Fly into Chandigarh. Met by our driver at the airport. Drive to Thanedar via Simla; the summer capital of the British at the time of their rule. Night stay in Banjara’s Orchard Retreat. 80 kms from Shimla on the old Hindustan-Tibet road lay Thanedar, which enjoys a special place in Himachal history. In 1916 Samuel Stokes, a social worker from Philadelphia brought the first apple saplings to Thanedar, the place he adopted as his home. One can still see the 'Starking Delicious' apple orchard that he planted there. He made Thanedar his home, married a local girl and changed his religion in the later part of life.
After breakfast, visit the Stokes home and Paramjyotir temple. You could also visit the St. Mary’s church. Mid- morning, drive to Dohra nala, the starting point of the trek (3.5 hrs drive). Trek up to Kullu Sarahan village (2 kms) and camp overnight in an open meadow.
It is a steep climb to Bashleo Pass at 3270m through thick forest. We walk over the pass on to a meadow where we camp for the night.
Today is a gentle walk down to Bathad in Tirthan Valley through lush green forests. Drive on to Sojha. Overnight stay at Banjara Retreat. The hamlet of Sojha is 5 kms from the Jalori Pass that links the Shimla and Kulu districts in Himachal Pradesh state. The numerous walks and treks in the surrounding forests and meadows are a special feature of the area and the drive to the resort is a pleasure in itself. Located in Seraj valley, still undiscovered by many, Jibhi is a breathtakingly beautiful place. The mornings in Jibhi are particularly invigorating. One can just stroll around, walk up to the meadows or perhaps take the pathway into the jungle. Nature lovers can enjoy thick wooded hill slopes starting from bottom as far down or up or sideways or deep as one can look. One can see the great snow clad peaks beyond the tree line and some great cloud formations. The thickly wooded mountainside, densely populated with conifers, deodars and toosh characterize the beauty and uniqueness of Jibhi. With unending slopes of emerald forests, verdant and pristine, nature is at its most alluring.
Day excursion to Serolsar Lake- 6 kms one way from Jalori pass A drive to Jalori pass will take 30-40 minutes from Jibhi. From there a well defined trail takes one to the lake. Few hundred meters on the trail and then you get in to the Oak forest. The sun rays filtering through the tree cover, the blue of the sky through the foliage, the up and down of the trail, an occasional sight of a bird, a clearing showing the huge green vistas cascading down to the Sutluj valley, all of this and more will keep you an enchanting company all the way to the lake. The lake makes up in crystal clear clarity what it lacks in size. The local belief is that no one has ever found a leaf floating in the lake though leafy trees surround the lake itself. Nearby is a small temple beyond which the meadows start. A couple of teashops regularly come up between April-October. They have also some local sweets and savories- worth trying. During summer a lot of Gujjars come with their buffaloes and cows to these pastures.
We hike to Raghupur Fort Meadows overlooking the Tirthan Valley in Kulu district in the West and Shimla district in the East. An early start, especially if you are a photography buff, is recommended. From Jalori, it is a level walk in the open for about hundred meters towards Satluj valley before it heads straight into the forest on a well-defined trail. Half a kilometer later, a short steep climb takes one to a small meadow that offers a photo-op. A short rest and off you go into the Oaks and Rhododendrons forest slowly climbing up and then shifting gear for a final steep climb of 15 to 20 minutes. Here the tree line finishes and we move into a lush green meadow. A little up and we are rewarded with a 360 degrees view of The Himalayas, Dhauladhar and Kinnaur ranges, all of them in one sweeping glance. Keep strolling and in a while we end up at the dilapidated Raghupur Fort. The meadows also happen to be the favourite ground of local shepherds. It is a sight to behold with hundreds of sheep and goats munching around with not a worry in the world, with at least couple of shepherd dogs in attendance.
Drive from Jibhi to Chandigarh/Delhi by personal cab or board evening Volvo from Aut back to Delhi.
Left Bank, Aleo, Manali, Near Nishita Resort, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India - 175131
+91-9736938838, 9816665570, 8091208888
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