Jeolikote. Abbott Mount. Jhaltola. And now, it was time for Munsiyari – the 4th halt in our Uttarakhand road-trip. Located 110 kilometers away and at an altitude of 2200 meters, every one told us that Munsiyari would be cold, but told us that that’s where we’d get to see the Himalayan ranges. Finally! We were dying for it…
The drive to Munsiyari has been one of our best drives. We started off from Jhaltola at around 9.30 am, post breakfast and a little break for the food to settle down, and reached Munsiyari around 3pm via the Thal road. It wouldn’t take so long had we not stopped by Avani on the way for some local items, and then, stopped by every other ‘beautiful view’ on the way. For, as I mentioned, it is an extremely picturesque drive….
Mostly a downhill drive via the small towns of Berinag, Chakori up until Thal, it was a drive past kilometres and kilometres of pine groves. Beyond Thal, the uphill drive started and this is the point from where you get to see steep ravines on one side and high hills on the other. Vegetation starts getting sparse as you climb higher, and soon, you are mostly staring at naked hills with a few deonar trees here and there Beautiful and exciting, the moment you reach Kalamuni Pass and cross over to the other side, you hit Munsiyari, and right in front of you are the majestic Himalayas. It is at this point in your road-trip, that you want to get out of your car and run to embrace the beautiful beautiful ranges…
Read my exhaustive post on the scenic Drive to Munsiyari, Uttarakhand.
2-night stay at the Milam Inn, Munsiyari
Touted as the best hotel in Munsiyari, the stay at Milam Inn was, without mincing words, pathetic. One look at the room and I wanted to change the hotel. But our driver, Rantanji, told us what we already knew – Milam Inn was the best that Munsiyari could offer. Terrible hygiene, cockroaches in the bathroom, noisy guests in the adjacent rooms, pathetic house-keeping – it was bad bad all the way. The only saving grace was the view from the room/hotel – pull the curtains and the Himalayas lay in front of you. A stunning sunrise and a cheerful room-boy who doubled up as the restaurant boy were the only good things about the Milam Inn.
We stayed there for 2 nights shutting off our senses for cleanliness and peace. Pity. How a place like Munsiyari doesn’t have a decent stay option. Milam Inn was Rs 2500 per night for a superior room!!! What do you expect in return??
Beats me why they do not involve the local residents and start basic yet clean homestay options.
Things to do/ Places to see in Munsiyari
What we didn’t get in stay, we recouped in toto during the sight-seeing in Munsiyari. For, the little town is very very beautiful.
Start your day with a sortie to the Nanda Devi temple that simply enthrals with its vast expanse and its lovely view of the famed Panchacholi ranges, go to the Tribal Museum for a glimpse into the life of the locals and then go for innumerable treks, for, Munsiyari offers a whole lot of them. From half-day treks to treks of 5 to 8 days, choose from treks in meadows to glacier treks.
For the one and a half day that we were there, we only walked walked and walked across hillocks, meadows and even a potato farm. And saw how clouds and sun play hide and seek with the Himalayas, and how happy the hills look with green grasses and stately deonar trees…..
For the complete Uttarakhand itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip This Summer