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Itinerary: Four Days in Tirthan Valley

Trip details:

I'm going to be in New Delhi on a business trip in late May. I would love to escape to the Himalayas for about 4 days (not including travel time) but am clueless where to go. I'm travelling alone, budget is not a major concern, I'm 34 and fairly fit and active. I would like to visit a place that's not too touristy and offers some glimpse into local culture. Having activities to take on everyday would be nice (I'm not big on relaxing holidays). Would prefer to keep travel times to a minimum (places that can be reached by air from New Delhi would be best). Look forward to your advice. Thanks.

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Day One:

Met on arrival at Bhuntar (Kullu Airport) & driven to Goshaini village in the Valley. Check into one of select home stays. Angle or ramble beside the Tirthan River; visit Banjaar fair if dates coincide with your visit.


Goshaini Village

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Day Two:

Commence trek into GHNP from Goshaini to Rolla (2100m). Overnight here (roughly five hours of trekking).


Great Himalayan National Park

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Day Three:

Another five odd hours trek from Rolla to Shilt Thatch (3300m); overnight, with a possibility of sighting the Western Tragopan.


Western Tragopan

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Day Four:

Trek to Rakhundi Top (4200m) and back to Shilt Thatch; overnight. This could be the lucky day with an actual sighting of the elusive and colourful pheasant.

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Day Five:

Trek back to Goshaini. 

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1   2  
Hi By Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu
Replies (+)

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hi Bryan,

Regret the delay in response as am on a (well-deserved) vacation till the end of Jan! I look forward to planning your trip on my return. Hope that's okay with you? 

Cheers, Puneet

Bryan C wrote:  

Hmm, end of Jan ... well, ok. I'd like to get a rough idea of where to go before that if possible and we can get into detailed plans later as well. Is that doable?

Bryan

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Sure, that can be done. Let me run options on destinations/related activities by you by, say, the 20th?

Bryan C wrote:  

Sounds good. Will look forward to them.

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hi Bryan,

May I suggest a quick getaway to the Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh, with a 2-3day trek into India's youngest Park, the Great Himalayan National Park? You could fly into Kullu airport (a two-hour run from there) and road trip the remainder. In May the place will also witness a local fair that can introduce you to much local flavour.

Alternately, from Kullu, an hour away in the opposite direction is Manali, a beautiful riverside hill-station that offers plenty of adventure: rafting, para-gliding, et al. I should warn you though that the latter gets supremely touristy due summer vacation in schools. Still there are pockets of solitude like The Himalayan Spa & Resort.

Cheers, Puneet

Bryan C wrote:  

Tirthan Valley and the trek into the National Park sounds amazing. Let's plan that one once you're back from your vacation?

PS: Do you have a date for when I should get back in touch to get this thing going?

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Great choice. Am afraid will be unable to give a date, but I'll be in touch towards the very end of the month, and we can take it from there. Cheers.

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hi Bryan, 

Take a look at the day-by-day plan under Itinerary and let me know what you think. This trek can be cut down by one day, if need be.

Cheers, Puneet

Bryan C wrote:  

Hi Puneet,

The plan looks good, but I'll have only 4 days so lets cut down the trek by a day. Also let me know the places where I'll need to do bookings in advance - home stays, trekking guides, transport, etc.

Cheers,

Byran

Bryan C wrote:  

Hi Puneetinder - I am presently in Bali and will not have good internet access for the following 3 days. Meanwhile, I would appreciate it if you let me know the places wherever i need to do bookings so I will get on that once I'm back in LA.

Bryan

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hi Bryan,

We can shave off the day trek to Rakhandi Top, in that case.

Here's a URL for Sunshine Himalayan Adventures, the outfit that leads treks into the GHNP. They will be able to offer you a suitable package that includes pick-up/drop to Kullu airport:  http://ankitsood.wix.com/sunshinehimalayanadventures#!page-8

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

For home stay, I would recommend Raju's Cottage. You can find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rajus-Cottage/206648742685574?id=206648742685574&sk=info; followed by Whitestone Cottages (not a homestay): https://www.facebook.com/WhitestoneCottages?ref=stream. Another home stay, in a neighbouring village you could consider is Khem Bharti Home Stay: https://www.facebook.com/HotelTroutValley. Cheers! 


Few more questions By Bryan C
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Bryan C wrote:  

Hi Puneetinder,

Just returned from Bali and still jetlagged - which is great coz I get some time to plan my trip :) The homestays look impressive. I am going to opt for one of them for sure. Just a few additional questions:

1. How does it work with the outfitters? Do they do fixed-departure treks or can i have one specifically done for me? I have not contacted them yet - simply trying to get an idea of how this works.

2. While I am on the trek, will I need to still keep a room at the homestay? I will not have a lot of baggage as i will be able to leave most of my stuff at my hotel in New Delhi.

3. Any packing tips for what I ought to carry with me?

Thanks,

Bryan

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hi Bryan,

Trust you had fun in Bali!

In response to your queries:

1. I believe they do customise (to an extent) and will be able to accommodate your plans.

2. No, you don't have to. But do confirm bookings for the days you want as it is high season there. 

3. Trekking gear, flashlight, mainly cotton clothes with light woollens, windbreakers, sunglasses, sunscreen, prescribed medicines. You could also check with Sunshine Adventures for their checklist.

Happy planning!

PS: I am hitting the road intermittently for a couple of weeks and will be offline mostly. Will attend to your queries as and when I stab the internet. Cheers!

Bryan C wrote:  

Thanks so much. I think I have all the information I need right now. The dates for my business trip are in flux so I'll wait to make the final bookings till that settles down. Maybe I'll go in June? Is that still a good time to go here?

Bryan

Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu wrote:  

Hey. Yes, June should be fine, too. Just gets busier due vacations, so booking in advance would be an imperative.

Cheers!


Home stays:

I would recommend one of these:


Raju's Cottage. You can find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rajus-Cottage/206648742685574 


followed by Whitestone Cottages (not a homestay): https://www.facebook.com/WhitestoneCottages


Another home stay, in a neighbouring village you could consider is Khem Bharti Home Stayhttps://www.facebook.com/HotelTroutValley.

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Impressive

I'm thoroughly impressed with Puneetinder's trip planning service. She gave me some really good options and all of her recommended places seem amazing.

My trip plans aren't final so I'm leaving a review before my actual trip. I'm totally looking forward to it and hope I make it to Himachal Pradesh this year. It will happen sooner or later though.

I'm taking off one star though since there were a few delays in getting started and otherwise. It was fine for me since my trip was far out but if you're in a hurry you may want to check her availability first.

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