OT Travel Itinerary: 5 Days In Tirthan Valley, A Paradise For Trekkers

Enclosed by the Unesco World Heritage Site of Great Himalayan National Park with flowing rivers, lush green valleys, and lakes, Tirthan Valley is located next to the Tirthan River
Early morning hike to Jalori Pass, near Tirthan Valley
Early morning hike to Jalori Pass, near Tirthan ValleySayan Nath/Shutterstock

Exploring Himachal Pradesh in the summer offers a delightful escape into the lap of nature, away from the scorching heat of the plains. While popular destinations like Shimla, Manali, and Dharamshala often steal the limelight, the state harbors several offbeat gems waiting to be discovered. Among them is the stunning valley of Tirthan. Enclosed by the Great Himalayan National Park with flowing rivers, lush green valleys, and lakes, the valley is located next to the Tirthan River. Spring is easily the best time to go, with blooming flowers all around. As an escape from the more crowded Himachali getaways, it doesn't get much better than this place. Here's a five-day itinerary in Tirthan Valley.


Great Himalayan National Park

Start your trip with a trek around the Great Himalayan National Park. A place for trekkers, hikers, and nature lovers alike, the park provides one of the finest trekking opportunities in the country. Note that it takes a minimum of two days trekking from Tirthan Valley to even enter the park an overnight two-day trek is therefore the minimum. The Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2014. Excursions within the GHNP include the Rolla Trek, Shilt Hut Trek, Maranhi Trek, and Raktisar Trek. Sign up with local, community-led organisation Himalayan Ecotourism which organises treks through the year. When the founder of Himalayan Ecotourism noticed how competition between local stakeholders led to destructive overtourism, he decided to form a co-operative that worked collectively for the Tirthan Valley community. Read more about it here.

The lush green Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site
The lush green Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO world heritage siteSumit.Kumar.99/Shutterstock

Spot Incredible Flora And Fauna

One of the newer national parks in the country, the Great Himalayan National Park is also one of the country's best managed and richest in terms of biodiversity. The national park is characterised by high alpine peaks, meadows, and rich forests, supporting fauna as diverse as musk deer, snow leopards, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan pit vipers, western tragopan and raptors such as lammergeier and golden eagles as well as spectacled finch and golden bush robin. A success in terms of community participation of the local villagers living in the eco-zone, the park also offers fantastic wildlife treks as well as hikes to local sacred sites in the area. You will need permits to enter the park. You need to carry your own tents, sleeping bags, stove, and utensils. And guides and porters are essential for a proper trek.

You can also visit Shoja, a village endowed with all the beauty of a classic Himalayan hill town. Walking trails leading off this way and that make this a lovely spot for unwinding without a rigorous sightseeing plan.


Explore Jalori Pass

Jalori Pass is at a height of 3,125 m, and is located five km away from Shoja. You can easily drive your vehicle up to the stop point, and then start climbing the steep path, which will take you on a trek lasting around an hour and a half. On your way, you will cross a dense forest with a huge variety of flowers, herbs and medicinal plants. The view from the top is simply heavenly and well worth the trip. From there, you can get a spectacular panoramic view of the Himalayas, a top-of-the-world feeling.


Seruvalsar Lake

Seruvalsar Lake near Jalori Pass
Seruvalsar Lake near Jalori Pass itsrashmi/Shutterstock

Seruvalsar Lake is one of the most breathtaking high-altitude lakes. Located at 3,100 metres above sea level, close to Jalori Pass, this lake is tucked away amidst lush forests adorned with majestic oaks, deodars, and pines. Adding to its mystical ambience, a small temple dedicated to Buddhi Nagin graces the vicinity of the lake, further enhancing its spiritual allure. A 5-km trek from Jalori Pass crossing dense forest and stunning landscape will bring you to Seruvalsar Lake.


Head To Jibhi

Jibhi is dotted with traditional architecture
Jibhi is dotted with traditional architectureDilchaspiyaan/Shutterstock

Visit the pretty town of Jibhi, located in the adjacent Banjar Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is known for breathtaking hiking trails, pristine streams, and quaint wooden houses, offering travelers an enchanting visual experience. The town is also celebrated for its apple orchards, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy freshly picked fruits. You can stay the night here. There are many options for accommodation, from treehouses to glamping domes which give you a clear view of start-studded skies.

Getting There

Ambala and Kiratpur are the nearest railway stations. After that, you have to hire a private cab or public transport to reach Tirthan Valley. Bhuntar is the nearest airport. Or you can fly to Delhi, and drive down. By bus, it takes around 13 hours from Delhi, through Aut and Banjar.

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