Jibhi & Tirthan Valley-What Are The Best Things to Do?

Jibhi

Observing the majestic mountains with tunnels cut through them and highways winding around their massive rocky formations, one can’t help but admire the efforts of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in constructing such vital infrastructure. All of this is geared towards enhancing tourism and ensuring the comfort of travelers.

This scene unfolds just before the junction leading to Jibhi in the Tirthan Valley, now renowned as a popular tourist destination.

My childhood was spent in Banjar, along the route to Jibhi. I have vivid memories of tumbling down the stairs numerous times in the rented accommodation where we resided. Fortunately, each time, the damage was reparable, thanks to divine providence!

One particular memory stands out: waving goodbye to a specific HRTC driver from the second-floor window of our house, employing a level of communication easily accessible to us. His bus sported a distinctive red crown atop its front, making it easily recognizable.

Back then, Tirthan Valley exuded an even more pristine and untouched beauty. Tourism in this region was scarcely considered, although the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) had been established as far back as 1964.

Tirthan & Sainj Valleys

Tirthan and Sainj valleys are interconnected by the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). Both valleys have a low population density. In the year 2000, residents of Sainj Valley were fortunate to secure employment in the Parvati hydroelectric project, while those from Tirthan Valley continued to rely on the forest until tourism began to flourish in the area.

Simplified map to understand Tirthan & Sainj Valleys
Simplified map to understand Tirthan & Sainj Valleys

The source of sustenance was Guchhi (Morchella Esculenta), a herb in demand. Traders in Delhi buy it for Rs 6,500-7,000 per kilogram. 

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Guchhi (Morchella Esculenta)

Unlike the other tourist destinations in Kullu Valley, Tirthan Valley is very virgin, or raw, to be very precise. Away from the hustle & bustle of the crowded Kasol or Manali, flooded with cafes, and live music in most of the cafes – Tirthan Valley is calm and not that lavish amenities-wise.

Tirthan Valley is famous for trout fish-angling, campsite experiences, and rustic homestays set in traditional Himachali fashion. The rainbow trout fish are abundant in the Tirthan river in Gushiani village.

A word of caution: 

Before you indulge in fish-angling and touch that fishing rod, make sure you get the fishing permit from the HP Department of Fisheries office for a fee of INR 100.

Gateway to Sainj & Tirthan Valleys
Gateway to Sainj & Tirthan Valleys- Tirthan valley road

Tirthan valley is home to beautiful villages, for instance, Sarchi, and Jamala. Sarchi village is set on vast flatland, with huge houses painted green, blue, and brown covered with slates to have a roof on the top. Many villages in this beautiful valley are still not fathomed. But that is what the trekkers are doing – finding new hidden gems!

Imagine the smoke rising up from ‘Chulha’ through the gaps in the slates on the roof in the morning and birds chirping in a village setting. Smoke rising through the fog, what a morning!

Don’t miss to set the bonfire ablaze and take some villagers along to sing folk songs to enjoy your stay most effectively.

Jibhi

Jibhi is a small village in Tirthan Valley that is now hugely popular among tourists. Dotted with homestays and guest houses, it’s easy to find accommodation for your long or short stay. The longer – the better!

Opt for rooms with a balcony so that as you open the doors, there is a beautiful landscape, mountains & river to welcome you. I am sure you will develop a feeling of guilt about having paid less to experience all this serenity & solace.

The road to Jibhi might seem narrow if you are driving yourself and not used to hill driving. Suddenly, just before 15 kilometers from Jibhi, a steep elevation to Jibhi might pose a challenge.

Pristine Jibhi

Who doesn’t harbor a love for mountain vacations? Jibhi is one place where you could sit in a flowing stream, feet relaxing in the stream, with breakfast spread on a table. How exciting does it sound?

Another attraction in Jibhi is Kulhi Katandi( Mini Thailand), the Tirthan Valley waterfall.

Well, experiencing such a setting is going to be the next level. Jibhi has secret waterfalls, dense forests, and treks to make your vacations worth it.

Ask your homestay guys & the tour guide to arrange a permit for trout angling. This is another experience to indulge in Jibhi. 

