Tatta Pani (or Tattapani) is located at a distance of 50 km from Shimla. It is a small town on the banks of River Sutlej. Tatta Pani literally translates to ‘Hot Water’, and that is the specialty of this place. You can find the hot sulphur water springs popping out on the banks of the river. The hot water springs are spread across for almost one square kilometer. These are also believed to have medicinal values. A dip in the hot water is known to cure skin diseases, joint pains and other ailments.
Hot Sulphur Spring next to ice cold water of River Sutlej
Route to Tatta Pani
While the hot and (sometimes) boiling sulphur water springs located next to the ice cold water attracts and surprises several visitors, you would also be equally enthralled to see the picturesque natural surroundings all through the 50 km journey from Shimla. The narrow road dwindling its way amidst semi dry peaks offers various amazing panoramic views!
Route to Tatta Pani
As you drive towards Tatta Pani amidst the natural and scenic mountains, the altitude lowers drastically (from 2275 m / 7500 ft in Shimla to just 665 m / 2180 ft at Tatta Pani). The last few kilometers/miles of the drive runs parallel to River Sutlej and has various points where you can take a break just to enjoy the amazing riverside.
There are various local operators who organize River Rafting on the river. While the river water is too gentle, and there are hardly any rapids in the whole rafting route, you can still enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings as you raft through the river valley with high mountains on either side of the river.
The rafting route takes you through some of the amazing landscapes while the guide gives basic instructions on rafting for the beginners. As you raft through the river, you will find bridges of all kinds that the locals use to cross the river. From the pedestrian only hanging bridges to rope bridges where people stand on a small metallic platform that hangs on a tight rope and pull the rope to move the platform!
Numerous Rope Bridges
The platform to stand and pull the rope!
Hot water springs
The rafting route stops at hot sulphur springs (the longer routes may go further). When you get down the raft you can feel the ice cold river water touching your feet and sending the chills all over your body! And just about 5-8 steps later, you can feel the super hot and boiling sulphur water springs. While at some sulphur springs, the water is mildly hot, there are other springs where you can see the water boiling! You can see the bubbles coming out of the hot water. It is too astonishing to find that the difference between temperature of water that is separated by just few feet varies anywhere between 50 to 90 degrees (Celsius)!
During the months of January/February and April, a dip in the hot sulphur water springs is also considered very auspicious. Many visitors from across the country visit Tatta Pani, just to take a dip in these hot springs. Some people also dig a huge holes/pits between the ice cold river water and the hot springs so that water from both the sources flow into them, and thus creating an open bathtub with lukewarm water 🙂 Few locals said that the hot sulphur springs disappear when the water level in the river increases during monsoon (June/July) and reappear during late October!
Visitors can choose several adventurous activities at Tatta Pani. Apart from River Rafting, visitors can also choose mountain biking/cycling. There are several cycling routes starting from 12 km routes that has few uphill and downhill stretches, to 30 km route from Tatta Pani to a small village called Chindi.
About 3 km from Tatta Pani, you can also explore Shiva Gufa or Shiva Caves. The caves have several natural cone shaped formations that hang from the ceiling that are formed through water dripping within the caves. Apart from the natural formations, the cave also has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Numerous pilgrims visit these caves during the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri (late February).
Being a valley surrounded by high mountains on either side of the river, Tatta Pani is also a starting point for numerous trek routes. If you are interested in trekking/hiking in the area, you will not be disappointed. There are several local operators who organize trekking in the area.
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