If you want to see Himalayas from close quarters in India, then the place to go to, is Munsyari. There, the ‘Rajrambha peak‘ and ‘Panchachuli range‘ are like “On your face” and it offers a 180 degree uninterrupted view of Himalayas.
A small town in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, with China on north and Nepal to the east, The town (2200m) is on a sloping mountain and north side of town has huge himalayan wall with various peaks.
Even the drive is quite adventurous and if it snows it can be a hair raising experience as well.
Delhi to Chaukori
Almost 500 km drive takes 12+ hours with 300 in plains upto Kathgodam and 200 kms hill drive. One can take a train upto kathgodam and cab thereafter.
Most of the hill drive is descent. There are scenic spots enroute (Bhimtal, Kosi river, Almora). We drove from 6 to 6 with breaks for bfast and lunch only.
Checked in at KMVN’s tourist bungalow, which is well spread out and has the best location.
Chaukori to Munsyari
Morning sunrise is the best time in Chaukori. Pre-sunrise calmness and mist around Himalayas. First sun-rays hitting the peaks, with some parts still in shadows and then as the sun progresses the complete range glows up.
Order your cuppa, sit out on the deck in front of reception and just gaze through this event.
Chaukori to Munsyari is 100km drive and it takes approx 4 hours via Thal.
64km into the drive there is a nice waterfall, Birthi which can be used for break and pleasant river side Lunch.
Kalamuni top is the highest point on this road.
Four kms further from Kalamuni top you hit another view point, from where you get the best view of entire range of peaks.
Town is sparsely populated and there were limited staying options. We found a nice home stay just before we entered the main town.
Munsyari to Binsar
Explored the Munsyari town in the morning. Was told that there are many trekking options further from Munsyari. Most famous being to Milam Glacier.
Proceeded to our next destination Binsar 185 kms away. Took us 7 hours to reach.
Stayed at Club Mahindra Binsar’s wooden cottage built on stilts and hanging over the forest.
Next day’s 400km drive from Binsar to Delhi took us 9 hours.