3 mins read
7 Things To Do In Shangarh
By Ruchi Joshi
17 Mar, 2023
Shangarh, nestled within the heart of Himachal Pradesh's Sainj Valley. A place so mesmerizing, it seems plucked from the realm of dreams, yet its existence is as real as the air you breathe. This hidden gem finds sanctuary within the embrace of the Great Himalayan National Park, an esteemed UNESCO World Heritage site. Cloaked in verdant splendor, this haven boasts dense forests that pulse with life, housing a kaleidoscope of flora and fauna. It is a landscape of pure wonder, a canvas painted with the footprints of trekkers, hikers, and wanderers seeking the thrill of uncharted paths.
In the embrace of the Sainj Valley, spanning an impressive 90 square kilometers, the Sainj River gracefully winds its way to join the Beas River. Along its gentle journey, it caresses sleepy towns, stands sentinel among towering deodar trees, and cradles lush pastures that are not just scenic marvels, but also vessels of local lore and mystique.
Shangarh's breathtaking skyline
7 Things To Do In Shangarh -
1. Traverse The Mysticism
Shangarh Valley, surrounded by flora (Picture - Unsplash)
Shrouded in a sense of calm, Shangarh has a tinge of mystic energy to it. If you get a chance to hold a conversation with the locals of Shangarh, you must ask them about the anecdotes from Mahabharata. It is believed that when the Pandavas were exiled and made to spend time in agyatvas (residing at a new place without anyone recognizing their real identity) they spent some time in Shangarh. They cleared the land off pebbles and stones to make it ready for farming. They toiled to produce crops during their stay. When Kauravas came to Shangarh in search of Pandavas, Shangchul Mahadev (the lord of Shangarh) made them return empty-handed and protected the Pandavas. Till date, it is considered that anyone who comes to Shangarh in search of refuge, Shangchul Mahadev protects them. Interesting, isn’t it?
2. Bow Down To Divinity
Shangarh's wonderfully designed Shangchul Mahadev temple (Picture - Unsplash)
Shangchul Mahadev is revered by the people of Shangarh and the villages around. The locals considered him the lord and saviour of the town. The Sangchul Mahadev Temple is 10/10 recommended for visiting. The minutely intricate design and architecture and wood carvings are beautiful beyond words. The fine-tuned finishing and craftsmanship are applause-worthy. There are so many equally beautiful and peaceful temples across the town and one of them is Manu Rishi Temple near Shangarh. Check these holy places as reconnecting with yourself is one of the best things to do in Shangarh.
3. Jaunt Into History
Raila Fort, a time-tested monument near Shangarh (Picture - Unsplash)
Raila is another village near Shangarh which is popular amongst travellers for Raila Fort. It was constructed by the erstwhile king or ruler of Raila. The twin towers are one of the highest points in the village, ensuring to be a vantage point for the soldiers and guards in the ancient times. During your visit, you'll discover the best view of the Sainj valley from the watchtowers of the fort. If you are someone with a keen interest in archaeology, history and architecture then the small and cramped rooms and hallways will pique your interest even more.
4. Recce The Falls
Raila waterfall cascading amidst the green surroundings (Picture - Unsplash)
After half a kilometre hike from Raila Fort you will find yourself under the Raila waterfall. This hidden gem is the perfect spot for some adventure and fun times. Even more spectacular is the Barshangarh waterfall. It is surrounded by a dense layer of greenery and is aesthetically placed. The narrow stream of the falls gushes down as you sit by the rocks or bathe under it. While you’re here, the most melodious music of the jungle and birds encapsulate you into a whole different world. Just a friendly tip for you to wear your trekking shoes and socks as a hike through the rocky terrain will be more comfortable and convenient.
5. Easy On The Eyes Greenery
Shangarh's rolling greenscape against a clear sky (Picture - Unsplash)
The reason why you should take the much-needed trip to Shangarh is for resting your eyes, mind and soul among the green heaven of meadows here. Away from the usual hustle and bustle, Shangarh will take you on a journey of self-discovery. The wide open sky and the Himalayan ranges work as the backdrop on your stroll past the lush green meadows, letting the gentle caress of the grass heal your fatigue. But make sure that you maintain the sanctum sanctorum of the meadows at all the places that you visit in Shangarh as they hold a special place for the locals. Avoid using any kind of intoxicants or littering to show your respect for the people here. When you visit, it is one of the most important things to do in Shangarh.
6. Detoxifying Diversions
A traditional rally by the locals of Himachal Pradesh (Picture - Unsplash)
One of the things to do in Shangarh is to take a detour and plan a visit to the nearby villages and spots like Maidana and Tandi. Explore the authentic Himachali cuisine, culture and traditions during your visit to these small villages. The lovely people here are super friendly and you will take some cool and interesting stories back with you. They will most likely narrate historical and mythological anecdotes from the past. The simple lifestyle that the locals of Shangarh live is fascinating to experience. On the other hand, you can trek down to the famous Tirthan valley and enjoy all the thrilling treks from there.
7. Meander Into The Eco-zone
The Great Himalayan National Park's vibrant blooms (Picture - Unsplash)
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can explore while on your trip to Shangarh. This eco-zone has a wide variety of wildlife thriving in its natural habitat, from sweet chirping birds to rare plants and wild animals. The rich flora and fauna are mesmerizing, to say the least. You can even enrol yourself for trekking expeditions inside the Great Himalayan National Park (you will need a permit for that from the authorities). We can arrange for a guided all-inclusive trek for you in the National Park so that you can easily sail through the wonders of nature. The friendly staff at our hostel’s front desk are always eager to answer all your questions.
How To Reach:
By air: The closest airport to Shangarh is the Kullu Airport at approximately 47 km. You can get a bus or hire a cab for the further commute.
By train: The closest railway station is Joginder Nagar Railway Station. It is approximately 120 km away so you can opt for a bus or taxi for the second part of the journey.
By bus: Firstly, you will have to reach Aut for which you can take any bus going towards Kullu, Kasol and Manali. Once you reach Aut get the bus for Sainj and from there you will have to take the 4:00 pm bus to Shangarh (that's the only bus from Sainj to Shangarh).
By car: If you are taking your own vehicle or hiring a cab, it will be a more comfortable ride. There are two options. You can either choose the way via Shimla or Kiratpur.
The Hosteller Shangarh
The serene look of The Hosteller Shangarh among Himachal's evergreen forests
Located right inside the Great Himalayan National Park, our cosy property has a wooden Himachali aesthetic mingled with modern amenities. With 3 dorms and 3 private rooms that have valley views, a cafe, free WiFi and many common areas including a garden and games area, The Hosteller Shangarh is a home away from home. Work in our cafe or socialize with fellow travellers and backpackers, we assure you of a good time.
Address: Khata Khatoni No. 39/42, Shangarh, Tehsil: Sainj, Kullu (HP) 175134, Shangarh