Here is a little about Jalori Pass in the words of ‘Manoj Biswas’, friend and mentor. I copy this more with my cheerful disposition rather than nonchalance, to share with you an ode to perhaps our favorite region in Himachal Pradesh.
“Situated 100 kms. from Shimla in Kullu district, the Jalori Pass is far away from the urban rigmarole, in the silent wilderness of the Himalayas where every flower truly enjoys the air it breathes. The seasonal blossoms set the hills on fire in their rich variant hues. Cradled within a yet untouched forest heartland, the Jalori Pass offers Nature’s breathing life – bountiful flora and fauna amidst the pristine solitude of the highlands.
Birds, butterflies and flowers of various hues line the alpine meadows, woods and valleys all along the slopes of Jalori. The fragrance of Lillies, Primulas, Asters, Gentians, and Rhododendrons along with various rare herbs and medicinal plants please the senses while the stunning views make a winning snapshot for the camera -friendly. Twittering and gushing forth their songs, a plethora of Himalayan feathered species are annually visited by the Gujjars and Gaddis during spring, which return in the months of October and November. For the adventure seeker, the chance meeting with a wandering leopard, a shy Himalayan black bear or a rare Pine Martin for wildlife lovers adds to the excitement. The forests of Jalori are a tribute to the magnificence of nature”.
Treks to unforgettable places like the Sereolsar Lake, Shoja, Lambri, Sakiran, Bashleo Pass and the Great Himalayan National Park as well as the forts of Raghunathpur, Kalagarh and Fatehpurgarh offer endless options to the explorer. Nature trails all across the Jalori region are unfolded by our expert naturalists describing the myriad species of flora and fauna that infest the slopes of Jalori while the unassuming hamlets dotting the forests unfold a warm and unique rural culture. Trout fishing in the Tirthan River at Larji and Gushaini add to the charm.
Also The walk from The Jalori pass to Raghupur fort and further to Chach Galu is worth it, a four hour walk through rolling meadows and a verdant cedar and oak forest. From Chach galu descend to Khauli and Gadah Gushaini, into the remote interiors, great for cycling and walking. Bahu 12 kms from Gadah Gushaini is another idyllic setting with a very good guest house run by a local couple amidst an apple orchard. For those who have time the walk from Chach Galu to Magru gala and to Janjehli is refreshing. Janjehli in Mandi district is an untouched corner of Himachal offering walks to Shikari Devi (16kms) and Chindi a place to be in the monsoons enveloped by the mist. From Chindi one can drive back to Shimla with a brief stopover at Tattapani and Naldehra and Mashobra. The other option from Janjehli is to drive to Mandi (63 kms) or ride it down and further to Parashar Lake. All these are beautiful walks in this region, The Seraj Valley in Kullu, The Great Himalayan National Park and the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
For this relatively easy and fabulous walk through the most beautiful alpine scenery we shall just stick to a very basic itinerary which one should follow.
Arrive in Tirthan valley and explore around or simply laze by the riverside, remember there is much to do here.
Sarchi the start of our walk is further up from Tirthan valley. An off-road winding right before Gushaini bridge climbs up 19 kms through thick pines to bring us to Sarchi from where we have stupendous views of the Great Himalayan National park, Tirthan Valley and the Jalori forests. Our walk starts from here, a step climb at first through a forest and then upon reaching the ridgeline it levels out till Lambri meadows, our first overnight halt.
360 degree views as we step up and walk on the ridge, stopping often for photography and spotting Himalayan pheasants. Sereolsar lake is not far, a relaxed walk of 4 hours, with a descent towards the end of the walk brings us to this lake in the middle of the forest. One has the option of camping here or continue further for one hour to reach Jalori pass.
From Jalori you can either drive back down to Tirthan valley or the more initiated can Hike to Shoja, one of the most beautiful villages of the Jalori region. The forest and the PWD rest houses here again remind you of the heritage post routes/bridle paths.