Overview of Tirthan Valley
The name ‘Tirthan Valley’ often creates images of a spiritual place (Tirth= spirituality), nestled in one corner of Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.
Interestingly though, there is no town by the name of Tirthan, but this is simply a valley that is cradled by the Tirthan river.
Situated at an altitude of 5249 feet above mean sea level, the spellbinding natural beauty of this valley is reason enough to create attractive Tirthan Valley packages.
Things to do in Tirthan Valley
Are you an adventurous soul who loves discovering unchartered terrain? If yes, then activities in Tirthan Valley will be perfect for you.
The Tirthan river originates from Hanskund, a snow peak situated in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP).
During the course of its journey, it passes through the most pristine, verdant, and awe-inspiring forest areas, and also beautiful villages that take you back in time.
Unlike other corners of Himachal Pradesh, Tirthan is still relatively untouched and present several opportunities for you to revel in the wilderness.
This is how you should spend time in this beautiful valley:
Go to GHNP-
You will be able to see this national park against the backdrop of the snow-clad, mighty Himalayas. The Great Himalayan National Park, declared as a UNESCO heritage site is just 3 km. away from Tirthan Valley.
The altitude of this place varies from 4921-19,685 feet, enabling you to witness flowery vegetation and green meadows, as well as snowy peaks with gorgeous high altitude passes.
A national park is complete without flora and fauna, and here you get to be amongst 375 species of wildlife.
Exotic animals such as the snow leopard and Himalayan brown bear can be seen here, along with Himalayan Tahr and musk deer.
Spread over a massive area of 1100 square kms, it offers plenty of trails for a Tirthan Valley trek. You can choose from the following:
- Shilt Hut trek- 3-4 days
- Rolla trek- 2 days
- Maranhi trek- 5 days
- Raktisar trek- 7 days
Embark uphill from the Rolla village to land in front of a waterfall which is a treat for the senses.
What’s more, this natural beauty is not known by many around here. Sit next to the waterfall and absorb the surroundings at your own leisure.
Visit Parashar and Serol Sar –
A spellbinding beauty of this region, Parashar lake is a gorgeous getaway, with surroundings that you would rarely seen around a water body.
It also has a pagoda-style temple of 3 stories, made by King Bansen during the 14th century. Both the lake and the temple were made from Rishi Parashar, who used to meditate here. Serol Sar is a lake popular as a religious location.
At an altitude of almost 10,000 feet, this is the abode of ‘Buddhi Nagin’, a goddess who is the mother of 60 Himachal Nag devtas.
Pandavas are also said to have been here during their exile. You can find almost 7 feet of snow here during winters.
Nature can be enjoyed here by participating in secret fishing camps if you want a completely unique experience.
Brown and rainbow trout are found here in abundance, both of which are delicious upon frying.
The Government of Himachal Pradesh has declared this river to be an angling reserve, due to which all hydroelectric projects in this region have been terminated.
You will require a license for fishing trout within 45 km of the river, which is truly a lot of fun for fanatics.
Camp Underneath The Stars-
You have the opportunity to sleep on the shores of the Parashar and Serolsar lakes, right below the stars. This is a Tirthan valley camping experience which you are sure not to forget in a hurry.
Bonfires, music, and camping in Tirthan Valley, coupled with stars watching over you, will create the perfect nigh-time experience.
Visit Himalayan Villages-
There are a good number of villages that adorn the Tirthan landscape. Well-known ones amongst these are Nagini, Sai Ropa, and Gushaini, which offer homestays as modes of accommodation here.
Gushaini is the common starting point for a number of treks, while permits for treks can be obtained from the forest office in Sai Ropa.
Similarly, Nagini is a village where fishing can be enjoyed, making it one of the highly attractive places to visit in Tirthan Valley.
Chehni Kothi, a castle, can easily be described as the tallest man-made located structure in the Western Himalayas.
As a devotee you can spend time paying respects to Shringa Rishi, you can also marvel at the sheer expanse of architecture.
Apart from allowing devotees, the structure also acted as a guard for villagers against outsiders.
Originally this 1500-year old structure was 15 stories tall, but it got reduced to 10 stories after the earthquake of 1905.
50 km away from Tirthan, you will arrive at Shangarh, a hidden wonder for which you would have to cross the old-fashioned villages of Sainj, Larji, Neuli, and Ropa.
The greenery, peace, and tranquility of Shangarh are bound to give you happy memories for a long time. As per legends, it is said that the Pandavas built this meadow as a stairway towards heaven.
Live in Riverside Homes-
While you will find a number of places to stay in and near Tirthan Valley, the feeling of living in a riverside home such as Raju’s Guesthouse in Gushaini can be a very unique experience in itself.
Beautiful orchards would be present around or as a part of these homes, and you are sure to enjoy the music of gushing river water.
How to Reach Tirthan Valley
The best method to reach Tirthan Valley is to get to Aut, which is in the Kullu district, and then move towards the village of your choice. You can get to Aut in the following ways:
Chandigarh is the nearest railway station, which is 225 km away. There are no direct trains to Mandi from Shimla or Delhi.
Hire a cab or take a bus to Mandi. Joginder Nagar station is 120 km from the valley, which is also an option.
Hop on to a regular HRTC bus or a Delhi-Manali Volvo bus, which would get you to Aut by 6 AM next morning. From Aut, either take a taxi or the Kullu-Shimla bus.
Of course, hitchhiking from Aut to the valley is also an option.
Bhuntar, at a distance of 50 km from the Tirthan Valley, has the nearest airport. However, there may be limited connectivity at the airport, given the inclement nature of Kullu weather.
Take the Delhi-Manali highway to get to Aut. Do not enter the Jawahar tunnel at Aut, but continue on the road to the right, which will take you towards Banjar valley. Via this route, the distance from Delhi to Tirthan is 511 km.
In case you plan to reach this area from Manali, take the left exit at Jawahar tunnel from Aut. This will take you to Larji T-point, from where a right turn goes towards Sai Ropa.
A straight road from here will go to Banjar- Shoja- Jalori pass, so take the U-turn towards Gushaini-Nagni from here.
If you want to take a longer and more scenic route, you may go from Delhi-Shimla-Jalori pass-Banjar. It is 40 km longer than the above route.
Best Time to Visit Tirthan Valley
One of the best times in the year to be here is March-April when spring would be in full bloom. This would give you the chance to experience nature in its best splendor.
May, June, and July are also good since the heat of the plains give excuses to embark on high altitude treks. Additionally, October and November are splendid times for trout fishing.
Weather in Tirthan Valley
Average temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees C in summers. In winters, be prepared for temperatures close to zero degrees.
If you are in the Kullu-Manali area, the verdant beauty of Tirthan Valley should certainly not be skipped at any cost. You will return feeling enriched, with a new vigour to approach life.
This treat to the senses will also bring in a much-needed breath of fresh air into your life. You will surely be jumping up for joy at the simplistic beauty of this mountainous valley.