Tirthan Valley The Trout capital & Great Himalayan National Park GHNP

posted in: Travel, Trek | 4

Tirthan Valley & Great Himalayan National Park ( GHNP )

Tirthan valley & GHNP is known for its flora, fauna and Trout fish is situated in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Now protected under Great Himalayan National Park, Shamsi, Kullu, H.P, India

The valley is serene and less travelled by tourist making it an ideal destination for offbeat travellers in Himalayas.

The virgin landscapes and village untouched with outer world is what you get in Tirthan valley.

Sun set at River Tirthan valley, Great Himalayan National park GHNP, Himachal India
Tirthan River at evening.

INTRODUCTION:

TIRTHAN VALLEY

The virgin land of River Tirthan is situated in north eastern part of Himachal Pradesh, India. The entry to the valley is through Mandi-Manali highway. The road diverge towards right from place called Aut, just short of Aut Larji tunnel on main highway.

Tirthan is the name of river flowing from higher reaches of himalayas into river Beas at Aut. The valley is known for its fresh water fish trout and entry point to GHNP Great Himalayan National park. The last village on the black top road is Gushaini. The travellers can further take a right turn short of Gushaini and can go towards Jalori pass and salyoskar lake from here.

The village Gushaini serves entry point to GHNP Great Himalayan National park with eco zone starting from Gushaini.

GREAT HIMALAYAN NATIONAL PARK GHNP:

Tirthan valley provide entry point to GHNP. The GHNP is one of the Indias national park situated at altitude of 1500 to 6000m was established in 1984 spreading over 1171 sq km. The Great Himalayan National park is known for its more than 375 fauna which includes 181species of birds and 31 mammals. The Tirthan valley act as gateway to the national park GHNP. One can stay overnight in Tirthan valley and can take permission from forest office situated in Sairopa ( Tirthan valley) and enter the national park GHNP for day tour aswell multi days tours along with GHNP officials guides and staff.

The Great Himalayan National park GHNP was given UNESCO world heritage site status in 2014. The biodiversity of the GHNP is vast and attracts many nature enthuasist to the Tirthan Valley. The conservation effort are on for forest reserve and Himalayan eco tourism is promoted with help of local, govt and various NGO in the region.

The GHNP (Great Himalayan national Park ) serve a delight for bird lovers with over 181 independent species of asian birds in its natural habitat. The trekking enthusiast come her for exploring higher regions of national park with least human pollution and varied himalayan experience.

ORIENTATION:

Orientation to Tirthan valley and Great Himalayan National park GHNP is south west of Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, India. It can be reached from Mandi Manali highway. It falls under western himalayan region with Beas valley to its south and Spiti to its north.

Nearest village to Tirthan valley and GHNP is Gushaini. While driving from Delhi Chandigarh towards Kullu-Manali the road diverge near Aut tunnel after town of Mandi and Pandoh. You cross river Beas to go on the right bank of river and keep moving into the gorge towards eastern side of valley leaving River Beas at larji and heading towards towards Gushaini or Jalori Pass. If one crosses jalori pass which is further ahead of Tirthan valley one opens into Rampur sector of Himachal (north of Shimla).

How to Reach Tirthan valley:

The most exciting part of Tirthan valley is the route to it. Tirthan valley has a motorable road access round the year. One can easily reach Tirthan by private car jeep or public transport. The nearest airport is Bhuntar and the nearest Railway station is Chandigarh on broad guagge. It can also be approached from Pathankot-Jogindernagar railway route on narrow gauge.

One can take a bus Delhi to Manali and get down at Aut. Take a local bus or jeep taxi to Gushaini.

Google map of Tirthan Valley & Great Himalayan National Park GHNP, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India:

I am giving google map directions from  Chandigarh to Tirthan valley and from Delhi Tirthan valley. Though I started my journey from Amritsar so would also share route I took while coming from Amritsar.

