The sprawling Jibhi Valley known for its scenic beauty and typical Himalayan wooden houses is a picturesque spot in Himachal Pradesh. Some 30Km drive from Aut, this valley is comparatively less explored with stunning landscapes of the Himalayan ranges. The curvy roads, sounds of the gushing river and smell of fresh crisp air as you drive along the foothills are pure serenity. This small hamlet in the Banjar Valley or Tirthan Valley of Himachal Pradesh also has a very small population, which has helped preserve its natural beauty.
Nestled amongst oak, pine and deodar trees – the whole valley is in bloom during springtime. With not much to do around in Jibhi, one can walk to the beautiful waterfall just 20 minutes from the main town centre and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a double rainbow at the waterfall as you take a walk up to the forest. A stroll between Banjar and Jibhi lead the travelers to Chehni Kothi – which is a 1500 year old castle built with wooden beams and stone slabs. This conical temple spire shaped 15-storey (of all only 10 remains) castle is an architectural marvel in itself.
Backpackers and fishing and angling enthusiasts from across the world and specifically countries like Argentina, Israel, Germany, Russia, UK, etc make Jibhi their home for months for its charm and proximity to various other Himalayan towns, before heading onto other places.
This dreamy valley has some extremely beautiful and yet affordable Victorian pinewood cottages for people to unwind and relax. I would recommend Jungle Book Home Stay; Jibhi Cafe & Cottages; Doli Guest House and Rana Swiss Cottages. The Rana Swiss Cottages location makes it an ideal stay. There is stream flowing through the valley. This picturesque backdrop has been God made for some quiet, lazy and serene settings.
The famous Jalori Pass is just 12 kilometers from Jibhi and one can easily drive down to it or even board the bus that runs on frequent interval from the Valley. The lush green valley, as you reach the pass, will transport you to a peaceful place. The trail leads to Seolsar Lake where bare mountaintops and wildflowers await. There are camping facilities round these areas, so stay the night and soak in the beauty.
Distance: 500 kms from Delhi
Nearest Airport: Bhuntar (50 kms away)
Nearest Railway: Chandigarh (250 kms approx away)
Best Time To Visit: March to October
Jibhi is located on one of the most popular routes connecting Shimla to Manali and passes through Banjar Valley, which is also known for the Himalayan trout fish. The valley can also be approached from the Chandigarh-Manali Highway. Get down at Aut after an overnight drive from Delhi. The small town of AUT is accessible after crossing a long tunnel on the highway.
There is another route which is on the right just before the tunnel at AUT and leads to Banjar Village, which is a typical Himalayan town grown in the middle of lush green valley surrounded by alpine meadows. The private bus for Banjar can be boarded from Aut, and drops the passengers after 24Km journey. Jibhi is another 8-10Km further from Banjar town towards the Jalori Pass. You can also get a direct bus to Jibhi from AUT but those are seldom.
Tourist Attractions around Jibhi
- Jalori Pass (3225m), Sarehul lake (5 km gentle walk from Jalori),
- Raghupur Garh fort (3297 m, 4 km right from Jalori pass, short descend and then the steep climb)
- Sharingi Bagi temple, Chaini Fort (Trek from Sharingi Bagi Temple),
- Trek (Forest Guest houses are available in all of these villages and can be done in 5-6 days) Jibhi-Ghiyali-Shoja-Jalori pass-Khanag-Taral-Margi-Shilla-Kullu Sarahan-Bagi pul (Bagi pul offers exit to Shimla via NH 22 across Satluj). Trek is also known as Dak Runner’s trail
This quaint Himalayan village is a crazy mix of people, legends and unique architecture. This trail will drop you into wide scenic vistas of rolling mountains and rich terrace farms, each a different shade of green, as if the signature of the farmer tending the soil.
Nature seems to be in harmony with a happy people. Next time, make sure you are there, rather than heading to some crowded mainstream hill stations.