Overlooking the Tirthan valley, just front of the Great Himalayan National Park, perched on the edge of a forest covered mountain, the homestay is a haven of peace, in a unique environment.
Build in local stones in the middle of apple orchards we are a real homestay with only two comfortable bedrooms for our guests. We are like your family, not like your staff. You stay with us to share a bit of our Himalayan life!
Local Dost - Stephan MarchalStephan Marchal is a Belgian married to Hema from Tirthan Valley and has a beautiful daughter, Janisha. Stephan has been working in India for several years with a motto to nurture ecosystemic development paths by re-empowering local people and reviving indigenous culture in rural areas of India. Aware of that fact, while shifting to the state of Himachal Pradesh, he decided to develop a Social Enterprise model in order to continue working for his motto but in an environmental and economic sustainable way. He is doing it with the community living in the buffer zone of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) and organizes various family and adventure trips.
This homestay with two double rooms available for our guests. The beds are king size and can then accommodate a child with his/her parents. A single extra bed can be arranged in the rooms. Bathrooms are attached to the bedrooms.
The house is build in stones and the interior work has been done with wood and cob. This ensures a very sane and pleasant atmosphere inside.
You have free access to the dining room, the living room, the wooden balcony and the organic garden. You can also enjoy our rich books library, our board games, our Spanish guitar and our digital piano.
We are proud to say that this homestay has no AC (not required) and no television (just watch from the window to see the living nature).
You can engage in the following activities to get the most out of the place and live it like a local.
Camping in the wild – Along with trekking, camping in the wild is one of our favorite activities. Your local dost staff will take you to selected places in the wild with great views of the Himalayas. We have riverside and scenic hill top options.
Local Food – Relish the local specialities of the valley : Siddu, a kind of giant momo, Trout fish, Mutton in soup, fresh fruits like apple, apricots, plums, pears and peaches, Rajma with desi ghee. Great perks of staying with a local family.
What-a-fall Trekking – This one hour trek near Nagini takes you to a hidden waterfall which has some crazy visuals – a milky white waterfall with a pitch black backdrop and glimmering green all around. No visual can be so refreshing than this. Get immersed in Nature and you just wouldn’t want to return from here.
Jalori Pass & Serolsar Lake Trekking – Jalori pass is an adventurous place to visit because it takes you from the low altitude riverside (1500 m) to higher levels (3200 m). The way to the pass is very scenic and goes through dense forest of Himalayan Cedar (Devdar) and Golden Oaks. Jalori receives heavy snow during winters making it a good snow spot. From Jalori, one can take 5-6 kms of beautiful trail to one of the ancient lakes of Kullu, Serolsar.
Chehni Kothi Trekking– It is a medieval watchtower, built for unknown reason a couple of century before. It is made of stone and wood, without concrete, and yet it has resisted the most powerful earthquake that happen in the Himalayas. The one hour trek to this surrealistic place is beautiful Himalayan villages and one can enjoy some breath-taking views from the top.
Engaging in Vibrant Local Festivals – The most important festivals of India are celebrated in the Tirthan valley. But the valley, know as the valley of the gods, has also its own folklore. The most famous of them are: Faguli – the festival of the masks (Feb), Holi, Kullu Dussehra, etc.
Trout Angling/Fishing – The Tirthan river is well known for its delicious small trout fish. First-timers or experienced anglers simply love fishing in the mountainous environment of the Tirthan valley. We can provide the fishing rods and an instructor to help you learning the best technique. A fishing permit valid for one day has to be obtained form the local administration. Your local dost will do that for you, don’t worry.
Experience Snow – Going to see and experience the snow is always a delightful experience. If you are based in the Tirthan valley in winter you will have the opportunity to easily go to places covered by snow.
Stargazing – There are no better places on this planet to observe to stary sky than the Himalayas. Experience the celestial magic from the telescope in our homestay.
Shringa Rishi Temple – Hinduism has so much its roots here that many local Rishi have turned into Devta after they passed awayh. And so, the local people have an unalterable faith into their local gods who all reside in different temples. Visiting these temples are a perfect occasion to sit with the locals and ask them to tell you the story about particular gods.
Bird-watching – The Great Himalayan National Park and its ecozone in the Tirthan valley are home to hundreds of bird species.
The endangered Western Tragopan is the flagship of the birdlife in the area. Our naturalist guides can take you to selected places known as habitat for specific bird species.
Sainj Valley – Another hidden paradise of the eco-zone of GHNP. It’s a huge meadow surrounded by mountains and friendly locals with very few visitors and less commercialisation, thus making it a pristine beauty. A 2 hrs drive from Tirthan Valley can bring you to this unexplored hamlet. A great place to relax, rejuvenate, picnic and explore.
The following are the measures that the local dost has adopted to ensure tourism does not impact the place and boost Responsible Tourism.
100% local staff – Empowering rural and local lives by giving them the opportunity to host travellers and earn a living directly. Over 50 local families are being directly benefited from the tourism activities.
Organic and local food – Relish the authentic cuisine which is made of fresh farm-picked ingredients to ensure healthy living.
Green Building – Accommodation is made from locally sourced materials, such as stones, wood, mud and slate and represents the traditional architecture of the place. Naturally insulated on the roof to protect from winters. Underground pipe for air flow. This ensures minimum impact to the environment.
Solar Panels – The complete heating of water is done using solar energy ensuring use of only renewable energy and protecting the non-renewable sources for generations to come.
Energy Efficient Lights – Accommodation is equipped with energy efficient lights to ensure minimum load on the power grid.
Waste Management – One needs to dispose plastic in the dustbins available in the premises and need to take back the waste in case of bulk plastic waste. Bio-waste is taken care by the local dost for the purpose of farming and feeding animals.
Supporting Local NGOs – One can engage in various local volunteering projects through Himalayan Ecotourism Society that the local dost supports, such as organic farming, technical education, women empowerment, etc. in exchange of lodging and experience. Travellers must contact us beforehand for Voluntourism as projects keep varying time to time. Over 65 villagers have been empowered through Himalayan Ecotourism Society.
How To Reach:
Private Vehicle – Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh is 520 kms from Delhi. One must take the Manali highway (Bilaspur – Sundernagar – Mandi). After Mandi, take a right-turn just before the Aut Tunnel towards Banjar. After crossing Banjar on the way to Jalori pass you will need to drive 4 km and then take a left turn on the way to Shringa Rishi (sign). You can’t miss it, there is only one and it is a “pakka” road. After 4 km again, the road ends, you have reached. You can park your car and we will help carry your luggage to the house which is 150 meters away from the road.
Public Transport – Catch an overnight Volvo for Manali and get down at the Aut tunnel. Catch a local taxi for our place, we will guide you.
Weather Condition – Tirthan Valley can be visited throughout the year but expect heavy rains during July-August. It’s a great Summer and Winter (snow) destination.
Best for – Couples who are just done with crowded touristy places like Shimla and Manali, Tirthan is a great offbeat alternative with seclusion and lot of things to do. Families and group of friends looking for a perfect long-weekend getaway. Have the entire homestay to yourself and be a part of our family.
Stay: This being a homestay, you feel no different than you were in your own home. The host and his family reside in the same homestay and they are really warm, and will be at your disposal to make you feel comfortable. So, be like our family and not just guests.
Responsible Tourism Features/Tips: “Keep the place as you wish to see when you come back”