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Hiking in the Tirthan Valley

Tirthan valley – Things to do

Things to do in the Tirthan valley

A Guide to Tirthan Valley

Tirthan Valley is located in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. The valley gets its name from the Tirthan river, which flows from its origins in Tirth and joins the Beas river in Larji. It is the gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park.

Tirthan Valley is famous for its meadows and orchards, villages, waterfalls and springs, and scenic Himalayan mountains. As a slow travel destination, it is the perfect antidote for the fast-paced life.

Though it is removed from the hustle-bustle of city life, there are many things to do in Tirthan Valley, from exploring nature to engaging with local culture.

While in Tirthan Valley, you can go on treks and day hikes. There are opportunities for camping under the open skies and to stargaze. You can also take up adventure activities such as rappelling or fishing for trout or go birdwatching.

Apart from outdoor activities, you can discover the culture of the people here and enjoy the food, festivals, architecture, and temples unique to the place.

We can create a personalised itinerary for exploring Tirthan Valley based on your interests and preferences, so that you can make the most of your visit and explore all the major attractions of Tirthan Valley.

Places to Visit in Tirthan Valley

Tirthan Valley is known for its natural beauty, traditional architecture, and history. There are also many unexplored places in Tirthan Valley such as forests and hidden waterfalls that we can recommend, which are not the regular tourist spots.

Great Himalayan National Park

Best Time to visit GHNP

April to June and then September to November.

How to reach the GHNP ?

Depending on the trek you will select. Many treks starts from and ends at the village Gushaini.

Physical efforts required

For each trek that we propose on this website you will find accurate information about the required fitness.

Is this suitable for kids ?

You can go for most of our treks with kids from the age of 6.

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) can be accessed from Tirthan Valley or Sainj Valley. The Park is famous for its pristine forests and endemic birds and animals.

We organise treks in GHNP, ranging from two to ten days, as trekking is the best and only way to discover GHNP.

Read more about trekking in GHNP and our treks.

Trekking in the Great Himalayan National Park with Himalayan Ecotourism

TREKKING
The Tirthan valley originates in the Great Himalayan National Park and hence offers many trek options.

Chehni Kothi

Chehni Kothi hike in the Tirthan valley

CHEHNI KOTHI
The valley has also a few architectural jewels like this medieval tower in the middle of the forest.

Best time to visit Chehni Kothi

Through the year, except during heavy snowfall.

How to reach Chehni Kothi ?

You can use transport to Bihar village and hike from there. A new road reaches Chehni directly but we advise you to reach on foot.

Physical effort required

It is a 45-minute hike with a few steep slopes.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes

Located near Jibhi, Himachal, Chehni Kothi is a fascinating masterpiece of kath-kuni architecture and is known to have withstood a major earthquake in the region with minimal damage.

It is believed to be a watchtower, though its purpose is not fully clear.

The kath-kuni architecture employs the use of local wood and stones and is one of the traditional architectural styles that the villages still use.

Waterfalls in Tirthan Valley

Best Time to visit Waterfalls

Summer and monsoon.

How to reach the Waterfalls ?

Chhoie Waterfall can be reached from Sairopa and Jibhi Waterfall is close to the main town.

Physical efforts required

The hike to Chhoie Waterfall includes a few steep slopes while the one to Jibhi Waterfall is a 10-minute walk.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes

There are many natural waterfalls in the Himalayan region.
Chhoie Waterfall in Sairopa and Jibhi Waterfall are two of the beautiful waterfalls in Tirthan Valley. Chhoie Waterfall is a 45-minute hike from Gushaini and follows the trail between Sai Ropa and Nagini. The hike goes through a village and a forest. Chhoie Mata is worshipped by the locals here.

Jibhi waterfall is close to the main town and accessible via a well-maintained path.

Chhoie Waterfall in the Tirthan Valley

WATERFALLS
Nothing more refreshing than going to a waterfall in the heat of the summer.

Jalori Pass

Jalori Pass Trek near Jibhi

JALORI PASS
From Jalori pass you should continue on foot to reach very scenic viewpoints.

Best time to visit Jalori Pass

All seasons except winter when it is closed because of snowfall

How to reach Jalori Pass ?

It is less than an hour’s drive, which we can arrange.

