Situated beside the Tirthan River in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 1600 meters, Tirthan Valley is a gateway to the Great Himalayan National Park. A place where you can easily forget the world to relax, rejuvenate and have loads of nature walks following one trail or the other, into the woods or beside the river.
In all, it’s an ideal place for connecting with nature, trying out family camping, enjoying with friends over bonfires, sitting beside the river and listening to music, getting together to know each other (helpful in team or relation-building ;)), eating out or just lazing around, etc.. The list of such things to do in Tirthan Valley goes on and easily makes it a complete offbeat holiday destination in Himachal.
Let’s look at this Tirthan Valley blog guide to help you plan a memorable trip to this quaint place in the Himalayas.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
About Tirthan Valley, Banjar
Tirthan Valley or Banjar Valley are synonymously used for Banjar tehsil located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Tirthan Valley lies in Banjar town, and because the valley has a Tirthan river flowing through it, the place is more popular by the name of Tirthan Valley.
Jibhi is another known or popular name from Banjar Valley and apart from the small village locations, there isn’t much difference between Banjar or Tirthan Valley, or Jibhi. Technically, all three are part of Banjar Valley, along with few other nearby villages where Gushaini and Jibhi are the two most popular tourist locations of Tirthan. Some people also refer to Tirthan Valley as Trout Fishing Valley.
When you travel to Tirthan Valley, you can right away feel the raw, pure bliss nature with fresh air surrounding you and a cool breeze kissing your face. If nature walks a thing you like or even trout fishing, then don’t think much about your upcoming vacation in Himachal Pradesh but head over from Delhi to Tirthan Valley.
Where is it located
Banjar or Tirthan falls on the alternate route from Kullu to Shimla over Jalori Pass. Hence, you get to enjoy the adventurous drive over Jalori Pass and do the complete circuit as in Manali to Tirthan Valley to Shimla or Mashobra easily in one trip.
Tirthan Valley Treks
Being gateway to Great Himalayan National Park, Tirthan Valley is a trekker’s paradise. The valley offers a lot of treks ranging from 2 days to 15 days and these treks range from beginner level to advanced ones. An avid trekker can explore and reach as high as 4000+ meters approximately. Apart from long treks, you can also do day hikes in the woods or nearby waterfall in Tirthan Valley.
Tirthan Valley Weather
Weather in Tirthan remains nice and pleasant most of the year with temperature in summers being less than 24-degree Celsius. There is mostly a presence of cool breeze due to the flowing river. Due to the flowing Tirthan river adjacent to the valley, you will always feel the music in the air, and lots of greenery around you add to that nice feeling.
In winters, the minimum temperature may fall below the freezing point and hence, snowfall is expected during winter. The weather gets dry in peak winter months. Snowfall is expected in January – February months and you can always go for snow at Jalori Pass.
Best time to visit Tirthan Valley
Although Tirthan is a very nice, quiet, relaxed, and pleasant place almost throughout the year. However, during the spring season from March to May, it’s just amazingly refreshing and beautiful. Fully loaded with apple orchards, the beauty of Tirthan Valley gets ready to mesmerize any soul on earth. Hence, the best time to visit Tirthan Valley is spring season.
Please note that in winters, Tirthan gets quite cold and vulnerable towards wildlife interference, especially by the presence of Leopards and Bears in this area. The presence of snow at heights forces the wildlife to descend towards the valley. In snow, due to less amount of food in the mountains, these leopards and bears are bound to attack. So be careful while having a walk in the woods.
Hence, if you are traveling to Tirthan in winters, then it is better to avoid camping or else take wildlife precaution when camping in the wild.
What if I miss to visit Tirthan in March – April
As per the past experiences of many people including mine this valley will not disappoint you a bit from March to November months and is considered the good time to visit if somehow you don’t get a chance to visit Tirthan in the spring season.
Trout fishing season is from March to October but for that, you also need to take a daily license at Rs. 100 per person per fishing rod which is non-transferable.
How do I get to Tirthan Valley from Delhi?
As Tirthan Valley lies in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, you need to take the Delhi to Manali Highway to reach a place called Aut after Mandi. You do not need to enter the Jawahar tunnel at Aut rather continue on the road on the right that takes you into Banjar Valley.
The distance from Delhi to Tirthan Valley is about 511 km via Mandi -Pandoh route. The complete route is as follows:
Delhi – Ambala (188 KM) – Chandigarh – Roopnagar (282 KM) – Kiratpur – Bilaspur (371 KM) – Mandi (440 KM) – Pandoh – Aut (481 KM) – Larji – Gushaini – Tirthan (511 KM)
Manali to Tirthan Valley
If you plan to visit Tirthan from Manali, then start back towards Delhi from Manali via Kullu. After reaching Aut, just after crossing the Jawahar Tunnel, take the left exit. (Caution::- Route is extremely scenic from here on ;)).
