With women leading ecotourism ventures like homestays and taking nature walking tours, Sarmoli inspires travelers, especially women. And all the amazing work they do is uploaded on the town’s very own Instagram page @voicesofmunsiyari.
Curious to know where it all began and why you should visit Sarmoli Village Uttarakhand once in your life? Hang around.
India has many inspiring places, and Sarmoli is one of them. Located in Munsiyari Uttarakhand, Sarmoli is a tiny piece of heaven that offers breathtaking views of the snow-capped Panchachuli Himalayan peaks and a laidback village life that modern people crave. The village has a rich culture and is famous for its ecotourism, balancing conservation and daily activities. If this is something that interests you? Visit one of the best places in Uttarakhand, Sarmoli.
Let’s not bore you with the details and jump right into why Sarmoli is special, what made it famous, treks and activities you can try here, the best time to get here, and how to reach it.
What’s special about Sarmoli Uttarakhand?
Sarmoli Gaon Uttarakhand is known for its tourism initiatives and has been one of the best villages in the ecotourism Uttarakhand. It lets you enjoy the daily village life where you interact closely with the locals and indulge in the local crop plantations like sweet potatoes or kidney beans, “rajma.”
The wildlife of this region is also impressive and lets wildlife enthusiasts go on expeditions to spot exotic flora and fauna. Indeed, this has attracted many travelers across India and the globe as it has hosted visitors from 18 countries. Quite remarkable, isn’t it?
There’s no doubt about the jaw-dropping locales of Sarmoli village. Located between Panchachuli Peak and Raj Rambha, the views are pretty exotic! Another unique attraction of Sarmoli is the Sarmoli homestay, which will be discussed further in this blog. Besides, these homestays allow you to live with the locals, learn how to cook local dishes, make artifacts out of bamboo, grow food with the village farmers, and weave wool.
The highlight of the trip is that most homestays are run by women who keep nature and modernization in check. This will be genuinely a fulfilling experience to go off-the-beaten path, explore the waterfalls, trek to the beautiful viewpoints through dense jungles, and immerse yourself in the village life for a few days. Besides, the beauty of the village will keep you captivated throughout your stay.
The Success Story of Sarmoli Village
Migration has been one of the biggest challenges the government of Uttarakhand faces. The lack of jobs and opportunities led over three million people to leave since the formation of the state in 2000. Keeping this thought in mind, Malika Virdi, an avid mountaineer and a social activist, set up the Himalayan Ark Homestay program in 2004.
Women solely run this program and aim to encourage guests to explore the region from the locals’ eye. Why is it a good option for tourists, you may ask? Because they are treated as guests, not as customers. You will get a chance to be more involved in the village activities. The local homestays even treat the guests with local delicacies like mandua ki roti (local barley bread), bhang ki chutney (hemp seed dip), pahadi rajma (local kidney beans), etc.
Many women have taken it upon themselves to promote the Sarmoli village, including a 37-year-old cultural and environmental guide. You can take village walking, birding, and mountain trek tours with her, as she knows the nooks and corners of Sarmoli and the region around it.
Thus, under the Himalayan Art program by Malika Virdi, Sarmoli village has developed immensely and is now offering itineraries for visitors, ranging from treks to walking tours to birdwatching and more.
Homestays in Sarmoli
Here’s a guide to where to stay during your trip to Uttarakhand in Sarmoli Village.
Munsiyari, at the base of the Himalayan ranges, is among the most beautiful hill stations in Uttarakhand. The biggest asset of this place is Sarmoli, which has many homestays. It offers visitors a scenic, peaceful, and calming welcome, making them a home away from home. The homestays in Sarmoli are taking rural tourism to the international level.
Sarmoli has 25 homestays with comfortable rooms and decent amenities. The food is homemade and native, offering different flavors. Plus, the views from the hotels of the snow-clad Deodar trees in winter are something you can’t miss! Maati homestay in Sarmoli is a collective of some 20 women who came together to respond to domestic violence. Maati Sangathan began their own village Homestay program in 2004, renting out extra rooms in their homes to paying guests or tourists.
Exciting Things to do
For a memorable time in Sarmoli, indulge in various activities and sightseeing tours. A trail of activities will keep you engaged on your trip despite the season you are visiting in.
- Partake in the Himal Kalasutra Festival
A long marathon run, Himal Kalasutra Festival, comes in the spring. It is only famous in the Sarmoli Munsiyari region. Also, it is a week-long festival, which lets locals partake and run vigorously on a 20 km stretch at an altitude of 8,000 feet. It will be a thrilling and quite a different experience for you. Apart from this, mini-marathons are also happening in the region, along with bird-watching events. They are ideal for nature lovers. Butterfly and Moth Festival and Forest Fairs are quite famous too.