Physical effort required

Till the pass no effort is required unless you wish to hike from there.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Yes

Located at a higher altitude, the Jalori Pass can be reached by road through a Himalayan cedar and golden oak forest. From here, you can embark on a few hikes.

One of the hiking trails going east gives you vistas of the lower Himalayas. This trail takes you to Serolsar Lake. It is a 4-hour hike through a pine and deodar forest. The Serolsar Lake is considered sacred and a pilgrimage spot as locals come here to make offerings at the Budhi Nagin temple.

Another hiking trail heads west from Jalori Pass. This trail includes a few steep climbs. This will take you to Raghupur Fort ruins in a meadow. From here, you can take in a view of the Dauladhar range.

Villages in Tirthan Valley

Best Time to visit the Villages

All seasons except winter when snowfall may reduce accessibility to some villages.

How to reach the Villages ?

By car. You can also take a bus. Some of the villages are not connected to any road, hence you need to hike to reach them.

Physical efforts required

A short hike may be required to reach some of the villages.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes

Tirthan Valley is dotted with many hamlets and villages, each with its own charming character. You can explore these villages at a leisurely pace. Gushaini is found on the banks of the Tirthan river. It is close to the entrance of the Great Himalayan National Park. It is also known for its trout fishing and river-based adventure activities.

A short drive from Gushaini is another quaint village called Bathad, which is by the Palachan river. It is the starting point for many treks, including the Bashleo Pass Trek. At around 10km from Gushaini is Pekhri, located at 2150m, which can now be accessed via a motorable road.

Sarchi is another beautiful village known for its nearby meadows and serene environment. Jamala village is a short hike from Sarchi and is known for its old kath-kuni-style houses. Other villages close by are Shoja in Seraj Valley and Jibhi, which is popular among backpackers

Rural villages in the Tirthan Valley

VILLAGES
Some of the most beautiful villages are accessible on foot only.

Things to do in the Tirthan Valley

Trekking in Tirthan Valley

Trekking in Tirthan Valley

TREKKING
The Tirthan valley offers a large variety of treks. First-timers are welcome.

Best time to for Tirthan Valley Treks

April to June and then September to November

How to reach Tirthan Valley Treks ?

Depends on the trek, but most begin and end at Gushaini.

Physical effort required

Varies. We provide the required fitness level and the difficulty of the trek in the trek profile on our website.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Kids over 6 can usually go on the treks. Please enquire for more details.

You can go on two- to ten-day treks while you are in Tirthan Valley. There are plenty of reasons why you should go on Tirthan Valley treks: beautiful forests and mountains and birds and animals such as the flying squirrel.

As it is close to GHNP, there are many treks that we organise within the Park. You can contact us to know more about Tirthan Valley trek packages and Tirthan Valley trek costs.

Easy Day Hikes in Tirthan Valley

Best Time for Tirthan Valley day hikes

All through the year.

How to reach Tirthan Valley day hikes ?

Depends on where you stay. We can arrange for transport where required.

Physical efforts required

You don’t have to be very sporty or fit to go on day hikes. We can recommend the best day hikes based on your fitness and comfort levels.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes

We recommend day hikes in Tirthan Valley for many reasons. This is an eco-friendly way to explore the place. As a social enterprise that advocates for sustainable tourism, we support hiking whenever possible.

Tirthan Valley day hikes present the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Here, it means forested mountainscapes, birdsong, and scenic views. As many of the hiking trails go through villages and hamlets, you will also experience the local way of living, which includes orchards, traditional architecture, and sacred places of worship.

Day hikes don’t require the same amount of physical effort as treks and you can pack in a lot of experiences in a few hours.

Easy Day Hikes in Tirthan Valley

DAY HIKES
With a little effort you can reach stunning places which are not accessible by road.

Sightseeing in Tirthan Valley by Car

Sightseeing in Tirthan Valley by Car

SIGHTSEEING
A careful and respectful drive can offer you a great experience of the valley.

Best time for Sightseeing by Car

All through the year but higher roads and passes are closed during winter and snowfall

How to reach ?

By car.

Physical effort required

No.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Yes.

We don’t recommend vehicles if it can be avoided. This is to minimise traffic and pollution in the valley. Navigating on the mountain roads also requires patience and precautions.