Apart from the conventional Volvo ride from Delhi, an option of reaching Jibhi by air is also available using the nearest airport – Bhunter.

Treks in Jibhi

Sarolskar Lake Trek

Raghupur Fort Trek

Tandi Village Trek- This is an alternate route to reach the village of Tandi through the forest, and the trek’s difficulty level is medium.

Best homestays in Tirthan Valley

The village Tandi is about 6-7 Km from Jibhi. This village is also known as the Tree House Village. Tandi village has several tree houses. The road from Jibhi to Tandi is narrow, and it is advisable to travel on this road during daylight. Especially during winter, it’s recommended to use a 4X4 vehicle.

Here is the list of homestays and tree houses near Jibhi-

  • Mudhouse Hostel
  • Heritage House
  • Hotel Cedar View
  • Nirvana, Tandi , Contact Number: 6230262606
  • Jhony’s Tree House, Contact Number: 8219249560,7624850149
  • Whispering Pines Cottages, Contact Number: 7018328687

Twin Towers Of Raila

What draws your eye are the tower-like structures perched on the hills. This is Raila village, situated approximately 30 kilometers from Sangrah, about a 1.5-hour drive away. These two watchtowers proudly stand atop the village, remaining remarkably intact.

Local inhabitants reported that two additional towers, unable to withstand the tremors of a previous earthquake, collapsed to the ground. They also mentioned that the existing two towers have suffered damage to their uppermost levels.

Tower of Raila
Twin Towers Of Raila

These two towers are engineering marvels for the reason that constructing something of this scale on hills is not an easy job.

A place to stay in Raila

The RabbitHouse Homestay. Here is the link –

https://goo.gl/maps/aXh1govJZH8EmMLH6

Sangrah

To reach Sangrah, take a diversion from the Aut tunnel towards the Great Himalayan National Park(GHNP). Sangrah is 30 Km from this diversion point.

This diversion point is the gateway to popular tourist destinations like Jibhi, Jalori Jot, Sojha, Daliraya Kothi, Sainj, and Tirthan Valley.

Sainj Valley is dotted with small villages, and the commercial hotspot is the village of Sainj. Sainj is famous for its handicrafts, popular being the Kullu Shawl & cap.

Sangarh Meadows
Sangarh Meadows (Credits:www.booking.com)

Sangrah is a holy place and has a connection with the Mahabharat era when the Pandavas were in exile. Shangarh has huge meadows which have a huge spread. Shangrah Meadows is a vast grassland with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. The Shangchul Mahadev temple on one side of the meadows is a great piece of vernacular architecture. You must catch hold of some localities to experience the culture of village Sangrah.

The village committee has set up rules to keep the meadows clean. They say Shangchul Mahadev has dictated these rules.

The meadow undoubtedly has a spectacular picture-perfect view of the mountains of Pin Parvati Pass. The present village, Sangrah is set around the meadow.

While at Sangrah, do plan to visit Barshangarh Waterfall, which is 3km from Sangrah. Snow white water falling off the cliff looks magnificent.

A place to stay in Sangrah

THE HOUSE OF OWN STORIES

https://www.google.com/travel/hotels/s/CCMwAQ3TJC8vt81w5

Best time to visit Tirthan & Sainj valleys

Avoid choosing the monsoon season at all costs. Opt instead for the summer months to fully savor the beauty of the Tirthan and Sainj valleys.

Summer offers pleasant weather, ideal for embarking on trekking adventures. While winter is also an option, some may find the harsh conditions harder to endure.

How to reach Tirthan & Sainj Valleys

By Air 

Bhunter Airport (also known as Kullu Manali Airport), located at a distance of 50 km, is the nearest airport. Flight can be boarded from Delhi or Chandigarh. On arrival at the Bhunter airport, hire a taxi from the airport to your destination.

Suggested Read: Best Airports In Himachal Pradesh

By Rail

This is a little difficult to pinpoint. The rail heads available are Ambala, Kalka, Kiratapur and Shimla. The choice of these railheads will depend upon your travel itinerary. 

By Road

Interstate buses are available from Delhi and Chandigarh to Manali. The diversion to Tirthan Valley is from the Aut tunnel. Aut is a small village on the Delhi-Manali highway.

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