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Tirthan Valley

Tirthan Valley is counted among the most scenic places in the state of Himachal Pradesh. An ideal getaway destination, this valley is known for its beautiful lakes, rivers and lush greenery. The valley, with an altitude of approximately 1600 m above sea level, lies right next to the Tirthan River – one of the important tributaries of the Beas River. The Tirthan River flows from the glacial lake of Hanskund Peak, which lies in the interior of the Great Himalayan National Park. To be more precise, it is towards the southeast of Kullu, at an elevation of approximately 4800 m.


This valley, which is verdant green with deciduous forest and alpine grooves, stretches from Banjar to Bathad. Along this stretch are located the villages of Nagini, Sai Ropa, Shoja and Gushaini. Tirthan is situated about 8 km prior to the entrance of the Great Himalayan National Park. It is a fantastic destination for those who seek adventure and peaceful environs at the same time. The serene ambience, the pleasant weather and the lush green paths leading to the nearby quaint hamlets make this place an ideal destination for solitude seekers. Besides Indian nationals, it receives a huge number of foreign tourists every year.


The most prominent sightseeing attraction in this valley is the Great Himalayan National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set up in 1984, this park boasts of flora and fauna in abundance. Some of the wild animals that can be spotted in this national park are leopard, musk deer, snow leopard and brown bear. The park is a paradise for birdwatchers, with it being home to a large number of bird species. Camping, hiking and trekking are the adventure activities one can indulge in within this park. In addition to the national park, one can spend time exploring other nearby places like Nagini, Shoja and Banjar.



The village of Nagini lies on the banks of the Tirthan River while Banjar is situated on the alternate route to Kullu from Shimla. About 14 km away from Banjar and 5 km from Jalori Pass is located the village of Shoja, from where some scintillating views of the Tirthan Valley can be enjoyed. Those visiting Shoja can also contemplate on visiting Raghupur Fort, Serloser Lake and waterfall point. Jalori Pass is another attraction worth visiting here. Located at an altitude of about 3120 m above sea level, this place is an ideal spot for picnicking and trekking.


Besides sightseeing, there are a number of activities on offer at the Tirthan Valley to indulge in, such as river side camping, rafting, rock climbing, trekking, river crossing, rappelling and most importantly, trout fishing. These adventure sports are offered by homestays as well as the Himalayan Ecotourism Association here. To trek within the Great Himalayan National Park and specifically to Tirath, a source of the Tirthan River, one can get permits from the forest office at Sai Ropa or Jiwa Nal Wildlife Range Office in Larji.


The ideal time to come to this picturesque valley is from March to June and then from October to November. The place is in its full bloom in the spring season, when there is lush greenery all around, and its orchards are laden with luscious apples, peaches, plum and apricots. Summers are warm, but not hot as other parts of the country. This is the season, when locals work happily in the terraced fields of vegetables, maze, barley and millets. In the monsoon season, between July and August, the valley receives heavy rainfall, and it is best to avoid coming here in this season. This is the time, when the valley witnesses flash floods and landslides. The winter months are freezing cold, with heavy snowfall in the months of January and February. It is during this time, when one can indulge in winter sports here, especially snowboarding at Jalori Pass. Those interested in trout fishing should come here between March and October. Even in summers, it is better to carry along some woollen clothes in the backpack when coming to Tirthan Valley.


Similarly to the Great Himalayan National Park region, the climate of Tirthan Valley is of Western Himalayan temperate and alpine type. It has four distinctive seasons: April to June (spring), July to September (summer/monsoon), October to November (autumn) and December to March (winter). Rainfall is moderate in most part of the year, with abundant during monsoons. In winter, precipitation is in the form of snow, with higher elevation areas experiencing snowfall up to 2 m depth. The lower elevations (up to 1560 m) too receive snowfall.

How to reach

Tirthan Valley can be reached by availing air, rail or road services.  


By Air – The closest airport to the Tirthan Valley lies in Kullu, which is about 50 km away. The next nearest airports to this place lie in Dharamsala (about 190 km away) and Shimla (about 175 km away). Private taxi services can be availed at these airports to continue the journey towards the Tirthan Valley.


By Rail – The nearest railway stations to Tirthan Valley are Kalka (about 240 km away), Jalandhar (about 275 km away) and Chandigarh (about 246 km away). These railway stations regularly receive trains from major towns and cities of the country. One can avail bus or taxi service from these cities to reach Tirthan.


By Road – The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) operates regular bus services from major North Indian states/union territories like Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. To come to Tirthan Valley, one needs to take a bus till Aut, which is about 26 km away. From there private taxis or buses can be availed to reach here. Alternative options to Aut are the village of Shoja (about 27 km away) and Jalori Pass.


Those travelling from Delhi can board any Manali/Kullu bound bus and get down at Aut. The overnight journey from Delhi till Aut takes about 12 hours.

Getting Around

The best option to travel within Tirthan Valley is hiking. However, if one wishes to commute to nearby villages and attractions, private taxis is a good choice.

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