Birthi: Dancing to the Exhilarating Tunes of the Unsung Waterfall
As I leave the picturesque Chaukori, the bright sun gives an alluring glance of the valley. Though the Himalayas are devoured by dense curtains of clouds, the blue sky keeps the flame of hopes high to witness the snow-capped ranges later on the day. I am on my way to Munsiyari and I’ll be driving via Thal and Birthi to reach my destination.
These roads of Uttarakhand provides for great road trips enameled with the majestic views of the Himalayan ranges, dense pine forests, small hamlets, colourful flowers and seasonal fruits and terrace gardens. A fantastic clear weather only adds to the delight. Enjoying every bit of the drive, I move towards Munsiyari having my eyes glued beyond the glass window. Mid-way, I stopped by the river for some time to look around and take some beautiful nature pictures.
We drive for almost two hours from Chaukori when the magnificent Birthi waterfall offered glimpses down from the roadside. Stopping yet again, I had to get off the car to absorb the beauty of the falls. The sight was so impressive! Next, we drive for another twenty minutes up the hill to reach the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam rest house (KMVN) in Birthi; the location offers a fabulous view of the falls. Since, I had the plan of leaving for Munsiyari after having my lunch here, I quickly place my lunch order and head off to visit the Birthi Falls on the suggestion of Mr. Singh, a senior staff at KMVN Birthi.
There is a reckoning 500-stairs-walkway to reach the foot of the falls up the hill. But there are comfort platforms between each group of stairs to supply adequate rest for the stressed knee and hip. Moreover, the striking beauty of the falls takes a greater control of the mind. Stacks of straw and herds of grazing cows can be found here and there on the sides of the walkway. There is also a shaded resting place near the falls whose walls, interior and exterior, spells out love stories in various forms of handwriting patterns. Abundance of Urtica dioica plants is common in the entire area.
On reaching the foot of the 125-metres-waterfall, a sudden silence ensued. Its breathtaking beauty was overwhelming. The milky white water was gliding down the rock wall and the weather being clear and bright, the occasional peek-a-boo of the rainbow absolutely blew off the mind. Spending an hour with the falls, I headed back to the rest house to have my lunch because I need to leave for Munsiyari.
Birthi is a small hamlet with few houses situated at a height of 1,970 metres. Surrounded with hills, this hamlet is beautifully nestled in the bounty of nature. The waterfall is undoubtedly the main attraction of Birthi but the untouched nature and the enchanting scenery make this locale a pleasant destination. I had no plan for staying in Birthi, probably because I was not much aware of this place neither I had heard about it from other travellers I had conversed with before. Spending a day in this serene location might turn out to be a great experience of relaxation. And I absolutely recommend it! I regret I had to leave before experiencing the sound of the waterfall during the silence of the night. It could be magical!
How to Reach Birthi
Birthi is well connected by road. Buses on this route are few and at long intervals. The best option is to hire a car from the beginning of your journey in Uttarakhand. You can also hire a car from Chaukori (63 km), Thal (38km), Munsiyari (60 km), Didihat (64 km), Pithoragarh (108km) depending on the route you take. The distance between Birthi and Nainital is 228 km.
The nearest domestic airports are Pantnagar and Naini Saini in Uttarakhand. The rest of the journey has to be commuted by road.
The nearest railway stations are Kathgodam (275 km) and Tanakpur (286 km). The rest of the journey has to be completed by road. If you opt for Kathgodam, you can reach Birthi via Bageshwar; if you get down at Tanakpur, you will have to take the route via Didihat.
Where to Stay
Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam or KMVN Rest House in Birthi offers comfortable stay with basic amenities. Located near the waterfall, it’s definitely one of the better options of accommodation. The staffs are warm and welcoming. Delux and super-delux rooms are available.