There are so many treasures in a single country. In a menacingly large country like India, there are so many places that are left unchartered. We all run off to the known, explored terrains deceiving ourselves from the sheer joy of being etherized to the core by the beauty of the unknown. When the coarse road hurts your soft sole, when you don’t refrain from unacquainted landscape, when you are forced to fathom your incredulous decision and yet when there is an unbridled will to keep ascending, you know you are in the right place. When you reach Tirthan Valley in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, it will untether you from all the exhaustion, frustration you are shackled with.
This magical escape is in the buffer zone of the Great Himalayan National Park. The name of the valley is derived from the Tirthan River which originates from the glaciers of the Himalayas. The Valley is situated at 1600 Meters besides the Tirthan River. This is a place to forget the rest of the world. Long walks through the rugged woods next to the river whispering with the meddling fog, is what makes this place so chimerical. Bonfires, camping and music will only elicit your already developed bias for this place. The Himalayan Trout House would be ideal for accommodation. Follow the lazy roads through the forests and unwind into tiny hamlets of Nagini, Ghushaini, Banjar and Shoja. These are equally beautiful and you would be charmed by their serenity. Trekking for hours exploring this old-world is the most memorable part of my trip.
With a pleasant climate and temperature of less than 24 degrees even in the summer, a rarity in many parts of India, you are promised a lush green vista and a comforting cup of tea. The best time to visit this place is during the spring season as the valley paints a wide mesmerizing canvas with bright apple orchards. No visitor can stop reiterating about this camaraderie between the nature and the valley.
As surreal as this place may sound, this humbling visit to the Tirthan Valley has extricated me from the maddening cities and rejuvenated in ways I cannot begin to explain. Your solidarity about the tranquillity of this place will resonate with its unprecedented beauty. One look and you will fall in love with this coy valley situated lands away from you.
If you are looking for solitude out in the wilderness, Tirthan Valley is where you need to be. The water can be bone chilling. This is a perfect spot for relaxation in the wild. The non-concrete paths and the forests around the valley makes it one of the most scenic wonders of India. The valley is known for trout fishing. Spend some time here and you might just get lucky with a brown or rainbow trout. A trek around this place and you may be greeted by some waterfall. This is truly a paradise.
This was my base for the next five days. It is the best place for campers and others on holiday to meet each other, exchange stories or just laze by the hammock. A modern multi-cuisine kitchen serves many mouthwatering delicacies. The Trout house offers different options of accommodation like The Eco Cabin, The Mud Hut suites and The Stone Cottage suites. They even provide guidance and facilities to anglers which is not at all disappointing. The name clearly suggests it's an angler's delight. So go back to primitive ways of life and indulge in some angling (fishing with rod and line).
The park was built in 1984. It is a habitat to numerous flora and fauna species of mammals, birds, reptiles, etc. This area has many important wildlife species of Western Himalayas, like Musk deer, Brown bear, Thar, Leopard, Snow leopard, Koklas, Tragopan, Snow cock etc. If you are a birdwatcher, you are in luck. Bird-watching here is amazing. The journey to the wild valley is incomplete without trekking in the National Park. Moving along and resting along the alpine pastures will be memorable. If you wish, camping equipment and guides are provided by the Forests Department.
Far from the jolting crowd, this little fairy-tale village of Nagini is situated on the banks of Tirthan River. This utterly quaint village surrounded by shades of blue, is a great place to relax. The Himalayan Trout Camp is located here. Walk around to explore the native homes and soak in the simplicity. If you get a chance, go further up to the picturesque hamlet of Gushainia. Enjoy a musical soirée with the locals. The evening will turn much more delightful than you anticipated, even before you realize.
This place lies on the alternate route to Kullu from Shimla where it joins the main route at Aut. To understand the customs and traditions of the locals better, head to the temple dedicated to the main deity of the region Shringarishi. The temple is at a height of more than 3962 meters. If you are here in May, you will have a good amount of company to visit the temple. This is because people visit this temple once a year during a festival. The terrains make it idyllic for mountain biking or mountain cycling. This is one activity you shouldn't miss when in Banjar.
Shoja (also spelled as Sojha) is an idyllic village in the Seraj region just 14 km away from Banjar. It is located close to the Great Himalayan National Park and 5 km short of Jalori Pass. So it is easily accessible. The village offers breathtaking views of the Tirthan Valley below. It is a hidden splendor. Make sure you visit the Serolser Lake, Raghupur Fort, waterfall point during your day trek.