Sarmoli is a small village situated just a kilometre away from Munsiyari, Uttarakhand and is nestled in the backdrop of the Panchachuli Range and located above the wild Gori Ganga River.
The village has gained popularity for rural tourism in the past couple of years, thanks to the loving efforts of Malika Virdi and her husband Theo, who left the enchanting city life to settle at Sarmoli, with an aim to develop this village and empower the village folks to be ecologically and financially sustainable. Today the village of Sarmoli has evolved as an ideal rural tourism hotspot offering 14 homestays, each distinct yet part of the natural surroundings.
Visit Sarmoli to experience its natural pace, stunning mountain views and soak up what the local communities have to offer.
Thanks to the efforts of Shivya Nath, an incredible traveller and writer, the village locals learnt the art of posting pictures for the world to see and now runs its own Instagram account@VoicesofMunsiari that share amazing pictures, videos and stories about their daily mountain life!
Munsiyari offers numerous trek options along with some really nice & easy short treks.
- Mesar Kund (old and new)
- Dhanadhar ridge from where you can get a 360 degree view of the mountains, the Gori River and the valley.
- Khalliya Top: Just an 8 kms trek
Visit Munsiyari for details on treks & other adventure activities
Primary Contact Person for Booking:
About the Founder of Sarmoli Homestay Programme
Malika Virdi is the name behind Sarmoli’s development in the recent years and with her efforts, Malika has helped the village women to understand their rights and get an access to a range of livelihood options besides helping in farming and daily chores. Malika is an M-Phil in Social Work (Delhi University) and this makes her, perhaps, the most highly qualified sarpanch in the country.
Malika was part of the 8 women team who took the challenging Trans-Himalayan expedition, which was flagged off on 26th January 1997 as part of the Golden Jubilee year of our Independence. They covered thousands of km across India, Bhutan, Nepal and climbed many passes en route to reach the final destination in Karokoram in Ladakh on 15 August 1997. She is one of the women (‘1000 Women for Peace’) who was also nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
‘Matti’ was a dream Malika dreamt and is a foundation for women that encourage them to address their day to day life struggles related to earning a livelihood, food security and also giving them the confidence to fight back and lead a free life from domestic violence. Malika’s efforts have helped women fight against domestic violence & alcoholism, adopt higher education and have become economic and socially independent by improving agricultural practices. While Malika heads the Homestay program at the village along with Van Panchayat, Mr Ram Narayan has also joined them a few years back and is actively now working together towards Sarmoli’s development.
Under Malika’s guidance, the women make local products and the benefits go back to the village’s development. Having the concept of homestays helps them to give out a part of their homes for tourist and give them a chance to earn extra money. It’s a responsible model of rural tourism and prevents the construction of hotels and commercial places that would spoil the beauty and ecological balance of the place. Some women are also getting trained to become your travel partner while trekking nearby.
Staying at Sarmoli lets you explore the local culture by being part of the community, savouring the delicious Kumaoni cuisine (brown Manduva chapatti, Gahat daal, Lingoda saag and Jhingora kheer to name a few) and live the village life for a while. You stay would include homemade meals, loving care of the villagers and of-course some precious personal stories shared.
But remember, the homestays here are not like the typical ones that cater to your whims fancies. Please be prepared to clean the rooms and wash the dishes yourself including the laundry. Consider it your home away from home and respect the locals.
Must Read Articles on Samoli:
Homestay Tariffs: Starts at 1350 per person per day (includes meals)Other Stay Options: Forest Rest House (FRH) & KMVN at Munsiyari along with a variety of low – to medium budget hotels in and around Munsiyari are available. For details on Hotels at Munsiyari, click here.
For Other Hotels at Munsiyari CLICK HERE
Directions to Reach Sarmoli Village from Munsiyari: Just after the Women’s Cooperative Bazaar, located on the Madkot Road, take the left uphill dirt road. You shall pass a stream with small waterfalls and then come across a giant old deodar tree and that’s the landmark of the village. With prior bookings, someone from the village will be there to take you further to your place of stay.
A word of Advice: While travelling to the Himalaya’s it is advisable to carry along salt as there are blood sucking leeches!Distance Chart:
Nainital to Munsiyari: 300
New Delhi to Munsiyari: 624 km
Almora to Munsiyari: 192 km
Kathgodam to Pithoragarh: 200 km
Kathgodam to Munsyari: 280 km
Pithoragarh to Munsiyari: 150 km
Image credits: Padma Madipalli, Munsiyari Tourism Board & Team-BHP