While my favorite destination in Himachal Pradesh has to be the gorgeous Rajgundha Valley, Tirthan Valley comes at the second spot. This secluded and pristine hill station offers a completely different experience than its sister cities in Himachal.
Nestled amidst the mountains and perched at a height of almost 1600 m, Tirthan Valley is nothing less than a paradise. Clear skies, majestic mountains, and a pristine river flowing through the valley, Tirthan Valley is a great place to escape the city life and immerse yourself in nature.
In this guide, I have included all the essential information that you need to know in order to plan a successful trip here. From stay to food to network, this post covers it all.
But if you want to travel to Tirthan Valley, make sure you travel responsibly. There are many guidelines for visiting this place which the locals are really strict about. So, be respectful of their home and follow these Guidelines for visiting the Tirthan Valley.
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Also Read: Dos and Donts For Visiting Tirthan Valley
About Tirthan Valley
As I mentioned before, Tirthan Valley is at an altitude of 1600 m and is surrounded by mighty Himalayan mountains. This riverside retreat is a famous weekend getaway due to all the adventure-related activities that one can do here. It is also the main gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), a UNESCO heritage site, which is why it has become so popular recently.
Deriving its name from the Tirthan river, this valley is located in the Kullu district. And the river which gave its name originates from Hanskund peak in the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). Now, isn’t that fascinating?
Its unparalleled beauty and the simplicity of the people and the valley itself makes it a welcome respite from all the other destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Yes, it has now become more popular among the travelers but it can still be counted as an offbeat destination when compared to places like Kullu, Manali, Kasol, and so on.
One thing which sets this valley apart from other Himachal destinations are the quaint Himalayan villages which still adopt traditional architecture. And the people themselves are very kind and down-to-earth and go to great lengths to make you feel at home here.
Another great thing about this place is that there isn’t too much noise around here, so you can actually hear the sounds of nature. From the gushing river water to the calling of the birds, you hear it all without any effort which is absolute bliss.
And there are so many amazing day hikes to waterfalls and viewpoints here. So, there is no chance of you getting bored here. In fact, the mountain air is going to do some good for your body and will make you fit and healthy again.
Best Time to Visit Tirthan Valley
Ideally, there is no singular best time to visit Tirthan Valley as it is a year-round destination, except for the monsoons. But each season brings a different list of activities and experiences with it.
So, depending on what you are interested in, you can plan a visit to Tirthan in the following seasons.
Summer Season (March – June)
For people wanting to escape the summer heat, the summer season is the best time to head to Tirthan Valley. The temperature is cool here and the valley is beautiful for exploration as well. And during this time, you can head to the beautiful waterfalls and treks nearby to have an amazing time.
This is also a good time to enjoy the Tirthan River and dip your feet in the cold, fresh river water. Plus, camping beside the river is a lot of fun at this time too. So, if you are interested in cool weather while enjoying some adventure activities, then summer is the best time to visit Tirthan Valley.
Monsoon Soon (July – September)
Definitely not the best time to visit Tirthan Valley because the risk of landslides increases during the monsoons. But if you love the smell of fresh rain on the alpine trees then it could be considered. You can head to this place in early July when the monsoon period is just starting and enjoy this not-so-crowded destination in Himachal.
However, if you want to enjoy the Tirthan rains then make sure that you have a couple of days with you. And do check the weather forecast before you start your journey. Also, make sure to count some buffer days for your trip if you happen to get stuck in Tirthan Valley because of the roads and landslides.
While I wouldn’t suggest you to risk it, the monsoon is definitely the best time to visit Tirthan Valley if you like rains and lush greenery.
One of the best time to visit Tirthan Valley is in winters, from the month of October to December. This is the time after monsoon so the entire valley is blooming with greenery and colors and makes for an amazing view.
And this is also the best time for the Tirthan Valley trek like the GHNP trek, waterfall trek, and so on. Also, if you are lucky, then you might witness snowfall here too which is another magical sight.
Also Read: 13 Best Things to Do in Tirthan Valley
How to Reach Tirthan Valley
Now, let’s come to the most important section of our trip: how to reach the Tirthan valley. Well, there are a couple of ways to reach Tirthan Valley, especially if you are from Delhi. But if you aren’t, don’t worry, we have got you covered too.
Tirthan Valley is at a distance of around 500 km from Delhi and takes around 12 – 14 hours to reach, depending on your mode of transportation. Here are a few options for people who are leaving from Delhi to reach Tirthan Valley.
From Delhi to Tirthan Valley
Bus + Bus
You will get both HPTDC and private buses going till Aut, which is on the way to Manali. So, all the buses for Manali will definitely stop at Aut. You will get an ordinary HPTDC bus for 648 INR while a Volvo will cost 1450 INR. Check the latest price of the buses on HPTDC website.
