Day-2, 16th August 2018: Almora to Munsyari.
So, the next day after having a good night sleep we started for Munsyari at 7 AM from Almora. Munsyari is 200 Km from Almora and it takes around 7-8 hours to cover the distance by car; we planned to cover Bageshwar (75 Km from Almora) and Birthi Falls (30 Kms before Munsyari) before reaching Munsyari. We stopped midway around 8.30 AM for a tea break at a house cum tea cafe which was built right on the cliff in the middle of nowhere. We met a Himalayan dog named Mangal; very big, fluffy and all black. He did not like Monaco biscuit which we offered as his preference was sweet biscuits only. We reached Bageshwar at 9.30 AM.
Situated on the confluence of Saryu and Gomati rivers, Bageshwar is surrounded by the mountains of Bhileshwar and Nileshwar to its east and west and by the Suraj Kund in the north and Agni Kund in the south. Bageshwar was a major trade mart between Tibet and Kumaon, and was frequented by the Bhotia traders, who bartered Tibetan wares, wool, salt and Borax in exchange for Carpets and other local produces in Bageshwar. The trade routes were, however, closed after the Indo-China War of 1962. The city of Bageshwar gets its name from the Bagnath Temple. Just before reaching the temple, we can see Sangam or confluence of rivers Gomti and Saryu and at the junction of these stands Bagnath temple with its conical tower. Here is the shrine of Bageshwar or Vyagreswar, the, "Tiger Lord", an epithet of Lord Siva. This temple was erected by the Kumaon king, Laxmi Chand, about 1450 A.D.but there is an interesting Sanskrit inscription there of a far earlier date. The temple is flooded with devotees on the annual occasion of Shivratri.
This temple is in the main market and there is a cut with a gate which leads to the temple. There are numerous shops selling local articles and a few eateries. After returning from the temple we stopped at a shop and had poori chole and lassi in breakfast. After an hour in Bageshwar we resumed our journey and reached Birthi Falls at 2.30 PM.
Birthi Falls is a must-stop place before reaching Munsyari. It’s a majestic fall which can be seen from a distance while travelling to Munsyari via Thal Munsyari route. Once you reach the bridge you can see the awesomeness of the 150 meters fall cascading from the mountains and dominating the rocks below. There is a rock stair way which leads you near the fall and the way to the top is completely mesmerizing with greenery all round, sound of water making their way out of the fall, slight drizzle effect created by the height of water dropping and winds gushing. As we were there during the monsoons, so the beauty was increased manifold because of the overabundance of water coming out of the fall. Once you reach the top you will find a covered resting place in case of a rainfall and some benches in open as well. We took a whole lot of pictures and made some videos to cherish. It is a lovely place to spend at least 1-2 hours to digest the beauty and surreal environment. You can have slight refreshment and tea at 2 Maggi points on roadside. After spending 2 hours we resumed our journey and reached Munsyari at 6 PM and stayed at KMVN TRH.