Rajgundha Valley is a small and beautiful valley situated beyond Barot in the lap of Dhauladhars. The valley hosts several small villages including Kukkar Gundha, Rajgundha, Baragran, etc. Rajgundha Village is a tiny and quaint village situated along the Uhl River at an altitude of around 2700 m. It can be reached only by trek as of now. The village is located inside the Dhauladhar Wildlife Sanctuary and it offers majestic views of lush green dense forest and snow-capped mountains of Dhauladhars. The Billing to Rajgundha trek is quite popular among locals and trekking enthusiasts.
The population of Rajgundha village is quite less and the main occupation of people there is farming. The village is mainly famous for nearby treks such as Palachak Valley, Thamsar Pass, & Bara Bhangal. Spring and summer seasons are considered best to visit this place but the winter season is also considered good as the village receives a good amount of snowfall, making it an ideal offbeat destination to experience snow. However, the locals usually descend down to low-lying nearby villages during winters and return during the onset of the summer season.
- How to Reach Rajgundha Village?
- Suggested Itinerary for Rajgundha
- Trekking Route for Rajgundha
- Best Time to visit Rajgundha Village
- ATM & Mobile connectivity in Rajgundha Village
- Things to do in and around Rajgundha Village
- Places to visit near Rajgundha Village
- Treks near Rajgundha Village
- Where to stay in Rajgundha Village?
- Food options in Rajgundha Village
How to Reach Rajgundha Valley?
Rajgundha Valley can be approached from 2 sides, either from Bir or Barot.
How to Reach Rajgundha Valley from Bir?
Before this, first you have to reach Bir.
How to reach Bir?
How to Reach Bir By Road?
One can take a direct overnight bus from Delhi to reach Bir. Several private & government Volvo buses run daily between Delhi and Bir. The distance is 520 km and it takes around 12 hours to reach Bir from Delhi.
Route from Delhi to Bir
Delhi – Murthal – Panipat – Karnal – Kurukshetra – Ambala – Chandigarh – Ropar – Anandpur Sahib – Nangal – Una – Amb – Kangra – Palampur – Baijnath – Bir.
- One can get buses from Chandigarh, Kangra, Mandi, and Dharamsala to reach Bir.
- Shared taxis are also available at all the locations.
- Govt (HRTC) AC Volvo buses charge around INR 1500 and private Volvo buses charge around 1200 to 1400.
How to reach Bir By Train?
The nearest railway station is either Pathankot or Chandigarh. One can easily get a private/shared taxi or government/private bus to reach Bir. The Pathankot railway station is 150 km away from Bir and it takes around 4 hours to reach there, whereas Chandigarh is 280 km away and it takes around 7 hours to reach there.
A private taxi from Pathankot charges around INR 3000 to drop at Bir and a private taxi from Chandigarh charges around INR 6000 for the same.
One can also board the toy train of Kangra Himalayan Railway from Pathankot railway station that can drop at Baijnath or Joginder Nagar. The further journey can be continued by taxi or local bus.
How to reach Bir By Flight?
The nearest airport is either Pathankot airport or Gaggal airport. Though Gaggal Airport is 67 km far from Bir and it takes around 2 hours to reach there from the airport, but flights to Gaggal Airport (Near Dharamsala) remain quite less frequent and may cancel due to bad weather. That’s why Pathankot airport is the better option, which is 150 km from Bir and takes around 4 hours.
Taxis and Buses remain easily available from both the airports.
Reaching Rajgundha Village from Bir
Once your reach Bir, you will have to take a taxi to reach Billing, which is the starting point of the trek. Billing is 20 km from Bir and is connected by a good motorable road. There is an easy trek of 14 km that takes you to Rajgundha village from Billing.
How to Reach Rajgundha Valley from Barot?
If you are planning to visit Rajgundha valley via Barot then you need to reach Baragran village, situated 20 km ahead of Barot. The motorable road goes up to a point near Baragran village, from there Rajgundha village is just 3-4 km. The construction is going on and soon one would be able to reach Rajgundha Village by vehicle. The road will be constructed further to join Rajgundha village to Bir Billing by road. As of now, if you want to visit the village then you need to take your vehicle or a taxi upto Baragran village and then do an easy hike of 3-4 km to reach Rajgundha. One can take a bus as well to reach Baragran village from Barot.
How to Reach Barot?
How to reach Barot By Road?
