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Old 28th June 2016, 14:05   #1
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Default A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass

Vacationing is always a good idea to escape from the humdrum of moribund city life. After one decides to go for it, the next question which immediately strikes is where? Given the scenario of rapid tourism growth since last decade, most of the Himalayan hill resorts are choc a bloc with holidayers and vehicles during the peak tourist season, so much so that one feels, am I really out here for a soothing holiday? Under such circumstances it becomes imperative to look out for the hidden gems in the Himalayas, which are tucked deep in the valleys, far away from the claws of commercial exploitation. There are many such hidden treasures in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which make in for a excellent destination for solitude seekers and Jalori Pass is one of them.

Jalori Pass
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-33.jpg
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The best part of living near the Himalayas is that one can escape to the hills at the drop of hat and quick weekend sojourns can be planned without much ado. I consider myself lucky on that account.

So a weekend trip to Jalori Pass was planned. The trip was divided into two days and the idea was to approach the pass from the eastern side i.e from Satluj River Valley and then to return via the Beas River Valley.

The trip itinerary was decided as follows:
Day 1: Panchkula To Luhri (Via Solan, Chail, Narkanda)
Day 2: Luhri To Panchkula (Via Jalori Pass, Mandi, Bilaspur)


So after the customary planning we were ready to set out.

Route for the first day was as follows: (Courtesy: Google Maps)
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-day-1.jpg
Second day was intended to be covered in three legs, the following were the routes chalked out:
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-1-day-2.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-2-day-2.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-3-day-2.jpg

Day 1: 11th June, 2016: Panchkula to Luhri 227 km

We rolled out by 0700Hrs to avoid the heavy rush of weekenders and vacationers heading towards Shimla. The entire stretch of National Highway from Parwanoo to Solan is being four laned, which results in heavy traffic jams throughout the day, as such the early start idea was to avoid the chaos.

Early morning drive on the Himalayan Expressway from Panchkula till Parwanoo
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In order to avoid heavy rush in Shimla, took detour at Kandaghat towards Chail to again meet the National Highway at Kufri. Although the Kandaghat-Chail-Kufri road is narrow being a link road but it offers some beautiful views with road meandering through dense pine forests.

Sadhu Pul is a famous picnic halt by the river side on way to Chail
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-9.jpg
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Crossed Chail by 1100Hrs and continued towards Kufri. Finally with clouds making some way for the sun, the natural beauty along the road was now more pronounced.

On the Chail-Kufri stretch
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-12.jpg
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Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 29th June 2016 at 19:42.
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Old 28th June 2016, 15:07   #2
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Day 1: Continued...
Upon reaching Kufri we got stuck in a traffic jam for about 30 minutes due to heavy tourist rush, which nullified our effort avoiding Shimla. Nonetheless we enjoyed the unexpected halt by savouring the vistas around. Reached Narkanda by 1500Hrs and stopped for lunch. Drove till Sainj on National Highway and then took a detour towards the left to reach Luhri. Finally reached our destination for the day at 1720 Hrs. Luhri is a small settlement located along the banks of River Satluj. Our accommodation for the day was PWD Rest House, Luhri.

On the Kufri-Narkanda stretch
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-18a.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-18b.jpg
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Flat Tyres?!!!
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-19.jpg

PWD Rest House, Luhri
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-20.jpg
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After settling for the day, went for an evening stroll by the riverside
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Luhri lies on the right bank of River Satluj
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-26.jpg

Luhri bridge connects Shimla District with Kullu District
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-27.jpg

By 2100Hrs we had our dinner at a dhaba in Luhri and returned to Rest House. Finally called it a day by 2300Hrs.

Day Information Log:
Total Distance Covered: 227 kms
Tolls Paid: INR 29/- @ Himalayan Expressway + INR 30/- @ Parwanoo Barrier (HP Entry Toll)= Total INR 59/-
Travel Time: 10 Hrs (Including 1Hr 30Min Halts for Meals, Photography Etc.)
Night Halt: PWD Rest House, Luhri
Refuelling: None

Last edited by ssambyal1980 : 29th June 2016 at 19:44.
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Old 28th June 2016, 23:43   #3
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Day 2: 12th June, 2016: Luhri to Panchkula 356 kms

It was decided to divide the second day of the trip into three legs.
Leg 1: Luhri to Jalori Pass (Sightseeing at Jalori)
Leg 2: Jalori Pass to Rewalsar (Sightseeing at Rewalsar)
Leg 3: Rewalsar to Panchkula

Route Map for Leg 1:
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-1-day-2.jpg

After the morning tea we rolled out at 0700Hrs, it was decided to have breakfast at the pass. River Satluj gave company for a while till the village of Behna from where we took the road to Ani and then further on to Jalori Pass.

