Being in the lap of nature is magical
Sleeping under skies with billions of stars is magical
Listening to the chirping of birds is magical
Listening to the sound of gushing water is magical
And What is Magical is Therapeutic
Going offbeat to peaceful places, many of us seek it.
Watch on YouTube A Montage – Tirthan Valley & Great Himalayan National Park
Tirthan, is a nature’s abode and once you are at this place, you really wouldn’t want to do anything other than relaxing. Perched at around 1600 meters, Tirthan comes under the jurisdiction of Kullu district in the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh. This place derives its name from the Tirthan River, which originates from Tirath in the adjacent Himalayas. Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is place that is magical and so it is also therapeutic.
Tirthan Valley is also considered to be the gateway to Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Himalayan National Park also known as GHNP in short covers a total area of 1171 sq km. and this area is referred to as the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (GHNPCA).
How To Reach?
By Road:-If you are driving ( that’s what I did), and are coming from New Delhi, this is your route, New Delhi->Panipat->Karnal-> Ambala->( you can bypass Chandigarh from Ambala)Bilaspur –> Mandi – >Pandoh –> Aut-> Larji – >Gushaini – Tirthan.
Aut is an important point, at Aut, there is tunnel (left turn), which takes you to Manali, remember, you don’t have to enter the tunnel, take the straight route.
This is Aut Tunnel, You Don’t have to Enter here, This Tunnel is the Entry to Manali Side
As you on this straight route, there will be river Beas on your right. Remember and this is important and you will skip it, if you don’t pay attention. The road bends (U- UPWARDS) towards left for Tirthan , so drive slow and steady and off course keep your gps and mobile maps on. And You can’t just turn your vehicle upwards. All You have to Do is go straight for just 2 meter, reverse your vehicle and take your vehicle up on this road
By Rail:- The nearest big railway station is Chandigarh and Tirthan is further around 260 kms from there.
By Bus:- If you are taking a bus from Delhi reach Aut and then take a bus to Banjar. At this point it becomes a little tough but there will be some bus operators going to Banjar and further to Tirthan. You can also take a taxi if you find one or if you have arranged for a taxi through your stay or some other means, that’s great.
By Air:-Nearest Airport is Bhunter near Kullu from Manali side.
Where to Stay?
This is not a place to go for swanky five stars hotels, it’s a natural retreat, that being said,at there are some good places to stays here, and you are going to love it.
To name a few there are :-
# Raju Bharti Guest House is quite famous and you normally don’t get the bookings here, Phone- 096252 11848).
# Khem Bharti Homestay is also quite good but do your bookings. Phone- 094591 01113)
# Sunshine Himalayan Camp, besides the stay also organizes some adventure activities.
# Tirthan Adventure Camp, in case you are looking for some adventure activities.
# Sai Ropa Forest Guest House. This comes under GHNP. Do contact and discuss with GHNP officials before your stay.
# TirthView Homestay is where I stayed. We had the caretaker Deepu at the homestay, who took good care of me. Food was excellent. To Book call Mr. Bharti, Phone- 08287481460 and 09953948750. This homestay is around 1.8 kms walk from Gushaini/point from where the ecozone trail to ghnp starts. But this 1.8 kms would mean nothing if you see and follow the kids going to school, follow these kids and will reach down the mountain in no time. Do install maps on your phone to reach this place. Outside the home stay there is parking for 2-3 cars.
Further, the Tirthan River is around 30 metres ,vertical drop from this place, but you always here the sound of gushing waters of Tirthan River.
What to Do?
You will find something to do for yourself and when you are here, you just won’t feel like doing anything, other than relaxing and there are many ways like…
#At the banks of Tirthan River, hearing to the sound of gushing water of Tirthan River#
# Spending your night under billions of Stars#
This line you see is an artificial satellite, that was passing above.
# You can just roam around in the villages of Gushaini, Tindar, Nagini #
# The Great Himalayan National Park #
If you are here for less time then you should go for a nature trek trail in the ecozone of the National Park. To go into the core zone, there are certain formalities that needs to be done. First, You Need to Get a Permit. Second, You need to get a guide ( strictly no entry in the core zone without a guide and the charges are nominal. For more details follow this link to Great Himalayan National Park Official Website.
Some Knowledge : Remember that all national parks, wildlife sanctuaries have two zones i.e Ecozone and Core Zone. In EcoZone Human habitation is allowed whereas in Core Zone no human habitation is allowed.
This is a very good map, I found, It gives you a great idea of Himalayan National Park , Trekking Routes and the area around.
In my case I went for a 1 day ecozone trek, from my place of stay and back, 20 kms, ascends and descends through the mountains, forests. Enroute to the main gate/entry to core zone there is a point known as mobile point, Darakhali and have some delicious maggi over there.
Be careful with one thing, as you are inside the ecozone there will be some off shoot paths in your trek. Just remember that the path you need to take will be a rocky one, with ascends & descends. Well paved paths normally lead to the villages in the Ecozone. A wrong path may make you get lost, and you don’t find many people passing by, in my case I found just four people passing me.
The Entry Point for Ecozone Trek, from this point the GHNP main gate is around 8 kms
Just at the entry point you will see this school and kids from all around this area descend the mountains to come to this school. Hats off to the determination of these kids. I have a separate post dedicated to determination of these kids “School Chalain Hum”
After spending time waving at these kids, watching them study, play, looking at their curious and inquisitive looks I moved on.
This is a point of confusion just some time after start, earlier I just said about the path. The Path we need to take is a rocky one, and here both paths, the one that goes up and the other that goes down are rocky. So take the path going down here.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
There are bridges like these in the ecozone
Near the bridges like above you can find water streams
This is how water and other essentials are transported to top of the mountains
An abandoned house amidst the green
There are small shops on your route to the main gate of the GHNP. You can have juice, some dry snacks, and everybody’s favourite, Maggie. You can also talk to locals, you may find one or two on the trail. If you feel like you can also go to villages, perched up in the ecozone, you can also stay there, the locals are always smiling and helpful.
Enjoy your Journey
# Other Activities #
You can do River Crossing, Mountain Biking, Angling . Do Your Research on Google with reference to your requirements. There will pop up some agencies , my research yielded some, I am mentioning here two of them
1.) Drink lots of Water. Throughout, your trek you are gonna ascend and descend, so you will sweat.
2.) You will be at around 5000 feet + all the time, so do use sun protection.
3.) Keep Your medicine kit handy.
4.) Carry some dry snacks, such as biscuits, Namkeen, Wafers Etc. And please please don’t throw the wrapper around. Keep the wraper in a bag with you and through it away when come back.
5.) The trail/trek path is a rocky one, you will find some paved paths, half paved paths. These are not the one to be taken.
KEEP THE ENVIRONMENT CLEAN, PRESERVE THE NATURE