Romania is a country of raw beauty and well-hidden gems. Some amazing places most certainly remain undiscovered, as the land is vast and in many parts still untouched by urbanism. Other discovered places put Romania on the map as having immense natural beauty. In one of my attempts to temporarily escape sometimes hectic city life, I discovered alluring Bigăr Waterfall. This hidden beauty in western Romania, in Caraş Severin, was known by few until around the year 2010. This was when a tourist guide brought attention to it in the National Geographic Traveler magazine. Romanians and foreigners alike took notice of this one-of-a-kind waterfall, which slowly reached fame.
Bigăr Waterfall is located 146 km from the city of Timişoara, in western Romania. Many visitors who are tracing history in Timişoara, are choosing to take a day trip into the mountains. This gives them the opportunity to visit not only Bigăr Waterfall but also its delightful surrounding areas.
The waterfall is a part of the Cheile Nerei-Beuşniţa National Park and is located right on the 45th north parallel, between the North Pole and Ecuador. As one looks on the map, it seems as though the Bigăr Waterfall sits just in the middle of the above-mentioned park and the Semenic-Cheile Caraşului reservation. Its placement is ideal for hikers and mountain lovers, opening them up to a number of hiking routes throughout the area.
The waterfall is close to the highway, making it easy for people of all ages to witness its beauty. One can see the waterfall either from atop of a small bridge or by descending wooden stairs to a small stream. This way, visitors can be face to face with the waterfall, with only a couple of meters distance between them.
The area of the cascade was declared a natural protected area in 2000 and is considered by many the most unusual waterfall of the world. World Geography Magazine even voted it the most amazing waterfall in the world in 2013.
So, what makes this cascade so special? The water from an above spring pours onto an eight-meter-high rock, shaped like a mushroom. The rock is covered by moss, and the water seems to drizzle down into the Miniş River in tens of directions, creating what looks like a curtain of water. The waterfall is most spectacular in the warmer periods when the moss is brightly colored.
This unique waterfall has a sad legend behind it. It is said that a couple couldn't have any children and that this was their greatest desire. A witch told the woman in a dream that if she drank water from the Miniş River, her wish would come true. The witch warned the woman that her child should never fall in love, or else it would perish. A baby girl soon was born, and after many years, she liked a boy named Bigăr. Her parents hearing this forbade her ever to see him and locked her up in a cave. Seeing the girl's pain, the witch transformed her hair into a cascade of her tears. Bigăr wanting to be with her threw himself in the river and drowned. The girl soon died too. Legend has it that they reunited happily in death and that all those who wish their love to be eternal, should drink water from Bigăr Waterfall.
There are many reasons why people choose to visit Bigăr Waterfall. Some come in hope for eternal love, others because of its one-of-a-kind shape or as a result of its fame. Whichever the reason, this waterfall in Caraş-Severin is a magnet for people who wish to see Romanian natural beauty. Next time you're in the region, feast your eyes on Bigăr Waterfall and marvel at its beauty.
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