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Everything you need to know about Shangarh

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Dear Delhiites and other friends in North India, if you’re looking for a long weekend escape somewhere serene, then Shangarh might just be what you need! Ahead of Kullu lies the Sainj Vlley and within its green stretches is its one true gem, Shangarh.

How to reach: Catch a bus to Aut and from there catch another bus to Shangarh.

Tip: The frequency of buses to Shangarh is very limited, so, make sure to contact locals and check that in advance.

shangarh
Source: https://sandeepachetan.com/exploring-shangarh-sainj-valley/

I know I shouldn’t crack this lame joke but it’s too late, let’s just say that Shangarh brings the “shaan” in Sainj. Ermm. Well, it’s true! The small village of Shangarh is a hamlet of green stretched out in the hills. Himachal Pradesh can never cease to amaze us with its many wonders. While you may find similar landscapes, the charm of Shangarh is in how relatively untouched it is.

Leave behind the last of the crowds in the main town of Sainj, hop onto a tiny sumo or local jeep and make the climb to enter the destination village. As your drive picks up height, the valley below makes for the sort of sight that asks you to pull out your favourite playlist of soft music and just gaze into the mountains resembling a canopy made from every shade of brown and green in a tailor’s thread box.

Another factor that comes in with a place so remote is that you cannot really expect big hotels and cafes here. Think homestays and warm khichdi prepared by the even warmer host. Think close knit community. Think peace and quiet. And if thinking about all that brings you a smile, then you should get on that bus as soon as you can.

This village is in the buffer zone of the Great Himalayan National Park. While the national park is known for a number of treks, you can even take small hikes from around Shangarh. The locals are gradualy learning of the growing scope of tourism around here and are eager to help out. You can take short hikes around to different points and catch a view of the distant yet near snow-clad peaks. Take a hike to the nearby Lapah village. It’s a simple 3 hours long comfortable hike offering you vistas of the mountain top neighbours of this valley.

sainj valley
Source: https://sandeepachetan.com/exploring-shangarh-sainj-valley/

Devote a good part of your day to simply explore the Shangarh meadows. The stretch of trees will leave you having deodar scented dreams. If you can’t remember the last time you went for a picnic then let me tell you that the time is now! Grab some snacks, a book and laze in the lap of the meadows.

Here you will also find the Shangchul Mahadev Temple where you can go pay your respects. Meanwhile, an interesting aspect of these meadows is that it is believed that the Gods and shepherds and farmers had entered into arguments over it in the ancient times. The shepherds and farmers would leave their sheep and cattle to roam around and graze freely. Since the gods too used this land, they were offended by this act. A truce is said to have been brought in with the intervention of the Pandavas who placed rocks in the middle of the meadows. These rocks were a demarcation for both sets of beings. However, the folklore and the Pandavas are held in such high regard that till date the locals do not conduct any kind of camping here, even though it would be profitable. Their reverence has ensured the maintenance of the sanctity of this place.

These hamlets are actually home to a number of temples.

The lower temple had to be rebuilt after getting burnt in an unfortunate fire. The construction of 1998 thus makes it stand strong and replete in its grandeur.

For a slice of the simple life, visit Shangarh and soak in all of its serenity.

Read about Sethan Valley here, an offbeat place in Himachal!

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