1. Driving directions from Chandigarh to Tirthan valley and Great Himalayan National Park GHNP.

I am giving the driving directions on Google map to reach Tirthan valley and GHNP below. The same route can be improvised as per your  travel plans. The total distance between Chandigarh and tirthan valley is 270 km and it takes approx seven hours to reach by car. The highway is well maintained and have ample utilities enroute.

2. Driving directions from Delhi to Tirthan valley and Great Himalayan national park:

Distance to Tirthan valley & GHNP from Delhi is 491 Km and it takes almost 11 hours approximately  to reach by car. The highway is well built and has ample utilities enroute.

3. Driving directions from Amritsar to Tirthan valley & Great Himalayan National park via Hoshiarpur Una & Mandi.

I started my journey from Amritsar and reached Tirthan valley in nine hours. The total Distance we travelled was 360 Km. The route was mixed of national highway and state highway. Though it was well defined route route with plenty of eating option enroute.

MY JOURNEY TO TIRTHAN VALLEY:

1.Beginning.

The long awaited day arrived to explore Tirthan Valley and Great himalayan national park GHNP. We started early in morning from Amritsar in a Maruti suzuki swift. We took route via Kartarpur- Hoshiarpur-Una-Mandi route. The journey started from Urban city of Punjab. After crossing the city, we traversed through bright Golden wheat farms of Punjab. The clean long highway as if calling us to hit the road. The highway life the dhabahas , the milk vendor, school vans and farmer passed by. The village were getting ready for the day.

Entering into Himachal after crossing Hoshiarpur the last town of Punjab the scenery changed. Lowland and Waterbodies replaced the lush green farms. The foot hill scenery is typical in mountains and full of exciting roads amid up and down mountains road. We were getting ready to climb the high reaches of Himachal Pradesh.

2. The Hill route:

The first major Himachal town on our way from Amritsar to Tirthan valley was Una. All amenities and shops are available in this commercial town.We head for Mandi after crossing Una. Here tourists will get all kind of restaurants and hotels. The drive from Una to Mandi is hilly with an average road. The last stretch before reaching Mandi is a narrow stretch with descent. From his point there is a road which divert towards a popular town of Rewalsar.

After reaching Mandi we headed towards Manali highway. Heading towards Pandoh dam. Just after crossing dam the scenery changes into lush green vast mountain valley with river Beas at the bottom. The river beas flows along the highway from Mandi onwards to Manali. But we have to take diverson just before larji Tunnel towards right.

The moment we left the Manali highway we entered into rustic serene Himachal rural environment. The road turned narrow and the mountains became high on our right. From here the river Tirthan flows along the road on opposite direction. The river Tirthan meets river Beas at Larji and we kept on riding deep into valley. The valley offer rustic village topography with simplicity of rural life. Stories are abound about lots of mesmerised urban guys who gave their urban lives to settle in the simple rural atmosphere.

We kept on driving deep into the valley and finally reached Sai Ropa forest guest house the official forest rest house of GHNP Great himalayan National Park authority.

I am sharing few of my travel video of Tirthan valley & GHNP with you for reference and to get a feel of the place.

3.Reaching Sai Ropa Forest rest house Tirthan Valley, GHNP

Below is the brief video shot at Sai Ropa forest house of GHNP Tirthan valley, introducing you to place around.

4.GHNP Great Himalayan National Park Official Guest House, Tirthan vally.

Below is the video we shot on our trip to Tirthan valley. we have introduced the Sai ropa Official Guest House of GHNP Great himalayan National Park, Tirthan valley.

5. Area around GHNP Forest Rest House Tirthan valley.

We have shot the below video showing area around the GHNP forest rest house.

Checked and settled into Sai Ropa Forest rest house of GHNP Great Himalayan National Park.

After a while we went for a walk to explore the area and went to Tirthan river for a quick photo shoot of setting sun . The sun was setting fast it seems the sun is going for a dip in the Tirthan river and the sky was changing its shades. The main cover photo of this post was taken at this moment. The river was noisy with water gushing towards the Beas meeting point. we set our Tripod to shoot the evening sun and the result is in front of you.

