Parvati valley in Kullu, is one of the most popular valleys of Kullu district. While Tirthan valley is fast gaining popularity amongst travelers. So what better time to compare Parvati valley vs Tirthan valley and help you decide.
Well in my opinion both are quite picturesque, but Tirthan valley is certainly still kind of untouched and unexplored. I’ve personally visited both and spent a lot of days exploring both the valleys.
Therefore, in this blog I am going to be comparing several aspects of Parvati and Tirthan valley like places to visit, ease of reach, options to stay, trekking options, internet connectivity to help you decide between Parvati Valley and Tirthan valley.
Parvati Valley Vs Tirthan Valley – 12 Important Points To Help You Choose !
So over the past 5 years, Parvati valley has been one of the top destinations in Himachal consistently. Incredible scenic vistas, pretty hiking trails, Enchanting forests, decent cafes, budget stays, free flow of hash and little to no police action are some of the reasons why tourist footfall has increased many folds over the years.
But if there is one valley in Kullu which is fast growing in terms of popularity, it has to be Tirthan. Thanks to it being less crowded, less commercialized, a lot of travelers are now looking beyond Parvati valley, particularly those who have an aversion for popular and crowded places.
I’ve personally visited both of them which is why I am going to compare them both and you can decide which one is suitable for you. Please note that Tirthan valley is a sub valley of Saraj and Banjar, Jibhi, Jalori Jot, Shoja, Bahu etc do not come under Tirthan.
Tirthan valleys starts from a few kms on Banjar-Gushaini road towards Gushaini with Gushaini being the main market of the region.
1. Parvati Valley Vs Tirthan Valley – Which is Easier To Reach
Both are not too difficult to reach in my opinion. Both Parvati and Tirthan valley are just few kms away from the main Chandigarh Manali Highway. So you do not have to go very remote like Spiti or Pangi.
To reach Parvati valley you get down at Bhuntar, one of the major towns in Kullu district and then an hour drive takes you to Kasol. Of course, Parvati valley starts much before Kasol itself.
To Reach Tirthan valley you get down down at Aut in Mandi district. And then another hours drive and you reach Gushaini, the major village in Tirthan valley. Of course, Banjar is the main town in the Saraj region but as I mentioned earlier its is not in Tirthan valley.
So it takes approximately 12 hours to reach Tirthan valley while it takes around 14 hours to reach Parvati valley from Delhi. Both are nearby the Kullu Airport in Bhuntar, in case anybody wants to fly in directly.
So for me its a tie. I’ve personally taken trips to both the valleys and personally I feel you might reach Tirthan valley quicker but the difference is just an hour or two.
2. Parvati Valley Or Tirthan Valley – Which Has Better Places to Visit
So this can be very subjective but thanks to my inclination towards lesser crowded places and rustic villages, my answer will always be Tirthan valley. After having visited both the valleys, I personally feel that Tirthan has a lot more to offer.
Places to visit in Parvati valley include Malana, Tosh, Kasol, Grahan, Rashol, Shila, Kheerganga, Kalga etc. Of course all of these places are very beautiful. But due to exponential increase in tourism in Parvati valley these places have lost their charm.
Places to visit in Tirthan valley include Sharchi, Gushaini, Bathad, Pehkri, Galingcha, Shilhi, Chipni, Bashleo Jot, Ropa, Rolla, Tindar, Kamela, Mashiyar. Places like these showcase the true beauty and culture of Himachal. Most of these places are still pristine and not affected by the perils of Tourism.
And yes I will not include Jibhi, Shoja, Kothi Chehni, Banjar, Jalori Jot, Serolsar lake, Bahu, etc in Tirthan because although near Tirthan, they belong to Banjar area in Saraj. By the way, here is a detailed blog on 16 beautiful alternatives to Kasol
3. Which One is Lesser Crowded and Kind of Unexplored – Parvati Valley Or Tirthan Valley
If you are like me who loves staying in rustic villages for days, exploring the lesser known places, knowing about the culture of region, then hands down Tirthan valley is the best.
Full of mystic meadows, rustic villages, pristine rivulets, towering pine forests, Tirthan valley is one of those places in Himachal where commercialization is still nowhere to be seen. So Tirthan valley for me needs to be rated above Parvati valley when it comes to offbeat places.
Although very picturesque, Parvati valley on the other hand has become overly commercialized. Even upper villages like Tosh or Kalga just speaks commercialization loudly. Of course, there are places like Grahan, Rahsol which require a hike, but even those have started to become too popular.
