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A Travel Guide to Little Kashmir - Munsiyari

Published on 29 Nov 2020
Have you ever heard about the place called 'Little Kashmir' in Uttarakhand? Are you planning a trip to this Little Kashmir in Uttarakhand? Are you planning your next to the mighty Himalayas? If yes, then this travel guide will help you plan a memorable trip to Munsiyari also knows as 'Little Kashmir'.

Panchachuli peaks from Munsiyari

Also, know as 'Little Kashmir', Munsiyari is a beautiful, cozy location in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. It is situated at an elevation of 2300 mt. above sea level. It is known for its pleasant beauty, Munsiyari offers a splendid panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayan range and adventurous trekking trails.

Munsiyari often saw amazing weather throughout the year with staggering backdrops of Panchachuli, Nanda Devi, and Nanda Kot. Settled in the middle of borders of India, Tibet, and Nepal, Munsiyari is a base for glaciers namely Milam, Namik, and Ralam Glaciers. Munsiyari is the starting point of Johar Valley (also known as Milam Valley or Gori Ganga Valley) which was the ancient trade route between Tibet and India.

Location of Munsiyari

Munsiyari lies in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand at the height of 2300 mt approx and 135kms from Pithoragarh. It is also known as "Little Kashmir", falls on the ancient trade route of Tibet and an entrance to Johar Valley. It is also popular with high altitude trekkers and adventure-loving people as this place is the base for Milam, Ralam, and Namik Glaciers. From Munsiyari, one can see the mighty Himalayan range of Panchachuli Peaks, Nanda Devi, and Nanda Kot.

Things to do in Munsiyari

Kalamuni Temple in Munsiyari

Kalamuni Temple in Munsiyari

Day Trip Destinations from Munsiyari
Some of the more popular day trip destinations are:
  • Khalia Peak (3747 meters / 12290 feet)
  • Kalamuni Temple
  • Birthi falls
  • Nanda devi Temple Munsiyari
  • Mesar Kund (A Small Forest Pond in Sarmoli and Shankhdhura Villages)
  • Thamri Kund (Another pond on the Betuli Dhar ridge)
  • Betuli Dhar
  • Darkot Village
  • Dana Dhar Ridge
  • Sarmoli Village
  • Hotspings at Madkot and Sera
  • Gori Ganga River
  • Balati Farm
  • Tribal Heritage Museum (Opened by Lt. Dr Sher Singh Pangtey)

Trekking Routes from Munsiyari

Milam Glacier:
Munsiyari is the point from where the trek to Milam glacier commences:
  • Munsiyari (2200 m) to Lilam 12 km (P.W.D. Rest House)
  • Lilam (1810 m) to Bagudiyar 13 km
  • Bagudiyar (2450 m) to Rilkote 12 km
  • Rilkote (3350 m) to Burfu 9 km
  • Burfu (3450 m) to Milam 8 km (P.W.D. Rest House)
  • Milam (3500 m) to Milam Glacier 5 km
  • Total route 59 km
Ralam Glacier:
  • Munsiyari to Lilam Patan Gaon 15 km
  • Patan Gaon to Sophiya Udiyar 15 km
  • Sophiya Udiyar to Ralam 15 km
  • Total Route 45 km

Weather in Munsiyari

The weather in Munsiyari is majorly enjoyable throughout the year. Summer months are delightful whereas Fall and Spring season has cool mornings and evenings. In winters one can enjoy great snowfall. Roads can be blocked at Kalamuni in winters due to extreme snow. This year in March, while visiting Munsiyari I experienced snowfall in Kalamuni right before Munsiyari, because of which roads were blocked and we have to take a different route to reach which took another 6 hours drive and 150+ km more.

Seasons in Munsiyari

Summer in Munsiyari: Starts from March till June. This is also the season when tourists can enjoy a clear view of high peaks, with all the trekking routes open for tourists.

Monsoon season in Munsiyari: Starts from June till mid September. Travelling and sightseeing during monsoon can get difficult due to heavy rainfalls and landslides.

Winters season in Munsiyari: Starts from November till mid March. The whole area will be covered with sheets of snow, this time is favorable for honeymoon couples or adventure tourists for skiing and other snow activities.

Best time to visit Munsiyari

All the seasons can wonderfully experienced and enjoyable in Munsiyari, It depends on what season one would like to experience here. People mostly visit Munsiyari in the Summer season to enjoy delightful and pleasant weather.

If one would like to enjoy cold weather then winters are amazing here. One can experience snowfall from November to February. Also see the long stretches of white throughout the place is a treat to the eyes.

Monsoon season is not recommendable because reaching monsoon becomes difficult due to heavy rains. Landslides become prominent as well in some sections from Delhi to Munsiyari. Furthermore, sightseeing can also become difficult and restrictive if the weather is not clear during your trip to Munsiyari.

