Munisyari in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand is a quaint little affair of few motels, a sustaining market, humble folk presents stunning view of the panchchuli mountain ranges also called the Himalayas of Uttarakhand.
atypical to other hill-stations in India, journey to Munsiyari will test most. primarily as there is no direct transportation available. buses will take you as far as Nainital or Pithoragarh. travelling forward one has to share a ride in camper vehicle on not so very well maintained mountain roads. from Nainital to Munsiyari the distance is approx 270kms and will take 11hrs avg to complete. pithoragarh to Munsiyari the route is quite picturesque as you get to trace out the path taken by the river running between mountains. the route criss-corsses across villages so be weary while using goolge maps if you come across a dead-end where the voice-over tells you to take a left. interaction with the locals will set you along the right path again. distance is approx 120kms and will take 8hrs. for the reference of brave souls who intend to drive from Delhi, take into your calculations a travel time of 20-22hrs irrespective of what googlemaps tells you. 300 odd kms funicular will burden the needles of your clocks.
Once you do reach Munsiyari, you get to take a deep breathe, feel a sense of calm surround you and then you will realize that all the effort was worth it. in recent times quite a few lodges have come up on these steep slopes, but if you do get a chance try out Pandey Lodge. the proprietor Pandeyji is the quintessence of this mountain town, reassuring, accommodating. there is a KMVL guest house too [they take online bookings]. Munsiyari serves as a base camp for quite a few wonderfull trecks that can be undertaken in the neighbourhood. Treck to Khaliya top is the most popoular option and is worth spending a day doing this. a 6km long treck offering breathe-taking views of the adjacent panchchuli mountains. there is a lodge at the top that offers bed-bread for those who opt to stay the night, star gazing or just about anything else of fancy.
Munsiyari houses a museum that has on display relics, artifacts, handlooms, apparatus of a by-gone era. take a trip down time line to feel empathy with people who were there before. Nanda-devi temple in the town a vantage point to best enjoy a lazy afternoon.
timing the trip is quite significant to have the wholesome experience of the place. winters can be harsh with temperatures taking a plunge below zero. summers are clement, only as the mountains can offer. Oct - Nov and Jan - Apr might be the best suited times to visit munsiyari. pack proper woolens to sustain the weather. there are a few ATM's in the market to cater to emergencies. personally i have been there twice, planning on a third soon.