6. Tirthan River at Sunset.

Sunset is the most interesting part of the day in any hill station. We decided to capture sun at Tirthan vally during its setting time and rolled our camera. The sun at this time give lots of vibrancy to sky with vivid colours and glow to the mountain. This is the best time I prefer shooting the nature at it best. The main photograph above  of my post on  Tirthan valley was shot at this point

 

A quite evening at the Tirthan river and capturing the sunset was the perfect end to the day. The dinner was served in the dinning hall of GHNP forest rest house. The long day was over and we retired in our cozy beds.

Next day morning we were up early ready to explore Gushaini and Tirthan valley.

7. Gushaini, Tirthan River.

Video showing the bridge over Tirthan river and the area around Gushaini, Tirthan Valley.

8. The day at Tirthan valley.

On reaching Gushaini we halted for breakfast at a tea stall. While having breakfast, we met a foreign national residing in the area for quite some time. He suggested us to take a small climb towards the peak above nearby Pekhri village. Pekhri was a small village at top of mountain after Gushaini. Further up was the highest point giving 360 degree view of the Tirthan valley. We decided to ride in our car to Pekhri and the climb on foot to the top of the mountain. The car ride was quite slow and bumpy but was quite adventurous. The road was muddy and gravelled with no black top. It was a dry road so we did not have any trouble riding up the mountain on car. After reaching Pekhri we parked our car and started towards the highest point on foot crossing the primary school Pekhri and Village lohar.

Gushaini village in Tirthan valley GHNP
Gushaini and Pekhri village at Tirthan valley
Road beyond Gushaini Tirthan valley GHNP
Road to Pekhri village under GHNP Great himalayan national park, Tirthan valley
Primary school Tirthan valley GHNP
Pekhri Primary school in Tirthan valley GHNP

 

9. The Trek

Crossing the village and the primary school, we climbed further ahead to the highest point in Tirthan valley. This starts less inhabited GHNP great himalayan national park boundary. The climb was steep and steady but we came across very interesting features and rustic village of Tirthan valley.

The route was serene and peaceful with no visitor in the area. The locals welcomed us into the Forbidden land quite excitedly. On going further up we came across a rain water harvest point of Tirthan river. Probably a reservoir to feed villages in Tirthan valley.

View of old Village house in Tirthan valley, GHNP
View of old Village house in Tirthan valley, GHNP

 

House in Tirthan valley, GHNP
Village house in Tirthan valley GHNP

 

After climbing for an two to three hours above Pekhri Village in Tirthan valley we reached our summit point.

We rested for a while and the entire Tirthan valley was visible from this point. The valley consist of various small village and the major landmarks. The river Tirthan looked like a serpentine crawling the valley. The wind was so strong that we could not take a video shot of the area. The satisfying feeling of reaching the top is inexplicable.

The highest point in Tirthan valley, GHNP
At the summit of Trthan valley GHNP

 

Spending some time at the peak we came down to pick our car at Pekhri. Drove back to the Tirthan river and retired in our Forest rest house Sai Ropa of GHNP Great Himalayan National park. The day was very fulfilling and tiring too.

Captured the memories in our camera for life and experience to share with our friends.

10. The Last leg of Journey.

Next day morning we checked out of Forest rest house GHNP and drove back to Mandi. Before going back to Amritsar we had plan to visit Prashar lake in Mandi and spend a night at the lake. The next post I would be covering would be of Prashar lake and then back to Amritsar our home town.

PEOPLE & CULTURE-TIRTHAN VALLEY.

Like any other village of mountains the people of Tirthan valley GHNP  are simple and docile. Unexposed to the material world, they have their own happy world. We came across urban villager in Gushaini who took to tourism for living and a contrast to it ahead of Gushaini. There are lots of stories about people who settled in Tirthan valley from out side leaving their city lives, fishing to glory and enjoying the nature. These stories are quite impressive, showing the immense power of Nature to transform oneself, often prompting people to give in to the peace and solace of this place by settling here.

