Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Munsiyari is located at height of 3853 Metres ( 12634 Feet) Above Sea Level, in Uttarakhand State, India, Munsiyari is located 650 Kms from National capital Delhi and 125 Kms from Pithoragarh, Drive to Munsiyari from Pithoragarh is full of beautiful scenes and falls and one can enjoy change of floara and fauna by gaining heights, One can see chir trees to Deodar , to Surai, to Spur to Paper to rhododendrons, There is a midway village named Nachani , one can have food , stay places at Nachani, Namic glacier which originates Ramganga is situated at Nachani only, While going for onwards journey one can see many water falls, sulphur springs, and beautiful Vrithi fall ( water falls from 410 mtrs), One can enjoy cool breeze on higher mountains with breathtaking view of Panchachului . 

Munsiyari is a new discovery as a tourist place in Uttarakhand , till recently Munsiyari was a restricted area in Himalayan inner line wedged in between borders of India , China & Nepal, restrctions have eased now, It has placed Munsiyari on tourist map.

Visiting Munsiyari is totally a different experiance , In springs lower reaches forest are abalze with rhododendrons forests, Mountain birds like whistling thrush, wag tail,hawk,cuckoo, falcon,serpent eagle are found here, Wild animals like

Best time to Visit Munsiyari

March to June & September to October best time to visit Munsiyari and trekking at Munsiyari, One should avoid Monsoon period to visit Munsiyari, light woolens are required in summers and heavy woolens are required in winters
Leopard,Panther,Mountain bear,Musk deer are found here in Munsiyari Jungles.

One can see Panchuli Peaks look like as five chimneys, River Goriganga flows by Munsiyari and drains at 18 kms long Milam Glacier and merges with Balati Glaciers and Panchuli snowfields, Valley of Gori has several trekking routes and known as trekkers paradise, Some treks are very famous like trekk to Milam, Namik Trekk,Ralan Glacier trekk etc. Though permits are required for Innerline treks.

Jeep Safaries are way to reach Madkote (22 Kms) , Baneanani and Jauljibi ( 66 kms), onway you can see awesome view of mountain scenery and waterfalls, Birthi Falls (31 Kms), Balati Farm is a popular trek where you can find beautiful views of snowy Himalayas and Maheshwari kund is a serene lake surrounded by marshes teeming with life. River rafting can be done at Gori Ganga , In winters Alpine slopes of Khaliatop and Betuldhar provide skking options.

How to Reach Munsiyari

Munsiyari is located at a distance of 650 Kms from Delhi and 260 kms from Kathgodam Railway station, one can avail taxies from Delhi & Kathgodam for Munsiyari, One small hill airstrip is located at Naini Saini in Pithoragarh ( 130 Kms from Munsiyari), One can have a night stay at Nainital (310 Kms) , Distance from Nainital to Munsiyari is 290 kms , and roads are decent and one can full their diesel / Petrol tanks at Almora / Bageshwar.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

In these hills

Almora is a district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Almora was founded in 1568. It is a town bustling with activity and a rich cultural heritage and history. It is considered the cultural heart of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Best Time To Visit
Almora stands at a height of 1,638 meters. It has a moderate and salubrious climate. The best season is April-June and September-November. For those interested in snow views the best time to visit is in early summer and autumn. The rainy season is also very pleasant here.

Almora has many noted temples, including Kasar Devi, Banari Devi, Chitai, Jageshwar, Binsar Mahadev, Garhnath and Baijnath. Kasar Devi temple was visited by Swami Vivekananda and this area also has a Chabad House. Rudreshwar Mahadev Temple, near Sanara Ganiya, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated beside the river Ram Ganga. A sun temple is located at Katarmal within a short distance from the town. The famous temple of Manila Devi, Devi Maa, the family goddess of the Katyuri clan, lies around 85 km from Ranikhet. Udaipur a famous temple of Golu devta is situated 5 km. from Binta near Dwarahat. Dunagiri has the highly revered temple of Shakti or Mother Goddess. Dunagiri is also known as the birthplace of modern day Kriya Yoga.

Place to See In Almora

Chitai Temple: This is a very busy area. This temple is dedicated to Lord Golu. The people of Kumau worship him. Once a wish is fulfilled people hang little bells in this temple. Therefore there are thousands of little bells hanging there. The view of the Himalayas is extremely beautiful from here. This temple is 8 kms away by walk through a beautiful pine forest, but one can go by cart too.
Bright End Corner: Almora is 2 kms away from here. A highlight of this point is the sunset and the sunrise seen through the Himalayan peaks. A circuit house close by allows tourists to spend some time in this peaceful surrounding. Close by is the Vivekananda Library which has many books on literature. A little away is the Vivekananda Memorial where Swami Vivekananda had stopped for a while on his journey to the Himalayas.
Martola: This picnic spot amidst gardens is 10 kms away from Almora. Most of the people who live here are foreigners. Buses and taxis come up to a point called Panuwanaula and from there onwards one has to walk.
Katarmal: This 800-year old Sun Temple is the second in importance after the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. Seven kms away from Almora this historical important temple  is an example of intricate sculpturing. This temple is in need of restoration now.
Binsar: 30 kms from Almora Binsar  has a temple of Shiva who is also called  Bineswar. 2412 mts above sea level this temple was constructed by King Kalyan of the Chand  Dynasty.  Visiting this temple gives one peace of mind.
Kalimutt: 4.5 kms from Almora,  this picnic spot gives a lovely view of the Himalayan Peaks.
Jageshwar: 34 kms away from Almora  this temple of Shiva  is situated amidst a dense Deodar forest and has a lot of mythological importance. Here there are about 164 temples of this  kind. 
Bageshwar: 90 kms from Almora, Bageshwar is  the trade center of   Kumau.  Founded in 1450, on the banks of the river Sarayu, it has a temple of Baghnath. Hotels and tourists guesthouses are available here for accommodation. Further ahead from here is the Pindari Glacier.
Deer Park: 3 kms from Almora this park is  in NTD (Narayan Tiwari Dewai).
Nanda Devi Temple:  This 1000-year old temple is one of the main attraction of Almora. Its walls have carvings on them. Every year a festival is held here in which youth from various mountainous areas come here to participate in this dance festival.
Kasar Devi:  Near Kalimutt is the temple of  Kasar Devi. This ancient temple was built on a mountain peak in the second century. The distance between Kalimatt and Kasar Devi is less than 1 km and can be easily covered by foot. The surrounding area has become the home of many foreigners. The main town is 6 km away.
Gangnath: 47 kms from Almora this is an ancient Shiva temple  with natural caves.  2116 mts above sea level this place is a favourite with nature lovers. 
State Museum: This museum is near the bus stand . It is closed on Mondays and other Government Holidays. It is open from 10:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
Simtola: 3 kms from Almora Simtola is a picnic spot from where one can view the beautiful mountains covered with pine and deodar trees.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Binsar Almora