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-28.jpg
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Reached Jalori Pass by 0945 Hrs. The 50 kms drive from Luhri to Jalori took about 2hr 20min due to steep ascent and narrow unmetalled stretch of 20 kms just before the pass. The altitude changed from 790 meters (2,592 feet) at Luhri to 3,132 meters (10,276 feet) at Jalori Pass, a substantial change of 2,342 meters (7,684 feet) within a stretch of 50 kms.

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-31.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-33.jpg

About Jalori Pass:
Jalori Pass is famous for having the steepest approach road in the world, next only to Sani Pass located in Lesotho (South Africa). The most steepest ascent starts just below the pass from the village of Khanag (Elv 2,450 meters). The road climbs an altitude of 668 meters (2,238 feet) within a very short distance of just 6 kms!!!. To add to that the entire stretch is unmetalled which makes the vehicles loose traction, especially the front wheel drive ones. The entire stretch is covered only in first gear, with the engine growling and gasping all the way. The speed gets restricted to 10km/h and after a strenuous climb of about 30 minutes one reaches the pass and the strain is off the engine.

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-34.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35a.jpg
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Jalori Pass offers some of the most spectacular views of the Himalayas. To the far west lies the mighty Dhauladhar Range, to the east are the Great Himalayas stretching far off into Tibet. Just south of the pass, lies the ancient Raghupur Garh fort, dating back to the times when the area was ruled by princely states of Himachal. At a distance of 11 kms from the pass, lies Serolsar Lake which can be easily approached on foot and thus makes in for a good excursion to explore beauty around.

After exploring the meadows around the pass, we took the much needed brunch break. The pass has some dhabas which cater to the travellers.

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35e.jpg
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Jalori Pass is an important surface link between the former Princely State of Rampur Bushahr and Kullu. Regular HRTC buses ply on the route connecting Kullu with Rampur.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35h.jpg

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Old 29th June 2016, 15:09   #4
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Some photographs from a previous trip to Jalori Pass undertaken a few years ago:

That trip was undertaken in the month of October, when the monsoons were over and the winter was fast approaching. With weather being crystal clear, the entire Himalayan panorama got revealed. The pass had traces of first snow of the season. Usually the pass gets closed for about 2-3 months during winters from December to February due to heavy snow accumulation. The best time to visit is either in April-May-June or immediately after the monsoons, i.e October-November.

Due to the steep ascent and subsequent descent, extreme caution is advised.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35hi.jpg

Distant Himalayan ranges are visible from the pass during clear sunny days
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35i.jpg
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View of Shoja Village from Jalori pass. The village is a famous tourist spot offering camping and trekking in forest areas around.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35k.jpg

Dhauladhar Mountain Range as seen from Jalori pass.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35l.jpg

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Old 29th June 2016, 18:17   #5
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Day 2: Continued...

Finally after enjoying our halt at Jalori Pass we started off for our next leg of the day by 1100Hrs.

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35r.jpg

The next destination was Rewalsar, which is a famous tourist town and a pilgrimage center in Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh.

Route Map Second Leg:
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-2-day-2.jpg

The descent from Jalori Pass is equally steep as is the ascent, so much so that the vehicle has to be driven in low gears, i.e 1st or 2nd to provide for adequate engine braking. As per the extreme caution advised by the authorities it's safer to drive downhill slowly and steadily in 1st gear only as the road is unmetalled, narrow and full of sharp blind turns till Shoja.

Again the drop in altitude from Jalori Pass (Elv 3,132 meters) till Shoja (Elv 2,650 meters) is of 482 meters (1,581 feet) within a short distance of 5 kms. The entire road meanders through thick pine forests.

After crossing Shoja the road widens a little but remains unmetalled till Jibhi from where the smooth tarmac starts. The first important town below the pass at a distance of 20 kms is Banjaar from where the road widens further and is now quite comfortable to drive on. After crossing Larji, a village known for its Dam and Hydel Project, we reached the Beas River Valley.

