Feeling all tired of seeing the concrete jungle in the city? Let’s go and give our eyes the treat they deserve in the serene woods of Himalayan oak, Cedar and Pine forests in the lap of the Himalayan mountains range.
Jibhi is a small village in the Banjar valley near Jalori pass in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Jibhi is located at a distance of 490-500 kms from Delhi and Chandigarh and can be approached from both of these locations. You can board a state transport bus or a private bus according to your preference as the time taken to reach Jibhi will be around 12-14 hours depending upon the stops taken by each mode of transport. Overnight journey till Aut and then any private bus from Aut will take you to Banjar valley where Jibhi is located. Situated at a moderate altitude, Jibhi is accessible all-round the year so you can plan your trip without being worried about the climate although it is advisable not to be visiting during the monsoons because of the looming risk of landslides.
Jibhi is a tranquil little town where you can comfortably stay for 4-5 days and explore the nearby places too. However, you can always extend your stay and enjoy the alluring surroundings.
Please make sure that you inform the bus conductor to stop at Jaipur so that you can deboard the bus as Jibhi is colloquially called Jaipur.
The incredible part about choosing this destination for travelling is that your amusement will begin as soon as you enter the Banjar valley road considering that the route is very steep and only one vehicle can pass at a time (adrenaline rush is a sure thing!). This way you enjoy the greenery right from the beginning. You will be welcomed by this scenic beauty first thing in the morning as an overnight journey from Delhi is most preferable to Jibhi.
As this is a small hamlet in the Banjar valley, it will not be shocking to not find any high class hotels. However, you can always find comfortable, clean cottages and guest houses at minimal prices to stay. If you want to be more adventurous, you can also stay with the villagers who are very sweet and accommodating. Carrying a tent will also be beneficial as you can then stay outdoors without worrying about the accommodation and enjoy the night under the clear sky which is an experience in its own self.
Places to visit:
This fort is an ancient structure in the Chaini village which is a trek of around 3-4 hours from Jibhi. A strong influence of the Chinese art and architecture can be seen in the building of this fort. This is the most popular and remarkable construction in the Chaini village. Jibhi is most famous for the trek to this particular fort apart from all the other places to visit. Built from a combination of wood and stone, this five-storey building has been restored and protected by the locals of Chaini village itself. It is said that the fort was originally a seven-storey structure but the upper two storeys fell down in an earthquake. It is to be noted here that the outsiders and travelers are not allowed to enter the fort as the locals have restricted the entry and they do not bend their entry rules for anyone.
Sharingi Bagi temple
This is a famous temple which is situated on the same route as that to the Chaini Fort. A clear cut diversion to Sharingi Bagi temple is easily noticeable with a trail. This is also one of the major tourist attractions and offers a great deal of scenic beauty with apple plantations, Cedar forest and waterfalls on the way to the temple. The temple is an example of pahadi architecture located near the foot of the hills of this region.
Although it is not situated at a high altitude, yet Jalori Pass is a vital area as it connects the region of Manali to Shimla by the route of Banjar Valley and is open for all 12 months. It is a steep pass and offers picturesque beauty from all angles. Tranquility is assured with trees everywhere.
This Lake can be reached by a 2 hour trek from Jalori Pass which is approximately 6 kms. The trek is easy and not steep at all. The lake is very beautiful with thick lush forests surrounding the water body from all sides. An overnight stay in your own tent is possible here and basic accommodation is also available. Interestingly, the lake is worshipped by several locals from the Banjar valley who perform many rituals here in order to offer their prayers to the local deity. Normally, the pilgrims near the lake are high in number during the festivals.
After travelling for so many hours at a stretch and trekking to these beautiful places you surely need to grab a big bite and regenerate the energy. Jibhi offers local pahadi food which is easily accessible at all places. You can also enjoy authentic cuisines like Chinese, Italian and Mexican but you have to know that this town is not familiar with the concept of restaurants, therefore, you are pretty much dependent on your cottage or guest-house. However, there are local kirana stores along with wine shops and vegetable sellers which aid your food plate. Please do not expect to get any fancy food items like chole bhature etc. but you must try the momos and different types of soups which are a part of local cuisine and fall in the category of comfort food.
As the town is not a fancy one and cards will not be accepted at the majority of places, make sure you carry enough cash with yourself. Carrying warm clothes is advisable as the climate of this area is cold. Irrespective of the fact that it does not snow here throughout the year, be sure to have an adventurous trip which is going to thrill you in ways you might have never imagined. So let’s get going!