Snow eludes Munsiyari, hoteliers disappointed with poor tourist response
Forest department prepares to welcome tourists, bird watchers
Pithoragarh, Dec 28
Due to absence of snow this year, the tourist related businessmen are disappointed over the decreasing number of tourists to Munsiyari hill station expected on New Year day in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand while the forest department has prepared itself to facilitate the tourist arrival in Munsiyari on New Year Day this year.
“We have permitted to install tents in treeless portion of reserve forest area of Khalia top (12500feet) in Munsiyari this year. These tents are being permitted on rent below Bhujani area which is below the tree line,” said Vijay Bhatt, Range Officer of Munsiyari range of Pithoragarh division of forest.
The forest department is expecting more than 1000 tourists to arrive on New Year day.” Besides the day tourists, we have created night stay facility in tents for over 50 to 60 tourists this year,” said the range officer.
The tourists traders in Munsiyari are a bit disappointed over less hotel booking for New Year eve this year due to absence of snow. “The snow, that was present in good density last year at Khalia Top, not visible this year, due to that the booking have dropped for New Year this year,” said Puran Pandey, a hotel owner and journalist in Munsiyari.
According to Pandey, while the hotel owner diverted tourists crowd last year to other places like Madkot, Birthi and Thal, due to overcrowding in Munsiyari, one third hotel rooms and home stay facilities are empty this year.”Munsiyari has now started witnessing frost in place of snow this season, that is main reason behind less tourist on New Year weekend, ” said Pandey.
The majestic peaks of Panchachuli, Nanda Devi, woollen works of Darkot village, SS Pangti Tribal Heritage Museum at Khalia Top, Message kund Thamri kund and Birthi fall are main attraction for tourists in Munsiyari.” But the snow is the main attraction, that is lacking this year on New Year’s day ,”said Pandey.
Meanwhile, wildlife enthusiasts are expected to reach Munsiyari to watch migratory birds which descend to lower valleys in the winter months. “ I have conducted a group of bird watchers from Malaysia last week to Munsiyari,” claimed Surender panwar, a bird watcher who conducts bird watching tours in the area.