The deeper part of Tirthan valley villages were more rustic and different. The mind set was more pure and the exposure to the world was nil. They laughed, eat, basked in sun and sleep. This was there major lifestyle. Not contaminated with money and greed of owing things.

I am sharing few pictures of people of Tirthan valley here with you. Hope you would like it.

People and culture of Tirthan valley, GHNP
People and Culture of Tirthan valley. GHNP
Inquisitive child in Tirthan valley, GHNP
Inquisitive mind at GHNP
Old village women in tirthan valley, GHNP
Wondering what are we upto in wilderness of himalaya. Tirthan valley, GHNP

 

TROUT FISH & TIRTHAN VALLEY:

The Tirthan valley is very famous for Trout fish. It is a fresh water fish which travel against the flow of water. Trout fish is found easily in shallow water. Many foreigner traveller in the region in search for Trout fish and enjoy angling holiday the entire day.

The region allows angling and fishing with a small permit obtained from Fisheries department of Himachal Pradesh. Though the fish is easily available in the local market of Gushaini and Banjar.

Tirthan valley offer a peaceful angling holiday destination to many fish lovers with right sun and temperature all year round. One can catch the fresh TROUT fish or can buy it from main market for their cuisines.

The Tirthan valley also have various restaurants and gust house offering Trout in their main course.

CLIMATE CLOTHING & PREPARATION-Tirthan Valley:

Tirthan valley is fairly a cold place. We explored the area in month of April and were pretty comfortable in shirts during day time with sun shining high.We required a Jacket in the night. Equally, mornings were cold and windy.

TheTirthan valley has severe winter and get snow fall at the higher reaches in December and January.

If planning a visit to Tirthan valley equipp yourself with winter clothing as the weather can pack any time with advent of clouds.While preparing for Tirthan keep woollen handy along with good walking shoes.

The Tirthan valley witnesses unexpected rain showers throughout the year. Carrying Raincoat is must.  The Tirthan valley offers ample number of guests houses with on spot booking facility. Kullu office of the GHNP Great himalaya national park books  its forest rest house on phone. I have shared the link of their website below for your reference.

The place has enough of small eating joint with ample supply of daily needs. The valley does not have a high end hotel or restaurant but have good number of local guest house with good food.

FACTS & TIPS:

Tirthan valley & GHNP is an offbeat destination in Kullu district of Himachal pradesh and falls under Great Himalayan national park of India. It is an entry point of the GHNP and not falls on main tourist circuit of Himachal pradesh.

GHNP was declared world heritage site by UNESCO in 2014 and is ideal for peaceful holiday with exploration of nature. This less travelled area offers exotic himalayan holiday.

Tirthan Valley GHNP has Trout farming managed by Fishery Dept of Himachal Pradesh. Additionally Trout is available in local market.

Guest House: The valley has lots of guest house along with dining area. The official forest house of GHNP is Sai Ropa. Their Shamshi Kullu office does the booking.

I recommend to stay in official rest house or at the camps available on the bank of river Tirthan.

Best time to visit Tirthan is from April to October.

Local Food:  Tirthan does not offer any unique local food except the Trout fish. All north indian cuisines (Dal Sabji) in main item is easily available.

PLACES AROUND:

There are few interesting place around Tirthan valley & GHNP.

  1. GHNP Great Himalayan national park. Tirthan is the main entry point of the park. The entry pass can be taken from Sai Ropa Guest house and is mandatory for entering the conserved area.
  2. Pekhri village: A small village on the left bank after crossing Tirthan river.at Gushaini. One can take a hike towards the highest point.
  3. Jalori Pass: The road through Banjar and ahead goes to Jalori pass which opens into Shimla valley from north. One can take a ride towards the same but will involve one full day.from Tirthan to Jalori pass and back.

MY OTHER POST ON KULLU REGION:

KHEERGANGA A Mystical trek and Natural hot spring.

Malana The lost wold.

Bir Billing: The Paragliding paradise in Himachal Pradesh.