From Aut, you can take another bus to Banjar, which is around 25 km from Aut. It will take you around 1.5 hours on the bus to reach Banjar. From Banjar, you will have to reach Gushaini village which is the nearest village to Tirthan Valley. You can take a local bus or taxi to Gushaini.
Another option is to get down at the road where it forks between Banjar and Gushaini. And walk the 5 km to Tirthan Valley from here. Honestly, this is not the most convenient option but it is the best way to reach Tirthan Valley for backpackers. It will cost you around 50 – 90 INR to reach Tirthan from Aut.
Bus + Taxi
Another option is to take a bus till Aut and get down before the Aut tunnel. From here, you can get your homestay owner to send a taxi for you which will charge approximately 1200 – 1500 INR for a 7 seater. It will take you just 1 hour to reach in the taxi and you will be dropped off a the exact location of your homestay.
Finally, one of the easiest and most convenient ways to reach Tirthan Valley from Delhi is to take your own car. It will take around 13 hours for the entire journey but make sure you have two drivers with you. Don’t attempt to ride the entire way yourself and rest periodically so that you don’t tire yourself out.
From Other Places to Tirthan Valley
Air + Road
The nearest airport to Tirthan Valley is at Bhuntar which is at a distance of 48 km from Tirthan Valley and will take around 2 hours to reach. There are a few flights connecting the rest of the Indian cities to Bhuntar but flights can be slightly costly. From Bhuntar, you can take a bus till Aut and then follow the options suggested above or you can get a direct taxi which will cost around 2500 – 3000 INR.
You can also choose to take a flight to Chandigarh which is around 134 km from Tirthan Valley. From Chandigarh, you have buses and taxis which will take you to Tirthan Valley in just 7-8 hours.
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Head raised in reverence to beyond the blue sky, but pray tell O Creator, what or who am I; The green rustles snap me out of trance, do hunt your answers in my dance; The melodious meandering gurgles from far away, like the wandering pied piper lead me astray; The howling winds whisper to my weary soul, to love to be loved that's your goal. – By someone who wishes to remain anonymous
Rail + Road
Another popular option is to take a train to Chandigarh and then take a bus/taxi to Tirthan Valley. There are several trains connecting Chandigarh to all parts of India like Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, etc. So, you will easily find a train.
Once in Chandigarh, you can choose a normal or Volvo bus for Tirthan Valley which will take around 7-8 hours. The normal bus will cost around 450 – 500 INR while Volvo will cost around 900 INR. A taxi to Tirthan Valley from Chandigarh will cost around 5000 INR.
Depending on where you are starting from, taking a bus or driving yourself are also available options. If you are traveling from nearby places like Chandigarh, Haryana, Mandi, Shimla, etc., then you can always drive yourself to Tirthan Valley.
For reaching Tirthan Valley by road, you need to take the Mandi-Aut-Manali route. And take the right turn from the Aut tunnel. Don’t enter the tunnel as that will take you to Manali. From the Aut tunnel entrance, it is a 26 km pleasant ride to Tirthan Valley via Larji.
Larji is just 2 km from the tunnel entrance from where you need to take a left for Banjar. The right side road will take you to Sainj valley so avoid that. From Larji, you need to go 20 km straight where you will find two road options. Take a U-turn and go on the left road as that leads to Tirthan Valley.
In another 10 minutes, you would have reached your location.
ATMs and Network Availability in Tirthan Valley
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And I would love to get lost, amidst the greenery and the landscape. Where no one could see me or hear me. Where I would be alone with my thoughts for a while and I could finally figure out what is it that I desire. Because sometimes you have to get lost in order to truly find yourself. To find what you are chasing or running away from. To find the purpose in your life. To find what makes you, you.
ATMs in Tirthan Valley
There is no ATM near Gushaini itself so make sure you withdraw enough cash beforehand. The nearest ATM in Tirthan Valley is at Banjar which is around 10 km from Gushaini. There are a couple of ATMs at Aut too so you can withdraw from there on the way.
It would be best to withdraw cash from your home city before leaving for Tirthan Valley or Aut itself. Don’t leave withdrawing till the last moment because quite often, the ATMs in these small towns turn out to be dysfunctional or empty.
Network Availability in Tirthan Valley
Most mobile networks will work till Gushaini but Airtel and JIO will give you the best signal. Vodafone is patchy at best in Tirthan Valley and there are very fewer chances of you being able to make a call with it.
BSNL is one of the best mobile networks in Tirthan Valley and will also work in the remote villages and on the treks here. So, if you are looking for a mobile operator with good Internet connectivity, then Airtel and JIO are the best. For making phone calls, the BSNL network is the best.
Where to Stay in Tirthan Valley
Since Tirthan Valley is still not developed, there are limited options to stay here. You will find a couple of hotels and resorts here but an abundance of cottages and homestays.