- Take an active part in learning more about the daily village activities
The Sarmoli people are genuinely welcoming, and while you are staying at one of the homestays, you will get a chance to join the hosts in the fields. They even let you cook with them in their kitchen and involve you in other village works. You can explore food trails and learn to knit and weave.
- Enjoy watching the abundant flora and fauna of the region
Sarmoli is blessed with flora and fauna, ideal for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Munsiyari, where this village is located, is known for its biodiversity, and experts have also estimated that there are over 300 species of birds here, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. You can see birds like the Green pigeon, which has a wedge tail the entire year. There are also endangered species of birds like Laughing thrush. On your way to Thamari Kund, get a view of the musk deer.
Popular Treks From Sarmoli
If you are someone who loves the outdoors, especially trekking, you are in luck as there are many treks from Sarmoli, like the Nanda Devi base camp, Masar Kund, and Khaliya top. From the top, the views are simply magnificent. Here is a guide to the popular short and long treks in Uttarakhand from Sarmoli that attracts tourists from across the world.
Short Treks –
- Dhandhar Range
A famous trek from Sarmoli, the Dhandhar Range trek offers 360-degree stunning views of the encircling mountains, the meadows, and the roaring Gori River. On the top is a temple that catches the attention of trekkers.
- Khaliya Top Trek
The Munsiyari Khaliya Top Trek is one of the top treks in Sarmoli. Set at an altitude of 3500 meters, it is best to go on this trek during winter to witness the panoramic views of Raj Rambha, Hardeol, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchachuli. Also, there’s plenty of flora and fauna; around 2200 flowering plants, 326 bird species, and 36 mammals.
- Maheswari Trek
This trek takes you to Maheswari Kund, also called Messar Kund, a beautiful lake in Munsiyari. Located at 2450 meters, it involves trekking 1.5 km to reach the top in around 45 mins to 1 hour. The place has a Hindu legend associated with it that says Yaksha fell in love with the village chief’s daughter, and upon his disapproval, the Yaksha cursed the village and the kund to dry.
- Nanda Devi Temple Trek
One of the most famous treks from Sarmoli Village Uttarakhand is Nanda Devi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also called the Nanda Devi temple trek takes about 3-4 hours, starting from ITBP Dhandhar Ridge. Upon reaching the temple, you can seek blessings and witness spectacular hill views.
Long Treks –
- Nanda Devi East Base Camp Trek
Trek to the second highest peak in India, Nanda Devi, from Sarmoli village in Uttarakhand. The peak captures the astonishing beauty of the hills. Sarmoli is on the east side of this peak in Munsiyari and is a famous trekking site. You will trek 15 km and reach an altitude of 13,123 feet, which takes 9 to 12 days. It is a difficult trek; thus, you need to work on your fitness, strength, and skills.
- Milam Glacier Trek
Among the glaciers in Uttarakhand, Milam Glacier Trek is the largest in the Kumaon region, occupying 37 sq. km. It is a 16 km long trek from Sarmoli Munsiyari and takes about 8 days to complete. So challenge the adventurer in you to go on this trek. It is difficult and tiring, but the views from the top are worth every drop of sweat. You will see the majestic peaks of Deo Dhamla, Mangroan, and Hardeol.
How to reach Sarmoli
- By Air
Take a flight to Pantnagar airport from Delhi and other cities. The airport has four round trips from New Delhi per week. From there, reach Pithoragarh by road and take a jeep or taxi to Munsiyari (Sarmoli).
- By Train
Kathgodam and Tanakpur are the nearest railway stations from Sarmoli. They are connected to New Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, and more. From the train station, catch a bus or jeep to Sarmoli.
- By Road
Choose the easiest route to reach Sarmoli Uttarakhand, a drive from cities in Uttarakhand. Kathgodam is the nearest place, approx. 280 km and the best route is Almora-Berinag Road. Direct buses also go to Pithoragarh from Haldwani, where Munsiyari (Sarmoli) is a few kilometers away.
Best time to visit Sarmoli
March to June and September to February are the best times to visit Sarmoli Village in Uttarakhand. As the village is at a high altitude, the weather in Sarmoli remains all year round. Summer in Sarmoli begins in March and ends in June, and the harsh winter begins in November. If you love snowfall, this is the perfect time to plan a trip to Sarmoli Munsiyari and witness the snow-clad mountains.
If you fancy escaping to nature, Sarmoli is your call. This village’s snow-capped hills, lush valleys, and pleasant weather are ideal for a few days of solace. From trekking to village walks, Sarmoli has plenty of activities to keep you engaged and help you learn about the locals deeply. So what are you waiting for? For a weekend in Sarmoli, book customizable Uttarakhand holiday packages and relax in the alluring village of Sarmoli. Connect with our travel experts today for more info!