I would not prefer to call Jibhi an off-beat or an unexplored destination. Yes, saying this would have been true even till five-six years ago. But the quaint village of Jibhi in Himachal Pradesh has now gained quite some popularity. You can come here and still beat the crowd.
It is not a touristy place like Shimla or Manali. You may not be the only person reaching here, but one among a handful few soaking in the serenity that mountains offer.
The man responsible for bringing this obscure but pretty Himachali village to spotlight deserves a mention – he is Mr. Bhagwan Singh Rana, who made the first guest house here way back in 1992.
For many years, all his guests were foreigners who would come to spent time in nature, meditate, trek on the nearby trails, or practice martial arts in the wilderness.
Doli Guest House (the first one) and Rana Swiss Cottage, located on either side of the Jibhi river, are two properties owned and managed by Mr. Rana and his family. And I would like to thank him and his staff for their hospitality and wonderful food.
Thanks to the recent tourism boom and the influence of social media in our lives, Indian travelers too now know of this place and now a handful of accommodation options have sprung up in Jibhi.
If you want to escape the monotony of life and rejuvenate yourself, do head to this picturesque village. If you are still clueless about the place, read on to find the things to do in Jibhi whenever you plan to head there.
Get Yourself a Cozy Place to Stay!
The reason we are mentioning the most obvious thing one does on a holiday, as the first thing to do is because of the variety in the kind of options available.
We choose to stay at Doli Guest House, a traditional style wooden Himachali home. You also have swiss cottages (like Rana Swiss Cottage), hostels (Mudhouse Jibhi, TreeSouls Hostel), campsites and homestays- and quite some of them are located on the riverside.
Jibhi is an ideal place if you want to use those work from home days and work remotely. It is a laid back place, so take your time to decide how you want to lay your back.
Visit Jibhi Waterfall
Jibhi waterfall is an easily approachable place, a beautiful and well-maintained waterfall. For us, the waterfall was within walking distance from our accommodation. There is no hike or uneven trail, a person of any age or fitness level can enjoy the beauty of this clean and picturesque place.
Explore Jalori Pass
Jalori Pass is some kilometers away from Jibhi. You can either wait for the public transport bus to take you there (it didn’t come to the stop till an hour from the scheduled time) or book a cab through your guest house owner (the alternative we ended up choosing).
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Trek Up to Serolskar Lake
You can trek for some 4-5 km from Jalori Pass to reach Serolskar lake. At the the time of visit, the trail was blocked due to heavy snowfall. We had no complains though, we were content to see the snow clad mountains all around us from Jalori pass.
Hike Up to Raghupur Fort
Another hike that starts from Jalori pass. Walk for some 3.5 kilometers through a trail that is steep in parts and reach Raghupur fort.
Another place we missed out due to heavy snow, but the place is strongly recommended by others. The ‘fort’ is a small temple type structure, but the views of the surrounding are supposed to be ethereal.
Admire Ancient Architecture at Chehni Kothi
In nearby Chehni village, a short but steep trail will take you to Chehni Kothi where you can admire the ancient Himachali architecture.
Entry inside Chehni Kothi is not permitted though. However, the beauty of the trail laced with the fragrance of Deodar and the uniqueness of the ancient architecture makes it worth your time. You will also come across a temple shortly after you have started walking on the trail.
Go Angling in Tirthan Valley
You can give fishing or angling a try in nearby Tirthan valley after obtaining necessary permits. Trout fishes are available in plenty in the region.
You may also keep a day or two separately to stay in Tirthan valley, accommodation options are available there too. But it is being a valley region, the temperature would be a little on the higher side as compared to Jibhi.
Angling is prohibited from November to February. Fishing permits can be obtained from the Fisheries Officer at Nagini village near Banjar for Rs 100.
Enjoy a Meal of Trout Fish
Even if you do not want to fish yourself, a meal of fresh trout fish can be easily enjoyed in your guest house or homestay when you are in Jibhi.
Explore the Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park is also close by, but you need to devote 3-4 days separately to explore it in a true sense (by camping, trekking or going on a safari).
Sit Back and Do Nothing
Yes, the last thing on the list is to sit back and just be! Perch yourself on a hammock in your guest house, or on a rock near the gently flowing river, and enjoy the serenity of the place.
Take long walks on the roads and trails where the air is clean and the gentle breeze brings with the scent of Deodar.
How to Reach Jibhi?
If your starting point is Delhi/Chandigarh, board a Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus going to either Kullu or Manali.
HRTC AC Volvo are available for overnight as well as day journey. However, do not All the way to either of these two places – disembarked at a small town called Aut which was around 80 km before Manali on the Chandigarh-Manali route.
From Aut you may
- Directly get a share cab till Jibhi; or
- Board one of the buses plying on the bus stand for Banjar, from where plenty of share cabs are available that can drop you off to Jibhi.
The journey further from Aut takes you away from the crowd of buses and taxis on the Chandigarh Manali highway, through beautiful villages dotted with apricot trees bearing white flowers (if travelling in the spring season).
Best Time to Visit Jibhi
- March-June – The ideal time to visit Jibhi. The snow starts melting and lush greenery all around makes it a feast for the eyes.
- July-August – Not recommended to travel in monsoon as the rains can cause delays in your plans, apart from reduced visibility.
- September-October – Another good time after heavy showers are over.
- November-February – Off season for Jibhi. If you can bear the chill and want to see a snow clad Jibhi, it’s a good time to travel. But plan well and check for accommodation in advance as some places might not be fully operational at this time.