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Munsiyari

Himalayan Glamping

Munsiyari literally means 'a place with snow'. It is a fairly accurate nomenclature, as the place does get quite a bit of snow in the winter months imbuing it with a Kashmir like ethereal beauty.

Munsiyari

Munsiyari literally means 'a place with snow'. It is a fairly accurate nomenclature, as the place does get quite a bit of snow in the winter months imbuing it with a Kashmir like ethereal beauty. While winter is the time skiing enthusiasts and snow lovers should head there, the best months to visit Munsiyari would be March - June and mid sep - early Jan. The jewel of Munsiyari is the magnificent Panchachuli - the five snow capped Himalayan peaks ranging from 20,780 feet to 22,650 feet above sea level, which are so close that you almost feel you could touch them if you reached out.

Munsiyari's proximity to the great Himalayan range makes it an ideal base for treks and climbs. For serious trekkers there is the Milam glacier and the Nanda Devi base camp, but for tourists looking for less arduous summits, there is the Khaliya top, easily Munsiyari's favourite trek. Just 10 kms away, perched at a lofty 11,500 feet, Khaliya is a pristine Alpine meadow facing incredible views of the Nandadevi and Nandakot peaks. It's a moderate one day trek from the Himalayan Glamping retreat and a must do for every visitor.

For what is Uttaranchal's best kept secret, Munsiyari is a jewel box of things to see and do. For the beauty conscious, there is the natural sulphur hot spring at Madkot, just an hour's drive away. The alpine lake of Thamari Kund, surrounded by paper trees and inhabited by musk deer, is a sight for sore eyes. Then there is the magnificent Birthi falls, a 126 metre high waterfall, a long hike or a drive away, the perfect setting for a picnic lunch.

Munsiyari's oldest temple, the Nanda Devi temple is just 3 kms away, a gentle walk from the glamping retreat. The Kali temple at Kalamuni top, perched at 9500 feet, also boasts of a fabulous peak front setting. Kalamuni also doubles up as a favourite skiing point in winter as it gets quite a few feet of snow in Jan and Feb. A visit to the quaint hamlet of Darkot which hosts the tribal antique museum, locally known as Masterji's museum, and where one can hunt around for Munsiyari's famous handwoven carpets and Pashmina shawls, is one of the must dos in the Munsiyari bucket list.

Keep a few days in the plan when you come to Munsiyari. Other than the things listed above, the place is a scenic paradise. Lush rhododendron and deodar forests, beautiful birds like the Monal, Himalayan Griffon and Serpent Eagle amidst the ever present and towering Himalayan peaks ringing this quaint old town, truly makes this one of the most stunning hill stations in the country.

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