Ferociously flowing Beas.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35v.jpg

Confluence point of Rivers Beas & Tirthan at Larji.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35x.jpg

Larji Hydroelectric Project Dam.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35xa.jpg

The road from Jalori Pass meets the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway at Aut Traffic Tunnel.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-35y.jpg
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Now the road was super smooth being a National Highway. After crossing the District Headquarter Town of Mandi, continued towards Rewalsar and reached there by 1545 Hrs. Stayed there for a good one hour and explored the place.

View of Rewalsar Lake.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-36.jpg
The lake was full of fishes.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-37.jpg

Rewalsar is famous for its natural lake and is also an important pilgrimage center housing Temples, Monasteries and a Gurudwara.

Link for more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewalsar,_India (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-38.jpg
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Huge statue of Padmasambhava atop the Monastery.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-40.jpg
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Beautiful carvings on the rocks.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-42.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-43.jpg

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Old 29th June 2016, 19:18   #6
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Day 2: Continued...

Some more photographs...

Rewalsar Monastery.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-44.jpg
Huge bell at the Monastery premises.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-45.jpg
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Placid waters of Rewalsar Lake.
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Colourful screen of Buddhist prayer flags.
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Historic Gurudwara Sahib at Rewalsar.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-1-57.jpg

After exploring the entire place we started off again at 1645Hrs for the last leg of the day.

Route Map Leg 3:
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-route-map-3-day-2.jpg

Again joined the Manali-Chandigarh National Highway at Nerchowk and then headed towards Sundernagar. The highway is being four laned beyond Sundernagar hence the speed got reduced to 25 km/h due to unmetalled sections in between. Reached District Headquarter town of Bilaspur by 1900Hrs and continued ahead. The highway from Bilaspur onwards was full of heavy traffic which led to two major jams. Nonetheless reached Swarghat by 2130 Hrs and stopped for dinner. Started off again at 2200Hrs and it was decided to take the Swarghat-Nalagarh-Pinjore route instead of Swarghat-Kiratpur-Rupnagar-Chandigarh in order to save on time as the latter one remains infested with heavy traffic as compared to the former.

The stretch between Swarghat & Nalagarh is being widened hence the road was uneven and dusty, nonetheless the progress was steady due to virtually zero traffic. After crossing Nalagarh and Baddi, joined the Himalayan Expressway at Pinjore. From here on the drive was like a virtual take off on a runway. Reached the base by 0000 Hrs with mind already being churned with plans of yet another forthcoming Himalayan adventure. GOD SPEED!!!

Day Information Log:
Total Distance Covered: 356 kms
Tolls Paid: None
Travel Time: 17 Hrs (Including 4 Hrs Halts for Sightseeing, Meals, Traffic Jams Etc.)
Refuelling: None, covered the entire trip within a tank full.


Entire Trip Log:
Total Distance Covered During Two Day's Trip: 227+356=583 Kms
Total Fuel Consumed: 40 Litres
Mileage Achieved: 14.57 Km/l
AC Usage: For 60% of the total distance.
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Old 29th June 2016, 20:34   #7
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th June 2016, 11:46   #8
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Dear Ssambyal1980 - "JALORI PASS", it's my all time favorite road, this is the road which made legends! The special stage start time control was at Luri, the flying finish time control was at Banjar. See this link and enjoy! .

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...flashback.html

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 30th June 2016, 13:55   #9
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Dear ssambyal1980: Your travelogue made me nostalgic. I visited Jalori pass 3 years back on mountain bike. It was a youth hostel mountain biking expedition. Our base camp was in Aut and then we cycled each day approximately 25 - 30 kms. Our route was Aut - Phagu Pul - Banjar - Jibhi - Shoja - Jalori Pass. The steep hike was too much for our bicycles but the scenery along the way was way too beautiful and capable enough to make the strain forget. The last patch between Shoja and Jalori Pass was really testing to even cycle for 100 meters. However all the stress and difficulties were forgotten once we reached the Jalori Pass. The cycling and the camping along the way was in itself an adventure. However, the real fun was when we started coming down. We all enjoyed like kids and descended down to Aut in one single day (which took 4 days the other way round). Oh boy, it was so much fun.
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Old 30th June 2016, 14:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Ssambyal1980 - "JALORI PASS", it's my all time favorite road, this is the road which made legends! The special stage start time control was at Luri, the flying finish time control was at Banjar. See this link and enjoy! .

