near the villages of Gogina and Namik in Pithoragarh district. It is at an attitude of 3,600mtrs. Route of Namik Glacier Trek lies on an ancient Indo-Tibet trade route. This stunning glacier is surrounded by the biggest peaks like Nanda Devi (7,848 m), Nanda Kot (6,861 m), and Trishul (7,120 m). There are a number of waterfalls originating from here. Namik Glacier is the source of Ram Ganga River. This place is 40Kms away from Munsiyari.
The Panchchuli peaks
The Panchchuli peaks are a group of five snow capped Himalayan peaks lying at the end of the eastern Kumaon region in the Pithoragarh district. The peaks have altitudes ranging from 6,334 m to 6,904 m. They form the watershed between the Gori and the Darmaganga valleys. Panchchuli is also located on the Gori Ganga-Lassar Yankti divide. The group lies 138 km from Pithoragarh.
Flora and Fauna in Munsiyari
Munsiyari is rich in diverse flora and fauna. It is home to a large number of Rhododendrons, Pine and Deodar trees, Birds like Wagtail, Raven, Falcon, Monal, Himalayan griffon and serpent eagle can be sotted in Munsiyari region. Leopard, Himalayan bear, Fox and Musk deer have made their home in the altitude jungles of Munsiyari. The view of the Panchachuli peaks from Munsiyari is enchanting.
People in Munsiyari
Munsiyari is mainly inhabited by the people of Bhotia tribes also known as Shaukas. People in Munsiyari worship Goddess Nanda Devi.
History of Munsiyari
It is said that the Pandavas had set out for their final journey to heaven from Munsiyari. and it also falls on the ancient salt route from Tibet and is at the entrance of the Johar Valley, which extends along the path of the Goriganga River to its source at the Milam Glacier.
Earlier the local of Munsiyari region led led semi-nomadic lives actively engaged in trade with Tibet across the difficult Himalayan passes. It is mainly inhabited mainly by the Shauka people (referred to as Bhotiya by the non-Shaukas), who are its original natives.
The locals were suddenly found without a viable livelihood when the border with Tibet was sealed in 1962 and the trade stopped completely. Agriculture has never been too developed here on account of the unfavourable climate. Most of them were therefore forced to migrate. The villages of Milam, Burfu etc., to the east of Munsyari, are largely deserted today
Shopping in Munsiyari
You can buy some fantastic hand-woven carpets or Himalayan tree saplings from the markets of Munsiyari..
Best time to visit Munsiyari
March to April: The entire forest area turns red with rhododendron flowers, with snow capped Himalayas distinctly visible makes it an awesome site well worth visiting.
The Best months to visit Munsiyari are: March, April, May, October, November
Weather in Munsiyari
Summer in Munsiyari: starts from March till June. This is also the season when tourists can enjoy a clear view of high peaks, with all the trekking routes open for tourists.
Monsoon season in Munsiyari: starts from June till mid September. Travelling and sightseeing during monsoon can get difficult due to heavy rain falls and landslides.
Winter in Munsiyari: starts from November till mid March. Whole area will be covered with sheets of snow, this time is favourable for honeymoon couples or adventure tourists for skiing and other snow activities.
Monthwise Average Temprature in Munsiyari
March, April, September & October: 15 to 25 ° on most days.
May and June: 20 to 30 ° on most days.
July and August: 15 to 25 ° on most days.
November, December, January, February: -12 to 20 ° on most days. Snowfall expected late December to early Februrary.