This guide is perfect for independent travelers to explore Jibhi.
Jibhi is a quaint hamlet in Himachal Pradesh. On a sunny day, farmers plow the dried soil. The apple orchards are left with red leaves waving and a few rotten apples lying on the ground. After sunset, a few twinkles of lights blinking from the opposite hill. Smokes puff out between the Chimney’s lips.
Located in the Banjar Valley, the highway connects Jibhi with cities like Manali and Shimla. There’s no direct bus to Jibhi. Aut is the transit town where you take a taxi to Jibhi.
I spent one night in Jibhi on my way to Manali. Then I returned to Jibhi for a 5-day holiday retreat.
Best time to visit?
Jibhi is worth to visit in every season. Summer and autumn are the best seasons for hiking and camping.
July – September Lush green mountains after soaking in the monsoon rain.
October – November witness autumn color
December – January are months for snow
2 to 4 days
Things to do in and around Jibhi
Explore the village
After enjoying your homestay cooked breakfast, start your day early. In the summer days, the sun gets hot as soon as around 10 am. And in winter days, cold air envelops the valley after 4 pm.
Following the old trails created by villagers and their ancestors, you could easily spend a day on any of these trails. Kath-kunni style houses are scattered on both sides of the valley. Terrace farming is created on mountain slopes since lands are scarce in the valley.
Another activity is to walk to the top of the mountain to have a panoramic view of the terraces.
Houses painted in vibrant colors add a characteristic to the seasonally changing landscape. Unique kath-kunni style traditional houses are only found in this region, usually built in two storeys with a roof covered in stone pallets. Wooden stairs to the second floor and a simply decorated balcony are typical to these houses. The ground floor is usually for storage and the second floor is the living space. You can find a traditional handloom machine placed under the stairs in almost every household.
Temple architecture is similar to their houses and is built on slopes surrounded by apple orchards.
Most homestays are near the main road which bisects the valley, so you could easily hike both sides of the valley.
Sit by the river, read a book or write journals
Take a quick hike down to the river, idle away your time, reading a book, and listening to the many little birds and steady flow of icy water stream.
Look up to the treetops, it’s just you, blue sky, and the flowing river, surrounded by a forest. The colorful landscape is an attractive point.
Morning Walk to Pine Forest & Bird Watching
My first time spotting a woodpecker was in a pine forest in Jibhi. That made my day. The smell of pine brings calmness to my brain.
A hike to Jalori Pass and Chehni village takes you through a dreamy forest. Start early to the misty sun and dewdrops in pine strands shining through the morning sun.
Join an early morning tour for bird watching. Or do a solo hike to spot birds. One spot is near the Pushp Bhadra river, about 1 kilometer from Jibhi House Cottage.
Meet Shepherds on the way to Jalori Pass (3,291 meters)
Trekking Jalori Pass is a must-do activity while in Jibhi. Three ways to make your Jalori Pass trek memorable: camping, meet herds of goats, and teashop on the hill. I made a half-day trip to the pass. On the way there, we were lucky to spot the former Himachal Pradesh state bird: Himalayan Monal. Its feather color is shinny and comparable to the colorful reef.
Shepherds and their herds are everywhere in Jalori Pass mountains. They don’t stay in one place. Follow them to their next meadow.
Having a cup of tea is a perfect way to wrap up this trek. Give yourself 30 minutes to 1 hour in this spot.
Tip: You can do this day-hike independently. You will not get lost. A well defines road shared by shepherds takes you to the tea shop and walk back on the same road as the entrance.
How to get to Jalori Pass?
The pass closes every winter in December based on snow conditions.
. Drive your car to the pass.
. Go with your tour guide and camping
. Take a public bus to the pass
Once was an isolated village in remote Himachal Pradesh, now a well-defined trail takes you through pine forest to the village. It’s a historic gem in the valley. This village is the best example to observe the Himalayan culture.
The two iconic buildings, namely the Chehni Fort and Krishna Temple, represent the local architectural style, known as kath-kunni style, built in a similar structure and era, between 200 – 400 years.
But their functionalities have changed. As a defensive fort, Chehni Fort converted into a temple dedicated to the local goddess, Jogini. The stairs made from one tree log is another impressive structure.
Another tallest building in the village is the 5 storeys building which was once the old residence of Chehni village rulers, now converted to Krishna Temple. The priest and his family occupy the first two floors. I liked the interior craftsmanship of this residence. The granite floors are so cold in winter.
Spend a little more time to walk around the village. Houses are close to each other. It’s easy to observe the villagers’ lifestyle. In spring, the landscape welcome blossom season, and green farm. The autumn will witness grain harvest.
I arrived at 10 am. Villagers already finished most of the daily chores and the kids were in a makeshift school which was just under the Cheni fort.
Don’t forget to pack snacks and water!
Then walk back to Jibhi.
Tip: Fagli Festival / Masked Dancers from Feb 12 – 15 in Kullu/Banjar.
How to get Chehni Kothi?
Begin your trek from Shringa Rishi Temple takes about 1 hour. Take public transport to Bagi village.
Trek from Bihar village to Chehni
The best way to experience Jibhi is by staying in a local guesthouse. The cozy guesthouse and home cook meal is another level of a luxurious stay in Jibhi. Many guesthouses owned by locals mushroomed in this tiny village with similar wooden interior design and balcony to overlook the valley. Jibhi’s village center is where most grocery shops and a state bank. The listed guesthouse is about 1km from the center. In a peak season, it might be difficult to select a quiet homestay for an extensive stay.
Lenna’s Place / Wilderness Home Jibhi The property is on the main road, easy access. Leena and Lalit are great hosts.
I crossed Jibhi House – Cafe & Cottages’s backyard to the main road on one hiking; I told myself I’d stay here if I come back. It owns a serene backyard looking down to the river.
Norwegian Wood Cafe & Cottages is a tucked-away cottage from the main road. Another cottage is Apple Tree Cottages enclosed in a farm.
Mudhouse Jibhi, by E-Living Project, is an absolutely budget place to stay offers dormitories and to have a Tirthan river view. And The Hidden Burrow .
Camping in Jibhi or around during summer and autumn is a must activity. There are many camping grounds.
How to get to Jibhi?
Located in the Banjar Valley, the highway connects Jibhi with cities like Manali and Shimla. There’s no direct bus to Jibhi.
Take a bus from Shimla or Manali to Aut. Aut is the transit town where you take a taxi to Jibhi.
Where to go after?
Bahu is a nature gem about 7km from Jibhi. If you continue the road, Sarandi is found in 6km, famous with two temples.
Essentials Packing List
Hiking or comfortable shoes
Day trip backpack
- State Bank of India with ATM and restaurants in the town center
- Only small local shops here and there. Few of them sell the locally made bun, sidu.
- No supermarket nor handicraft shops.
- No bike nor motorbike rental
- Public Transportation and Taxi are available