Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Munsiyari…Birthi Falls

As we ate our lunch, my eyes didn’t left the clouds that had started to darken the hamlet of Munsiyari. Panchchuli by now was completely covered with dark clouds. These are the ones that will rain, my instinct spoke with me…

Clouds at Munsiyari

Nitin and quickly decided; we had seen all that was to be seen at Munsiyari in a day’s time, and we also wanted to save precious drive time for the coming days – the TV news had informed it was raining all over Pithoragarh. So, using the KMVN guidebook, I dialed in the Nainital booking office of KMVN guesthouses and sourced the number for the KMVN at Birthi. Readers would remember that I mentioned about this place in the part-2 of the series. I called Birthi KMVN to find a friendly voice answering it and confirming a booking. Voila! It was easy!

Birthi is a 31kms drive from Munsiyari. Sensing immediacy of rain, we packed fast, cleared the bills and started the ride at 3pm, bidding adieu to this magical town of Munsiyari. On hills, it takes about an hour to cover 30kms, and that’s what we planned. I didn’t want to get lashed in chilling rains one more time, so deploying all carefulness that we should, we rode faster than usual.

Well, adventure it really is, when you ride on the mountains! As we neared Birthi, the sunrays gave way to drizzling. Not again! Birthi was still few kilometers away and sprinkle was really getting steadier. However, this one time we go lucky. Just as we entered the guesthouse, it started to pour heavily. For the first time in three days, it wasn’t pouring on us!

Friendly smiles greeted us and guided us to the best room available. It was really nice – clean, warm beds, CTV with Tata Sky and a geyser; at only Rs.800/- per day, it was a real steal. We loved it!
By the time tea arrived, it had stopped raining and sun came back shining over hills.

KMVN Birthi

RRG at Birthi, KMVN

Well, didn’t I say in the last blog that silence has a very pleasant sound of its own? You should come to Birthi to experience what I mean. A couple of days away from the madness of the cities, away from what some of us call life, are always welcome. Mountains are such heavens of silence and solitude. And when you get back from this heaven, you come away feeling saner, rejuvenated. You come back a better one…

There is nothing extraordinary about Birthi, at least on the face of it. It is a tiny village, with couple of shops on road and the KMVN guesthouse perched atop a hill, right on the main road. However, what breaks the silence and the dullness is the mighty roar of a waterfall, called Birthi Falls. This is what makes Birthi fall on the tourist map and makes it really a place worth visiting.

Birthi falls

Birthi Falls

Birthi Falls

Birthi Falls

Located right behind the guesthouse, this one’s a 126 meters giant of a fall. The staff at the guesthouse guided us to a 200meter trek, which leads to the falls. Some walk it was, up the hill…neatly carved out stairs took us near to the fall. And here is what we saw! These images, I hope, demonstrate to you the beauty of these falls. I wasn’t sure, so I made a video. You can access it on Youtube at (http://youtu.be/m1fqUdPGBj8).
This one’s my personal favorite – on the rocks at Birthi! What a bliss!

On the rocks. Indeed

Nitin and I really liked this place. Serene, quiet and captivating, as if we weren’t only 600kms away from madness of the metro called Delhi. The guest-house was really well-laid, with a pretty garden and a scenic view of the valley. This is a must-visit place and we were glad that we left Munsiyari and decided to spend a night here…
As I went off to sleep that night, I could very clearly distinguish the sound of silence, only to be broken by the sound of the waterfall. Felt really good…

Next morning, sun came out shining really bright. We bid goodbye to Birthi at 9am.

Leaving Birthi

We didn’t really make a plan as to where we would halt for the day. The fun was in the ride and that we enjoyed that the whole day. Nothing really different happened, as we took the same route back towards Dhaulchhina. Nonetheless, I would definitely share this image we took at the coast of Ram Ganga, where we stopped en route…

RRG at Ram Ganga

Since we ate a heavy breakfast, we kept riding non-stop and arrived at Dhaulchhina at around 2pm. A small jaunt became our lunch-halt here. This is where we chalked out the plan for the day; we decided to ride till Rudrapur and make most of the day, so that the ride for the final day would be easier and shorter. I used my network to book ourselves at Ark Hotel at Rudrapur. Other than Radisson, this is a good option to stay at Rudrapur.
Some ride, it was! We rode almost 300kms this day, and it was 8pm by the time we reached Rudrapur.
Next day, we started leisurely at about 11am. I won’t bore you with details, as after taking you through the magic of Himalayas, describing a ride back home on the plains would be a tad bit too much!
What a lovely ride, these 5 days offered! We covered 1290kms over these five days, scaled an attitude of 2748 AMSL; crossed magical views of pristine beauty of valleys and mountains, snow-capped peaks, witnessed a river as white as if flowing milk, heard the roar of a mighty, 126 meters high waterfall from close corners and rode through the core areas of a wildlife sanctuary, amidst heavy rains…Simply amazing!

Till the next ride, wish you a happy and safe riding…

11 Comments

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Wow Man! What a feat. Five days and 1290 Kilometers and lots of fun.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Excellent description of the beauty of mountains and also pictures too are a feast to eyes.

  • Vipin says:

    What a fantastic ride this has been, RRG! Kudos to both of you completing it safely & sucessfully! Birthi Falls seems to be a splendid sight…am dying to be there…the post is as always pretty informative & engaging, what to say about photos, marvellous!

    • Thanks, Vipin. My brother Nitin is a photography-enthsiast and is doing good work around it. Ghumakkars have been lavish in their praise for the images – big thanks to everyone.

      I am sure you will enjoy Birthi.

      Best,
      RRG

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Thanks for revealing the unspoilt beauty of Birthi. As always, an enjoyable read and a feast for the eyes as well.

  • I wished I could have traveled like you RRG . I am feeling jealous. Bike , Himalayas and Trek .

  • Nandan Jha says:

    After reading this one and the previous two blogs on this route, I remembered my drive to this area. For some reason, it seems (to me) that the road from Birthi to the top of Munsyari (a few KMs before the actual town) attracts rain, almost all the time. The whole texture of the hills along side, the numerous falls and the thick foliage makes me believe so. If there is someone who has traveled more in that area, then I look up to him for more details.

    RRG – A brilliant ride , inspiringly told. Cheers. Share some more details about Ark as well.

    • Nandan, Ark is a 3-star property, which is located right outside the town of Rudrapur on the main road, as your enter from the side of Rampur. Decently priced, I recall paying about 3500 per night, inclusive of taxes and breakfast. Another good hotel there is Radisson Blu, which in inside the town, on the main road again. I have stayed there too – same as any other Radisson; costs around 6K per night. I would, though, prefer staying in Radisson, for obvious reasons. Yet, Ark is a good value for money property.

  • Nirdesh says:

    HI RRG,

    The romance with mountains and bikes continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.