The most convenient way is the bus only. Though there is no direct bus from Delhi to Barot. Either one has to take a direct bus to Bir or a bus to Mandi. From both places, taxis and buses remain available.
From Bir, the taxi charges around 1500-2000 to drop at Barot or Baragran Village, and from Mandi, the taxi charges around 2000-2500 to drop at Barot or Baragran Village.
How to reach Barot By Train?
The nearest railway station is either Pathankot or Chandigarh. One can easily get a private/shared taxi or government/private bus to reach Mandi or Bir or directly Barot.
How to reach Barot By Flight?
The nearest airport is either Pathankot airport or Gaggal airport. Flights to Gaggal Airport (Near Dharamsala) remain quite less frequent and may cancel due to bad weather. Taxis and Buses remain easily available from both the airports.
Suggested Itinerary for Rajgundha Valley Trek
Since you might face problems in getting a vehicle or a bus from Rajgundha Village or Baragran, so it’s better to start with Rajgundha and then trek to Billing.
Here’s an itinerary you can follow.
Day 1: Reach Bir or Mandi (by bus)
Take an overnight bus from Delhi and reach either Bir or Mandi. Freshen up, have breakfast, and hire a taxi for Baragran. It will take around 3 hours to reach Baragran. Leave the taxi and start walking towards Rajgundha village. In a walk of around 1 hour, you will reach the village. Relax and enjoy the views.
Day 2: Day at Leisure. Explore in and around Rajgundha
Wake up to a beautiful morning. Trek to Palachak Valley and return to the hostel by evening. If not Palachak, then you can trek to Hanuman Garh and then spend your remaining time near the Uhl river. Take a walk around the village and in the dense jungle of Dhauladhars.
Day 3: Trek to Billing
Check out from the guest house/hostel and begin your trek towards Billing. The trek is 14 km long and it takes around 4-5 hours to reach there. Reach Billing and do the paragliding. If not interested in paragliding then you can take a taxi to reach Bir. Explore the cafes.
Day 4: Explore Bir
There are several beautiful monasteries in Bir. Explore the monasteries or you can also rent a bicycle to ride on the mountains. Departure by evening.
Trekking Route for Rajgundha
Trek from Billing to Rajgundha
The Rajgundha trek distance from Billing is 14 km long and is quite easy. It’s almost similar to walking over a plain land as there is a very slight inclination. However, the trekking route is scenic and one gets good views of the forest. If you visit in the months of March or April, then red and pink rhododendrons would amaze you as the flowers make the trekking trail more beautiful.
The trail starts from the road head at Billing near the paragliding take-off point. The route is well paved and quite wide. After 8 km, there comes a pass called Chenna Pass Channa Pass, which has a small canteen or shop situated. One can have tea and refreshments there. The further 7km trail is downhill all the way to Rajgundha village.
The trekking trail doesn’t bifurcate anywhere. It is a single way from Billing to Rajgundha village. Hence, trekking guide is not needed to do this trek.
Tip: Make sure you start the trek in the morning so that you complete the trek in the daylight. The forest has wild animals such as bears, Leopard, etc. Also, carry a water bottle and some snacks to have during the trek.
Trek from Baragran to Rajgundha
It is not a trek actually, you just have to walk on an uphill road. Rajgundha Village is 3-4 km from the last motorhead.
Best Time to visit Rajgundha Valley
The best time to visit Rajgundha Valley is either in the months of March, April & May or during post-monsoon, in the months of September and October. During these months, you will find better views with lush greenery and the Rajgundha Valley weather remains pleasant during this time.
In case, if you want to experience snow and witness forest and meadows covered with a white layer, then winter is the ideal season. Rajgundha Valley receives good snowfall in the months of December, January, and February. Make sure you carry sufficient woolen clothes as the Rajgundha temperature remains negative during the night.
ATM & Mobile connectivity in Rajgundha Village
ATMs can be found either at Bir or Barot. There are no ATMs at Rajgundha village or on the trek.
Airtel & Jio 4g Mobile signals are available at Rajgundha village. The signals are available at the village as well as on the trek. The connectivity depends on the weather conditions.
Things to do in and around Rajgundha Valley
Due to its offbeatness and lesser connectivity as compared to other mainstream destinations, the pollution here is very minimal. One can enjoy a starry night sky and gaze at the beautiful stars all night. Even on some days, one gets to see the core of the Milky Way as well. Rajgundha Valley is an ideal destination for astrophotography lovers.
