8 Things one must do in Shangarh
Shangarh is one of the most beautiful place in core of GNHP (Great Himalayan National Park), one can visit here to relax, explore and enjoy the hidden wonders of nature
Published on 16.01.2022 02:52 PM

Have you heard about this tranquil Shangarh village before? Shangarh is situated in Sainj valley in district Kullu at the core of GNHP (Great Himalayan National Park) an UNESCO world heritage site 57 km away from Kullu airport.

Why it is special? GNHP is the biggest national park of India spread across 1171 sq Km area, divided into ecozone and protected zone acting as habitat to numerous flora and more than 375 fauna species, including approximately 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks, and 127 insects. You can easily spot the peaks of Pin Parvati and Spiti from this village with the surreal view of the meadow. Generally, meadows are located above 3000 meters but here in Chandigarh, it is situated at 2000 meters.

Brief History of Shangarh -Locals say, during Mahabharata times, Pandavas came here during their abandonment period and made the meadows by purifying the soil to cultivate rice. After the Pandavas left, demons settled in this place and who were said to be destroyed by Shangchul Mahadev from Kinnaur who henceforth owns the meadow on paper and settled in a classical Himalayan wooden temple which is now surrounded by local houses.

Here is the list of things one must do while visiting Shangarh -

1) Visit Shangarh Meadow

As the village was created around "the meadows", it is the most iconic and photogenic place of the village, surrounded by majestic mountains of pin Parvati pass. There are few restricted places in the meadows one must take care of and respect the spiritual and serene aura of the place. On one end of the meadow is a temple of  Shangchul Mahadev. To reach the place follow the Sainj-Shangarh road just in the entry for the village there is a wooden gate and a 50-meter walk leading to a captivating view of the place. Nearby the meadows in the entry there are a few shops selling local handicrafts and snacks.

Picture clicked by Raman Nagpal

                                                                                                                               (Shangarh Meadow)

2) Barshangarh Waterfall

Barshangarh Waterfalls. It is a 3 km drive from Shangarh, during winters a 4X4 vehicle is preferred. From the parking point, it's a 300m easy hike. These waterfalls are a gratifying thrill on this scenic terrain. Through the hike, you can see the thriving jungle and listen to the gushing water and chirping of the birds. The hike is revitalizing and the final view takes the energy levels a notch higher. Snow white water running down the cliff through the jungle is a view to cherish.

3) Raila Fort and Raila Waterfall

Visit Raila village The village of Raila is the village from where you can gaze at the entire Sainj valley. Standing high at the top of the village are the famous twin towers earlier used as watchtowers by the forces of the reigning king. The towers are a 30 km drive ( 1.5hours) from Shangarh and during the drive back you can enjoy spectacular views of the valley and Raila waterfalls which is another breathtaking place. From the parking point, this waterfall is a kilometer hike and you do need to cross a small stream to reach the most picture-perfect point so, do wear waterproof shoes to enjoy your drive back because no one likes wet socks. 

Picture of Raila fort in good sunny Day

                                                                                                        (Twin towers of Rails Picture Credit @Raman Lakhanpal)


(Raila Waterfall)

4) Enjoy the Sunrise and Sunset of Shangarh

Witness iconic sunrise and sunset. A sunrise is one of the most majestic spectacles we can ever witness. Its beauty is a powerful force, one capable of imparting its warmth on the most hardened of souls. It inspires, it energizes, it renews, it gives hope. Just 800m from the main village you can hike towards No society cafe to get the best of both worlds, enjoy warming sunrise and soothing sunsets from the top of the village. Google map is not very precise about the hike so either use your geographic sense or reach out to the staff of the cafe.

Sunrise shot as taken from No Society Shangarh

5) Stroll Through The Village-

Shangarh is surrounded by small villages namely Tandi and Barshangarh, Maidana. These villages have houses built in traditional kulluvi design and are surrounded by apple orchards, people here have an agriculture-based mountain life and you will be perplexed by the sites strolling through these villages. People are very accommodating and you can easily get into a conversation regarding the history of the place or get to know the local mythological tales and trust me there are many.

6) Indulge in bird watching-

As shangarh is located in the Great Himalayan National Park it hosts 131 different species of birds. Birds like Monal, Jujurana are rare to spot but are truly a delight to witness. Within the Great Himalayan National Park, birds such as yellow-bellied Fantails, Wallcreepers, White-collared, and Grey-winged blackbirds become common at the lowest altitudes in winters. Blue magpie, Ravens, and Long-tailed Minivets are native to the village shangarh and can easily be spotted from a high point in the village during early morning hours. To elevate your bird watching skills visit the official GHNP site(https://greathimalayannationalpark.com/birds/)

7) Explore nearby treks -

Shangarh is the starting point to many picturesque treks. Jangaon Thach is a 4-5 hours hike with an easy to moderate difficulty level, it starts from No Society Cafe and guides are available from the cafe. Trek to Thini Thatch is an Over-Night easy to moderate difficulty trek. Thini is another meadow and provides a lush green terrain surrounded by snow-covered peaks. Another nearby hike is to the famous Pundrik Lake which is a 10 Kms drive from Shangarh and another kilometer hike and it leads to a lake in the middle of a meadow.

8) Visit Local Temples-

As the whole valley has a history related to Mahabharata, so there are many locals temples situated nearby Shangarh. Most famous is the temple of Shangchul Mahadev located in the Village near the meadows. Another famous temple is the Manu temple in Shanshar village which is an hour's drive from Shangarh. In addition, the temple showing astounding wood craftsmanship is the twin towers, in the village of Raila. If you are a true explorer taking your car to all the nearby villages will satisfy your desire to experience the True Himachali Village Life.



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Shangarh Himachal Pradesh

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