Himachal Pradesh is a place full of different stories and happenings all the time. Also, the variation in geography of the mountains, culture, and food in different places is worth seeing. There are places like Shimla and Manali for people to get a glimpse of the mountains while enjoying a stroll in the market, Spiti for people to experience a different landscape of mountains altogether and Dharamsala for people to experience the monastic life and monasteries. Also, there a lot of places which are untouched by the tourists. Tirthan Valley is one such place in Himachal which offers spectacular beauty along with all the peace you need when you are in mountains.
Tirthan Valley is located at about 65 kms from Mandi which is quite a popular place in Himachal. You can get a bus to Tirthan from Mandi and Aut tunnel as well as you can go for private taxis. I was unaware of the place when traveling solo last year. A local in Manali told me about Tirthan and I decided to give it a visit.
I started off my journey from Manali to Tirthan. After a 4 hour bus ride, I finally reached a village called Gushaini. And the landscape itself blew me away. Small wooden houses perched on hills covered by forests and the beautiful Tirthan River flowing by. And the best part about the place was its less popularity. So naturally, the whole valley is still pristine and peaceful.
I searched for a place to stay for about an hour before ending up meeting a local guy from Gushaini. He offered me to visit his tea stall and have a tea. I was surprised at the hospitality of the people here and I happily agreed. While having a cup of nice ginger tea, he asked me if I was looking for a place to stay and he has a room if I want. I did not think twice and went out to see the room.
The room was pretty good and near the river. I asked him about the price and he said 150 for a night and I was shocked. It made me happy that I had to spend less money on stay because I was on budget but it struck a question in my mind about how can people here actually quote such a small amount for the room. And so without hesitating, I asked him the same question to which he gave a beautiful reply that I will remember for my entire life. He said,’ Most of Himachal does not run principally on money but love. It’s our love for people who come visit our home and also, what we earn from taking the minimum amount from you people is enough to fill the stomach of my family.’ And I was sitting there stunned and surprised listening to him. It changed my perspective on how life should be more love oriented than money.
I went out that evening for a walk near the river to give this all a thought. And I just sat there on the banks while the river flowed in absolute beauty through the valley. Appreciatong the sunset, I returned back to the place for the dinner. The same guy who gave me the place to stay had prepared amazing dinner for me. We sat for an hour while having dinner together along with endless conversations. Sitting in a village far away from my home with a stranger and listening to his stories was real luxury for me. I bid him good night and went to sleep and that night I surely slept well with all that I had seen and experienced.
By Aashish Pawgi