You will reach Larji T-Point from where you need to take a right to reach Sai Ropa. At Sai-Ropa, if you head straight, you will reach Banjar – Shoja – Jalori Pass, but for Tirthan, follow the U-Turn from there towards Gushaini-Nagni (Tirthan).
It will take about 1.25-1.5 hour drive to reach Tirthan villages from Aut junction.
Alternate Route: Delhi – Shimla – Jalori Pass – Tirthan
There is an alternate route that exists from Delhi to Shimla to Jalori Pass to Banjar – Tirthan. This alternate route is about 40 km long and is detailed as below
Delhi – Ambala (188 KM) – Kalka – Shimla (370 KM) – Narkanda (430 KM) – Ani – Khanag – Jalori Pass (520 KM) – Shoja (524 KM) – Banjar (538 KM) – Tirthan (544 KM)
Many people are also interested in traveling the full circuit from Delhi, including Delhi to Manali to Tirthan to Shoja to Jalori to Shimla and back home. This way you enjoy both routes and visit some beautiful places of Kullu and Shimla districts.
The nearest airport from Tirthan Valley is Bhuntar, approximately 50 km away. You will have to take a cab/bus to get to Tirthan from Bhuntar. The airport has limited connectivity and might face interruptions in operations, given weather fluctuations in the Kullu region.
Chandigarh is the closest major Railway Station. No direct trains run to Mandi from Delhi or Shimla. However, you can take Shatabdi till Chandigarh and hire a cab/ take a bus till Mandi.
You can also travel to Joginder Nagar train station as well which is about 120 km from Tirthan Valley.
Getting to Tirthan Valley by Bus
A lot of people ask me “How do I get to Tirthan Valley by bus?” and in this section, I will provide the details about traveling to Tirthan by public transport.
You can travel to Tirthan by bus or public transport easily. Regular HRTC buses, as well as overnight Volvo buses, run from Delhi to Manali every day. These buses reach Aut next morning around 6 AM. You can get down from the bus at Aut and cover the rest of the journey to Tirthan by taxi or wait for Kullu to Shimla bus to arrive.
Alternatively, if you are traveling on a budget, you can hitchhike from Aut to Tirthan Valley as well.
Taxis from Aut to Tirthan
After getting down, you have two choices from Aut, either prebook a taxi with the help of the hotel or guesthouse from Tirthan Valley or you can get down at Bhuntar to get a taxi yourself.
From Aut, you can get a taxi for around Rs 800 with a seating capacity of 5-6 people. If you take the taxi from Bhuntar, the taxi may charge about Rs 1500 as they might have to go back empty. The prearranged taxi from the hotel might be cheaper as the taxi they will send for pickup will be Banjar based taxi, not Kullu or Bhuntar based.
Tirthan is about 30 km from Aut. While going back you can catch the Manali to Delhi bus around 7 PM at Aut and reach Delhi next morning by 7 A.M. next morning. Do not forget to mention your pick up point at Aut or Bhuntar when doing the booking of the HPTDC Volvo bus.
On the way from Delhi to Aut, the roads are pretty much in great shape being a national highway from Delhi to Manali. Then from Aut, the roads are a bit narrow in but mostly in good to average conditions without any difficulty. In the entire route, there are one or two rough patches so that you never lose your concentration 😉
However, when you travel over Jalori Pass from Tirthan to Shimla, the story of climbing and getting down from Jalori Pass is different. If there is rain, the road conditions will be a mess just around Shoja and up to Jalori Pass and further down towards Ani – Khanag villages. The mud will increase the challenge of climbing the steep gradient of Jalori Pass.
Even in the absence of rain, the drive from Banjar to Jalori Pass and then down towards Narkanda may give goosebumps at certain points.
The best way is to take your car or bike and hit the road from Delhi to Tirthan. There is no such specialty required in your vehicle to visit Tirthan Valley. The hatchbacks and sedans will do equally good and will the SUVs. There is no special need for an SUV car or a 4×4 vehicle to visit Tirthan. You can take any vehicle as long as its engine runs and it will not break down in the middle of a road 🙂
Make sure to check my must-have things to carry on a self-drive trip to Himachal.
Tirthan Valley Map
Here is a hand-sketched map of Tirthan Valley to give you an idea of places around it and where exactly it is located in the Kullu region of Himachal.
