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Shangarh, Himachal Pradesh Overview

Sainj Valley, also known as Shangarh, is an offbeat place located 45km from Kullu in Himachal. Sainj is the perfect place to meet travellers and interact with the locals. It is ideal for trekkers and nature lovers. With breathtaking views and stunning meadows, the charm of Shangarh lies in its remoteness. The weather here remains pleasant throughout the year.

Sainj Valley lies along the Sainj River (a tributary of Beas) in the lower areas of the Great Himalayan National Park. All the villages in the valley are thus protected under Wildlife Protection Act. There are a lot of trekking routes from Sainj ranging from day treks to longer 10-day treks. The locals are warm and welcoming and offer cosy homestays with delicious local cuisine.

Places to Visit in Sainj Valley

1. Shangchul Mahadev Temple

Located in Shangarh, Shangchul Mahadev Temple sits majestically on an expansive meadow. The main temple was gutted in a fire in 1998 but was soon restored by the villagers. The multi-storeyed building (Read More) with intricate wooden carvings is a sight to marvel at. Smaller temples are scattered all around the place, with many mythological stories woven around them.

2. Pundrik Rishi Lake

The lake remains dry today, yet, it is a good place to visit if you have time. The place is filled with countless beliefs and stories. One is not supposed to touch the water here. If you happen to vis (Read More)it the place, do ask the locals about the origin of the lake.

3. Shenshar

A village located at a distance of 10-15 km from Neahi. It shelters the most-talked-about Manu Temple. There are also others, including Ashapuri and Budha Narayan. These temples, built of stone and wo (Read More)oden structures and having a gabled roof, reflect the art and architecture.

4. Manu Temple

The Manu Temple, believed to be hundreds of years old, is built in Pagoda style. There is one more temple dedicated to Manu at Talyara village, which opens up to a view of the far-reaching valley and (Read More)mountains of the GHNP.

5. Dehuri

Also known as Deori, this is a scenic spot with little settlements. The road to Dehuri passes through forests and terrace corn fields which adds to its beauty. It can be reached through a hike. Altern (Read More)atively, buses are also available from Sainj valley.

6. Raktisar Trek

Starting at Neuli, this riverside trek goes up to Raktisar, the place where the river Sainj originates. It will take 7 days to cover the 92 km path. The best time to trek here is April-June or October (Read More) and November.

7. Tirthan Trek

The trekking route from Sainj Valley to Tirthan Valley passes through dense forests and streams. One may get to find a lot of walnut trees. Be on the lookout for medicinal plants too. The trek takes a (Read More)round 8-9 days. This trek is only for seasonal trekkers.

8. Jiwa Nala Trek

This path takes one amidst dense forests and lakes, with overarching views of the Himalayan mountains. One will come across two passes, Kandi Galu at 3,700 metres and Phangchi Galu at 4,700 metres. Th (Read More)is trek also takes around 9 days. Note: A permit is required to undertake this trek. You can get the permits from the GHNP office at Sainj village.

9. Lapah-Shumga Trek

This trek by far is the most difficult one as it takes one to the highest altitude at 12,500 ft. The sceneries range from meadows to jungles to open landscapes with mountains bordering along. Beginnin (Read More)g at Shangarh, there is a defined trail up to Lapah, where one can set up camps. From here, the path leads one into thickets before arriving at Shumga.

Photos of Shangarh

Shangarh

Read More on Shangarh

How to Reach Sainj Valley

There are two routes to reach Sainj - Shimla route through Jalori Pass or Delhi Manali Highway. If travelling by bus, opt for HPTDC buses from Delhi to Manali and get down at Bhuntar. The Atal Tunnel leads to Aut village from where buses are available to Sainj. A taxi from Aut to Sainj Valley is also available for around INR 500-800.

It is not recommended to travel to Sainj Valley by air or train as the nearest airport and railway station are more than 200km away.

Tips

  • Avoid visiting Shangarh in monsoon from July to August as landslides and flash floods are common during the time
  • A trip to Sainj Valley can be combined with Tirthan Valley and Banjar Valley located nearby
  • There are a few decent places to stay at Sainj. One is Forest Rest House Ropa, located on the banks of the river Sainj and a forest guest house at Lapah. Other than these, there are homestays and camping options
  • The lower villages of Sainj Valley have intermittent phone connectivity. Limited or no phone network is available beyond Shangarh, Dehuri, and Upper Neahi
  • The nearest petrol pump from Sainj is located 25km away
  • There is one HDFC ATM in Sainj Valley

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