Personally, I would suggest you stay in a riverside homestay or cottage to get a proper feel of Tirthan Valley. This way, you will understand their lifestyle and their culture and will have so much to take back home with you. Also, the locals are really friendly here so they will also help you in planning the activities around here plus the food is super amazing.
A homestay can cost you anywhere between 500 – 5000 INR, depending on the homestay location, room space, and whether you opt for meals or not.
There are a few camps here as well where you can stay beside the river and enjoy a night under the starry sky. They also make provisions for a bonfire, some activities, etc. and offer delicious food options as well.
A stay in a camp can cost you anywhere between 500 – 2000 INR, depending on your tent type.
Hotels and Resorts
Finally, there are a couple of resorts here where you can stay for 3000 – 5000 INR per night but this won’t include your meals. The resorts are really expensive and won’t give you the feel of the authentic Tirthan Valley.
You can search for a suitable accommodation for your desired dates by using the booking.com tool below:
Where and What to Eat in Tirthan Valley
There aren’t many stand-alone restaurants in Tirthan Valley so hotels and homestays are basically your only options. If you are staying in a homestay, then your food will be included in the price and you will be served some delicious Himachali cuisines. You will also get to taste the local snacks Siddus and the local sharbat made out of Rhododendron flowers.
In hotels, you can get food for a price of 300-500 per meal but I would suggest you stick to the homestay food.
If you are going for a nearby Tirthan Valley trek, then you might need to carry some packed lunch with you. There are a couple of food stalls on the way which will serve Maggi and tea mostly.
Carry some snacks and fruits for the trek as well and don’t take plastic with you.
If you do take plastic bottles or bags, don’t throw it on the trek route and get it back with you.
Things to Carry with You For the Tirthan Valley Trek
If you are planning to stay even for a single night in Tirthan Valley, then you need a good rucksack. It should be durable and comfortable and make sure it includes a rain cover as well. Personally, I suggest:
Once you reach Tirthan Valley, you will need a small day pack for the day hikes and stuff.
It can become very cold in the evening and night, so make sure you carry warm clothing. Also, carry multiple pair of clothes if you are planning to go to the waterfalls here.
And if you are trekking during the winter time, you will have to be extra careful. Make sure you carry with you a pair of warm socks, a jacket, gloves, and mufflers.
Make sure you cover your neck properly during the winters with a muffler.
During the winter season, you can carry a pair of woolen gloves. But if you are trekking during snow, then make sure you get synthetic gloves instead.
Carry a pair of merino wool socks during the winters as they are very warm. And, make sure you use two of them to layer your feet during the night time when the temperature drops significantly.
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And I wait for you, Like the sun waits for the moon, And the earth waits for the horizon. I wait knowing that we can never be together, At least not in this life, But how could I move on Or hate you, knowing everything that I know. Knowing that we couldn't be together even if we tried, After all you are an immovable mountain, Always rooted to the same spot, And I, I am a free bird, After all, I am the one who cannot be tamed.
Good Hiking Shoes
Take a good pair of hiking shoes which will protect you during winters as well. Make sure they are high ankle shoes and are waterproof too.
You won’t find many shops on the trek so make sure you carry a water bottle with you. There will be a couple of waterfalls on the way where you can fill your bottle. Mostly, the water is fresh and clean but if you aren’t sure, you can purchase a Steri Pen or a Purifying bottle.
On the treks, you won’t find many food stalls so, make sure you carry some snacks. You can also carry a lunch if you are planning to trek to the GHNP gate.
If you are planning to trek during the winters, do carry a raincoat or a poncho with you.
- Tissue Papers
- Moisturiser/Lip Balm
If you are planning to do the GHNP trek and camp there, then make sure you carry the camping equipment. Yes, you can also rent it out but if you are a frequent trekker, then buying your camping gear makes more sense.
One of the most important things to carry is a good tent which will protect you from wind and cold. And don’t forget to choose one which is sturdy and durable. Sure, it will be slightly costly but it will be a one-time investment.
Another important thing to carry with you is a good, durable sleeping bag which will keep you warm throughout the night. Do make sure that it is suitable for the lowest temperature of GHNP before you buy it.
If you want to sleep comfortably, then you would also need a sleeping mattress for your tent. It will not only offer comfort but will also provide padding and more insulation.
Tent Rain Cover
Finally, do make sure that you carry a rain cover for your tent if you won’t want to end up cold and shivering the morning. It might rain or snow during the night and a rain cover will be your best chance against getting wet.
Also Read: Prashar Lake in INR 1800
Tirthan Valley is a gorgeous Himachal destination and it is still relatively less-explored. So, if you are looking to relax and unwind in an offbeat destination then this is the perfect place for you. Go on life-changing Tirthan Valley trek or just enjoy the cold river lagoons, there is a lot to do here.
Perfect for people who want a break from their regular life, you can finish your long-forgotten novel here or focus on your fitness or just simply admire the surrounding around you. This place is ideal for all kinds of travelers and will have something for your interests too.