OT Itinerary: A Weekend Guide To Munsiyari In Uttarakhand

Mountains, temples and spectacular scenery—Munsiyari has it all. This quaint town at the base of the Himalayas is your gateway to a delightful time away from city life
Munsiyari is known as "Little Kashmir"
Munsiyari is known as "Little Kashmir"ImagesofIndia/Shutterstock

Munsiyari in Uttarakhand is a trekker’s paradise. This hill station in the Pithoragarh district is 2,200m above sea level and the starting base for several treks into the Himalayas. Its name means “place with snow” in Kumaoni and the town is fondly known as “Little Kashmir.” The magnificent scenic views of the area, its spread of pretty flora and its grueling but rewarding treks make it a favourite of mountaineers and nature lovers.

Here’s our two-day guide if you’re heading there for a weekend jaunt.

Day 1


Sunset views of Panchachuli from the summit of Khaliya Top
Sunset views of Panchachuli from the summit of Khaliya TopAmit kg/Shutterstock

Your first day in Munsiyari should begin with the Khaliya Top trek. The starting point is Balati Bend, 9km away from the town centre. It is perfect for beginners and those hoping to soak in breathtaking views of Panchachuli, Nanda Kot, Nanda Devi, Rajrambha and Hardeol peaks. Viewing the setting sun from the summit is an unforgettable experience. Along the route you will marvel at peaceful meadows and flaming red rhododendrons. There are accommodations aplenty to stay the night and stargaze if you wish.

The route from Balati Bend to the 3,500m summit is 6km and can take you three hours to complete one way. If you have time in hand then head to Zero Point one kilometre away from where you can take in panoramic 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains.


The Tribal Heritage Museum in Munsiyari
The Tribal Heritage Museum in MunsiyariUttarakhandTourismOfficialPage/Facebook

Get lunch and check out the Maheshwari Kund. This small lake is a 30-minute hike from the main road and comes with a striking legend. It is alleged that the place was home to a yaksha in love with the daughter of the village head, who disapproved of their love. The yaksha cursed the hamlet and a severe drought gripped the land. After the villagers apologised the yaksha ended the drought.

Next, head to the Tribal Heritage Museum if it’s still open for the day. Established in 2000 it is a cultural museum showcasing the history, traditions and lifestyle of the Bhotia people who live in the upper Himalayan valleys of Kumaon and Garhwal. Here you will find wooden utensils, bags make of yak skin, brass hookahs and Tibetan brick tea, among many other artefacts.


Inside the Apna Bhojnalaya restaurant
Inside the Apna Bhojnalaya restaurantavatarapnabhojnalayamunsyari/Instagram

Wrap up your day by getting an early dinner at Apna Bhojnalaya and stroll along the streets of Munsiyari. Pick up souvenirs made by the skilled weavers of nearby Darkot village such as shawls, hats and scarves. The Munsiyari main market is the best place to pick up locally-grown herbs and spices like gandrayani.

Day 2


The Birthi Falls
The Birthi Falls3 Travelers/Shutterstock

Birthi Falls should be the first stop on your final day. It’s a 33km drive from Munsiyari but it’s worth visiting due to its spectacular beauty. It falls from a height of about 126m and the melodious sound of the water plunging into the pool below creates an aura of tranquility. The hike to the waterfall goes through a landscape adorned with rhododendrons and other Himalayan flora. The area is a great spot for picnics and photography.  

Next, head to the Kalamuni Temple. It is dedicated to the goddess Kali and the outer wall of the temple showcases interesting frescos of the goddess. Take the opportunity to meditate here among the stunning vistas all around you.


Nanda Devi Temple in Munsiyari
Nanda Devi Temple in MunsiyariRoop_Dey/Shutterstock

Eat lunch and then make your way to Thamri Kund. On the way stop at the Nanda Devi Temple, one of Uttarakhand’s oldest. Dedicated to goddess Nanda (also known as Parvati), this temple is a short 3km trek from the road and sits at an altitude of 2,200m.

Continue on your way to Thamri Kund. The lake’s crystal clear waters and views of the majestic Himalayan peaks make it a popular trekking destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. You can rock climb, paraglide, camp, picnic and bird-watch here.

Alternatively, head to the Gori Ganga river in the afternoon for a spot of whitewater rafting.


The Gori Ganga river
The Gori Ganga riverRoop_Dey/Shutterstock

Head back to your accommodation and savour a hearty meal after a beautiful two days in this mountainous town. If you enjoyed yourself here then come back for a longer stay and hike the Milam Glacier.

Where To Stay

Himalayan Glamping offers a luxurious experience in Munsiyari. The Milam Inn and the Vijay Mount View Resort are pocket-friendly stays. The Himalayan Ark and Vedika Homestay are good for backpackers or those looking for a homely experience.

Getting There

The Naini–Saini Airport of Pithoragarh is the nearest airport but visitors can also consider Pantnagar Airport. The closest train stations are Kathgodam (KGM) and Tanakpur (TPU). State-owned and private buses run regularly from Delhi, Almora and Pithoragarh.

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