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...flashback.html

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Sir,
First of all thanks a ton for taking out time to go through the travelogue and then replying to it with valuable information. It’s great privilege for a motoring enthusiast like me to get connected with an ace rallyist like you. You have stirred the right chords. It was the Himalayan Rally which truly ushered in the motor sports era in India. Although I was quite young at that time but still remember the photographs from the rallies which appeared in the national dailies and also in the advertisements by leading tyre manufacturers (MRF & JK) who sponsored the event, on back pages of leading news magazines like India Today.

It was good to see the legendary Ambassadors, Premier Padmini's and Mahindra’s Work Horses competing alongside the Mercedes and Audis. It’s unfortunate that the rally experienced stiff resistance from vested political interests during its debut. Although it's been been more than 25 years since it was last held in 1990, but nonetheless it remains a classic in the history of motorsports in India.

Some memories from the Himalayan Rally which had been previously shared on Team BHP:

Sir it was good to see the vehicle in which you participated.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-himalayan-rally-1.jpg

When Ambassadors & Fiats used to be the part of the rally.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-himalayan-rally-2.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-himalayan-rally-3.jpg

Foreign nationals & NRIs participated with imported vehicles.
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-himalayan-rally-4.jpg
A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass-himalayan-rally-5.jpg

Also came across some media coverage articles about Himalayan Rally (Courtesy: India Today)

Himalayan Rally 1980: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/h.../1/410163.html

Himalayan Rally 1982: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/t.../1/392301.html

Himalayan Rally 1987: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/m.../1/337805.html


It was after nine long years in 1999 that the Himalayas started reverberating again with the roars of engines, with the start of Raid-De-Himalaya a rally entirely taking place in the Himalayan region, from start to finish. The rally's starting point has been Shimla since its inception, whereas it has terminated at different Himalayan Cities (Leh, Srinagar, Manali) over its course of organisation so far. Once again thanks alot sir for your valuable reply. Hope to hear more from you.

Warm Regards

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Old 6th July 2016, 22:21   #11
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Default Re: A Himalayan Weekend @ Jalori Pass

A crisp and informative travelogue.
Was just curious, how tough the road actually is when compared to the Hatu peak road in Narkanda ?
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Old 9th July 2016, 19:06   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit View Post
Dear ssambyal1980: Your travelogue made me nostalgic. I visited Jalori pass 3 years back on mountain bike.
Thanks Vinit. I sincerely appreciate your endeavour to cycle up to Jalori Pass. Cycling to the pass requires an extraordinary level of fitness and successfully reaching the top is no mean feat. Kudos for your effort. The ascent from Shoja onwards is really steep as is from Khanag onwards when one approaches the pass from the other side. But on reaching the pass, one forgets all the strife and strain which has been endured to accomplish the mission, as the views from the top are simply mesmerizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB311 View Post
A crisp and informative travelogue.
Was just curious, how tough the road actually is when compared to the Hatu peak road in Narkanda ?
Thanks BB311. If compared with the ascent to Hatu Peak from Narkanda, the ascent to Jalori Pass is much steeper while approaching from both the sides i.e from Banjar as well as from Ani. While approaching from Banjar side the steepest ascent starts from Shoja, which is 5 kms below the pass, whereas from Ani side the steepest ascent starts from Khanag, which is 6 kms below the pass. While approaching from both the sides the vehicle remains in 1st gear only till one reaches the pass and while descending also it's safer to drive in first gear only so as make use of engine braking. To make things tough, the steepest stretches of ascents to Jalori Pass from both the sides are unmetalled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Ssambyal1980 - "JALORI PASS", it's my all time favorite road, this is the road which made legends! The special stage start time control was at Luri, the flying finish time control was at Banjar. See this link and enjoy! .
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...flashback.html
Best regards,
Behram Dhabhar
Sir,
Came across some more interesting information relating to the Himalayan Rally.

Link for Himalayan Car Rallies Results from 1980 to 1990: http://www.ewrc-results.com/events.php?id=1070 (Courtesy: ewrc-results.com)

Youtube Video Link to the coverage of First Himalayan Car Rally 1980:

Warm Regards.
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