Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful

Tripoto
14th Oct 2017
Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

We were again really uncertain about the place we would travel to. Our tickets to Delhi and then back was only done. So evening we landed at New Delhi airport and checked in for the night.

Day 1

We relaxed well and got up late. Met few old friends at Delhi and booked the bus to Haldwani. It was an overnight journey and the bus was fine but we had a horrifying ride.

Day 2

Morning 7 we were at Haldwani , got down the bus and looked for some place to freshen up. It was good to see that there were public toilets at small distances around the bus stand. These public toilets were clean and well maintained.

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

Then we went to look for a vehicle to Munsiyari but then we got to know that all the vehicles running to Munsiyari have already left. It's a long route and public transport does not ply at night. The jeep that go to Munsiyari leave by 5:30 to 6 in the morning. So now we had to take some other option, we were not willing to stay at Haldwani so decided to go to Pithoragarh. Now again we got a jeep till Almora only then from there we had to change to Pithoragarh.

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

Break journeys are expensive and time consuming. So finally we reached Pithoragarh by 4:00 pm. The driver helped us get a hotel. So we checked in and got fresh then walk around the city to have a feel. There is a local market where one can go around but nothing special to see. So we had some snacks an stage returned back.

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila
Day 3

Morning we wanted to go for a trail but skipped it as we were too tired after this continuous journey. After breakfast we went to the Pithoragath fort. A small and simple one, the renovation work was in progress and yet the person in charge allowed us to visit the fort. The people here are really polite and helpful and very welcoming. They told the stories of Pithoragarh fort and places around it. The fort has a very small area and at the highest and at the center of the city. One can have the entire view of this town.

Pithoragarh city view from the fort

Photo of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India by anila

view of the city

Photo of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India by anila

The fort is made is rugged stone and wood. No particular carvings but technically safe and it also has small garden in and around.

The fort under renovation

Photo of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India by anila
Photo of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India by anila

Even though we are few more places to see but we were more keen to go further towards the hills. So we went back checked out and then planned to go to munsiyari. Now again not much aware of the route but the locals helped us. We got in a shared vehicle which was going to Thal.

Note: the vehicles to Munsiyari leaves before 8am.

The river flowing by Thal

Photo of Thal, Uttarakhand, India by anila

Still we took a chance and reached Thal. The road was pathetic and too dusty, the locals fell sick on way. Now Thal was a surprising one. The river flowing by was too beautiful and appealing, even I once suggested to stay back for a night there. It was cold, it was calm, it was peaceful and I could only hear the gushing river. This is a small town surrounded by hills.

We went to the bus stand from where we could get the vehicle for Munsiyari. The people there said that there are no shared vehicles going to Munsiyari after 1pm but if there are 4 or 5 we can share a cab. So we waited for our luck to work in the best way. Soon there was a small family of husband wife and a little son or 4 yrs to join us was a researcher from Almora. The locals helped us to get a car and also negotiated for us. We started from Thal by 2:30pm and as we were moving we found that the family traveling with us were from Munsiyari so they and the driver told about different places that we can visit. Not just the places but they also shared the folk stories related to it. So as a whole the entire journey turned to be a closet of stories that we enjoyed a lot.

Photo of Birthi, Uttarakhand, India by anila

On way to Munsiyari there's a sightseeing place the Birthi waterfalls which is amid the forests in the mountains. The driver just stopped by this waterfalls and gave us sometime to enjoy the view by the setting sun.

 Then we moved on and as we had no hotel rooms pre-booked he helped us to get one, he himself called up to a hotel owner and as this was not the peak season we got one. He dropped us at the hotel and we were warmly welcomed by the staff and the owner himself and had a great deal on the room. It was the Hotel Balraj Inn, a small hotel with rooms only in the ground floor and the lower ground floor had kitchen and the owners residence. All the rooms had balcony facing the Panchchula peaks.

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila
Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila

The room was warm and cozy, clean and spacious. As it was late we were served dinner and after the whole day journey we were tired and next day was the trekking day so we needed a really good sleep.

