Tirthan Valley

Tirthan Valley

Multiple times during our trip , Tirthan Valley in Himanchal Pradesh India, reminded us of our Switzerland trip. Tirthan Valley is still untouched and serene place to visit in Kullu District of Himanchal Pradesh. You will be surrounded by snow clad peaks, rivers and the Himalayan mountains. Best time to visit will be from April to Early June.

While planning our trip to Himalayas, I consulted a travel agent who recommended me Tirthan Valley to enjoy nature instead of Shimla or Manali.

Our itinerary was as follows
  • Chandigarh

    Fight from Bangalore, One night stay and road trip to Shimla. Visit to Rock garden and shopping in Sector 17.
  • Shimla

    2 nights stay with visit to Kurf. In earlier days, tourist used to vouch Shimla, Kullu and Manali for beauty and nature, however the beauty of these places is nowadays hidden behind cluster of hotels.

  • Tirthan Valley

Located near Banjar town of Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. Tirthan Valley is gateway to Great Himalayan National Park.  
  • Manali

    2 nights stay. One day visit to Gulaba and then paragliding at Solang Valley.


You need to drive in direction of Kullu or Manali. We drove from Shimla early morning and it took us around 6 to 7 hours. Just before the tunnel to Kullu there is right turn which will guide you to Banjar. The road narrows down to one lane as we take the turn and one has to plan the journey in day time.

Hotel Stay

I had consulted a tour agent and was recommended Hotel Trishala Resort on the banks of the river Tirthan. The resort is managed by a young chap Manu Negi. One can directly call him and do the bookings. There are lot of options available on the banks of the river in the Banjar village based on your budget and liking.We had very comfortable stay.The rooms were little smaller to accommodate two adults and one child, however there are many things to explore around and outside so we are inside the room only at night. It barely made much difference to us as our focus was to enjoy nature.

The stay was very comfortable. They also provide heater in the room on request.
The food was delicious and home cooked. They server breakfast and lunch at eating place which is built inside the river bed on the rocks. Sipping hot cup of tea early morning almost sitting in the river bed in Himalayas raises the experience bar to different level.

We reached the hotel in evening, we were welcomed with hot cup of tea and some snacks. We strolled around the river bed. This was followed by dinner.

Choi Waterfall Trek

Next morning, after the breakfast at the river bed, we proceeded ahead to Choi waterfall. This is approximately 2 - 3 hours trek which will lead you to waterfall. On your way one can enjoy beautiful views of the Himalayan mountain Ranges. And try your shutterbug skills. Midway the local villagers have arranged food stalls to take care of your hunger and thirst needs.The waterfall is result of melting snow from the surrounding snow clad peaks. Believe me, chill will run up your spine,  the first time you put your leg in the water. There is another 10 feet water fall few meters away from the main where few school kids were sliding down in the pond below. This was guided activity with proper head gear. My son did not try it as it was too cold. However he did slipped and fell down in the icy water while trying to take a snap in the main water fall.
It is advisable to carry some light towels to dry your self and quick snacks along with you.

Walking along the river bed

After a sumptuous meal and evening tea, we decided to walk along the river bed. We were followed by the resorts dog. After half km walk along the bed, there were some areas which were marked inaccessible by the villagers and we had to climb up. One of the villagers recommended us to cross the pedestrian bridge and explore the opposite side of the river bank. This was mainly dominated by small houses surrounded by vegetable farms. We could observe the villager busy with their evening activities like cutting grass for cattle or picking up vegetables for dinner. Even though the entire landscape looks pretty beautiful and compelling, it is very difficult to walk along those foot paths carved by local villagers. We noticed, a shepherd boy climbing up quickly to the mountain peak to bring their herd of sheep. It was fun to watch him with binocular, climb the difficult mountain terrain with help of simple wooden stick. This compelled my husband Abhi to explore the mountain early morning. He dared and completed the trek next morning from 5 am to 9 am. Some of the places were very slippery and scary as per him. However the views were amazing.

