Hello Everyone & Welcome to episode 6 of our Uttarakhand expedition.
For those of you who are just tuning in, Getting to this part of Kumaon was a journey in it self.
Munsiyari is a part of the Pitoragarh District in Kumaon, Nestled in the Snow Capped Peaks of the HImalayas, This scenic mountain settlement is perched at an altitude of 2300 Mts. Hotel Bilju’s Inn is where we managed to get a room the night before, we will come to details on the place later. We were done with breakfast and on the road by 10 AM.
it was impossible to imagine that this was the same road that we were on last evening except for the fact that it is Narrow As Fuck. Every turn had a spectacular view of the Himalayas. we took a break at 10:30 to capture some breath taking views of the Panchachuli peaks.
As we kept getting higher on the mountain road we could see a corresponding increase in the density of the snow that was on it. The Kala Muni Temple is around 15 Kilometers from Munsiyari in the direction of Birthi Falls, we got to Kala Muni Top at 11:00 Am. It is close to 3000 Meters Above Sea Level and covered with Snow.
The Kala Muni Temple Faces the Nanda Devi Peak And the Locals have great faith in the blessings of Goddess Kali. According to local legends, way back in time a certain Maharishi Kala Muni would be surrounded by wild animals while performing daily rituals at the temple. We completely believe in this legend and had our own encounters with some very furry and adorable Wild Mountain Dogs. We played with them till they lost interest and went else where in search of food.. And then got on to doing things which we normally wouldnt have.. yes we were now behaving like tourists and posing for pictures right in the middle of the snow laden road.
We were out of Kalamuni Top by 11:30 and on the way back to Munsiyari when we had the opportunity to see a few Himalayan Vultures in Action. This was a brief but upclose encounter with nature. Food was definitely not a priority Today, It was 1 in the afternoon now and we had been driving around the town aimlessly. We got to point from where we could see what was perhaps the only cell site that there is in Munsiyari, from a distance. It wasn’t a proper road or any thing that led us there, but we wanted to go. so we went, and in the bargain we had discovered the Best Spot in all of Munsiyari. We pulled up on the edge of this valley where the cell tower was, and got out to take a look at the snow clad Himalayas at a distance.
We then proceeded to the absolute edge where the tower had been constructed, and the view of the valleys surrounding the tower were a different level of spectacular. Trust me, radiation from that tower was the last thing we a hoot about. we could see all of munsiyari from this point, it was mind numbing After an hour of doing nothing but chilling out, looking around and being awe struck from every angle, the time had come for us to move on. With a very heavy heart and a lot of reluctance we got into the car. It was then that we realised that the Nanda Devi temple at Munsiyari is not very far from here, and that was where we were headed to next.
The Nanda Devi temple is dedicated to the revered Goddess Parvati and the temple reserves a special level of importance in the lives of the people here. The temple itself is just one small white structure, but it is a 3 km trek from the base at where we had parked. Apart form a never before experienced serenity, the view of the Panchachuli Peaks was breath taking. it was evening but the sun wasn’t setting any time soon, and we were not in a mood to go back to the hotel. we aimlessly drove around and were on a quest to explore the town. we had now entered the Baazar area which was once a bustling hub for trade with tibet.
The Munsiyari Bazaar is knows for Medicnial Plants and herbs amongst other organic agricultural produce. Done with our little exploratory quest we were headed back in the direction of our cosy hotel. We stopped to take one last glance at the Panchahuli Peaks which were set against the early evening skies. we were at the hotel by sunset, now as you’d recall we did not have much of a choice but to check into Bilju’s Inn, but then again this just worked in our favour.
This is one hotel with a view. For some reason it looked like we were just a few kilometers away from the moon, it almost looked like some one had switched on a warm white lamp. but what was really epic was how the snow clad himalaya’s light up in the moonlit skies. We ordered food, ate it while staring out of our window in amazement of our sorroundings and went to bed soon after. So long for now, and stay tuned for more from our trip in our upcoming video.