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Old 20th April 2014, 00:58   #1
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Default Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

One good thing about being in Delhi is that you are always so close to the mighty Himalayas. Ever since I moved to Delhi late last year, I had been yearning for a good, long vacation in these majestic mountains. So with 14th April being declared a holiday and 18th Apr being Good Friday, a 3 days leave clubbed with prefixes and suffixes provided a perfect 9 days time off from work. The preferred destination being Himachal Pradesh, worked out the following itinerary:-

Day 1 - Drive to Shimla. Night halt.

Day 2 - Drive to Shoja.

Day 3 - Explore Shoja, Jhibhi & Ghiyagi

Day 4 - Drive to Parbati Valley. Stay at Kalga Village

Day 5- Trek to Kheer Ganga. Post trek, drive to Mandi and night halt at Mandi

Day 6 - Drive to Parashar Lake.

Day 7 - Drive to Janjheli Valley

Day 8 - Drive to Shimla. Stay at Shimla

Day 9 - Return to Delhi

The drive to Shimla was uneventful. Took around 9.5 hours in my Scorpio. Spent the night at my parents place at Shimla. Next day, took off at around 1300 hrs to Shoja. The route followed was Shimla-Narkanda-Sainj-Aani-Jalori Pass-Shoja. The drive is beautiful from Aani onwards. The road meanders through some beautiful villages and forest as you climb up to Jalori Pass. A few pics clicked enroute:-
Attached Thumbnails
Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1741.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1749.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1750.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1767.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1768.jpg  

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Old 20th April 2014, 01:10   #2
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

By the time we made it to Jalori Pass, it was very late. We hit the pass at 2030 hrs. It had been raining through the day and as we approached Jalori, the rain turned to light slow fall. There was an inch or two of snow on the road for around 2-3 kms on either side of the Pass. The vehicle did skid a little once in a while, but thankfully since the snow was fresh and not frozen, we were able to make it out of the Pass safely. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience being up there at Jalori at night amid the snow and fog.

The only pic we clicked there:-

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1775.jpg

Reached Shoja at night. Decided to stay at Doli Guest House at Jhibhi. A very neatly organized place run by one Mr. Rana. The place has some 8 rooms, all in wooden finish. Nice clean bathrooms. Good food. Room charges were Rs. 660 per day. The best thing about the place is that its right next to a small rivulet. From May onwards till Oct, the place is occupied mostly by Israelis.

Some pics around Jhibhi and Shoja:-

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1780.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1789.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1794.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1796.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1806.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1823.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1824.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1839.jpg  

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Old 20th April 2014, 01:26   #3
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

From Shoja, we drove to Parbati Valley. The road goes up to a place called Barshaini. Had to leave the vehicle there and walked some 15 minutes or so to reach this village called Kalga. Itís a beautiful village located on flat terrain, with deodar forests and snow covered mountains for a backdrop. Lots of homestays abound, with standard charges of Rs. 150 per room per day. The rooms are neat and clean, and finished in the typical wooden decor. There are no attached toilets though. This place again is a favorite haunt of the Israelis and from May onwards. It will be difficult to manage accommodation here then as they will be here in droves.

The pics:-

Parvati Valley

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1844.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1846.jpg

Kalga Village

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1848.jpg

View from balcony of the Homestay

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1852.jpg

The Village

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1865.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1875.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1876.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1877.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1879.jpg
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Old 20th April 2014, 01:38   #4
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

We wanted to do the famous Kheer Ganga trek which starts from Barshaini. However, there being considerable snow at Kheer Ganga at the time, we decided to go only half way till Rudranath. The trek runs along the Parabati river till Rudranath. Took us around an hour and a half to reach Rudranath. Itís a sheer climb of around 2-3 hours from Rudranath to Kheer Ganga.

Photographs of the Parbati Valley and Rudranath:-

The route to Kheer Ganga is along the Parvati river on the right.

