Close your eyes and imagine being in a place where the loudest sound you hear is of a chirping bird, or a babbling brook, or a gust of wind playing with your hair. A place that has every hue of green and blue. A place where you sit in a garden surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Well, it’s not mere imagination, it’s a small village named Jibhi in Himachal Pradesh, an unexplored Himalayan haven. When we were planning our trip to this village, our intentions were to just sit by Beas river for 3 days, have local tea and listen to the chirping birds. Little did we know about the love and memories that this place had to offer.
The best way to reach Jibhi is by road. We know, not everyone is from Delhi or around, so time could be a constraint for people travelling from other states. In that case, we have listed all 3 transit options for you, pick whatever suits your budget and time.
Jibhi is around 496 km from Delhi and this is how you can reach there-
1. Bus: You can take a direct HRTC bus to Aut, almost every bus from Delhi to Manali passes by Aut, which is 33 km from Jibhi. You can then take a cab to Jibhi for Rs.1000, the cab drivers don’t negotiate but go on, try your luck. We would suggest you to take the evening bus so that you reach Aut early in the morning. Why should you reach Aut in the morning? Because you will regret it if you miss the morning drive to Jibhi, duh!
2. Train: The nearest railway station is Shimla, which is 150 km. away from Jibhi. We wouldn’t suggest this option if you have a tight schedule.
3. Flight: You can take a flight to Bhuntar (near Kasol), which is just 60 km. away from Jibhi.
The drive from Aut to Jibhi is almost magical. The way through Banjar Valley and its dense forest is so picturesque that you would want to take a break or two, get out of your cab, stand by Beas river and soak it all in.
When we reached Jibhi, we knew where we wanted to go first. During our research about Jibhi, we came across Doli Guest House and Rana Swiss Cottages, both owned by Mr. B.S. Rana, a retired military officer. Mr. Rana takes great pride in hosting people from all over the world in his ancestral home, originally built in 1962. He then renovated it in 1992, named it Doli Guest House and opened its doors for explorers like us. We were lucky enough to spend an evening with him, listening to his stories about the village. Doli guest house is on the bank of Beas river and you can go fishing if the weather allows. The rooms at the guest house are small but homely and you can book one for Rs.800. You can have a look at Doli Guest House here- http://www.kshatra.com/ or call Mr. Rana on +91 9816058290.
Things to do in Jibhi
Our first day in Jibhi was quite laid-back. We went for a walk by the river, stopped by a local tea seller to grab some exquisite Himalayan Tea and sat in the garden cafe of Doli Guest House till our stomachs were full.
Our second day in Jibhi was thrilling. Guddu, Mr. Rana’s son, asked us to visit Jalori Pass, which is 8 km from Jibhi. He claimed it to be one of the best places to see around and boy, was he right! He arranged a cab for us for an entire day for Rs. 1800 and we were back on the road again. The road, more like a motorable path to Jalori pass is enthralling. When we reached the pass, we were at an altitude of over 10,000 feet and there was barely any visibility. At the pass, you see 2 roads ahead of you, one takes you to the sacred Seroyul Lake and the other takes you to the Raghupur Fort. We took the one to the lake.
Our hike for 5 km started at the entrance of a mystical oak forest, or at least it felt like it. If you follow us on Instagram, you know this already. It was an easy hike, we came across locals heading to the lake and the temple at its shore. The hike was the highlight of our day. We hiked, spoke to the locals, had some maggi at the cafe right by the lake and sat there for about an hour, cherishing the view, the meadow, the horses and the mules, yes there were quite a few. It took us about 5 hours to hike to the lake and come back to the pass. There are a few cafes at the pass as well and we are telling you about it because a 10 km hike does work up an appetite. After driving back to our guest house, we decided to call it a day and sat by the river, reading, and enjoying our tea.
The third day in Jibhi was our last day and we didn’t want to miss out on a thing. We headed to ‘I Feel Himalayas Cafe’ for breakfast, something you wouldn’t want to miss. After breakfast came the morning stroll to the waterfall which is about a kilometre from Doli Guest House. This waterfall is a hidden gem and if lucky enough, you may witness the sight of a double rainbow. After coming back from the waterfall, we had 3 hours to spare so we went to the river, Vikas tried his hands on fishing and I found myself a rock to sit and read!
We left Jibhi with memories and experiences that will make us go back one more time, and then again!
Budget (for one)
HRTC Bus for Delhi ⇄ Aut: Rs. 2400
Cab for Aut ⇄ Jibhi: Rs. 2000
Cab for Jibhi ⇄ Jalori Pass: Rs. 1800
Doli Guest House: Rs. 800/night
Food: Rs. 800/day
Places to see
Chaini Village: 8 km from Jibhi
Jalori Pass: 8 km from Jibhi
Waterfall: 1 km from Doli Guest House
Seroyul Lake: 5 km from Jalori Pass
We hope you enjoy your visit to Jibhi as much as we did. In case you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. I am quite responsive there. If you looking for a few hidden gems to explore in India, try reading my blogs on Amritsar, Totam and Varkala.
Happy traversing, fellas!