Exams were over,and Delhi was melting. It was difficult to stay indoors, let alone stepping outside for some fun. This compelled us to take a deviation from our routine and spend some time with the peaceful and refreshing Himalayas. Our planned destination was Manali but because of an uncalled-for-strike,we couldn’t really go around Manali. Then it struck me that I had read about a little hamlet in Kullu, called Jibhi. So, we packed our bags and left Manali for Jibhi the following day on a local bus that took us to Aut. You can also reach Aut from Delhi on any bus that is enroute Manali. We had already informed the owner of Pinewood Homestay who had arranged a taxi for us to reach Jibhi from Aut.
It was the most beautiful route I had ever seen in my life. The road curled through rugged hills and pine forest, and along went the mighty Tirthan River. The river was so attractive that we had a pit stop to dip our feet in the cold water. However, we did not know that this was just the trailor of the complete movie because when we reached the homestay, we were awestruck. The beauty of the place left us speechless. We took a few moments to absorb the charm that the place offered.
The homestay was a little wooden cottage nestled in the middle of a forest with a small creek running by, just 10 feet away. It was nothing less than out of a fairytale book. We descended downhill to our cottage that was completely wooden. We payed merely Rs. 1000/- per night for each room. The beautiful area made the money worth it. When there is a creek running nearby with knee deep water, there was no holding back. As soon as we settled into our rooms, we rushed to take a splash in the clear and refreshing water that relieved us. That night we had our dinner under the blanket of clear sky with twinkling stars, accompanied by the gushing water and a bonfire to keep us warm.
The next day we planned to trek to a secluded lake, named Serolsar Lake, which is an easy 6 km trek that starts from Jalori Pass. To reach Jalori Pass, we hired a taxi and traveled on one of India’s most dangerous roads, with steep 45 degree gradients, rocky terrain and U-pin curves that made our heart stop. Jalori Pass, at 3120 mtrs (10280 ft.) offers a panoramic view of the Himalayan Ranges that are a feast to the eyes. The drive to Jalori Pass must be on every adventurer’s list.
The trek begins from a meadow in Jalori Pass and winds through rhododendron and pine forest. The trail offers the best view of the surrounding peaks in the vicinity. It is easy and suitable for beginners with ascends and descends that shorten your breath as you reach the end. But once you climb up the final rocks and see ahead, the view of the lake surrounded by pines and clear sky makes you forget everything. At that very moment, all I could think of was that mother nature has definitely showered her blessings upon this place. It was secluded except us with the fresh mountain air and the clear blue sky.
After spending some peaceful time with my inner soul, we decided to return. Near the lake, there was a small shack where we had Maggi and omelet to help our starving stomach. The setting sun cast an orange glow over the mountains that told us it was time to go back. We spent that night in camps set up by the homestay across the creek, in the forest. The next day we headed back to Delhi by taking a bus from Aut. This trip touched a deep chord inside me. And as we de-boarded the bus, we resolved to return to this place again to take back lot more memories