Tirthan valley, located 50 km south of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of 3500 feet, is barely a 35-km drive from Aut tunnel. It takes around 13 hours to reach Tirthan valley from Delhi. The scenic locale derives its name from the river Tirthan, a tributary of Beas River in Himachal. Best known as a ‘gateway’ of The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), a UNESCO world heritage site, the Tirthan valley is sure to appeal the nature lovers, trekkers, bird watchers, adventure enthusiasts, and just about anyone who wishes to disconnect from the monotone.
They briefed us about the itinerary of Tirthan Valley, the places we were going to visit and introduced us to one another. This proved out to be an ice-breaking session & kept us indulged for the next 2 hours until we halted for dinner at 70th Milestone Restaurant. The food and vibes of the place were just awesome. After the 45-minutes halt, we resumed our journey.
Now that I was out of paranoia, my tummy filled with delicious food and lying on the comfy seat, I thought nothing could be better than sleeping now but proving me wrong was what followed. The lights were switched off for a few seconds and a different set of lights, UV lights were switched on which completely changed the vibes inside the bus and not giving me and my fellow travellers much time of anticipation, the WanderOn Captains occupied the walking space and initiated a singing session which everyone participated in.
During this two-hour drive from the Aut tunnel to the Jibhi village, we glanced upon the Tirthan River for the first time. Encircling us from all ends once we entered its trail, Tirthan’s glassy waters tore through colossal rocks. She’s fierce and gushes through all ends of the valley, almost whispering stories that she brings down from the glaciers.
After resting for a bit, we headed for Jibhi Waterfall. A short walk of 10 minutes through the woods filled with bird chirps, we were right below the waterfall. It was like a treasure hidden deep below the greens. We spent some time there clicking photos and doing some group activities and headed back to our resort. The weather was extremely cold, the temperature had fallen to the freezing point and the high paced wind made sure that everyone shivers as we followed the trail back.
The need for the hour was a bonfire, and the setup was already done and as everyone got over with the dinner, the fire was lit. Everyone gathered around the fire for the relief, but the WanderOn captains were still busy in their chores. A chilling night with the comforting fire amidst the beautiful Tirthan valley and below the sky cheered by the stars needed just one missing element for it to be the perfect night- some soulful music. And that was what the chores were about!
The WanderOn Captains then sang and played their instruments giving our ears what was needed for the next 2 hours and everyone seemed lost in the vibes that this all arrangement had created. After the music session and a bit of prattling, we decided to call it a day.
An almost complete stretch of the trek is covered in snow and at some places the path is slippery. But the view throughout the trek is just insane. The trek offers a view of 2 valleys, Sutlej and Tirthan and most part of the trek is covered by tall, majestic trees which feel to be your companion throughout. There were a few dhabas in the way and we stopped on one of those to have snacks.
After about 2 hours of walking, the WanderOn Captain shouted that the lake is just 5 minutes away, and soon the half-frozen Serolsar lake was visible and seemed to expand as we walked towards it.
The Serolsar lake was half frozen and had a tint of green, but it seemed to change its shade, every time the clouds changed shape. There was a small temple dedicated to Buddhi Nagin Devi and the whole place was covered in thick snow. Soon everyone got busy in playing in the snowfield, but I and some other companions opted to enjoy the peace and beauty of the lake. The surrounding seemed to extract a bit of me and I was kind of lost after some time, and you will know why when you visit this alluring place.
Soon it was time to enter the New Year and to celebrate, the captains had arranged a music system. As soon as music played on the system, everyone went crazy and started dancing around the bonfire. As the clock turned 12, the valley went insane, everyone was dancing and the sky was filled with fireworks. This was the best New Years’ Eve and to increase the pleasure the WanderOn Captains had brought a cake for us. The cake was a simple one but getting a cake at that place was nothing sort of magic and at that point, it seemed to be the best cake in the world.
I went on the trip, all alone and without any expectations but I came back with a lot of friends and memories. I would recommend everyone to visit Tirthan Valley and would also recommend traveling with WanderOn.
Depending on the availability, they also send professional photographers who keep on clicking your photos so you can enjoy the beauty of the place without wasting your time in clicking the photos. Their work is at another level. Finally, they cherry-pick like-minded people, which makes the group traveling marvelous. In fact, if you have your own group to travel with, they can also prepare custom packages to Tirthan Valley for you.
So this was all from my first trip with WanderOn and from then on I’ve always shared my travel experience with many people I’ve met. I can’t wait to add more such stories to my travel book and I guess that would be happening really soon!!!