Some of the best roads and drives in the valley are:

  • Banjar and Gushaini: You’ll find many tourism-oriented establishments along this stretch.
  • Gushaini to Pekhri: There are many loops here and it is a beautiful drive.
  • Gushaini to Bathad: You can go as far as Tila Pul.
  • Jibhi to Bahu: The drive offers splendid views of GHNP.
  • Banjar to Jalori Pass: It’s a scenic drive through a forest of towering trees.

Adventure in Tirthan Valley

Best Time for Adventure activities

River activities in summer only. Rock climbing and rappelling through the year. Fishing through the year except during monsoon and winter.

How to reach Adventure sports sites ?

They are usually between Sai Ropa and Gushaini. Some can be found near Jibhi

Physical efforts required

You must be in good shape, but the activities don’t require stamina.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Kids over 7.

Tirthan Valley is perfect for outdoors, nature, and adventure activities.

Adventure activities in Tirthan Valley include river crossing, rappelling, and rock climbing.

These are among some of the exciting things to do in Tirthan Valley. You can also enjoy trout fishing in Tirthan Valley.

Easy Day Hikes for Children in Tirthan Valley

ADVENTURE
With our supervisory staff you can safely go for unforgetable activities in the wild..

Camping in Tirthan Valley

Camping in Tirthan Valley with Himalayan Ecotourism

CAMPING
Come with us to enjoy the wild Himalayan nature leisurely.

Best time for Camping in Tirthan

April to June and September to December

How to reach Camping sites ?

You may have to drive to a given location and then hike a short distance.

Physical effort required

You may have to hike but not more than 30 minutes.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Definitely.

Other fun things to do in Tirthan Valley are camping in the wild. We can take you camping by the riverside or atop mountains with scenic views.

We provide the staff and high-quality camping equipment to ensure a safe and fun experience.

Birdwatching in Tirthan Valley

Best Time for Birdwatching

Through the year but some bird species migrate in winter.

How to reach Birdwatching sites ?

Depends on the location of the trails, but usually within 1 hour walking distance.

Physical efforts required

Some habitats may be accessible only by foot on mountain trail.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Kids over 7.

If you love nature and are a birder, you can enjoy birdwatching in Tirthan Valley, which is home to many species of birds.

Being adjacent to a protected area (GHNP), the Tirthan valley is known for the 200+ species of birds that it shelters. The endangered Western Tragopan is the flagship of the birdlife in the area.

Our naturalist guides will take you through the trails and to the habitats of birds such as pheasants, vultures, eagles, and much more.

Birdwatching in Tirthan Valley

BIRDWATCHING
Rare species of birds can be observed in the Tirthan valley with the help of our naturalist guides.

Stargazing in Tirthan Valley

Stargazing in Tirthan Valley at Tirthan Eagle Nest homestay

STARGAZING
Just camp at a high altitude site or come with us for telescope view of the stars and planets.

Best time for Stargazing

Through the year except for the monsoon. Winter (October to March) is the best time.

How to reach Camping sites ?

By car to reach the high-altitude sites.

Physical effort required

You may have to walk some distance to reach the camping site.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Definitely.

The Himalayas are also one of the best places to stargaze. You need to be over 2000m to get the best of the open sky.

We have a telescope at the Tirthan Eagle Nest homestay or you can bring your own. But the clear sky is visible with or without a telescope.

If you’d like to enjoy stargazing in Tirthan Valley, reach out to us and we will help you set camp at a high-altitude site.

Trout angling / fishing

Best Time to do this

From mid-April to mid-June (best) and mid September to end of October (less fish).

Any road transportation required ?

The river is accessible by road between Banjar and Gushaini. Beyond Gushaini you need to go on foot.

Physical efforts required

Only if you want to fish beyond Gushaini (on foot).

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes.

The Tirthan river is well known for its delicious small trout fish.

First-timers or experienced anglers simply love fishing in the mountainous environment of the Tirthan valley.

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 form the local administration. We will do that for you, don’t worry.
Please contact us for any further information about angling in the Tirthan valley.

Trout fishing in the Tirthan river

AN ENTHUSIASTIC ANGLER
There are many places where you can fish peacefully in the Tirthan valley.