ITINERARY:

I am sharing the itinerary I followed during my trip to Tirthan valley & Great Himalayan national park GHNP. Itinerary can be made as per own convenience.

Day 1 Amritsar to Tirthan valley: Amritsar-Hoshiarpur-Una-Mandi-Aut-Banjar-TirthanValley Gushaini. stayed over night at Sai Ropa forest rest house of GHNP

Day 2 Gushaini-Pekhri village-Gushaini (Tirthan valley): Started early in morning from forest house and had breakfast at Gushaini. Drove the car to Pekhri village. Climbed to the highest point and came down to forest rest  house Sai Ropa GHNP.

Day 3 Gushaini (TIRTHAN Valley)-Mandi-Prashar Lake: Started early in the morning and drove to the Prashar lake with night halt at Prashar lake.

Day 4 Prashar lake-Mandi-Amritsar: Drove back to Amritsar from Himachal via Mandi UNA Hoshiarpur back to Amritsar.

Independent post on Prashar lake will be on my next blog post.

USEFULL WEBSITE lINKS:

1.Official website of GHNP Great Himalayan national park: http://www.greathimalayannationalpark.org

2. GHNP wikipedia site: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Himalayan_National_Park

3. Trout Fish: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trout

MY OTHER INTERESTING POST

Kheerganga The Mystical Trek and Natural Hot springs.

Malana. The lost legacy in Himalaya.

Bir Billing The paragliding paradise in India

FINAL WORDS :

If you are a nature lover and look for a peaceful holiday and trek into himalayas Tirthan valley and GHNP Great Himalayan national park is the right place for you.

Tirthan valley will never disappoint you on its offering be it food, nature, Fishing, trekking, village life or having a peaceful weekend by the river side.

A must visit place for mountain and nature lovers.

 

For any query or help you can call me at my mobile 9915677660 or write to me at verenmitter@gmail.com

I will really appreciate if you can leave a comment below for other readers to read, will be more than happy to reply the same.

Happy Tirthan GHNP…

Follow Veren Mitter:

A relentless Traveler and a Landscape photographer, has many interest in ambit of Exploration and finding Happiness: A Short Walk down the trail, A night lying on the barren Helipad and counting stars, A car drive with friends down the Muddy road, Coal Burnt hot corn in rain under a thatched hut, A paraglide from the world’s second highest jumping spot, or finding his own Cleopatra while walking through the mummies, are only some of the recreational activities, I indulge in. A keen explorer, with tadka of Adventure, I am a foodie at heart and passionate about Photography. I live in Amritsar. I hail from Army family and have gone through the rigours of Army Officer training myself. Travelling and meeting people have been always a part of life, which I thoroughly enjoy. A keen adventurer myself, I have been organizing adventure tours for friends. As I always say its a long road and exploration should never stop.

4 Responses

  1. DR.MUKESH JAIN

    thank you veren for such a narrative description of tirthan valley…plse guide us for our trip to this place in may this year…
    we are family of 5 adults /3 kids with normal walking trek capacity not of the stiff rise….
    planning for leena’s place how is the overall review of this place….we are there for 4 nights ..plse suggest us some mild trek & other iterrnary for this place …
    if u have any taxi service no …for our pickup from katra & coming to this valley & finally drop at Chandigarh than that will be of gr8 help to us….

    • Thanks. Tirthan valley offer variety of stay option and activities around the valley. you can go for a day trek to Pekhri village or you can go to Great Himalayan national park GHNP and take a trek inside the park. Jalori pass is also not very far and you can take taxi to Jalori pass and come back the same day to Tirthan valley.Since you have 4 nights with you going into Great himalayan national park will be good option. You can contact the trek guide or forest office at Sai Ropa and they can manage your permits and guide aswell. The Taxi service has to be negotiated on the spot as this sector is very unorganised in Tirthan valley and price vary as per season and requiremets. Regards Veren

  2. Nice post on Tirthan valley. Has all the inputs on the subject.

If you liked the content or have a query, Please Comment.