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Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh – Untouched Beauty of Himalayas


Have you ever seen kid’s drawings?  A beautiful small house having trees and a river flowing nearby with mountains in the background; birds flying back to their homes in tandem as the Sun setting in. Most of us must have drawn the same picture hundreds of times when we were kids. Our stay at Tirthan reminds us of this picture. Located at the banks of Tirthan river with picturesque lower Himalayan Mountains, our trip to Tirthan consisted of staring at this beautiful scene for hours and days together.

Tirthan Valley – A picture perfect place for peace

We have been to few treks and some popular places in the Himalayas. “Ok, let’s try something different this time” we drifted to few options.

How about instead of moving from place to place, we just go one place and stay, stay there and just absorb that place fully; geographically, culturally and socially.

“Ok, sounds good, but where can we do this? Let’s check.

After some research we came across this wonderful blog by Medhavi, a braveheart trekker and a traveller.  Having gone through her blog/ her adventures and talking to her, we could immediately feel the connection. She has done numerous treks in the Himalayan region, but made this beautiful quaint village as her home away from home when she’s not trekking.

We talked to her at length about Tirthan and finally decided to stay in the same home stay where she was put up.  After reaching Tirthan, we got a chance to interact with her a lot and we indeed were inspired from her adventures. Not many people can pursue the path she is pursuing.

The Homestay and the daily routine

We stayed in Tirthan for a stretch of 15 days in Bisht Niwas.

The cozy wooden room facing the river made our stay pleasant and comfortable.Gushing sound of the river was our constant companion during the stay.

Mornings, we spent by the river side, staring at the rising sun,  and evenings, we did the same, but just looking at the opposite direction.

Dipping the feet in the river, feeling the chill of the gushing Tirthan, watching Small fish swimming by and the beautiful birds chirping, watch them making a stopover at some on the small rocks, stare at eagles flying majestically higher up; mostly, this was our daily routine.

View of the Tirthan River from our room

chilling by the riverside

A bird by the river side going about it’s day

Nature walks

The best way to absorb Tirthan valley’s beauty and depth is by walking around the places. The beautiful road with mountains on one side and the Tirthan River on the other side provides some spectacular views of the valley.  The main road is the only road where vehicles can be seen, all other roads need to be tread on foot. Small villages lie on either side of this main road which can only be reached on foot; typically a couple of kilometres inside.

Walking around Tirthan

Views around Tirthan

Waterfall and the great Himalayan National Park

“So, which direction did you walk today?” our host Kavitha asked, we said “we went towards the great himalayan national park, the botanical garden side”

“Nice, so did you see to the waterfall?”.

“Oh, is there a waterfall?, we didn’t know that”

“never mind, when you take a walk tomorrow, make sure you go there” Kavitha.

We had this on our mind and got delayed going there by few days. by 3rd day, our eagerness to go there rapidly increased and though it was late afternoon (by which many visitors to that place would be generally back), we decided to head towards the waterfall.

View of the valley enroute to the Waterfalls

Taking a couple of kilometers trek from main road, when we headed towards the waterfall, we saw few people coming back and it looked like we are the only ones heading towards the waterfall, while all others were coming back. The trek increasingly became scary and lonely. Since we were alone, the scary thoughts of cheetah attack of some wild animal encounter sounded possible as we headed deeper. The 20 min trek looked much longer with no trace of any human beings or any village visible from our paths.

Enroute to the waterfall

Near the waterfall

Thankfully, as we reached the waterfall, we could see some small village and actually realised that our fear was unreasonable and it was one of the safest routes to tread in the great himalayan national park.

The waterfall in the great himalayan national park

From great hosts to great friends

Mahendra and Kavitha, our friendly hosts, have made our stay a completely satisfying one with their feel-at-home treatment.  ( . The food served was probably the best we had in any of our previous Himalayan trips.

With Our lovely hosts in Tirthan, Mahendra and Kavitha

Mahendra was an extremely down to earth and a friendly person, who, right from picking us, to any suggestions, he was there for us. During our stay, we had some long leisure walk and talk sessions, where we got to know much more about the place. Hearing about a place from the locals always makes it much more enticing. Talking about the place did throw up some great stories about the place.

Mahendra and kavitha were there for us for any help required during the entire stay. After a point of time, we never felt like we were staying in a homestay, and instead we felt we were staying at our best friends place, comfortable and at home. We always imagine, if they visit our place, would we be able to treat them the way they treated us? Not really sure.

With Medhavi, the Himalayan Gypsy

In Medhavi, we made another good friend who has been an inspiration to many.

More stories on tirthan to follow later..

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Alleppey House Boat – A Royal Treat to the Senses


Any list of beautiful places of India, it cannot be complete without a mention of Kerala. The thick forests of Western Ghats, long and scenic sea coasts, beautiful beaches, stunning backwaters, picturesque mountains, name it and you can find it all in Kerala. The villages, towns and even cities are very laid back, making the travel to Kerala a beautiful experience.

