Tirthan valley in Himachal is perhaps one of the best kept secret amongst off-beat travellers in India. Tirthan valley has something for everyone. This quiet valley is ideal for trekking, fishing, discovering oneself or simply do nothing. Tirthan gets its name from the river by the same name that flows through the valley.
This mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh in North India is known for its famous hill stations like Shimla and Kullu & Manali. However with popularity comes crowd and pollution. These days large parts of them resemble big cities.
So when we decided to go for a trip we decided on Tirthan. We live in New Delhi in India. which is a good central location to leave for the Tirthan. Especially if you are coming from outside of India. If you plan to visit this place someday, New Delhi is well connected with pretty much everywhere in the world. Tirthan is about 500 kms from Delhi by road.
The best time to visit Tirthan is during the spring- summer season. Mid Feb – June. In the rainy season the place is best avoided owing to landslides. If extreme cold is your thing then the winter months can be quite good too.
While the place is an off-beat location it is by no means difficult to reach there. The infrastructure is extremely good and tourist friendly. It’s a straight 10 hours drive from Delhi. To get to the Tirthan one must turn off from Aut , just before the Pandoh Tunnel an hour before Kulu on the Manali highway from Chandigarh. From Aut it is 26 kms of a pleasant drive along the river via Larji bypassing Banjar on the way to Gushaini. The best way is to drive yourself.
We however had other plans, we wanted to stop by the famous Bhakra Nangal Dam and stop by a nearby hotel for the night and reach the valley next day. We wanted to enjoy the drive since there were many beautiful little pit stops we could make on the way.
We started early around 6.00 AM. We had packed snacks and drinks in the car and we set out.
At around 9.30 Am we reached a place called Moorthal for breakfast on the highway. The place is famous for its Paratha’s. People drive down from far off places on weekends to have breakfast here.They have a whole range of other Indian delicacies. A definite recommendation to all visitors, You have to try it ! Here is a page from the menu. It runs into a few pages. You can buy anything. The prices are very reasonable.Everything is below USD $20 !
After a sumptuous breakfast we started out again towards Bhakra Nangal Dam. The drive through the countryside was pleasant. It takes a little more than 5 hours to reach Bhakra Nangal.
The place is a high security zone and tourists are not allowed on to the dam. There are some viewing points from where you can admire the beauty of the place.. However rest assured the sight is worth it. Photography is prohibited in this location. I would recommend reaching there in the morning or evening. We reached there around noon in the scorching sun. It’s not so much fun then. I could only manage one pic owing to the security restrictions.
After Our time at the dam, we stopped by on the way at a little hill station called Bilaspur. The view from the hotel was stunning. We spent the rest of the day lazing in the balcony.
Morning post a quick breakfast we set out and in a couple of hours we had approached the mountain range which goes all the way to Tirthan .The river flows beside the road as the road winds up and down the mountains.
The off-beat nature of the location ensured that the roads are generally empty without much traffic and the drive is a pleasure.
We stopped by a village that come long the highway. You will not miss it as you drive down that road. The village has a Wooden swing bridge going across the river. The bridge swings in the wind. If it’s your first time, the experience will be no different from adventure sports.
We stopped by at the base of the last mountain before reaching our hotel. We spent some time by the river. Had a cup of road side tea and Maggi noodles. You will get lots of these little spots for photo opps.
With my Mommy and Him
It took us another hour to reach the hotel. But finally we were there. In the middle of a quiet beautiful valley a quaint little homestay beside the gushing river. We could hear the sound of the river from the cottage.
It was almost evening by the time we got there and there was a chill in the mountains. The homestay was located beside the Tirthan river. The place was surrounded by mountains and forests.
Did i mention marijuana is a naturally occurring plant in Himachal? Well imagine a homestay right beside a farm.We will cover more in the coming posts on the secrets of Tirthan Valley.
If you wish to know anything about the location, do reach out via the comments. I will try and share as much as i can.
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