Walk around the village
Though it’s a small village, but taking a walk through it would not disappoint you. You would find old houses and huts mostly made up of stones and woods. Interact with the locals and understand their culture and language.
The forest encircling the Rajgundha Village is quite dense and one can have an amazing experience by taking a walk through them.
Stroll around Uhl River
Hike down the valley towards the shore of the Uhl River and spend some time. The crystal clear water and its soothing noise will make you sit there for hours. Don’t forget to wash your face and dip your feet in the river, it will refresh your body and senses.
Fishing in the Barot Valley
One can enjoy trout fishing in the reservoir of Barot Village. If you haven’t done it, then it will give you an altogether different experience. It is indeed a good activity to spend a couple of hours.
Paragliding in Bir Billing
One of the most recommended things to do, if you are in Rajgundha Valley. Since Bir Billing is quite near to Rajgundha, one must not miss the paragliding from Asia’s 2nd highest paragliding site. A 25 minutes session of paragliding would definitely give you an adrenaline rush. Don’t forget to try acrobatics, which is the best part of paragliding.
Places to visit near Rajgundha Valley
The nearest place to Rajgundha that one can explore is Barot. Barot is a small village known for its trout fishing activity. The village is beautiful and surrounded by a deodar forest having an Uhl river flowing through the center. It has a small dam on the Uhl River along with a reservoir. There is also a small temple in the forest that can be reached by doing a small hike through the stairs.
Bir is a village located near Palampur and Baijnath in the Kangra District and is famous for Paragliding and Tibetan settlement. It is considered the 2nd highest paragliding site in entire Asia and is highest in India. Billing is the take-off site and is situated at an altitude of 2400 m, whereas Bir is the landing site, situated at an altitude of 1400 m above sea level. The place is also famous for vibrant monasteries, Cafes, & tea gardens.
Baijnath Temple is a famous Shiva Temple situated at a distance of 2 hours from Rajgundha. The temple arrives on the way to Dharamsala from Barot and Rajgundha.
A small hill station which is known for its tea gardens and views of Dhauladhar ranges. An ideal place to spend 1 or 2 days in a peaceful and scenic environment.
Treks near Rajgundha Village
A small lake situated amidst the dense forest and is just 3 km from the main village. It can be approached by an easy hike through the forest of Oaks and Rhododendrons.
A small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman, situated at a mountain top and is the highest point In the vicinity of Rajgundha Valley. A 4 km steep trek to Hanuman Garh is quite a rewarding one as it offers magnificent views of surrounding snow-capped peaks and valleys.
Palachak Valley is linked with Rajgundha Valley and can be reached by doing a trek of around 8 km from Rajgundha Village. The lush green meadows of Palachak make this place one of the best nearby attractions. It offers amazing views of forest & valley and one can enjoy camping near the river. The trek gradient is easy and it takes around 4-5 hours to reach there.
Thamsar Pass Trek
If you go beyond Palachak Valley, you can reach Thamsar Pass via Panhartu. Thamsar Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass situated at an altitude of 15,800 feet. The pass offers unparalleled views of Pir Panjal & Dhauladhar ranges.
Bara Bhangal Trek
One of the famous treks of Himachal Pradesh, this trek can be done from Rajgundha/Barot side as well. The route going towards Thamsar Pass can lead you towards Bara Bhangal. It’s a multi-day trek and is recommended only for experienced trekkers.
Dehnasar Lake Trek
It’s a high-altitude glacial lake situated at an altitude of 4280 m above sea level. The lake is considered sacred and many locals from Kangra, Kullu, and Mandi district visit this lake during the last week of August or the first week of September to take a holy bath. The trek starts from Lohardi village and can be done in a span of 3 days.
Where to stay in Rajgundha Village?
One of the best properties of Zostel. The hostel is well constructed and equipped with almost all the basic amenities.
There are a few alpine camps available that one can book to stay overnight.
Food options in Rajgundha Village
There are no cafes or restaurants available in Rajgundha Village. The only options you have is your hostel or guest house. All the properties have in-house kitchen, where you can have basic and proper meals.
So if you are looking for a place that is still untouched and you want to spend a couple of days doing nothing or just hiking, then Rajgundha is a go-to place for you. I recently visited this village with 2 of my friends in the month of March and I loved this place. Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit Palachak valley and further because the route wasn’t opened by that time. That’s why I am going to visit this place again and will be exploring the nearby regions and treks.