Land of Gods | Uttarakhand’18 | Day 16 | Munsiyari – Kausani

Having slept early, I got up around 6am. I looked from the balcony and it was still dark. The sunrise was due in some minutes. I had checked it on google. I wanted to capture a morning sunrise timelapse over the ‘Panchchuli Peaks’.

I took out my necessary gear and placed the setup on the roof. Both my DSLR as well Phone camera were put into use. Meanwhile, I just loathed around and taking into the morning as slow as possible. Like an “Ichi-Go Ichi-e”.

Morning Time lapse…Shot with DSLR
Time lapse shot on my phone…

At around 7:30 am, I got my cup of tea and it was a wonderful moment sipping tea while having a look at the mountains. Pretty soon, I had to move out of the hotel as I had to explore a few things before I left the city.

I wish I could have tea daily with such backdrop!
The view from the terrace..

The plan was to explore the places and come back to the hotel, pack and then leave ahead for Kausani.

This was basically my plan for the first half.

I left first for the Nanda devi temple. This temple is very famous in Munsiyari and many people come to visit it. It is dedicated to Goddess Nanda Devi. ‘Nanda Devi’ was the tallest mountain in India before ‘Kanchenganga’ was discovered in Sikkim.

At around 9:30 am, I reached the place after filling up my tank. At the parking, I could see just 2-3 vehicles parked. It has a very simple entrance and walkway surrounded by trees and then it opens out into big lawn from the main gate with beautiful backdrop of the “Panchchuli Peaks”.

The small entrance of the temple…
Morning briefing…
Reaching the temple. Look at the view…
Information about the “Panchchuli Peaks” inside the temple premises..
The main temple…

The view was just amazing. The air was cool and hardly anyone was present around. The temple had a priest and I took the blessings of the ‘Devi’ and then spent some time gazing at the view. I prayed for my safe journey back home and then retraced my steps back to the parking lot.

Himalayan Griffon hovering above the temple.

The next place was the ‘Tribal Museum’ and before I head out there. I had my breakfast of Chowmein and Tea. The direct short road leading towards the museum was barricaded due to construction work and so I had to go all the way round to reach it.

This is how it looks from the outside…

It had a small entrance. At first, I got confused as to where the entrance was. The building had a old charm to it. It was such a place where you wouldn’t expect a normal tourist to go. But, I love history and so I was here which was a treasure house for a aficionado like me. I felt much more lively and entered inside.

Guess, I was the only one there. The caretaker welcomed me at the reception. He then put on the audio-visual playback and which relived me of asking stupid questions to get myself cleared. The objects had been given numbers and which the virtual lady explained on the basis of that. ” So, we are at Sr.No 3 and this is what is ……….”.

The house was full of objects and things and it looked like it had really ran out of space. There was probably almost everything present inside. The video below will help you to visualize. It was also a place where one could buy souvenirs and so I had a long shopping list in my cart. I bought photo posters of the Uttarakhand Himalayas for myself and local Rabbit fur skull cap for my mom and sister. They are specially hand made by local women in Munsiyari and you can’t find it anywhere else. Their warmth is no match with ordinary woolen ones.

Inside tour of the place…

The highlight of the museum was stolen by ‘Yarsa Gambu’. A dead caterpillar which is then later eaten by fungus. This item later then has medicinal properties which are just astounding. Google it and get amazed. This is found on altitudes upwards of 4000 mtr and is in huge demand in Chinese markets. Mostly, it is smuggled into other countries where its price get multi-fold. It is usually found in the month of Apr and May when there is green grass present on the mountains. Villagers risk their lives to collect this diamond which sells not less than 10,00,000 rs a kg as they have to battle high altitudes for a long period of time. The agent comes to their home, weighs in and pays in cash. The grey market price for 1 kg is more than 1 crore.

A thought came into my mind to by at-least 1 gm for 1000 rs but then it just got vaporized! I am definitely going to but the next time I visit Uttarakhand.

In local language it is called ‘Yarsa Gambu’ and in layman hindi langauge it is called ‘Keeda Jadibuti’. This sells like hot cake in Asian markets and is one of the costliest items in the world. A kg of it will cost you around 10,00,000 rs
More to discover in the museum.
Buying things in museum…
With the humble and down to earth receptionist.

I had spent close to 1 hr in exploring the museum. There was more to it but I had time restrictions and had to push on. I thanked the receptionist and then made my purchase and paid the bill. For other, this place is a must visit if you want to know the history of Uttarakhand. It has almost everything in display from A-Z.

I returned to my hotel and it was time to check out. The luggage was already packed and I just had to mount it on my bike.

At around 1 pm, I left for Kausani. A long drive of 150+ kms. My reason for heading towards Kausani was that I had heard a lot about it and thought of exploring it and hence it was included in the plan. Kausani is affected by a lot of tourists and its no longer a place to get some me time.

Along the way, the scenery was just amazing and there was hardly any traffic around. The roads were superb and had some rough patches as some construction work was going on. But, I took it all in.

Great scenery with even greater message on the board.

I had filled tea inside the thermask when I left the hotel and somewhere along the way, I took a break to admire the beautiful range of green mountains with a cup of tea in my hand. To my luck, I saw some riders crossing me up ahead. Initially, I had not expected anyone like me to tread on this route.

The roads were just like what I had imagined. Narrow and with a beautiful view to my left.

Google Maps had clearly indicated that I would not reach before it got dark. It had estimated the time around 7 pm. But, there was no option. I decided to take fewer no of breaks as I was not comfortable riding in the dark on these narrow roads. Uttrakhand falls in level 5 severity of Earthquake zone and due to that roads are frequently damaged due to the microscopic movements of the plates. You really have to be careful.

‘Nandadevi Peak’ can be seen far away at 12 O’clock.
The zig zag roads seen in the bottom left corner is from where I had come…
Saw a fox crossing my way…
The scenery just didn’t stop to elude me.
Now, I was in the valley.
About to reach the hotel…

Finally, I reached Kausani at around 7 pm, just what the google had estimated. Just before the main market which was up on the top, I found one hotel just around the corner. I saw some vehicles parked outside and in my mind, I imagined that hopefully this will be the one. It was pretty dark.

The 1st hotel I inspected itself got confirmed and the deal was done for 500 rs for the night. The same rate at which I got in Munsiyari. After all, it was an off season and many owners were lowering the prices in a bid to attract customers.

The room was too spacious for a single person like me. The balcony opened into the Kausani valley and far up ahead I could see Trisul mountain on the left and stretching right up to ‘Panchchuli Peaks’. Again, I decided to make a timelapse out of the scene.

The cold was less as compared to Munsiyari as it’s little far away from the mountains. The hotel menu was good and I settled in on a veg thali before calling off for the day. The timelapse was still running but I had ensured that it had the necessary protection from the morning dew.

Categories: Travel, UttarakhandTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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