Day 4

Next day we got up early as we wanted to see the sunrise, morning when I opened the door to the balcony right in front I saw was the snow capped Panchchula peaks. They were bright and pure, it was shining onto the first rays of the sun kissing its snow head. It was a breathtaking and magical view. It was cold and the sun rising on the other side of the peak made the moment more serene.

First sight from the balcony, the Panchchula peaks

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila

first glares of the rising sun

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila

when the first rays of the sun hit the peaks

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila

As discussed with Mr. Balraj we were served breakfast and we were ready by 8 am for the Khaliya top. He sent his nephew 'Kamal' as a guide for this trek, it was a one day trek for us so we had to leave early as we were to return by evening. There was car waiting for us and it left us at the gate of Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering Training Institute. 

trekking begins

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

Note: It is minimum 1 day trek, where you can start in the morning and by evening you can return back to the town. It can be 2 days trek as well where one day you can walk up and enjoy the night at the tent, there's a camping sight. There's a guest house of the KMVN Tourist guest house as well at the mid way where you can book a room from it's office.

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

the first clear sight of the peaks on the way to the top

Photo of Khaliya Top, Munsyari - Thal Road, Khaliya, Uttarakhand, India by anila

We started from there and the way was all joyful, Kamal shared few stories with us and few rare known things about the place. The trek began from amid the forest, interesting flora and a little mysterious path. 

some wild flowers

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

beautiful colors

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

We kept walking for an hour and the from a point we could see the Panchchula peaks shining and the mountaineering training institute being built. Down was the potato fields beside the institute. 

a little rest

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by anila

We kept walking for approximately 4 kms we reached the KMVN guest house, but that is not the end. So after taking a little rest we again started , the trees on the top are different, they are short and there are wild flowers on the way. The path is marked by the locals and we kept walking and in next 1.5 kms we were on the top. Finally the top, the huge open virgin top of the mountain, all I could do was lie on the grass and enjoy the blue sky. 

Photo of Khaliya Top, Munsyari - Thal Road, Khaliya, Uttarakhand, India by anila

finally on the top

Photo of Khaliya Top, Munsyari - Thal Road, Khaliya, Uttarakhand, India by anila

We could see the Panchchula peaks clearly and also the Munsiyari town which was way down, we were at the height of approximately 11,000 ft.  We had an awesome panoramic view to capture in our eyes. Sat there calmly  and enjoyed the the cold breeze kissing my hair. 

Photo of Munsiyari: palace of the peaceful by anila

We sat there watching the Panchchula peaks getting covered with clouds and after a while decided to go further to see the other side of the mountain. The moment we turned to walk what we saw was simply surprising, all of a sudden there was fog on the top or better say clouds. The open ground that was visible clearly now became hazy and suddenly the top was all covered with clouds. The amazing phenomena of the mountains just started happening, the weather started changing and we kept walking in the clouds and felt like never going back.

with the guide

Photo of Khaliya Top, Munsyari - Thal Road, Khaliya, Uttarakhand, India by anila
Photo of Khaliya Top, Munsyari - Thal Road, Khaliya, Uttarakhand, India by anila

After sitting there for some time now it was time to return as the weather is unpredictable so we started from there. Our return journey was easy but was long as now there was no car to go back to the hotel and we had to trek back through the mountains to the hotel. That was an adventure.

It was  Diwali so by the time we reached the town it grew dark and the people there lit the light and the 'diya' at their houses. It made the mountains look even more beautiful, it was like its filled with the fireflies around. Back to the hotel, had our dinner and slept tired.

Day 5

Next morning we had to leave for Haldwani, it was a full day journey and by 7 am we left from Munsiyari and by night 7 we were at the bus stand , took the next bus to Delhi. 

Few things i noted about this place were:

1. There were neat and clean public toilets at every sight seeing spot and on way as well.

2. To move from any one place to another if you have to take the public transport start early. They leave from there start point by 7 am. 

3. Public transport is not many in number yet it is fine, not a luxurious one but easy.

4. For trekking see how many days you have and get the bookings done before hand.

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