But there are places like Bhrain and many more which are still unheard of when it comes to unexplored places in Parvati valley. But as I said earlier, Tirthan valley is a clear winner here in my opinion. By the here are 47 insanely picturesque hidden places in Kullu.
4. Parvati Valley Vs Tirthan Valley – Which One Is Safer
So I am sure you know that most people visit Parvati valley just to smoke good quality hash and consume other drugs. Well, this is kind of stereotyping but there is truth to it as well. Due to this Parvati valley is in news for all the wrong reasons.
Also please not consumption and possession of Hash is banned in India and can attract a jail term if caught.
But even then Parvati valley is safe. Personally I feel, Tirthan valley is much more safe. Tirthan valley is rarely in news for the wrong reasons.
But relatively speaking both Parvati valley and Tirthan valley is quite safe. Locals in the both the valleys are quite amiable. But stay away from illegal stuff in Parvati valley and you should be good.
But In my personal opinion, Tirthan valley is just much more safer with the absence of peddlers, and Hash not being the center of attraction. By the way here is a detailed blog on how safe Kasol is for solo travelers
I have personally spent 11 days in Parvati valley and taken two trips to Tirthan valley. In both the valleys never felt unsafe at any point. But just the mesmerizing rustic setting of Tirthan and its amiable locals made me feel more safe.
5. Is Parvati Valley Better for Budget Travelers Or Tirthan Valley
For me Parvati valley is the clear winner in this department. Likes of Kasol, Tosh, Kalga etc makes for a good budget trip with inexpensive accommodation. Hostels are also widely available even in higher villages.
But the same cannot be said for Tirthan valley. The cheapest options you get to stay are in Banjar or Jibhi which are not even in Tirthan. Tirthan has more luxury cottages rather than budget hotels or hostels.
Gushaini is the only place where you might find budget accommodation. Otherwise the only option can be at homestays in slightly remote villages like Bathad, Sharchi, Tindar. Those places are not easy to reach despite of road connectivity as a budget traveler.
Parvati valley on the other hand has even good accommodation options even in the villages like Rashol and Grahan which are not connected by road. Thanks to Tourism being a major contributor to the economy of Parvati valley.
I am not implying that making a budget trip to Tirthan is impossible its just difficult and you need to have contacts. On the other hand, making a budget trip to Parvati valley is much more easy. By the way here is a detailed blog on how much does a kasol trip cost.
6. Which Has Better Stay of Options – Parvati Valley Versus Tirthan Valley
Now this really depends on what kind of stays you normally take on your trips. If we talk about budget stays then of course Parvati valley is a hands down winner here.
But when it comes luxurious and experiential stays Tirthan valley has some incredible properties which are far away from the hustle and bustle of a popular tourist place like Tosh or Kasol.
So it really depends on what kind of stays you are looking for and what kind of budget you have. Tirthan valley has more experiential and luxurious stays but less budget stays. While Parvati is more budget friendly with less luxury options.
Tirthan valley has no hostel at the moment the nearest one is in Banjar. While Kasol has plenty of such options. By the way here is a blog on where to stay in Kasol under 1000 INR. I am sure this will be quite helpful for those who are on a strict budget.
7. Is Parvati Valley A Better Trekking Destination Or Tirthan Valley
There is no clear winner here in my opinion here. Both Parvati and Tirthan valley are exceptional trekking destinations. Its just depends how do you like your treks with. Most of the treks in Parvati valley are run commercial trekking companies.
While Tirthan valley has numerous off the beaten treks where you’ll find no commercial trekking companies. So if you want complete isolation and wish to embark on some of most virgin trails in GHNP, I’ll recommend you to go Tirthan valley.
Famous treks of Parvati valley include Kheerganga, Sar Pass Trek, Mantalai lake, Pin-Parvati Pass, Rashol Pass, Dev Ropa, Waichin Valley, Chanderkhani pass, Animal Pass, Sara Umga La. Apart from a couple of them most of them are well known.
Famous treks in Tirthan valley include Tirath trek, Bashleo Jot trek, Bajaya Jot trek, Munna Top, Skirn Jot trek from Sharchi, Ranghthar Top, GHNP entry gate Rolla and beyond and many more such treks deep into Great Himalyan National Park (GHNP) where only a handful have ever ventured.
Just because of the flora and Fauna and off the beaten trails in Tirthan valley, I would choose it anyway over Parvati valley
8. Parvati Valley Vs Tirthan – Which Has Better Cafes
When it comes to cafes only Manali can beat Parvati valley. Due to high tourist footfall in Parvati valley, decent cafes serving lip smacking delicacies have come up in Kasol and Tosh in Parvati valley.
