I love trekking in the Himalayas, and the fact that it is just an overnight 500 km bus journey makes it even more fun. If I want to be back in mountains year after year, it is very important that my family loves it too. Thankfully if you are up to walking a few kilometres up the hill, the adventure companies located at these locations take care of almost everything else. Instead of losing we generally gain some weight on our Treks, eating freshly cooked meals with local ingredients. It’s a feast you can’t miss. Porters carry food and other supplies like tents, sleeping bags etc. You are really pampered and all that is left to do is to enjoy the sunset or gaze at stars above.
Ohanna was 4 years old when I took her on a trek to Rangathar, in the Great Himalayan National Park. My dear friend Panki Sood at Sunshine Adventures made sure that we were taken care of. Pratap our guide and Ohanna’s trek support was so good, that we were assured that she will be safe and is going to have a great time exploring.
GNHP became a UNESCO world heritage site in June 2014. It is a huge biodiversity park with rare birds and animals found in the Himalayan range. The four rivers Tirthan, Sainj, Jiwa Nal, and Parvati originating from the glaciers flow through the park, making it a very unique habitat to be in. Thus opening options to do multiple activities like bird watching, angling, river crossing, trekking, or just enjoying the cool breeze with the sight and sounds of the valley.
I believe that Mother Nature is the best teacher for our kids and us, and no school in our cities can teach important lessons of life like nature herself.
Last trekking experience with Ohanna was so amazing, that this year we decided to go back for a longer trek to Rola in GNHP. A 10 km hike one-way with a gradual incline along the Tirthan River, was both challenging and enjoyable with picturesque views. We left after breakfast and carried packed lunch with us. It took us more than 5 hours with multiple breaks at small snack stalls, waterfalls, bridge crossings and view points. And we loved it.
Last 30 min we had to walk in rain to reach the campsite, where everything was already set. By the time we changed into dry clothes, hot soup and papad were ready.
After sunset, they lit a bonfire for us to be warm, and enjoy the hot delicious dinner. Kids found railroad glow-worms; they looked like small LEd’s thrown all over. We sat around the fire for some more time to enjoy the crisp air, sounds of nature and a blanket of stars above us before calling it a day.
We stayed here for 2 nights, so next day leaving our bags at the campsite we went for a small hike with the kids to a bridge nearby. We were back before lunch as the kids were tired and could not throw any more stones in the river. Lazed around for the remaining part of the day, and were well rested to hike back next day to Tirthan Valley.
After our Trek, we checked in to a Trout Fishery with an insane view, called Tirthan Trout Home. To reach this place you need to cross the river by a bridge or sit in a small trolley to go on the other side. The whole process is an experience in itself.
Ohanna had loads of fun feeding fishes and exploring the lawns, eating plums and apricots from the fruit trees. Do request the chef for the local speciality called Sidoo, served with Ghee and plum chutney
The most special thing about Tirthan Valley is the amazing villagers we met. It is like visiting your relatives for summer vacation. A small hike from the fishery takes you to the most beautifully located Dadee village. What was just a small evening walk turned out to be the highlight of our trip? Ohanna immediately made friends, and it was lovely getting to know each other over a cup of tea and plums.
How to Reach:
Bus- Overnight Volvo bus from Delhi to Manali. Get off at Aut, 80 km before Manali. Take a Taxi to Gushani. Your hotel or trekking organiser can arrange your taxi.
Drive- Delhi to Tirthan Valley- 520 Km, around 11 hours drive. Roads are in very good condition with few bad patches, and loads of places for meals and taking a break.
Air- Delhi to Kullu, Plus 2 Hr drive to Tirthan Valley.
Trekking in GNHP–
Book Thru Himalayan Sunshine Adventure- Get in touch with Panki Sood for small treks or full blown expeditions. they will take care of all the permits required for the park and other logistics.
Sunshine Himalayan Adventures – FB Page
Where to stay:
- Tirthan Trout Home –
- Himalayan Trout House – Christopher and Shefali are great hosts and serve amazing lip smacking dishes. Banana Fritters are to die for
- Usha Guest House
Things to do:
- Trekking and Hiking- Check out the short waterfall hike
- Angling/ Fishing – Hire a guide or take a permit yourself to try your luck
- Bird watching
- River crossing
- Village walks
- Buying honey at the Bee farm
- Shopping at Bhuttico for local shawls, scarfs, etc. Situated at Banjar
- Buying Organic veggies and Ghee from locals
That’s a quicj recount of an otherwise long, adventurous yet lazy and relaxing trek in the hills. Cherry on the cake is that you could experience all this with your 6 yo.
Keep writing, Rohit! We love your travel stories.
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@Akanksha thank you, it is indeed an amazing experience to do it with my daughter
That’s is a very informative n beautifully written travel piece!
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Thanx a ton, i am glad you liked it
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Really enthusiastic trip.I have enjoyed the three day trip nd visit to GHRP with my colleagues of NFL.Panki nd his team is really very good host.One should must go there with family.
Hey, Rajesh, I totally agree with you. Panki and his brother Ankit are such warm people. Both motivate and inspire you to connect with nature. Apart from handling everything very professionally they also teach you a lot.