Weekend Trip to Tirthan Valley
A trip to Tirthan Valley is very much possible as a 3-day long weekend trip. But, to get the feel of this relaxing place in entirety, you can always add one more day to make it 4-5 day trip from Delhi and relax in the lap of nature to refresh yourself inside out.
You can also plan to add a drive to Kasol – Manikaran as well or do the complete circuit at ease with a stopover at Narkanda on the other side of Jalori Pass.
Night – 1 / Day 0 | Delhi to Tirthan
Leave from Delhi in the evening and reach Gushaini or Banjar early morning on the next day. You can do the journey by overnight Volvos running between Delhi and Manali every day.
Day – 1 | Relax at Tirthan
Early morning arrival means sound sleep and rest for 5-6 Hours. Then rest around the serene and calm Tirthan river. Relax for the whole day. In the evening you may enjoy a bonfire.
Day – 2 | Tirthan Valley Trek or Tirthan Waterfall
Trek or hike into the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) or hike to see nearby waterfalls. There are two of them at little distance to each other. After coming back from the hiking day, enjoy the dinner alongside the river before having a sound sleep.
Day – 3 | Relax till noon and then start the journey back
On Day 3, Sunday, you can easily relax till afternoon and then leave for Delhi around noon to reach by 11 PM in the night. This plan will give you a night of sound sleep, and you can join the office easily the next day on Monday.
Or if you are traveling by bus, then you will reach the next morning and may have to join the office a bit tired or fatigued but shall be manageable with the comfort of the Volvo bus.
Hence, you can see that, yes you can travel to Tirthan Valley over a weekend trip itself. A bit hectic but doable.
Extending the trip by a couple of days
Well, if you have a few more days at hand then you can opt for below days based upon your taste, comfort and time on hands.
Optional Day 1: Jalori Pass – Serloskar Lake Trek
On this day, you can drive to Jalori Pass, and from there, you can trek to Serloskar Lake. On the way back, you can have a meal at Sringi Vatika, a nice homely guest house run by an old couple. The food preparations take some time there, but you can always walk down the riverside to have some fun. You can add this day to make it a 4-day trip to Tirthan Valley from Delhi.
Optional Day 2: Kasol – Manikaran
Alternatively, you can also drive from Tirthan to Kasol and Manikaran and either come back to Tirthan the same day for a night stay or stay at Kasol only. This way, you can leave to Delhi or home from Kasol only without the need to come back to Tirthan unless you plan to take the longer Jalori Pass route. It will also help you plan a 4-day trip to Tirthan.
You can, of course, opt for both days to make a 5 day trip from Delhi.
Another Trip Suggestion: You can also plan to include a visit to Prashar Lake as well with Tirthan Valley.
Adventure of Jalori Pass
Well, to be on the adventurous side on Day 3 of the weekend trip itinerary, you can leave early morning to follow this route and can cover the “Alternate Option Day” with Jalori Pass. However, Serloskar Lake will not be possible in that case. I will always prefer this route either while coming or while leaving from Tirthan.
Tirthan – Banjar (6 KM) – Shoja (20 KM) – Jalori Pass (24 KM) – Khanag – Ani – Narkanda (114 KM) – Shimla (174 KM) – Kalka – Ambala (356 KM) – Delhi (544 KM)
The route to Jalori Pass from Shoja side is quite steep as compared to the other side i.e. Ani and Khanag which adds more pleasure to this adventure road trip to Tirthan 😉
Where to stay in Tirthan
When I started visiting back in 2010, there were only a handful of places to stay in Tirthan Valley as people hardly knew about it. Over the last decade, there has been a massive increase in tourist footprints and hence, the demands for stay options too in Tirthan / Banjar region too.
There are budget options as well as luxury options available now in Tirthan Valley and Jibhi region. Many homestays in Tirthan have also mushroomed in recent years, and you can surely land up there to find few options for yourself.
Let’s look at some of them.
1. Sai Ropa FRH
This if govt. run forest guest house and probably one of the budget places to stay in Tirthan. It will be a good option to stay with moderate comfort, if possible to get its booking or availability.
2. Raju Bharti’s Guest House
If you really want peace, nature, romance, seclusion, and natural beauty then I will suggest you head for Tirthan Valley and perhaps even stay at Raju’s Cottage, Goshaini, Tirthan Valley – A Pioneer in Hospitality.
You can contact them on 09418149808 (01903-225008, not sure of this one if it is working or not). It is extremely famous with tempting food as per the majority of people who stay there. It is surely the best place to stay in Tirthan Valley.
