It was the time Christmas bell rang again and I had wished to add a new destination in Himachal Pradesh to my itienerary.We wanted to explore the hidden beauties that are far from the mainstream of Manali and Kasol.Having the explorer’s nerve in me, I am always in the hunt for places where I have never been before and so this time it was a small town called Jibhi in Himachal.
It lies in the Banjar Valley where the Tirthan river flows. The Valley is very gorgeously placed. It falls on the Kasol-Manali route. You have to take your ticket till a stop called Bhuntar, which is one of the popular stoppages. Just before you reach Bhuntar there is a stoppage called Aut. That's where you get down for Jibhi.
Even before you have landed onto the place you can feel the dreaminess,peace and tranquility all around.Happy faces greeting you to a spectacular destination.I already had my reservations done and we were received by our Cottage caretaker Mr. B S Thakur or Thakur Ji we fondly called him.
We were allotted two rooms that were nicely cleaned and well ventilated,The houses were made of wood & we could smell the wood all around in the fresh and cold air,we had a small balcony in front of our room from where we could hear the noise of the river flowing nearby and be amazed with Mountains all around,hustling bustling sound of water flowing nearby.We freshened up in our rooms and post having tea and snacks stepped out for a walk in the village.
It was cold and we had all our jackets in place and took a good stroll for 30 mins where we sat by the riverside and could not keep our eyes from such a natural retreat.As the air became cooler, the pine trees became thicker. The roads were constructed along the twists and turns of the hills. On one side you could see the terraced step farming fields and little wood houses delicately placed on edges. I sometimes wonder how they must feel living in such a beautiful place each day of their lives.
When we returned we asked Thakur Ji to arrange for the bonfire in the evening and asked him to arrange something to eat as per our choices to which he smiling agreed and we sat for a bon fire placed right in our balcony,listened to some music. The next day we had planned to see the Jalori Pass, we were told by Thakur Ji that there is also a beautiful water fall that falls on the way of jalori pass and suggested that we must visit.So we started for the Waterfall which was around 1 km from Jibhi.The waterfall was just magical. It was swishing over the rocks joyfully with water thundering down into the pool like a gigantic water spout. When it toppled into the ecstasy-pool, it foamed it at the bottom. The rest of the pool was as clear as cellophane, enabling us to see down into the rocky bottom. Fronds of forest-green plants waved gently in the depths. The waterfall looked like a sheet of blue velour as it swished down. Its edges were hemmed with whipped-white lines.Post visiting the waterfall we headed for Jalodi Pass which was around 8 kms from the waterfall.
It took us 25 mins to reach Jalori Pass (3135Mt) The views were amazing & there is a Temple there. The meadows around the temple are worth a walk & good for landscape photography.The Dhauladhar Range mountains capped with snow can be seen on clear summer days & add to the beauty of Jalori Pass. One has the option of going beyond Jalori Pass to see Fort & A lake which are 3 & 5 kms in distance from there.
We took the small trek to a semi frozen lake which the locals name as ’serolsar’ which apparently has got it’s mythological connect with the pandavas,It is said that Pandavas visited Serol Sar in Dwaparyug during their exile period and planted rice here. Once ou reach Serol Sar, we get to see the majestic view of the holy lake, Serol Sar spreading as wide as a football ground. Located amidst the tall Kharshoo trees at a height of about 10,000 feet. Just near the Serol Sar lake, we have the temple of goddess 'Buddhi Nagin'. It is believed that goddess 'Buddhi Nagin' resides inside the Serol Sar lake and is the mother of 60 'Nag Devtas' in Himachal.
Another story that goes by the locals about the Lake is that there is a bird that ensures that the lake remains clean,so even if there is a leave that falls from the trees and goes into the lake is picked up by the bird and taken away from the lake.We could not see the bird there but the lake was just pristine white,half covered with ice and clean as a whistle.
Our day ended with great memories and the next day we had to travel back with bundle of memories.Overall, this place is a must visit. It’s even better if you can commit some time off and get set on off interesting treks as a group.