Comprehensive Travel Guide to Tirthan Valley
Tirthan Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys along with its scenic neighbours Banjar and Sainj Valley and is primarily known as the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park. One can only know about the beauty of this phenomenal piece of natural marvel by visiting it with us to find how words can never do justice to the beauty it possesses.Great Himalayan National Park, located in the western part of the Himalayan Mountains, Kullu in the northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh at a distance of 65 km from Mandi was initially constituted in 1984 and was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sq kms.
The Tirthan stream, initiating from the icy cold spring of Hanskund Peak (4800mts.) flows down through a lovely and deep forested Rohla terrain rated as one of the finest forest estate in India. This terrain now forms the core zone of the Great Himalayan National Park. After covering a distance of 70 kms from the source, the Tirthan stream joins its sister tributary the Palchan at Gushaini.
Tirthan Valley has plenty of hidden gems it will allow you to enjoy various activities such as relaxation, day hikes, trekking, fishing, wildlife watching, and discovering under-explored hill villages.
Flora and Fauna
The diverse flora and fauna of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is evident if you are walking beside the river or are just taking a stroll in any of the villages in the region. It boasts 832 plant species, representing 128 families and 427 genera, and comprising 26% of the total flora of Himachal Pradesh which includes 794 angiosperm species, 11 gymnosperm species (pines, conifers and cypresses) and 27 fern species.
Biodiversity surveys of GHNP in the past decade have identified 31 mammal species, 209 bird species, 12 reptile species, nine amphibian species and 125 insect species.
Great Himalayan National Park has a many unique experiences to offer you: from a fine dine at the amazing riverside restaurants and guest houses to munch on the trout fish, walking through the dense forest and taking a dip at the Chhoi Waterfall, plucking fresh apples from the orchards, trek from the dreamland view of mountains at Jalori Pass to Sarolsar Lake and temples around which tell many mythological and historical tales, witnessing the beauty of Shringa Rishi Temple and KothiChehni to experiencing the regional culture roaming around in the villages in the area.
Tirthan Valley is the place where you can spend your time leisurely exploring myriad of experiences this region has to offer. The record of experiences mentioned hereafter will give you a fair idea of what you could do to utilize your time effectively in this area.
Tirthan Valley has a number of waterfalls in the nook and corners of the villages and the forests which could prove to be one of your treasure findings while roaming around in the region. However, majorly the region boasts of a couple of waterfalls which are accessible to the trekkers or travellers.One of them is Chhoi Waterfall which is one of the most recommended place by Nomadic Feet here. One can thoroughly enjoy it both in terms of nature walk through the forest to reach it or the splashes of water it offers from a distance.
Chhoi WaterfallImage Source
The trail to the Chhoi waterfall starts at around the 4th milestone from Gushaini at the diversion of road into the village through the wilderness and regional crop fields. It takes around 40 minutes for an average trekker to reach the waterfall from this point.
Nomadic Feet’s expeditions to Tirthan Valley and Jibhi WaterfallImage Courtesy: Himanshu
The other one is tucked in a beautiful small village Jibhi situated on the Banjar – Jalori Pass road. This one is more like a younger brother to the one present in Gushaini. A beautiful path through the wilderness will take you over the handcrafted small bridges to the Jibhi Waterfall that will take away all your fatigue away instantly. The puddle of water around Jibhi waterfall which you see in the picture is perfectly suited for amazing shots or just witnessing and appreciating the beauty of the waterfall from a distance.
Tirthan Valley is one of most famous valley for the lip smacking food and the experiments people carry out with the food. The place has many farms where trout fish is bred and reared extensively in order to provide you with the exceptional dishes for fish lovers. From homestays to restaurants, you can find multiple variants of trout fish being served all over the valley.
Freshly cooked trout fish in Tirthan ValleyImage Source
We can provide the fishing rods and an instructor to help you learning the best technique. A fishing permit valid for one day has to be obtained from the local administration which you can leave on us.
There are other amazing specialities for vegetarians which are quiet famous in the valley which are sure to soothe your taste buds :
Siddu, a kind of giant momo.Image Source
Fresh fruits like apple, apricots, plums, pears and peaches. Rajma cooked in desi ghee.
Shringa Rishi Temple
If you have interest in the Hindu Mythology and history, the Tirthan Valley will fascinate you to the core.
The local people of Tirthan Valley have deep rooted belief system and hence you will witness a lot of ancient tales related to many Hindu temples in the villages. Many ancient sages are revered and worshipped as local deities in these villages and temples are dedicated to them. It gives an interesting insight in to the culture of the region along with amazing tales to hear. The local families nearby will be happy to talk to you about the stories and tales associated to the temples and the deities to which these temples are dedicated.
Shringa Rishi TempleImage Source
Kothi Chehni is one of the architectural marvel, a medieval watchtower, situated at around 8-10kms from the village Jibhi. Sitting at a modest height of 2145 meters above sea level, this the temples are more than 1500 years old, according to the folklore. Built around 17th century by a local King Dhadhu, the temples are also locally known as Dhadhiya Kothi.
Kothi ChehniImage Source
What makes this village exclusive is the fact that there is no motorable road to reach the village. However, one has to trek up in the hills to reach the village through awell-defined trail for trekking. This 10-storey building is interestingly made of stone and wood, without concrete, and yet it has resisted the most powerful earthquakes that occur in the Himalayas.
Kothi ChehniImage Source
Jalori Pass isa high mountain pass at an elevation of 3120m, the highest point connected to a motorable road aroundTirthan Valley. The motorable road connecting Jibhi to Jalori Pass is itself an experience which leaves you with high adrenaline rushes. The altitude changes from 1300min Jibhi to 3120m in Jalori Pass and offering breathtaking views of western Himalayas.
Jalori PassImage Source: Google
There are multiple small hikes that you can take up from Jalori Pass, the most scenic and renowned being trek to Sarolsar Lake. This beautiful walk to Sarolsar Lake will take you through the meadows of Jalori Pass and the dense forest with diverse flora, Himalayan Cedar (Doedar) and Golden Oaks.
It takes around 2 hours for an average trekker to reach Sarolsarlake from Jalori Pass through these forests. This lake is frozen in winters and has many mythological and historical narratives associated with it which all the locals are very happy to share with travellers.