Tirthan valley may not be as popular as Shimla or Manali, but it has it’s own charms which are hard to find elsewhere. Peace, tranquility, treks and Trouts! Barely 65 KMs from Mandi, it is a relatively lesser explored destination and thus, less crowded.
Tirthan Valley – An Introduction
Like I mentioned, it is often hard to find peace and solitude in our crowded cities. The obvious choice then, for folks looking for some peace, up north, are the Himalayas. But, not everyone is ready to leave the worldly pleasures behind completely to attain this nirvana. Tirthan valley offers a perfect mix of modern comforts in a peaceful, serene natural setting.
Being in the buffer zone of a World Heritage Site – The Great Himalayan National Park has ensured it is not run over by commercial interests and still has limited stay options in handful of the villages. Gushaini, Nagini, Ropa are some of the prominent places in this valley.
The valley gets its name from the river that flows through it – Tirthan. Tirthan originates from a place called Tirath, quite close to the revered peak of Shrikhand Mahadev. It then flows down towards the villages of Rolla, Ropa through the Great Himalayan National Park. Near Banjar, another small stream, Jibhi Gad, merges into Tirthan river. At Larji, Tirthan merges with Sainj and then finally with Beas, coming from Manali.
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Tirthan Valley – How to reach ?
Tirthan is around 550 Kms from Delhi and the journey takes around 11-12 hours with a few breaks.
The route from Delhi is the same as Manali (Delhi – Ambala – Rupnagar – Kiratpur – Bilaspur – Mandi – Aut) till Aut tunnel. Instead of taking the left towards Manali, you continue straight and cross the Larji dam. From here on, roads are narrow but traffic is less. You will cross many bridges and switch from right to left bank of Tirthan several times.
After you cross the Khunan pul, travelling on the left bank of Tirthan, the views are simply awesome! This is where you enter the Great Himalayan National Park buffer zone. Forests, farms and apple orchards welcome you.
Tirthan Valley – Points of Interest
The River, of course! Our stay was in the village of Nagini. As soon as we reach the destination, dump our bags and head down to the river. And regret it almost immediately. The water is super cold and it’s better to enjoy the river from a distance. 😆
Sitting there on the banks of Tirthan, with not a soul around, I try to empty out my mind. To just soak in the nature, enjoy this moment and not think of anything. You can never experience this kind of solitude in the cities.
I watch the sun go down from the banks, and return only when it starts getting r-e-a-l-l-y cold.
There is a Nag devta temple a few meters down the road. The village has got its name from this deity, is what I am told. Some distance away on the same road is the Trout farm and the fisheries department’s office. That’s where we head to get our permits. What permits? Read on to find out. 🙂
Tirthan Valley – Angling
Tirthan has a thriving Trout population. Fishing activities are tightly controlled by the government. One needs to obtain a permit for fishing in the river. Fishing is completely prohibited in Trout waters during their breeding season (November to February).
Tirthan valley is also a popular place for Anglers. The stretch between Larji and Nagini has been specifically identified for Angling by the Govt, to promote this sport in the region.
How can one then, let go of this opportunity to fish while being in Tirthan Valley? We take permits for fishing and move towards the village of Gushaini. Palchan Gad merges with Tirthan at Gushaini. The route left from here goes up to the village of Ropa, entrypoint of the Great Himalayan National Park.
We take the road towards Bathad along Palchan Gad. There aren’t much vehicles on the road beyond Bathad. The road is sort of a dirt track, narrow, rocky and steep. It passes through some forests before ending at a small settlement with only a few houses. Our guide, Deepak, then takes us to a beautiful spot for fishing. Soon, some boys from the nearby village join us and we have a great time. Do check out the video, there is some underwater footage there too!😎
We carry packed food and have a gala time having a picnic in the middle of nowhere with some awesome kids for company. It was truly the highlight of our trip. I wonder, if I will ever meet them again.
Tirthan Valley – Treks
You can also go trekking into the nearby areas. I am kind of a lazy bum and tend to stop where the car stops. Situated in the buffer zone of Great Himalayan National Park, there are some very well documented trek routes in the valley. You can find some of these trek routes listed HERE.
Apart from these treks, there are also smaller treks around the villages of Nagini and Gushaini which take you to some wonderful meadows and waterfalls. Ask your hosts and they will be most happy to show you the way🙂. People in these parts are some of the most hospitable and helpful I have come across.
Tirthan Valley – Places to stay
It is slowly getting commercialised and there are lot’s of Hotels/Homestays readily available now.
Summing it up
Some great views, amazing people, unspoilt nature and all the different activities, make Tirthan Valley an ideal holiday destination if you want to stay away from the crowds. 🙂
Keep Rocking, keep Roaming!
Share your stories from the valley too, what did you like the most? And when do you plan to return?