While Tirthan valley although becoming popular with each passing year still has a long way to in this department. There are no good cafes when it comes Tirthan and you’ll only find Dhabas here. Jibhi is the nearest place from Tirthan where in you have good cafes.
Popular cafes in Parvati valley include Evergreen Cafe, Bhoj Cafe, Jim Morisons Cafe, Panj Tara Cafe, Moon Dance Cafe, Little Italy. All these are in Kasol. Stone Edge Cafe, Pinki Didi Cafe, Pink Floyd, Boom Shiva Cafe are some of the famous cafes in Tosh. I’ve personally eaten at a few of them and the food was great.
As I said there are no popular cafes in Tirthan. So I’ll list out a few near Tirthan Jibhi. They Include Namastey Jibhi, Old School Cafe, Negis Place and a few more. I have been to a few and the food was quite decent.
9. Which is A Better Family Destination – Parvati Valley Or Tirthan Valley
Well Parvati valley is known to be a smokers paradise. Most of the people come to smoke high quality hash here with police authorities turning a blind eye to this banned substance in India.
So naturally families wont be comfortable with people casually consuming Hash quite overtly almost everywhere including public places, cafes etc in Parvati valley.
Tirthan valley has no such issues at all. In fact, Tirthan valley can be one of the great destinations away from the clamor of popular tourist places like Kasol or Tosh or Manali for families. With experiential stays available amidst such impeccable mid Himalayan landscapes, families would surely be able to spend some quality here.
So if you are family and planning to go somewhere offbeat, without any second thoughts head straight to this pristine valley. I am sure you will be mesmerized by the beauty of Tirthan. By the way check this blog out on 8 reasons why Kasol is not a family friendly Destination.
10. Which Is A Better Winter Destination – Parvati Valley Or Tirthan Valley
Both Tirthan and Parvati valley are equally perfect winter destinations. Both of them witness decent snowfall from the December to March. If you want to experience a white winter with snowfall, then both Parvati and Tirthan valley are excellent choices.
Both the valleys are accessible in winters barring a few days when there is heavy snow. And the best way to experience snowfall is to go to upper villages like Tosh or Kalga in Parvati or Bathad and Sharchi in Tirthan.
I personally have personally experienced both winters at Parvati and Tirthan valley and loved my time there. I was even able to witness a lot of snowfall on my Parvati valley trip which just was an insane experience to say the least.
By the way, here is a detailed on winter travel guide for Kasol, In case you are looking to explore Kasol in winters which by the way you really should.
11. Parvati Valley Vs Tirthan – In Terms Of Internet And Mobile Network
Both Tirthan and Parvati valley have decent internet connection. Jio and Airtel works fine in most part of the Parvati valley and Tirthan valley as well. In upper villages of Parvati valley like Tosh, Kalga, Malana Jio 4g works the best.
When it comes to Upper villages of Tirthan valley like Bathad or Sharchi Jio and Airtel 4g works extremely well. I’ve personally used the 4g internet in Bathand and it works great. Vodafone does not work at all in Tirthan valley.
Vodafone sort of works well in Parvati valley only in Kasol. Vodafone internet is just 2g in upper villages like Tosh and Malana. Plus there is only intermittent BSNL network in Rashol and Grahan and no network at all in Kheerganga.
But that being said most part of Tirthan and Parvati valley have high speed internet and only if you venture too remote in both the valleys you will lose the network. By the way here is a detailed blog on which is the best mobile network for Himachal.
12. Based on the Duration of Stay – Parvati Valley Versus Tirthan Valley
You can even stay for a month and not explore whole of Tirthan or Parvati valley. Alternatively you can make a day trip as well. So it all depends how much time you have.
But Ideally speaking, one should at least stay for a week no matter which matter you which valley you are visiting. There is a lots to see in both Tirthan and Parvati and it does not make sense to take a weekend or day trips unless you are very short and can’t help it.
My Parvati valley was 12 days long and even then I missed out on a certain places. I have visited Tirthan twice, and the second time around I ended up staying for 15 days in Falchan valley a sub valley of Tirthan in Kullu Saraj.
As I said even a month might not be enough if you want to explore each and every place both in Parvati and Tirthan valley.
To conclude, I hope that you now have a fair idea between Parvati valley and Tirthan valley. To sum it up, if you like lesser crowded and culturally rich places go for Tirthan valley. And If you like popular places with good tourism infrastructure go for Parvati valley.
In case you have any queries on Parvati valley vs Tirthan Valley, please drop them in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help you guys.