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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. (http://bishtniwas.com/index.php) . The food served was probably the best we had in any of our previous Himalayan trips.
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.
In Medhavi, we made another good friend who has been an inspiration to many.
More stories on tirthan to follow later..