“It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”
Nestled in the Kullu Region of Himachal Pradesh,Tirthan Valley has managed to remain the destination less travelled. At an altitude of 1600 m and by the side of the Tirthan river, this valley will just win your heart by its pristine beauty. It is also the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park which is spread over and area of 1171 sq km and altitude of between 1500 to 6000m. Follow one trail or the other, walk into the woods or beside the Tirthan river, or indulge in an adventure activity – the quaint valley offers ample opportunities for the offbeat travelers in its unacquainted landscapes. The GHNP is the gateway to so many treks: Mani Mahesh, Rolla, Ranghtar, Shilt Rakhundi, Marahani Ookhal, Nada Tirth, Raktisar and Lambri.
How to reach there:
Best way to reach Tirthan is by taking a Himachal Tourism bus bound to Manali from Delhi. You have to get down at Aut tunnel.From Aut Tunnel another path goes towards Banjar.You have to take a bus to Gushaini. The distance from Aut to Gushaini is about 32 km and with narrow roads, this trip takes around 1 hour. I took an 8 pm bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate and reached Aut sharp at 6 am. This ensured that I covered most of the route in the night and had the day for exploring.
Where to Stay?
Best part about Tirthan is that all the resorts and hotels are situated by the river and depending on your budget you can pick anyone. I stayed in Bisht Niwas Homestay, I could just go down the steps and touch the river flowing about 30m from the Homestay. A list of few places to stay in the area:
- Bisht niwas homestay- 9816650262, 9418093158
- Sharda guest house- 9418263667, 8894462667
- Sachin Tirthan homestay- 9418477110,9418499569
- Trishla homestay-9418703820, 9418149155
What to do?
1) Choi waterfall
Have you ever had that experience at the end of an exceptional play or concert where you felt yourself swept by the beauty of the music, and your sense of separate self-dropped away ? Or perhaps you’ ve had the experience in nature ? Have you ever stood in a mountain top, awed by the vastness ? Or found your being hushed by the beauty of the sunset by the sea.
Nature has that capacity to present before you some really awe inspiring scenes and scenarios. That music of a gushing river by a mountain, the silence of walking in the dense forests, that soothing feeling of dipping your legs in cold water, the view of the valley from a mountain peak, the colors of the sky, a hidden waterfall, a star studded night and on and on.
Trekking to this waterfall was one such magical experience. It was an April evening when I found myself on the trail to this waterfall. I met a lot of people and shared a few laughs with the kids on the way. I took breaks at my desire and gazed at the sleepy valley with the ruddy orange glow of the sun at the horizon. And lo the last stretch was the best of all, surrounded by dense forests, the way to the waterfall was one you find in tropical places. It was an enchanting experience to be at a waterfall all by yourself. I couldn’t resist, I took an evening shower in pure wilderness.
The trail to Choi begins at village Nagini in Tirthan. It is about a 30 minute hike from the main road and directions are clearly given on the way.
2) Serloskar Lake :
We are so blessed to be born in the land of the Himalayas and I thank God for this daily. Any trek in this region is scenic and varied. I have been to so many different lakes in the Himalayas in different seasons and every time this has been a unique experience. This time I trekked to Serloskar in summer. There is a predefined trail and lot of people take this trail to the sacred temple by the Lake. I decided to take a different trail to the lake and return using the regular predefined trail. I was lucky to experience snow-capped mountains as it was predominantly a clear sky day. Serloskar Lake is located about 5 km from Jalori Pass one way. The lake has clear water which remains so despite of several leaves falling in to it.The place is better known for its temple devoted to Goddess Budhi Nagin. It is believed that the Goddess has hundred sons and acts as a guardian of the place. The walk to the lake is equally enchanting from Jalori pass, with thick cover of oak trees.
3) Great Himalayan National Park:
GHNP was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2014, in recognition of its outstanding significance for biodiversity conservation. The park protects over 1,000 plant species, including many medicinal herbs, 31 mammal species and 209 bird species, as well as amphibians, reptiles and insects.
Did a 18km round trek to Rolla situated inside The Great Himalayan National Park .The Tirthan river was always by my side and so was the sound of birds. There was noise just of the flowing river and of the birds , I wish cities could also get a miniscule of this noise. Saw snow-capped mountains, experienced waterfalls and met a lot of people. Among all this, there was a rest point about 2 km from the park. This place stood out, it had a 360 degree view of the valley which was complete in itself.
One has to take permit to enter the National park at the forest rest house in Sai Ropa. The permit is for 100 Indian rupees and the trail is pretty much well defined. I still took the service of a guide to trek till Rolla. There are a few villages in between which makes for good tea points. There is waterfall just before the main entrance; this mammoth of a waterfall should be your lunch point for sure.
4) Sarchi Village: Have you dreamt of a village nestled in the mountains with a view of the Himalayas? Have you dreamt of a small house perched by the valley overlooking snow-capped mountains and dancing clouds? Have you dreamt of a small tea shop in a Himalayan village and you sitting along with locals and having the evening tea? Tirthan has a lot of such villages and one can keep on exploring them one by one.
Sarchi village is 20km round trip from Village Nagini. There is a bridge on way to Gushaini,the route from Sarchi diverts from here. There are a lot of shortcuts through villages and this is the only way to go off road. It was a wonderful trek, not only did I see many villages but also was marvelled by snow peaks which appeared very close by.
Apart from trekking one can just chill in the cool environment of Tirthan and probably spend a lazy day trout fishing.
Read other Himalayan Trips here: