Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a pristine Himalayan region in the kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Great Himalayan National Park (one of the largest biosphere reserves in India and UNESO World Heritage site) is located in the Tirthan valley and if you are looking for a quiet time away with family amidst lofty mountains and mesmerising natural beauty, then this is the place to head on a summer vacation. The first time I visited Tirthan Valley and Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)on a solo trip was in 2006 and was completely charmed by the pretty valley as well the warm locals. However, despite my best efforts, I could only visit it next time last year (2017) on a long weekend getaway at Tirthan Anglers’ Retreat with friends. I so much wanted to come back with my family to Tirthan Valley, so this year, our summer family road trip destination was to Tirthan Valley. It took us 1.5 days to reach the Tirthan Valley from Delhi and equal time to get back, however, the 6 days we spent here absolute bliss and my family was totally taken in by the charms of the pretty valley. Sharing our experiences of a summer family vacation in Tirthan Valley :
Things to do in Tirthan Valley on a family vacation
1) Experience the local lifestyle of Tirthan Valley in a Homestay – We opted to stay with a local family homestay in the Tirthan Valley, at Nagini village. There are many homestays run by the locals in the buffer zone/area of the Great Himalayan National Park, which has many villages. The locals here are in general very helpful and in addition to being great hosts, help in arranging for different activities like hiking in GHNP, trout fishing, etc., for the guests.
2) Hiking or Trekking in the Great Himalayan National Park – We are a family of three, with our kid being only 4 years old. Therefore, we went for a day hike from Banjar to Entry Gate of GHNP, which is an easy hike for experienced trekkers (or hiking lovers like me) and a moderate difficulty hiking trail for kids. We had taken a guide along with us, who helped the kid whenever she was tired (which happens quite a bit with kids) and knew the route well. For a family of older kids, one day hike till Rola inside GHNP or even a 2 day trek is a great way to experience nature. The GHNP is one of the most pristine himayalan regions in India and has many exotic species of birds & flora specific to this region. The trekking guides are easily available through homestays in the valley or even through trekking groups on Facebook/online. Our trekking guide told us that all arrangements (including permits for hiking inside GHNP) are taken care of by the guides/trekking companies once guests contact them.
3) Trout Fishing in Tirthan River – One of the most fun as well leisurely activities in Tirthan Valley with family is trout fishing. One has to buy a permit from the fisheries department (easily available throughout the day) located in the Banjar tehsil; it costs around 100 INR per person per day for a fishing permit. The fishing rods are usually available with the homestay/resorts and its advisable to have fishing guide too along if you are new to fishing; atleast we weren’t able to catch any fish until our guide showed us how!
4) Walking/Strolling around in the villages in Banjar, Nagini or Bathad – Depending on which village (i.e. Banjar, Nagini or Bathad) the homestay/resort is located, one can take leisurely stroll in the villages, interact with the locals and enjoy the natural beauty. We walked around Nagini quite a bit and our kid made friends with local toddlers in the Anganwadi centre, spending some joyful moments there. I also hiked to Chhoi water fall in Nagini Village, which takes around 1 hour from the main road of the village.
5) Day visit to Jibhi and Jalori Pass – Jibhi is around 45 minutes – 1 hour drive from Nagini/Banjar/Bathad and has pretty views and nice waterfall. One can go till Jalori Pass, which we didn’t opt for as it takes 1 hour more and our kid cannot take so much .driving in the hills (due to nausea).
Recommended Read : A day hike in villages of Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
6) Day visit to Sharchi – Our homestay host told us to visit the pretty village of Sharchi many times. I have been to Sharchi village on my previous visits to Tirthan valley and it is indeed a lovely village with traditional himachali wooden house. However, we were more mood to chill by the Tirthan river on rest of the day (when we didn’t go for hikes!).
7) Just chill by Tirthan River – That’s the best activity! We spent much of our days sitting by the river, our kids spending hours throwing rocks into the water and enjoying as they splashed across the waters.
The summer family getaway to Tirthan Valley Himachal Pradesh gave us the much-needed respite from city life (especially the horrible heat of Delhi!) and was one of our best summer road trips taken till date. We are definitely looking forward to visit Tirthan Valley again!