How to Reach Munsiyari

Evening view of Panchachuli Peaks

Evening view of Panchachuli Peaks

By Road

Munsiyari is well connected by road. Buses from Delhi and other places are easily available. Taxis and buses are easily available to Munsiyari from major destinations of Kumaon region. Munsiyari is at about 16 -18 hours drive away from Delhi, so it is advisable to take a stop around Almora.

Route from Delhi Delhi - Hapur - Moradabad bypass - Rampur - Haldwani - Kathgodam - Bhimtal - Almora - Dhaulchina - Thal - Birthi Waterfall - Kalamuni Top - Munsiyari.

Alternatively Delhi - Hapur - Moradabad bypass - Kashipur -Nainital - Almora - Barechina- Dhaulchina - Thal - Birthi Waterfall - Kalamuni Top - Munsiyari

By Rail

Kathgodam and Tanakpur are the nearest railway station to Munsiyari. Distance from Munsiyari to Kathgodam is 275 km and from Tanakpur it's 290 km. Cabs and Buses are easily available from these railway stations. Both these railway stations are well connected to all the major railway networks of India.

By Air

Pantnagar airport is the nearest airport to Munsiyari situated around 250 km from Munsiyari. It is situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Cabs are easily available from Pantnagar Airport to Pithoragarh, Munsiyari.

Where to stay in Munsiyari

There are many options to stay in Munsiyari from KMVN's to Hotels and Homestays. On my trip to Munsiyari, I have stayed in the Hotel Bala Paradise. The best part of this hotel is that the room windows open to the Panchachuli peaks and you can enjoy the sunrise from your bedroom. The hotel staff is very warm welcoming. I think it's the best hotel to stay in in Munsiyari.

Itinerary for Munsiyari

Munsiyari Trip in 4-5 Days - Best Itinerary

The road trip to Munsiyari is long. You can't reach Munsiyari in a day unless you are looking to drive for 16-18 hrs. straight. It's recommendable to take a night halt on the way. There is a complete itinerary below to help you enjoy at maximum out of your trip to Munsiyari.

Day 0 - Delhi to Almora

Start your drive early morning to Almora to avoid traffic. Almora is almost 8 hours away from Delhi. Spend your evening Almora. Alternatively, if you are taking a bus, take an overnight bus from ISBT to Almora. You will reach Almora early morning.

Day 1 - Almora to Munsiyari

Start your drive from Almora to Munsiyari by 9-10:00 AM after having breakfast. It is going to be 9 hours drive to Munsiyari. If traveling by bus, after reaching Almora early in the morning, you can take another bus from there to Munsiyari or you can also hire a taxi.

You will be reaching Munsiyari by evening. It would be a long journey so enjoy your evening at the hotel and enjoy the view. Bonfire with light music can be really soothing in the evening to take down all your tiredness from the journey. Take a walk around the market and enjoy the city.

Day 2 - Explore Munsiyari

You can start your day by looking around the city. Go to the Khaliya Top. Trek to Khaliya top is going to take approx. 2 hours. The view of Panchachauli Peaks and around is breathtaking from there. You can spend a good time there at the top before trekking down to the Munsiyari. You can possibly reach back around the afternoon after spending good time on top. After coming back, you can have your lunch and explore the local city, maybe you can go to the Nanda Devi Temple which is approx. 3 km from the city.

Day 3 - Munsiyari to Birthi Falls to Mukteshwar/Nainital/Almora

Today is the day you have to drive back to Delhi. The best way to come back is to take a halt at night on the way. I always prefer Mukteshwar for a night stay where you can enjoy the nice Sunset in the evening if you reach on time.

Start your journey a little early, take a stop at Birthi falls on the way back to enjoy the amazing 150 mt high waterfalls, and head towards Mukteshwar. It should take around 8-10hrs. drive to Mukteshwar. In case you are traveling by bus then you can stay at Nainital or Almora depends on one personal choice.

Day 4 - Mukteshwar/Nainital/Almora to Delhi

Enjoy your sunrise in Mukteshwar, have breakfast in your hotel/homestay, and start your drive to Delhi. If traveling by bus then you can take your early morning bus from Nainital/Almora for Delhi.

I hope this itinerary will help you plan your trip in a better way.


As per my experience, a 4-5 days trip to Munsiyari is ideal for Munsiyari. Munsiyari offers great deals for trekking lovers. Munsiyari has many high altitudes and glaciers to explore as a starting point. Munsiyari is ideal for someone who wants tranquility and beautiful scenery in between snow-clad mountains.

I hope this guide will help you plan your next Munsiyari trip.

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