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1880.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1883.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1884.jpg

Thats my brother

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1886.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1888.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1890.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1892.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1896.jpg

Will post the remaining pics tomorrow as its already too late and am feeling sleepy.
Attached Thumbnails
Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1894.jpg  

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Old 20th April 2014, 10:57   #5
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

Rudranath

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1898.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1896.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1900.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1901.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1917.jpg

River Crossing

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1919.jpg

Parvati River Below

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1920.jpg
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Old 20th April 2014, 11:08   #6
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

The next destination was Parashar Lake. We drove from Barshaini to Mandi where we stayed overnight. Started for Parasher at around 0800 and were at Parashar by 1030 hours. Its difficult to describe in words what Parashar Lake has to offer. I donít know if itís the surreal surroundings, the beauty of the Lake itself or the cold mountain air whistling past the forests and the meadows, but Parashar Lake does leave you spellbound. The pics follow, though they may not do any justice to the beauty of the place at all:-

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1927.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1928.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1930.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1932.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1933.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1944.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1946.jpg

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Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1953.jpg

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1976.jpg
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Old 20th April 2014, 11:13   #7
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

The next drive was from Mandi to Shimla via Jhanjheli. Initial plan was to stop over at Jhanjheli. However, had to reach Shimla early for some reason, so just drove through the place. The vistas in Jhanjheli valley and the forests that surround it on either side are nothing short of spectacular, and I have made a note to myself to definitely spend at least a couple of days here sometime soon. The few pics that we clicked in the valley (would have loved to click more but for the fading light and the hurry to reach Shimla):-
Attached Thumbnails
Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1985.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1986.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1987.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1989.jpg  

Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more-d7k_1990.jpg  

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Old 20th April 2014, 12:59   #8
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

That's one nice travelogue there nvldvr. And some great pics too! Every time I see these pics, I miss the mountains all the more.

The pictures reminded me of these lines from Rudyard Kipling - "..........and the last puff of the day-wind brought from the unseen villages the scent of damp wood-smoke, hot cakes, dripping undergrowth, and rotting pine-cones. That is the true smell of the Himalayas, and if once it creeps into the blood of a man, that man will at the last, forgetting all else, return to the hills to die"

Waiting for more.

Cheers !


(PS:on a different note - how were the road conditions, especially in the remote interiors? Can a low GC, soft suspension sedan like the Manza do this circuit?)
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Old 20th April 2014, 16:00   #9
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhide View Post
That's one nice travelogue there nvldvr. And some great pics too! Every time I see these pics, I miss the mountains all the more.

The pictures reminded me of these lines from Rudyard Kipling - "..........and the last puff of the day-wind brought from the unseen villages the scent of damp wood-smoke, hot cakes, dripping undergrowth, and rotting pine-cones. That is the true smell of the Himalayas, and if once it creeps into the blood of a man, that man will at the last, forgetting all else, return to the hills to die"

Waiting for more.

Cheers !


(PS:on a different note - how were the road conditions, especially in the remote interiors? Can a low GC, soft suspension sedan like the Manza do this circuit?)
Yes Ironhide, once the smell of Himalayas creeps into the blood of a man, he sure will return to the hills to die. I grew up in the hills, and have spent most of my adult life outside either studying or working. But sure as hell, i will return to the hills.

The road condition is just about OK at most places. The exceptions being the stretch from Manikaran to Gurshaini, the area sorrounding Jalori Pass and the road from Jhanjheli to Chattri. Manza may do the job in these sections, but will warrant caution and restrained driving.

Cheers.
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Old 20th April 2014, 19:25   #10
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

Nice log Nvldvr. Parashar Lake has been long pending in our list. We were planning a camping trip to Parashar lake. How far its from FRH ?
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Old 20th April 2014, 20:46   #11
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

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Nice log Nvldvr. Parashar Lake has been long pending in our list. We were planning a camping trip to Parashar lake. How far its from FRH ?
Thanks V&V. The lake is at a walking distance from FRH, not more than a km or so. And its a good place to camp. In fact i am myself planning a camping trip there in Sep this year.
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Old 20th April 2014, 22:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvldvr View Post
Yes Ironhide, once the smell of Himalayas creeps into the blood of a man, he sure will return to the hills to die. I grew up in the hills, and have spent most of my adult life outside either studying or working. But sure as hell, i will return to the hills.