Great Himalayan National Park Trek

It is a 2 days trek in the Great Himalayan National Park. As per feedback of other fellow tourist its worth it. We gave it a miss as we were doubtful if our 7 year old son would be able to cope up with the cold temperature. I definitely repent it. And do plan to complete it some time later.
The Trsihala Hotel team will have their people as escorts. Accommodation is in tents and food etc is well arranged.

How to reduce vacation cost by 30 percent

reduce vacation cost

Plan in advance and reduce vacation cost.

Many people wonder, how we manage to have more than two long vacations in a year.
 If you make early vacation plans w.r.t. Air tickets,Hotels and Rental Car / Self Drive car, then you pretty much save on 30% of cost.
This enables you to sponsor the third trip in the same cost.

Cost comparison -

Timeline 3 months before the trip 2 weeks before the trip
People For family of 2 Adults and child For family of 2 Adults and child
Cost Rs 1 Lakh Rs 1 Lakh 30 Thousand
Airline Cost 30 Percent Cheaper Increases by 30 percent one month before the peak season.
Hotels Cost 30 Percent Cheaper with more availablity Less availablity of better deals

Now assume, If you plan out two vacations - it costs you approximately Rs 2 Lakh per year. Compared to Rs 2.6 lakhs which is 30% cheaper.

Tentative cost increase timeline

Air tickets

During vacation time, air tickets become costlier just before 4 to 6 weeks. There are plenty of websites for the booking flights makemytrip.com, cleartip.com,goibibo.com, etc to check on

Hotel booking

Since most of the hotels are available its easy to find the best fit at moderate prices.makemytrip.com , cleartrip.com , bookings.com , tripadvisor.cometc   

Rental car and self drive cars

You get cheaper deal and better options of vehicle bookings. Given the fact that rental car and self drive cars options are available plenty in India as well. zoomcar.com,   revv.co.in etc

Vacation planning Tips -

  1. Finalize on the travel destination. I usually prefer visiting two to three near by places or cities. As hanging around one places is boring after 3 days or so.
  2. Air Tickets
    1. Check out which destinations have airports available. If there is no direct airport then you need to make choice between near by city.
    2. Considering 2 to 3 days at each intermediate destination arrive at end date of the journey.
    3. Once start and end date is finalized, proceed ahead with  booking the air tickets as they become to costly week on week.
    4. Discounts -
      1. Check on websites of your credit cards to avail any discount.
      2. Usually I prefer to book tickets upfront and avoid deals which involve 10 % discount on Monday. Chances are high that  you forget  buying ticket on Monday. Its general observation, that tickets price increases on Monday morning.
      3. May websites show cheaper price till the last minute and add GST just before you enter the card details. Ensure to check the total price just before that.
  3. Car Rental Local Travel -
    1. Self Drive -If you prefer taking self drive car then booking that takes second priority. As options are lesser. When you finalize the deal look into the following aspects
      1. Finalize the route and calculate the kilometers. Add 10% buffer to it just incase you deviate from the plan.
      2. Check if the rental includes petrol charges   
      3. Tip - Take a chance and book a smaller car. Many a times we have got upgrade to a bigger car.
    2. With driver rental car - If you are opting for rental vehicle then there are multiple options available and can be done at leisure. When you finalize the deal, ensure the following
      1. Route is finalized with the operator
      2. Per day charge should include car rental, petrol and per day allowance of driver.
      3. If the route involves hopping multiple states, then ensure the road tax etc is included in the final cost.
  4. Hotel Booking
    1. Immediately proceed ahead booking the hotels. 
    2. Please don't forget to check the Check in and Checkout time. That might save you a days hotel rent.
    3. Peak Season bookings
      1. Many hotel booking portals like makemytrip.com , cleartrip.com , bookings.com , tripadvisor.cometc show the rooms of your preferred hotels sold out. 
      2. As the demand is more, the hotel operators prefer having direct bookings.
      3. They avoid putting rooms on these portals during the peak season.
      4. In this case, it makes sense to book the hotel directly.
      5. You can proceed by paying nominal advance amount.
    4.  Do your research on trip advisor for hotel reviews.