Holi Getaway: Kausani – Munsiyari – Dharchula – Lohaghat

Alpha

Going to Neverland
Dates of Journey: 1st March 2018 – 4th March 2018
Route taken: Delhi – Kausani – Munsiyari – Dharchula – Pithoragarh – Lohaghat – Rudrapur – Delhi
Total Distance covered: 1300 kms approx.


It had been two months since I headed to mountains. I had been to a hills of Netarhat a small Jharkhand hill station but that can hardly be termed as hill station as compared to Himalayan hills. Moreover I was there to attend marriage of my niece. Upcoming Holi festival allowed us an extended weekend. With one extra casual leave, I starting cooking up a mountain trip. I turned to Manish, my partner for previous trip to mountains where we trekked to Kamrunag temple in Himachal Pradesh (Kamrunag Lake, Himachal). He too was looking for another sojourn to mountains and readily agreed. Another colleague Rahul Tanwar got wind of our planning and offered to join us. With Rahul and Manish in tow and four day to spend we zeroed in Pithoragarh-Dharchula as destination.

We decided to take Manish’s Thar and start from my home at 5.00 am as we intended to reach Pithoragarh by sun-down. However, we could start by 6.00 am setting us back by an hour. We picked up Rahul from Naraina and zoomed ahead to cover up lost time, but found heavier traffic enroute. Also, road construction works near Pilkhua brought traffic to a standstill. We stopped at Shiva Tourist Dhaba at Babugarh Cantt for morning ablutions and breakfast. There was huge rush at the dhaba but the food was pathetic to say the least. They could not even serve a good tea this time. May be huge rush got over their nerves. Anyhow we left the place disappointed. We kept moving amidst slow traffic and stopped after Rampur at Punjabi Potli dhaba for an early lunch around 12.00 noon. We left by 12.30 pm.

first break
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Kaan ki safai
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lunch at Punjabi Potli
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Road between Rampur and Rudrapur were broken at many places and road widening works were under process. We reach Rudrapur by 2.00 pm and took a small break for Sugarcane juice. Still with lots of traffic on road till Bhowali, we reached Almora by 5.00 pm. Pithoragarh was still about 120 kms or 4.00 hours away. Sunlight was available for 2 hours at the most. It was time to decide. I was against driving after sun-down. Chaukori too was almost 4.00 hours away. We settled for night stay at Kausani which was barely 50 kms away. We stopped in between at Kosi for light refreshments before reaching Kausani at around 7.00 pm. We checked into the KMVN and got ourselves a nice cottage for the night. A bon-fire was arranged and few hours were spent by fire before we called it a day.

juice up at Rudrapur
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evening snacks at Kosi, Almora
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Bon-fire at KMVN Kausani
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it was a beautiful almost or may be full moon night
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mousourik

Who Am I
Pehle toh Rajasthan ko khana-sthan bana liya, now it's turn for UK. It's afternoon, feeling hungry, aur upor se kahne ka photo. Yeh tour ka nam pe ragging korna bandh hona chahiye.
 

Alpha

Going to Neverland
A beautiful morning welcomed us at Kausani. It was a clear and sunny day. We decided to leave after breakfast. We decided to head towards Munsiyari which was about 180 kms away. We started around 9.00 am. The roads were completely empty on account of Holi festival. We could found some groups enjoying Holi by the road side. Some of them attempted to drench us with water balloons but we managed to avoid them. We kept moving stopping for tea and refreshments and every nook and corner offering great views. We crossed the deserted streets of Bageshwar and Chaukori and headed towards Thal.

With fuel indicator going south we stopped to top up at Thal. But the fuel pump at Thal was closed reason being all the attendants were drunk and were by the riverside. We moved further to the fuel pump just outside the town. Again the same story. Now we were really worried with Manish declaring he was not sure about the fuel to take us to Munsiyari. We waited at the pump but to no avail. Then a young kid approached us. We asked him about the whereabouts of the pump attendant. He told us that the attendant had gone to the river. We offered him Rs.50 if he could take us to him. He reluctantly agreed. He took us to him and we requested the attendant to start the pump and tank up the Thar. And he came back reluctantly. Thankfully, he was still in his wits. We paid up both for the fuel and for the help by the kid and left for Munsiyari relieved.

