Shangarh – 8 Important things you need to know before exploring

Shangarh
The beautiful Shangarh in April

Shangarh, Sainj Valley, a few years back, not many must have heard about this hamlet in Himachal Pradesh. But recently, it has become one of the best offbeat locations in Himachal Pradesh, thanks to Zostel opening up a few years back.

It is a quaint little hamlet in the Sainj Valley about 100 kms (3-4hours driving) from Manali, with very few homestays and hostels compared to other places in Himachal Pradesh.

How to get there

The best option is always to come via an overnight bus from Delhi or Chandigarh and get down at Aut (get down at the Aut bus stop & not before the Aut tunnel), which takes about 12 hours to reach. After getting down at Aut, there are three options: 

  • Take a direct cab from Aut to Shangarh (approximately an hour to 1.5 hours). However, it is an easier option but an expensive one. The fare can vary anyway between INR 1500 – INR 2000.
  • The 2nd cheaper option is to take another local bus from Aut to Sainj & take another cab from Sainj to Shangarh. The local bus costs around INR 50 & a cab from Sainj costs anywhere between INR 700 – INR 900.
  • The cheapest option is to take a bus from Aut, get down at Sainj & wait for another bus that takes you to Shangarh from Sainj. (Do note: There’s just one bus from Sainj in the evening, around 4:00 PM). So this option only makes sense if you reach there around evening.)

You can also drive down from Delhi & Chandigarh, take the left turn on the exit before the Aut tunnel. The left turn takes you to Sainj valley & the right turn takes you to Tirthan valley.

Where to stay

Zostel: This is probably one of the best properties and gives you the best view of the entire valley. The place has dorm and private rooms (different types of rooms, from standard rooms to more premium mudwall rooms).

The price range varies from INR 600 – to INR 5000 depending on the season and the type of accommodation you choose.

A particular recommendation: If you are travelling in a group or as a couple, try and get room no. 301 for the standard mudwall room. It has the best view of the valley & has the best spot to stargaze. Visit the website.

House of stories: This property is run by a traveller and has a lively vibe. The place is secluded, and if you are someone who wants to be away from the main village area, this property is for you. Visit their Instagram profile for more information.

The hosteller: They have recently opened up the property and lies around 5 mins walk from the Zostel. It also offers a great view of the valley and is a good option for people on a budget. Website 

Teja guesthouse: Run by Mr Tej Ram & his wife, it is an excellent option for families & couples who want to experience the local Himachali homestay. You can contact him at 9816731367. It is much closer to the meadows than the other options shared earlier.

Other notable options include:

The Last Chalet: https://g.page/the-last-chalet-shangarh?share 

Mysterious Meadows: https://goo.gl/maps/uuEf4HuKdXisXFcA8

No society cafe and Stay: https://goo.gl/maps/kXEuKuhsichzxC5C7

Things To Do in Shangarh & around Sainj Valley

  1. Relax at the meadows: This is one of the biggest attractions. It is an open ground where you can sit and relax, read, work & have a picnic with your friends by packing lunch from where you are staying.
  2. Early morning hike to Barshangarh waterfall: A short trek of 2 hours from the main village takes you to Barshangarh waterfall. The last 10 mins include a short ascent to the waterfall. It is a great place to spend a couple of hours before returning to where you are staying for breakfast.
  3. One Day trip to Rupi Raila waterfall & the Raila twin towers: 
    1. The Raila twin towers are a good option if you want to do more things in Sainj valley. It is a temple that the locals worship. 
    2. After visiting the Raila twin towers, you can go to the Rupi Raila waterfall, it is a great experience, and not many people see this place, and it can be an excellent option to spend some time. 
    3. There’s a small dhaba at the entrance where you can snack on something after returning.
    4. You can hire a cab which takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to reach Raila. Ideally, start this journey after finishing your breakfast, so you have ample time to enjoy both these places.
    5. The cab can cost you anywhere between INR 1200 to INR 1500
  4. Day trip to Deohari village & hike to Pundrik Rishi Lake:
    1. Deohari is a village in Sainj Valley with fewer options to stay in. You can stroll around the town, talk to locals, and relax.
    2. You can also hike to the Pundrik Rishi lake from Deohari village, which is about 1.5 hours – 2 hours of hike one way.
    3. You can include this trip with the Rupi Raila waterfall.
    4. Buses from Sainj to Deori – 11 AM, 1 PM & 6 PM.
  5. Overnight trek to Lapha village: Lapah is a 4-5 hours easy to moderate hike which you can do with the help of the local guides, it is a beautiful village with few stay options, but we recommend you to camp here. You can find more details about this trek from the GNHP office in Sainj.

You can contact Gyan +917807413913 from Sainj valley if you want to hire a cab to roam around Sainj Valley.

Places to Eat

  1. Cafe Stories & More
  2. Negi Cafe (near the meadows)
  3. Mysterious Meadows
  4. Divine Land & Cafe

Note: Most of the accommodations have their cafes.

Best Season to Visit

December to March: This is the winter season, and you can witness a good amount of snowfall during this season. If snowfall is your priority, you should visit during these months, but it gets freezing during this period.

April to June: This is the peak season for travellers. The climate is pleasant, and the sun’s out throughout the day. However, you can also witness rain showers during this period.

July to September: This is the peak monsoon season. Landslides & cloud bursts can happen anytime during these months. Hence it is not advisable to travel in these months to Himachal. However, the valley is at the greenest during this season.

October & November: The onset of winter is another good season when travellers flock to Shangarh.

Sainj Valley
Meadows in April
Sainj Valley
Meadows in December

Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about Shangarh or Sainj Valley.

Budget

Travel Cost: Bus costs from Delhi to Aut & a return journey can cost anywhere between INR 3000 and INR 4000.

Accommodation: Dorms are available for INR 500 – INR 1000 per night

Food: You can expect anywhere to spend between INR 500 – INR 750 per person. (A good hack: Share meals with the other travellers in the hostels, that way, you can share the cost as well)

Local Attractions: There is no entry fee to any of the places. However, you can expect to pay anywhere between INR 2000 – INR 3000 for the cab fare to the above locations. (Hack: You can tag along with someone who already has a plan or ask around people if you are staying in the hostel, that way, you can quickly bring down the cab fare to INR 500 – 700 per person)

 

A 4-5 day trip to Shangarh will cost you between INR 12,000 – INR 20,000, depending on what kind of a budget you are on.

A 4-day itinerary for Shangarh, Sainj valley

  1. Reach Shangarh in the morning, stroll through the villages, visit the meadows
  2. Early morning hike to Barshangarh waterfall, come back and relax at the property you are staying. Cafe hopping in the evening.
  3. Day trip to Rupi Raila, Raila twin towers, Deohari village & Pundrik Rishi lake (you can club all these places together in one day)
  4.  Leave for Delhi

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Comments

  • Tree stays
    August 3, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    We also want to add our stays to this blog. We are running Tree stays in Shangarh Himachal Pradesh. We are novel camping services in India for Camping and Peace lovers. We are the nest like camps hung over the tree of mountain where everyone can enjoy viewing the beautiful Himalayan ranges like bird watches the beautiful nature from its nest. We are not just camping but it’s more about immersing yourself in nature. At our tree stays every aspect of wild living is fun and Adventure. Our viewers love the experience at Tree Stays. See you soon at Tree Stays.

  • Rajat Kumar
    September 5, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Shangarh is such a beauty. I have been there multiple times.

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