Kerala was our first trip together where we not only got to know each other better, but also got the first taste of travelling together.

Actually, travelling to Places in Kerala itself is a beautiful experience. Typically, there is a nearby city or a town where you can reach by train or flight and from there most of the touristy places are couple of hours ride by cab; same with Alleppey. We reached Cochin airport by 10:00 PM, and booked a taxi to Alleppey. While you can book houseboats anywhere from Alleppey, kumarokam, kollam, kottayam or kasargod, Alleppey-kumarokam stretch is considered the most popular and the most beautiful.

The 2.5 hr ride to Alleppey is not just about a commute from one place to another, but is equally about getting to pass through beautiful villages.

view enroute to the housboat

Beautiful paddy fields see across the route  to Alleppey. we encountered many more even during the housboat ride


After a lovely south Indian meals at Aryas (the famous south Indian hotel plus a bit easy on the pocket as well) followed by a beautiful ride, we reached Alleppey ferry joint by 2:00 PM. A quick 20 min walk through a beautiful village side led us to our houseboat.

There are many houseboats, but since we visited the place during relatively a low peak season of August, ours was easy to spot by. Kerala has a well developed tourist industry and accordingly the hosts of these houseboats are really well mannered. We got a warm welcome with hearty smiles and a tender coconut and a fruit juice.

Houseboats (called as kettuvallam in Malayalam,meaning tie the Boat) are actually country boats which were used for carrying goods from Cochin to Kuttanad region. But After development of roadways across the state, these boats slowly lost their sheen. But after a bout of tourist visits, few boat owners have come up with this unique idea of renovating these boats as Houseboats. We are told that most of the houseboat don’t use any nails in construction, they mostly use coir for tying and establishing the boat structures.

Our house boat waiting for us to get aboard

view from the starting point of our journey


Within Half an hour, our houseboat started it’s soothing journey on the Alleppey back waters after passing through the Punnada and Vembanadu Lakes. The picturesque view of lush paddy fields, coconut trees and villages makes the journey even more relaxing.

coconuts and banana trees have truly added to the green factor

beautiful weather added a lot of pleasantness to the proceedings

I’m jealous of the locals who are living here

The views on both sides of the houseboat were a joy where we can see many villages and the people in the villages going casually about their daily lives. You wonder sometimes, why, we living in cities seem to have everything so hurried up?

For some villages on the sides of the backwaters, we see them taking out their boats for some chores just like we take out our bikes in our cities. I think you need to be blessed to be born or living in such places.

I have a Royal enfield parked outside my house and feel proud about it, but, can anything beat this ?

just an evening ride? or may be a domestic chore, not fair!!

As the sun started to set in, we were trying to soak up the relaxed feeling of the journey, capturing few pictures of the few other boats passing by. We actually heard, there will be almost traffic jams during peak season. But we were lucky to visit this place during an off season. After some chit chat with the friendly staff, we tried our hand at driving the boat, and boy, it does feel good to be in driver’s seat.

Another beautiful houseboat passing by

Parking..i mean docking at Kuppapuram

Once, the evening set in, our boat was docked at a point near a village called Kuppapuram, where we spent the night. The darkness and silence you witness at such docking points is actually a beautiful and a therapeutic experience. Though there is a hangout area outside the room with a TV set and a nicely decorated sofa set, we decided to shut the TV off and experience the night and the backwaters shining from the light from other boats passing by. We can spend the whole night not sleeping but just admiring the beauty of the backwaters.

The mornings are equally enchanting with birds chirping and sun rising through the opposite villages. Sipping the morning coffee and witnessing this whole scene of morning unfolding is an experience to Cherish.

morning lotus near by the docking point


enjoying the morning coffee and the morning freshness

After another ride through the villages, we reached another backwaters village, Kumarokam, where we headed for other destinations of our journey.

Whenever we travel to any place, we leave a piece of ourselves there and we take a piece of that place, becoming a new version of ourselves.

This trip was mostly a leisure travel for us and hence there were few things, which we felt we wanted to explore more when we visit this place again sometime. If you are planning for a leisure trip and enjoy backwaters, Houseboat is the best. However, if the idea is to enjoy life at the backwaters in a more closer way, probably a boat ride from cochin to kottayam is a way to go. That’s on cards for our next trip sometime for sure.


Helpful Info: 

Reaching the place: Google 🙂


We booked our Houseboat online after talking to the guys at The staff is courteous and well behaved. The food served is also hygienic.

All details can be found at their website. If you are planning to in peak season, do ensure to book 1 month in advance to avoid any last minute rush and premium pricing.

To do:

Nothing, enjoy the houseboat ride.

Gear Required:

Nothing, normal

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