In complete contrast to popular and crowded hill stations in India like Manali and Shimla, Jibhi is an unblemished village in Banjar Valley in Kullu district, hidden between beautiful green mountains stocked with pine, cedar and deodar trees. Jibhi doesn’t have a market place for tourists or famous restaurants. Instead, its tranquil environment almost impels visitors to notice the rich, traditional pahari (hilly) lifestyle the villagers have been living for generations. Agriculture and animal husbandry are what most families do, but some have been handloom weavers for years. Jibhi is the best place for authentic hand-woven Yak wool shawls.
The otherwise quiet village is usually filled with harmonic symphonies of rustling leaves and free-flowing river streams and waterfalls. Kilometers of apple orchards make great pathways for easy and short treks in this perfect mountain getaway.
Trout fishing is also quite an activity in Jibhi. After acquiring the permit to fish, one can test their skills in the pristine rivers of this hill station in India and, if you manage to catch any, you can take it back to your guesthouse and ask them to cook it for you.
Lately, lot of artists, writers, photographers, musicians and even filmmakers have made a trip to the hill station. Often, foreigners spend time exploring the village too. A handful of hostels and homestays offer a roof to these inquisitive travelers who help with directions and tour guides for getting the best out of the trip. Jibhi’s slow, laidback life is what attracts travelers the most.
A solo traveler, Rajen Patel, who visited Jibhi recently, said that he remembers doing nothing and enjoying it. “I made a friend while I was staying in a hostel and, together, we just spent time gazing at the landscape,” he said. He particularly enjoyed evening bonfires and conversations with other travelers.
Jibhi is the best place to stay in if mountain treks and marvelous sights at the end of it are to your liking.
Jalori Pass is one of the highest mountain passes in India, at 10,800 ft above sea level. The trek from Jibhi to Jalori is quite steep. But, if you are quite the trekker, this route shouldn’t be impossible. The view is definitely worth it.
A five-kilometer trek further from Jalori leads to the sacred Seroyul Lake. The clear water and verdant surrounding is a delight to spend time amidst. Windflower meadows stretch as far as the eyes can see. A few kilometers walk from there leads to a cave full of natural crystals.
Four kilometers from Jalori Pass lies the Shringa Rishi Temple where the main deity of Banjar Valley resides. The temple is a beautiful, bright coloured structure made of wood and bricks and of great importance to the people of Jibhi and nearby villages.
Raghupur Fort is a three-kilometer walk from Jalori Pass in another tiny village called Shoja. Gorgeous oak trees and rhododendrons make sure you never get bored of looking at nature’s beauty. The fort is partly ruined and there is a small pond inside the premises.
Another Himalayan village close to Jibhi is called Chehni, five-kilometers from Jalori. The seemingly insignificant village is famous for one architectural marvel that was built 1,500 years ago. The five-floor high watchtower is built of stone interlocked with timber logs to keep it strong and steady in bad weather conditions and leans on one side. Erected by the Mandi Empire during their rule, the tower is now a temple.
In case you are wondering how you could reach this magical little village in Himachal Pradesh, then there are several ways. Almost every bus that goes to Manali from Delhi, goes to Jibhi too. Visitors can opt for a train journey to Shimla and then a 150-kilometer cab ride to Jibhi or a flight to Bhuntar in Himachal Pradesh, which is 60 kilometers away from Jibhi. Nature lovers and those who enjoy cycling in the beautiful lush scenery could hire one to get around. But, there are cab options too, for people who’d rather not trek 10,000 ft. up by themselves.