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Munsyari

View from Munsyari


 


 


 


 


 

If majestic snow clapped peaks,  crystal clear lakes, dense forests of oak, deodar, rhododendron and pine, gushing brooks are blended together, the result will be a cocktail called Munsyari, a small town in Johar valley on the bank of Gori Ganga  at the base of Panchachuli peaks of Kumaon Himalayas in Pithoragarh district. The  five gapes carved by towering peaks are said to be oven of Pandavas, hence called Panchachuli. Munsyari presents a panoramic view of  peaks like Nandakot, Nandaghungti, Rambha and  Shiplakot. These peaks keep on changing their hue and color from red and pink in the morning to pale yellow and golden in the evening. The sight of dazzling silver peaks on moonlit nights is mesmerizing experience.

 

The stillness of the morning is broken by the chirping of colorful birds. Gori Ganga originates from the Milam glacier and meets Kali Ganga at Jauljibi. Khalia top (11 Km) presents a fascinating view of Panchachuli peaks and also a skiing spot during winter. Darkot, 10 Km north of Munsyari on a mountain slope, is a typical picturesque village of Bhotia tribe. The artistic doors and windows of house have magnificent wooden carvings. Birthi (31 Km) presents magnificent sight of water falls. Milam, Relam and Namik glaciers provide ample opportunities to trekkers.

 

Munsyari was hub of trade with Tibet before 1962 which was the basis of traditional prosperity of Bhotia Tribes. But with the closure of Indo-Tibet border few people are left in the villages and rest are migrated to bigger towns in search of livelihood.  Still the skilled locals produce highly quality artistic woolen shawls, pashmina, dan (carpets), thulmas (quilt), pankhi (light blanket) etc. Mostly women folks are engaged in weaving. The art is passed on to generations without any formal training.

The rich culture of Bhotia tribe is evident from their traditional ceremonies and festivals. The village folks sing and dance in their traditional attire. Women have organized themselves and formed various associations. The Bhotias are born mountaineer and earned lot of fame in the field. Famous mountaineers  H C S Rawat and Hukam Singh Pangti belong to Johar valley. Munsyari is also home of one of the greatest women-mountaineer Malika Virdi. She led successfully the    All Women Trans-Himalayan trekking expedition that covered India, Bhutan and Nepal over a period of six months during 1997. She is a social activist working for the empowerment of local women.

Munsyari is a bird watcher's paradise. Exotic birds like wild sparrows, jays, whistling thrushes, finches, hawk cuckoos, Himalayan bulbuls, blue magpie robins are abundantly found in the hills and forests of Johar valley.

Munsyari is also famous for herbs and medicinal plants. Jambu and  Gandharayan having  medicinal properties are the essential spices of Uttaranchali cuisine. 

How to reach: Trains are available from Delhi up to Kathgodam. Buses also ply from Delhi. From kathgodam buses are available via Almora, Kausani, Bageshwar, Chaukori, Thal and Tejam. Alternatively Tanakpur is another Rail head and buses are available up to Pithoragarh. From Pithoragarh regular buses ply to Munsiyari via Champawat and Lohaghat. Both the routes provide splendid view of valleys, forests and peaks.

 

Accommodation: is available at PWD Rest House and Kumaon Mandal Vikash Nigam Tourist Lodge. Private hotels are also available.

 

Height           -  2290 Mt.


STD Code      -   059612


Kathgodam     -   261 Km (Railway Stn)


Delhi             -   612 Km


Tanakpur      -   151 Km (Railway Stn)


Nanital         -  288 Km


Pithoragarh   -  128 Km