The time between my postings seems to be growing larger and larger, but I have been trying to write this blog for some time now. But as it is said, better late than never. This blog is actually on one of the few ‘vacations’ that I have managed to take over the last couple of years and probably the only one which was not to a relative’s place.
A bunch of my friends from Graduation days and myself landed up going on a trek to the Jalori</ Pass, on the outskirts of the Great Himalayan National Park. This pass is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, and is well known amongst the trekking circuit.
To reach Jalori we hired a mini bus, since there were so many of us and drove from Delhi via Chandigarh, Mandi and Banjar. A word of caution, if you plan to drive to this place or anywhere similar (10,800 feet above sea level) please make sure your vehicle can take it. What should have been a 10 hour journey for us, took more than 16 hours. One of the reasons for this was that our vehicle got overheated and broke down.
The roads from Banjar to Jalori are steep and difficult to navigate by someone who isn’t used to them. Also, heed the warnings signs which ask to drive ONLY in first gear, as driving in any other gear or on neutral really damages the vehicle. That was a problem we faced while coming back! our driver drove on neutral and fried the brakes. Overall the return journey took us close to 20 hours! So yes, if you drive down, be ready for delays and hardships.
Having said this, I must add that all the pain in the travel was completely worth it from the experience we had while there. We stayed at the Forest Department camp near the pass, and it was lovely.
The first day we reached around lunch, and were served simple homely food, made up of Dal, Sabzi, Roti and Chawal. While the camp does serve Chicken, you have to let them know a day in advance so that they can get the meat from the main village. Later in the evening we trekked up, or rather in my case, crawled up to a meadow on the top of the mountain behind the camp.
Turns out this meadow was used for the shooting of the movie “Yeh Jawaani Hain Deewani“, though I am sure the stars came by helicopters for that. Anywho, I will let the photograph below speak for itself, but will say one thing, imagine what it would look like without the cloud cover.
The nights were spend by a bon fire, which proved heavenly, cause temperatures dip terribly at night. The next day we trekked to the nearby lake, which is the main attraction of the area. The trek isn’t long or very difficult, with us city people completing it around 4-5 hours. The one thing that surprisingly put a smile on my face was the quotations, like what is shown below, which mark the entire trek.
about a 100-200 meters from the lake, there is tea stall where you can stop, enjoy the view and grab something to eat. But don’t worry, even the lake itself has about 4 tea stalls and dhabas with plenty of instant noodles, chips, juices and tea.
The lake itself was completely mesmerizing, in its simplicity and serenity. The folklore is that the lake is actually housing a temple, that was, rumour has it, made of pure gold. Don’t know if its true or not, but there is a temple on the banks of the lake.
There are also camping sites around the lake, and rest houses where one can spend the night. So do take out time and go to this absolutely mesmerizing place, enjoy the quiet, the beauty, fresh air and good food! a trek to the Jalori Pass is a must in my books.
p.s: None of the pictures were taken by me, but by my friends and unfortunately so much time has passed, I have forgotten who took which one. So a collective credit for the pictures to Shashank Bhardawaj, Tanuj Nagpal, Sonali Chauhan, Rashmi Singh and Preeti Venkataraman.