It is right in the middle of the valley in Gushaini village, and there are tons of nature walks or hikes around it which you can go for when required to feel further close to nature.
3. Himalayan Trout House
It is expensive but a very nice place to stay in Tirthan. Check the complete review at DoW Himalayan Travel Community: Himalayan Trout House – Complete Review where Anshul writes:
The one word which in which I could describe experience and hospitality is “Awesome”. The Himalayan Trout house is located in the Nagani village just 2-3 km before Raju’s Guest House and 2-3 Kms after the Himalayan River Side Resort.
Check the link for a detailed review of it.
4. Riverside Resort
This one is right at the banks of the river has got a lot of attention in the last decade. The price range is pretty decent, and being adjacent to the riverside, it feels wonderful to stay at this place. My stay over here has been quite great when we could not get Raju’s Cottage booking.
5. Shringi Vatika Homestay at Ghiyagi
A little away from Tirthan at Ghiyagi village before Shoja. They have named it Shringipur now. It is a homestay kind of budget accommodation in Tirthan but with nice service and reputation. The river is a little hike down, and this guest house is a bit away from main Tirthan (about ten-odd KMs, if I am not wrong).
They have built their own little waterfall from the stream and have swings for the kids too in the garden.
Contact Person: Pammi 09318813178 / 09459106728 / 09218201598
Are you Planing a Honeymoon Trip to Himachal?
Well, if you are looking out to plan a honeymoon trip to Himachal, then maybe stay with Raju’s Cottage, Goshaini in Tirthan Valley.
Why am I recommending Tirthan Valley for your honeymoon in Himachal? I will try to share my thought as below pointers:
- There is the least tourist rush in Tirthan Valley and ample peace and privacy which anyone wants on a honeymoon or any other rejuvenating vacation.
- Raju Bharti Cottage is the pioneer in that region, and many times, Outlook Traveler has ranked his place among top places to stay in the world. Quality, service, hospitality, and the location are just superb right amidst the lap of mother nature.
- The stay is moderately costly, and he charges about Rs 1750 (veg) / Rs 1900 (non-veg.) per person per day, which includes all meals, juices, fruits, etc. So, 3500 per couple is not bad at all for a day in return the value you get from the place…
- You may ask him for offseason or honeymoon discounts too, if applicable. Advanced booking (in a month’s time) is must here.
- The raw nature is so close to the place, in fact, all around it. Tirthan River, GHNP, Flora, Fauna, Waterfalls, etc.. It will match a forest resort stay any day.
- There are other accommodation options too in Tirthan Valley viz. Riverside Resort, Sai Ropa forest rest house, Himalayan Trout House, Shringi Vatika at Ghiyagi a little away from Tirthan, etc. which you can choose for a stay apart from Raju’s Cottage.
- Shoja and Jalori Pass are only 1.5-2 Hrs of a drive. A place where you can enjoy tons of snow in winters. I am not sure if the walk/hike to Seroloskar Lake will be possible in extreme winters or not from Jalori Pass due to snow. But, you can always check with Raju for the same before leaving.
- Now, the best thing – Tirthan Valley is not that far from Manali – Kasol – Naggar – Solang Valley – Rohtang Pass, which means you will be able to –
- spend 3-4 days in Tirthan Valley and then move to Manali circuit and enjoy stay + adventure activities around snow in Solang Valley including paragliding (of course if you are interested),
- stay for a day or two at one of the most romantic places in Himachal that is Naggar Castle,
- some great Israeli culture and cuisines at Kasol,
- enjoy more snow at snow points of Marhi or Gulaba towards Rohtang Pass,
- enjoy shopping at Manali mall road and even stay there for a day or two,
If you prefer peace and want to avoid mad tourist rush then it is better to avoid Manali during summer holidays, Durga Puja holidays and Christmas – New Year week when people from all over flock this valley.
I hope the above reasons or pointers are enough to help you decide why to choose Tirthan Valley as your honeymoon destination in Himachal Pradesh.
Where to eat
There are eating options available as dhabhas in villages of Tirthan and the main market of Banjar town. Otherwise, you will mostly be eating with guest houses or hotels you will be stay. If you are on a day’s excursion to Jalori Pass, then you can stop at Shringi Vatika for a meal.
There is an ATM at Banjar town. But, It’s better to carry enough cash. There are ATMs available in Mandi and Kullu which are nearby, where you can withdraw money as well.
Mobile network in Tirthan
Tirthan does have decent mobile phone network connections coverage. BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone and Jio networks are available, however, at times, they may have intermittent connectivity.
On the trails in GHNP, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a mobile phone connection. But, isn’t that the point of a trek or hike, anyway? Disconnect from the modern world, Y’all.
