Courage is required to drive the road to Munsiyari
Munsiyari (or Munsiari) is a high mountain town at an elevation of 2.682m (8,799ft) above the sea level, located in the hill-state of Uttarakhand, India.
Can you drive to Munsiyari?
Standing at the threshold of the inner Himalayas, the winding narrow road to the town is called Munsiyari Road. It’s a sharply winding and precipitous ascent in a steep and narrow zig-zag road with 21 hairpin turns. If you're afraid of heights, it's probably best to keep your eyes forward.
How long is the road to Munsiyari?
Located in the Pithoragarh District, the road to the town is totally paved. Starting at Birthi, a small town at 1.740m (5,708ft) above the sea level, the road is 33.7 km (20.94 miles) long. It’s a pretty steep drive, hitting a 12% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps.
Is the road to Munsiyari open?
Nestled in the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, spring and autumn are the best times to drive the road. Avoid the monsoons. And expect terrible traffic jams. Also dubbed the 'Gateway to Johar Valley¡, it was a previously a restricted area as it is wedged in between the borders of India, Tibet and Nepal but Munsiyari is now emerging as a popular trekking destination and the government of Uttarakhand is also promoting this little paradise of Kumaon.
Is the road to Munsiyari worth it?
On your way to Munsiyari, you will find a beautiful waterfall called Birthi Falls. It is situated at a distance of 35 km from Munsiyari and is one of the most breath-taking picnic spots in the Kumaon valley. The road offers splendid vistas of natural beauteousness. Munsiyari literally translated means place with snow and is also referred as Little Kashmir. A vista of perfectly pointed looming peaks greets you as you drive up to Munsiyari. Splendid mountains and valleys waiting to be unmasked at every bend make the drive to Munsiyari truly awe inspiring and magnificent.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
Pic: Himalayan Roads