Entry for Binsae

Binsar Almora (Uttarakhand)
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful, quiet and wild Himalayan destination with rich natural surroundings among dense forest. Binsar is perched on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills. This place is situated 33 km north of the Almora town in the Uttarakhand state of India.
From Binsar one can see the 300 km panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and majestic Nanda Devi from a place called 'Zero Point'.
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over Kumaon, from 11th to 18th centuries AD. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988, for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak (Quercus) forests of the Central Himalayan region, and it inhabits 200 bird species. Binsar which was the former capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon, is now home for a pristine mid altitude wildlife sanctuary. In the older days people came from far-flung villages, trekking on paths they themselves created to pay homage to Bineshwar Mahadev. Unlike Shimla, Nainital and Ranikhet - north Indian hill stations discovered and developed by the British, Almora is a truly Indian hill resort with its own unique flavor. Binsar Hills known and Jhandi Dhar, rise to a height of 2412 mts and offer an excellent view of Almora town, Kumaon hills and the greater Himalayan valley. The surroundings abound in alpine flora, ferns, hanging moss and species of wild flowers. The chief attraction of Binsar is the majestic view of the Himalayas - a 300 km, stretch on famous peaks which includes Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, nanda Kot and Panchchuli.Binsar is the epitome of serenity and tranquillity with perched on top of a hill with a spectacular view of the snow capped peaks and the Almora valley. Surrounded by abundant garlands of alpine flora, ferns, hanging moss and many other species of wild flowers, tourist can feel close to heaven.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Surya Mandir Katarmal

Surya Mandir Katarmal is the second most important sun temple. This appealing temple, located at Katarmal near Almora, Perched at an altitude of 2116 mts, the temple is venerated to Sun God. Built in the 9th century by Katarmalla, a Katyuri king, the temple is famous for its architecture reminiscent of the monuments constructed by the Katyuri rulers.
History Of The Temple:
Kumaon region was under the rule of Katyuri dynasty during the early medieval era. This province was under their control from 7th -11th century. The expanse of their kingdom ranged from Garhwal to Kumaon hills and even to western Nepal in the north eastern region, their capital being Bajinath, a tiny place near Almora.

Katyuri kings were able warriors and great believers of god especially the Sun God who is considered as an epitome of courage and wisdom. They erected a number of magnificent temples during their sovereignty. In Almora district alone, there are more than 400 temples erected by Katyuri dynasty. Monuments constructed during that era had some unique features such as stone walls, metallic figurines, exquisitely carved pillars and wooden doors.

Features Of The Temple:Katarmal sun temple also possesses few distinctive features. The walls are made up of stones as an alternative to bricks. Massive pieces of rocks were exhumed and transferred over to the mountainous region. Metal clamps were used to grip these stones. Illustrious for its outstanding design, the temple is unique in itself. Its marvelous architecture, intricate figurines made up of metal and stone, breathtakingly beautiful carvings on the pillars and exquisitely cut out wooden doors all add up to the majestic aura of the temple. The main deity of the temple is Burhadita or Vraddhaditya which means 'the old sun God'. The icon of surya in the temple can be dated back to the 12th century. Other ruling deities in the temple are Shiva-Parvati and Lakshmi-Narayan, whose figurines are also present in the temple.

The place of worship is located within the premises of a temple complex. With more than 40 shrines in the region, all made in same pattern, this temple stands as a testament of the bygone era. The present mandapa of the main temple and of other shrines within the complex have been built much later. Burdened by the roots of the trees climbing on them, some of the smaller shrines have quietly leaned to one side. Having faced the ravages of time, the temple has depredated and is not in a very good state. But this has further enhanced the charm of the temple due to its prominent feature of being-in-the- boondocks. It hasn't received the kind of attention it commanded. Even the authorities have not helped much in the upkeep of the temple.
Katarmal sun temple is located in a secluded place and there's no proper route to the temple. No means of transport is available after River Kosi and to reach the temple complex, one needs to walk on foot. The option of trekking is also available if you want. This place is becoming a rage amongst foreign tourists who are fond of adventure and are comfortable with trekking.
Although Katarmal sun temple stands amidst ruins, but still it is visited by the devotees who come here to seek the blessings of Sun God.