Tirthan Valley Culture and Heritage

At Tirthan Valley, you will experience both the culture and traditions of India as well as those that are unique to this region. Local folklore and mythology add to the richness of the culture.

It is known as the Valley of God and with good reason. The presence of Devtas and Sacred groves in Tirthan Valley is visible and abundant here. Locals worship devtas and you will come across many little shrines.

Red-and-gold fabric wrapped around trees is a common sight in Kullu. Every village has a shrine and a devta who is worshipped and consulted through a gur (priest) before undertaking any task, be it the cutting of trees or marriage.

Festivals in Tirthan Valley

Best Time for Festivals in Tirthan

Faguli and Holi are usually celebrated in February and March respectively. Dusshera and Diwali are usually around October and November.

How to reach the festivals ?

You can reach villages via personal/public transport or by foot.

Physical efforts required

Minimal unless you choose to hike to the village

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes.

The festivals in Tirthan Valley are many.

The people here worship festivals such as Holi (festival of colours) and Diwali (festival of lights). Dusshera too is celebrated here but celebrations are unique to the region with processions for local deities of which there are many.

Among the unique festivals in Tirthan Valley is Fagli or Faguli, a festival of masks and dance, which is celebrated for the upcoming harvest and around Maha Shivratri.

Festivals in Tirthan Valley

FAGULI FESTIVAL
During the Faguli festival where people dance wearing masks and natural branches as clothes.

Temples in Tirthan Valley

Temples in the Tirthan Valley

SHRINGA RISHI TEMPLE
Obviously there are plenty of temples in the valley of the gods.

Best time for Temples

Anytime. Accessibility to some temples may be cut off because of snowfall in winter.

How to reach Temples ?

You can reach the temples via personal/public transport or by foot.

Physical effort required

Hiking may be involved if the temple is located in a remote region.

Is this suitable for kids ?

Definitely.

There are numerous temples in Tirthan Valley that honour local deities.

Some of the deities are believed to be rishis who passed away and are now regarded as divine. Each temple has its own story related to the deity and miracles associated with the deity.

Besides the folklore and mythology, the architecture of the temples too is interesting. A few temples are the Shringa Rishi Temple in Banjar, Balo Nag Temple in Bahu, and Buddhi Nagin Temple at Serolsar Lake.

We can recommend the best temples in Tirthan Valley to visit based on your plans.

Local Food in Tirthan Valley

Best Time for Food in Tirthan

Anytime. The season for fresh fruits from orchards is September to June.

How to reach ?

Depends on what you’d like to try and where.

Physical efforts required

Driving or hiking maybe involved if you want to forage or eat at a home in one of the villages.

Is this suitable for Kids ?

Yes.

Another way to experience local culture is through local cuisine.

The local food in Tirthan Valley is generally what you will find in north India along with a few unique dishes. While in Tirthan Valley, you have to try out Siddu (a giant momo), Trout fish, Mutton in soup, Rajma with desi ghee, and Dham.

Kullu is famous for Apple orchards and Apricot orchards. During fruiting season, you can eat fruits straight off the trees in the orchards. Rhododendron juice or tea is also a refreshing treat.

We can suggest where you can find the best local food. We can also arrange for you to have a meal at a local home with food prepared by the local people.

Local Food in Tirthan Valley - Trout Fish

TROUT FISH
The trout fish is probably the most popular fresh food in the Tirthan valley.

Tirthan Valley in Winter

Tirthan Valley in Winter

SNOW IN THE TIRTHAN VALLEY
Enjoy the snow in a pristine environment. Here, near the Jalori pass.

You can expect snowfall in Tirthan Valley in winter from late December to February. There are many things to do in Tirthan Valley in December and the winter months despite the snowfall. Tirthan Valley in December, January, and February is covered in snow and looks like it is straight out of a picture storybook. It is the perfect place to spend Christmas holidays.

Experiencing snowfall is fabulous, especially in India where the plains never see snowfall. You can also experience snow in other seasons but you’ll have to trek to the higher altitudes for it. But during winter, all of Tirthan Valley is draped in snow.

Some of the activities are not possible in winter such as river-based activities and treks. Places in higher altitudes like Jalori Pass are inaccessible when it is snowing, except if you don’t mind snow hiking.

We can suggest the best activities in winter in Tirthan Valley.

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