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Jalori Pass Trek

Tripoto
22nd May 2014

Serolsar Lake

Photo of Jalori Pass Trek by Miles 2 Smile

Serolsar Lake Trek

Photo of Jalori Pass Trek by Miles 2 Smile

Raghupur Fort Trek

Photo of Jalori Pass Trek by Miles 2 Smile

Kali Temple

Photo of Jalori Pass Trek by Miles 2 Smile

Jalori (pronounced as Jalodi) pass is situated in Himachal Pradesh’s Karsog valley. Although most tourists don’t seem to know or care about any place other than Manali or Shimla, Jalori Pass is steadily gaining popularity, particularly with trekking enthusiasts.  At 10,382 feet above sea level, Jalori Jot (as it is locally known) typically remains accessible only between April and December. It receives as much as 20 feet of snow in the winters. 

Getting There:

If you’re approaching from Shimla, then the route is Shimla > Narkanda > Sainj > Luhri > Ani > Jalori Jot. [Distance: 205 Kms; Travel Time: 5 hours]

The road from Narkanda to Ani is narrow but mostly in decent repair. After Ani, the condition of the road (as of Oct 2013) steadily deteriorates, with the last stretch of 5 kms being a little more than a dirt track. Buses do ply on that route but cars with low ground clearance will find it challenging.

If you’re approaching from Manali, then the route is Manali > Aut > Banjar > Ghiyagi > Shoja > Jalori Jot. [Distance: 160 Kms; Travel Time: 4 hours]

The road from Aut to Ghiyagi is narrow but mostly in good repair. After Ghiyagi, the condition of the road (as of Oct 2013) steadily deteriorates, with the last stretch of 8 kms being a little more than a dirt track. Buses do ply on that route but cars with low ground clearance will find it challenging.

What To Do

Other than a small temple and a couple of dhabhas, Jalori Pass doesn’t have a whole lot to its name. However, it is the starting point for two easy but interesting treks which makes it a worthwhile place to visit. If you start early, it is possible to do both treks (approx. 6-7 hours of walking) in one day.

Where to Stay

5 Kms from Jalori Pass are two wonderful resthouses in Shoja, one operated by PWD and the other by the Forest Department. We stayed in the Forest Rest House and found it to be quite nice. The PWD resthouse was being renovated (as of Oct 2013) but would probably make an even better option. The caretaker (Mohar Singh) of the Forest Resthouse can be reached at 9805712882. Shoja has a couple of guest houses as well.

Itinerary Ideas

  • If your plan is to do both Shimla and Manali in a single trip, then you could do this in either direction: Delhi > Shimla > Jalori Pass > Ghiyagi (overnight at Shiringi Vatika) > Manali > Delhi
  • If your plan is to only do Manali, then you could consider this detour on your way back from Manali: Delhi > Manali > Banjar > Ghiyagi (night 01). From Ghiyagi, do a day trip to Jalori Pass and return to Ghiyagi (night 02). Next morning, proceed from Ghiyagi to Delhi/Chandigarh (via Banjar > Mandi).
  • If your plan is to only do Shimla, then consider this: Delhi > Shimla > Jalori Pass (via Narkanda) > Mandi > Delhi
Photo of Jalori Pass, Jalori, Sajwar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Miles 2 Smile
The trail leading up to Serolsar Lake originates from the right side of the Kali temple (as you face it). There is a small but easy to miss sign in Hindi as well. Fortunately, the trail is well-marked so there is no real need to hire a local guide for this trek. The grassy meadow in the clearing is where the tents are pitched. It was closed when we did Serolsar Lake but I was told by the locals that it is open during the summer months. Barring a couple of points where the trail narrows, this is an easy trek. Assuming a comfortable pace, it should not take you more than 2 hours to reach the lake. Just before you hit the lake, you’ll notice a few gujjar huts on your left. Serolsar Lake is not very large but the setting is quite scenic and serene. Legend has it that there is a pair of birds that keeps the lake clean. On the left bank of the lake is the Buddhi Nagin temple. Ghee (clarified butter) is one of the offerings that devotees make at this temple. Interestingly, large quantities of ghee are poured into the lake as an offering. For night stay, there is a two-room dharamshala (inn) that is available to pilgrims and visitors for a nominal fee of Rs. 20 (to cover your bedding and blanket). You can call the numbers (listed at the bottom of the notice board) to get more information about overnight stay. There is a dhaba (open April to November) which serves tea, maggi, and basic meals. Your return walk from Serolsar Lake won’t take a shorter time because you’ll be ascending for a good bit. Plan on it taking 2 hours to walk back to Jalori Pass.
Photo of Sarolsar, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Miles 2 Smile
Photo of Sarolsar, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Miles 2 Smile
The fort is in ruins but its hilltop location makes for an interesting trek. In the periphery of what used to be the fort, there now stands a temple. The starting point for this trek is in the opposite direction of the Serolsar Lake. Put another way, if you stand on the road facing the Kali temple in Jalori Jot, the trail will be behind you. Basically, you’ll walk past the dhabhas and go down the Jalori-Ani road for less than 150 metres till the first sharp bend. There are no signs but the Raghupur Fort trail starts right at the bend. It is not as well-marked as the Serolsar Lake trek so you may want to consider a local guide if you don’t trust your navigational instincts. Remember that this trek involves a steep ascent so don’t fall for the well-used trail that is going down the hill; it’ll take you to a village, not the fort. When in doubt, pick the trail going up. After 1.5 hours of walking, you’ll come to a sprawling meadow dotted with a couple of unfinished concrete structures. From here, keep climbing for another 30 minutes till you reach the fort and the temple. On a clear day you can see Shimla from this hill. It is easily a 1000 ft higher than Jalori Pass. The stunning views and the grassy meadows make it a real visual treat. Your return walk will take a lot less time because you’ll be descending. Camping possibilities exist but there are no other options for night stay. If all you need is a roof over your head, you could crash for the night at the temple, though. There were no dhabhas in operation when we went there so carry food and water.
Photo of Raghupur Garh, Karshai Gad-ii, Himachal Pradesh, India by Miles 2 Smile
2 Comment(s)
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All these 3 places are nature,s gift to us & one must make a personal visit to feel the aroma & freshness of these wonderful places.I vividly remember my school days way back in 1978, when our school had arrnged a 3 days trek for this route.
Tue 05 17 16, 22:10 · Reply · Report
Photo of Soumili Chandra Modi
Soumili Chandra Modi
m,n
Fri 05 30 14, 15:18 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·