The road condition is just about OK at most places. The exceptions being the stretch from Manikaran to Gurshaini, the area sorrounding Jalori Pass and the road from Jhanjheli to Chattri. Manza may do the job in these sections, but will warrant caution and restrained driving.

Cheers.
Thanks ! I was contemplating this route, the biggest draw of which is that it is off the commercial touristy circuit, mostly. I'll maybe go ahead with it after all . Thanks all the same.

Cheers !
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Old 21st April 2014, 01:05   #13
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Default re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

Thanks for posting this. Love that part of HP. Had driven up to the Barsheni last year, but never did the trek.

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Reached Shoja at night. Decided to stay at Doli Guest House at Jhibhi. A very neatly organized place run by one Mr. Rana. The place has some 8 rooms, all in wooden finish. Nice clean bathrooms. Good food. Room charges were Rs. 660 per day. The best thing about the place is that its right next to a small rivulet. From May onwards till Oct, the place is occupied mostly by Israelis.
Is this on the way to FRH at Jhibhi? That should be an awesome location. Wanted to stay at the FRH someday, but it requires permission from I think Mandi. Rs. 660 is a sweet deal. Should explore it soon.

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Thanks V&V. The lake is at a walking distance from FRH, not more than a km or so. And its a good place to camp. In fact i am myself planning a camping trip there in Sep this year.
Are there any camping restrictions there, or you just camp anywhere you please?
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Old 21st April 2014, 22:07   #14
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Default Re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

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By the time we made it to Jalori Pass, it was very late. We hit the pass at 2030 hrs. It had been raining through the day and as we approached Jalori, the rain turned to light slow fall. There was an inch or two of snow on the road for around 2-3 kms on either side of the Pass. The vehicle did skid a little once in a while, but thankfully since the snow was fresh and not frozen, we were able to make it out of the Pass safely. Nevertheless, it was quite an experience being up there at Jalori at night amid the snow and fog.
This took me back nearly 10 years. Sometime in 2004 I had gone to Gushaini with a friend in my 1.3 Ford Ikon nxt. A colleague from office who had recommended the place in Gushaini also mentioned that there is a very nice place which is few hours from Gushaini. So me and my friend, who were absolutely clueless about typical hill drive and having forgotten the name of the place asked around from the homestay chap at Gushaini about the 'nice place' nearby which was at a height. So came up 'Jalori Pass'. After we had a good breakfast, off went to enthusiastic Delhi lads to 'Jalori Pass'. If my memory serves me right, we approached this from Aut side. Boy the climb was steep and I had to push the car in 1st gear praying all along that we don't stall or I don't get someone coming from the top. The road or rather the path (which was then) was not tarred. Anyhow, we reached the Pass. The view was stunning. We looked at the other side, for some strange reason it had tarred road on the other side of the Pass. We spent few days at Gushaini and went back to Delhi. When I caught up with the colleague who had recommended Gushaini, I asked him why did he recommend such a steep inclined drive up to Jalori Pass - you know what the guy said - it wasn't Jalori Pass he had mentioned! And, I don't recall what he mentioned. This was one of its kind of drive. As I look back - I was scared when we were going up - but the view from the Pass was worth it.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 09:52   #15
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Default Re: Himachal Drive: Shoja, Parvati Valley, Parashar Lake, Jhanjheli & more

Wow, i feel nostalgic. Last year end me and my friends did a similar trip. Mumbai - Delhi - Jim corbett - Delhi - Kasol - Barshaini - Chandigarg - Mumbai. Our base stay was Kasol while doing the Himachal trip, i absolutely loved that place. At that time, i think we 3 friends were the only Indian tourist around and rest all were Israilis. We took a car and went till Barshaini, from there we started our trek towards Kheerganga, but we were not prepared well for the cold. Just a simple sweater on us didnt help, and it started raining too. Last moment we dropped it and went only half way. I really wish we could push ourselves and do kheerganga. Loved your pics.
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