KMVN Kausani
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view of mountain ranges at Kausani
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Mount Trishul
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tea break
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time to kill
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my favourite spot of this route
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Fuel pump at Thal
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
We stopped and went down towards the river wherever we saw a track leading towards the riverside and after enjoying some time moved further. By 4.00 pm we had reached Birthi waterfall. We took a break at Birthi for light refreshments. However, we skipped the waterfall. Weather was changing fast while we reached Birthi. It had rained at Birthi and beyond towards Munsiyari and snowed at upper reaches. We hoped to see some fresh snow at Munsiyari or at least enroute Munsiyari. But we were slightly disappointed to see the roads devoid of any snow deposits. We still hoped that it will snow during the night. We reached Munsiyari by 6.15 pm and checked straight into Milam Inn right situated right outside the town away from the market. We got ourselves rooms with great view of the majestic Panchachuli peaks. We ordered tea and pakoda and devoured them gazing at the Panchachuli peaks. As it got dark, we ordered dinner which was consumed over a South Indian movie dubbed in Hindi. Thereafter we took to our warm beds.

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Birthi water fall
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tea break at Birthi
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restaurant owner's mother
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Go Goa Gone
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Maggie time
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Milam Inn, Munsiyari
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
We woke up to great views of Panchachuli peaks. Sun slowly came up. But this time there were no dramatic views. Perhaps it was not the right time to visit Munsiyari. Anyways, we ordered breakfast and prepared to leave for Pithoragarh. Road conditions from Munsiyari till Madkot were terrible on account of road widening works. However, we enjoyed the waterfall falling on the road just ahead of Madkot towards Jauljibhi. After the waterfall we carried on towards Jauljibhi. At Jauljibhi it stuck us that Dharchula was mere 30 kms ahead. We decided to head towards Dharchula. The roads again were under construction for widening works which slowed us down initially but majority of the roads were complete and tarred. Within an hour we reached Dharchula. This was a bustling border town with lots of activities. The bazar was completely choked and we slowly moved towards the border check post. After find the parking space we moved on foot towards the check post and entered our details. Thereafter we crossed over to Nepal side just for the sake of it. Ordered some tea which was pathetic. There was nothing enjoyable across the Border, hence we came back to Indian side quickly and started for Pithoragarh.

Morning views of Panchachuli peaks
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waterfall at Madkot
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Dharchula
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crossing over to Darchula, Nepal
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market at Nepal side Dharchula
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
By 1.00 pm we were out of Dharchula. We stopped at the cut for Pithoragarh at Jauljibhi had had some light refreshments at a shack there. Feeling refreshed, we carried on merrily towards Pithoragarh, however, the under construction roads spoiled our merriment quite often. It was about 3.30 pm when we reached Pithoragarh. We were in quite a dilemma whether to stop at Pithoragarh as thought so earlier or to head back to Almora to halt for the night. The first option of staying at Pithoragarh was easily rejected since we still had more than 3 hours of day light and it was criminal to waste daylight while you are on the mountain roads. I popped up the idea of Lohaghat which was merely 60 kms away as compared to Almora which was almost 120 kms further. There was no consensus between us, Rahul being neutral, we left the decision to the outcome of a toss. I called in right and we went to Lohaghat. In between we stopped at Gurna for evening snacks. We reached Lohaghat by the sun-set. We checked into Hotel Ranjeet Palace just outside the town and got two good rooms and rested for a while before ordering food from their restaurant. We slept after watching a movie the name I don’t remember now.

tea time at Jauljibhi
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fun time
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pakode with bhaang ki chatni at Gurna
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Hotel Ranjeet Palace at Lohaghat
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Next morning we started at 8.00 am. We stopped briefly at Champawat and paid visit to Baleshwar Mahadev Temple. With Mahadev’s blessings we marched forward. But our march was impeded by the on-going road widening and construction works which lasted all the way till Tanakpur. It was a struggle to drive through the dust clouds. In the hindsight it would have been better had we taken the Lohaghat-Devidhura-Dhanachuli-Bhowali route which could have saved us from bad roads. Tanakpur onwards we were in the plains and it became quite hot weather wise. We had food break at Khatima and another break around Gajraula before hitting home around bed time. It was four days well spent. We slept off contented.

***** LOG COMPLETED*****
 

Alpha

Going to Neverland
Pehle toh Rajasthan ko khana-sthan bana liya, now it's turn for UK. It's afternoon, feeling hungry, aur upor se kahne ka photo. Yeh tour ka nam pe ragging korna bandh hona chahiye.
dada.. ye apraadh to main baar baar karunga :p
 

mousourik

Who Am I
No photo of Ghat! Aur phir wohi khane ka photo :mad::(

The Madkot-Jauljibi route is beautiful. And that waterfall... sweet memories. Only memories :(

Where exactly did you take that river-side photo?
 
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Alpha

Going to Neverland
No photo of Ghat! Aur phir wohi khane ka photo :mad::(

The Madkot-Jauljibi route is beautiful. And that waterfall... sweet memories. Only memories :(

Where exactly did you take that river-side photo?
Dada.. river-side photos were taken between Nachani and Tejam
 
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