Things to Carry
Tirthan is all famous for Trout Fishing and is also called Trout Fishing Valley of Himachal. So, you can carry stuff for fishing.
If you are a reading freak you can carry books if you like to play then take a volleyball or if you play music then take the instruments with you or if you like to chat then go there and open your chatterbox around a bonfire with your mates if you like to fish take your fishing kit with you or you can get there as well etc..
The destination is ideal for anything that makes you feel relax from the day to day life, so go and enjoy to the fullest.
Among other things to carry on a trip to Tirthan Valley are:
- Do not forget to refer my list of things to carry on a trekking trip.
- Always carry a water bottle as you will need it on your day hikes or other Tirthan Valley treks.
- Always carry a light woolen sweater/jacket for a winter trip. In winters, carry at least 2-3 layers of thermal clothing as temperature drops in negative in January.
5 Things to do in Tirthan Valley
So we have talked in length about the positives of visiting Tirthan from Manali or Delhi. But, once you reach what should you do at Tirthan? or what are the tourist attractions in Tirthan Valley?
Let’s look at some of the major attractions or things to do, one by one.
1. Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)
As Tirthan is the portal to GHNP, you can go for treks or hikes or evening camping in the wild on your trip. You can get the feel of nature by walking or hiking in it till the inner entrance, and then permissions are required for the entrance daily if you wish to hike deeper into it. A fun place to hike with family or friends.
2. Tirthan Valley Waterfalls
There are two secluded waterfalls around an hour of hiking distance with a higher one being more than 50 feet high. Both of them are very close to each other. The aerial views of Tirthan from the trek to the waterfall are breathtaking.
3. The drive to Jalori Pass
Jalori Pass, at an altitude of 3120 meters, is one of the steepest passes to drive in Himachal and it separates Kullu valley and Shimla Valley. You need to cover almost 2500 meters in less than 25 KMs to reach the top. The gradient is very steep and caution is required to climb up and down. Make sure you use low gear braking else you may end up with brake failures.
You can have a meal at Shringi Vatika on the way back to Tirthan. Well, Jalori Pass remains covered with snow from December end till March-end. So, the road ahead of Shoja and sometimes to Shoja is also closed in winters.
4. Trek to Serloskar Lake or Jalori Pass Trek
Serloskar lake trek starts from Jalori Pass and the lake is about 5 km from Jalori pass. It will take about a couple of hrs to reach the lake and a couple of hrs to return back to Jalori.
Hence, plan the hike to the lake and your day accordingly else you might end up doing night driving. At times, the lake might be disappointing. Do not forget to carry a water bottle along with you.
This trek is also referred to as Jalori Pass trek at times.
5. Visit Bachelo Pass
About 15 km en route Bathaad village, you can also visit this single pass from Tirthan Valley. Bachelo Pass also remains well covered with snow from December to February. Hence, you will not be able to visit it in winter.
6. Visit Sainj Valley – Shangarh
Sainj Valley is a beautiful wonderland nestled 45 km from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh! If you’ve never heard of the place before, you’re not the only one. The valley starts fairly close to the river at around 1233 Mts height.
As you come towards the Larji Petrol pump when traveling to Tirthan Valley, you need to go left to travel to Sainj Valley which houses places like Shangarh, Pundrik Rishi lake, Dehuri, Manyashi, Shenshar, and Panihar. These are some of the villages with lovely homestays away from the crowd. Sainj Valley gained popularity as an offbeat place in Himachal once Tirthan Valley started becoming more and more crowded.
Yes, at times, it does snow in Tirthan Valley in winter months of January and February. Apart from that when you travel a little up towards Shoja and Jalori Pass, you will get plenty of snow as well as snowfall up there.
The distance from Manali to Tirthan Valley is 100 km and it will take about 3-3.5 hrs to reach Tirthan from Manali.
Tirthan Valley is an offbeat place in Himachal Pradesh, still. It offers everything to every age group and a trip at any time right in the lap of mother nature is always full of warmth.
Whenever I am unable to decide on a trip, I pack my bags with my family and head over for a trip to Tirthan Valley to enjoy peace and calmness nature has to offer.
PS: With this comprehensive guide, I am sure you do not need to buy any Tirthan Valley trek packages and the money you will save, you can spread some smiles in the Himalayas.
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I hope this blog article will help you plan your trip to Tirthan Valley. Do you have any other questions regarding this trip? Drop them in the comments below, and we’ll try to help you in every way possible.
If you like this article, then share it with your friends who you think might be interested in going to this offbeat place of Himachal!