A place where at every step you take produces a crunching sound of dry reddish-yellow leaves. A trail that requires you to climb and jump across the big boulders. A walk along side a stream so clear that its pebble bed coloured in multiple shades of greenish-yellow shined brightly under the clear sky. This sounds like but is not a scene picked up from a story tale. There actually exists a place that’s in complete seclusion nesting amidst flora and fauna, providing a relaxing sensation and can bring even Einstein’s mind to the state of peace. So would you want to get on this journey with me and know about how to reach Bhalu Gaad Waterfall and when is the best time to visit.
Wondering why the name Bhalu Gaad? Now talking in terms of kumaoni language i.e their local language, ‘Bhalu’ means Bear and ‘Gaad’ means streams of water. Since you walk along a stream and the area was once home to Bears its named ‘Bhalu Gaad’.
The discovery of Bhalu Gaad Waterfall
Well, yes… for me it was kind of discovery in itself. I couldn’t and for that matter no one in my group could have imagined that their exits a trail that can be titled as a journey to the another world. There was a complete flip in the aura of the environment. Discovery of the hidden gems is one of the benefits of travelling with the locals or with a person who knows every nook of the place in and around. And we were lucky we had the team of Nainital Cottages to show us hidden gems of Mukteshwar in & around.
First step on the trail
The car stopped and there seemed no possibility of a trail to exist.
The moment we got down of our cars, we were like What! Are you kidding.. There can’t be a trail here and that too leading to a waterfall.
To my amazement, there were in-fact two trails. Believe me or not but it’s not easy to make out where the path would lead to as there exists no sign boards. This is good to some extent as it would keep the place less touristy.
And, then we stepped further into the forest…
An easy hike to Bhalu Gaad Waterfall
Whenever there is a hike involved in any itinerary, then the very first concerns that flow across our minds is How Difficult Is It? Is it a good idea to take along kids? And much more…
Just to answer all your worries in one line.. The trail to Bhalu Gaad waterfall is pretty easy and a very casual hike.
But, not to forget there will be stream crossings, rock climbing like activities involved be prepared for it. And just like for any other hikes, be prepared for the unforeseen situations. Talking about the steepness of the trail, it is very much flat and you would be walking in the valley along the stream.
Words won’t do justice to it so without wasting any more words and your precious time in describing its mesmerizing beauty let me show you how you can reach there…And, whatever time you saved on reading can be put to use in packing your bags.
Reaching Bhalu Gaad Waterfall
The most convenient way to reach here is by road. Mukteshwar is well-connected to cities like Delhi, Dehradun at about 6-8hrs of drive. Regular buses and trains ply to Haldwani which is 2.5hrs and you could easily hire a cab from here.
To reach Bhalu Gaad you will have to drive to Dhari village which is at 7km from Mukteshwar towards Haldwani. This is the point where the trek starts from and it takes around 45 min. to reach the fall.
Words of wisdom from my experience and research
- There could be an entry fee of 10rs during peak season.
- I visited the fall in the month on November when there were no tourists and hence no stalls but during summers it is frequented by the locals. So, you may or may not find tea stalls near and on the way to the fall depending upon the time you make a visit. Also, you may find life jackets available on rent.
- The monsoon period though increases the beauty but along with it comes factors like slippery rocks, increased flows and more. It is advisable to be prepared for the same. But, since the water gets muddy during monsoons, that crystal clear water with glittering pebble bed won’t be visible.
- Based on a recent incident I would suggest to avoid swimming if you are an amateur specially in rainy days when the flow is high. Also, if you chose to swim then avoid getting just below the fall. As fascinating as it sounds it’s equally risky as with heavy flow comes the boulders that could hit your head any moment… Enjoy but responsibly.
- I am not sure if proper changing rooms are available so its suggested to wear dry pants and t-shirts that dry off quickly.
- Give yourself an easy 3 hours to trek and completely enjoy the nature without any hustle.
- PARKING- now since there is no designated parking from where the trek starts so please be sure to park your cars on the roadside but without obstructing the way.
- At last, Bhalu Gaad Waterfall WELCOMES you with open arms but not your GARBAGE. So, be responsible to bring it all back and dispose properly. I am sure you would not accept others to make your house a dump yard so you shouldn’t do that too.