Jibhi – an offbeat village in Himachal

Many years passed since my first encounter with Himachal Pradesh. It was the next day after my arrival in India. That time I was working for a consulting company in Delhi. Since one of the company’s clients was in Shimla, it was a great idea to take a drive to Himalaya after a 25-hour long flight (sarcasm! yet Himachal is always a better idea in May than Delhi).

I still remember my head whirling the whole day after a crazy night drive on the serpentine roads; an altitude was pulsating in my head. Now it’s funny to talk about Shimla altitude (2300m) after I’ve crossed numerous 5000+ meter passes. At that time, my biggest achievement was climbing a 200m high neighboring hill in my grandmom’s village. So yeah, I felt the altitude!

Shimla was the first place where I’ve seen mountains for real, yet it’s a crowded city filled with local people and tourists. I’m more into villages and smaller towns (*cough* tells a girl who spent a few years living in the most populated cities in India).

Himachal Pradesh has numerous charming villages which I’ve discovered independently throughout the year. In this post, I put a practical travel guide to Jibhi and what type of travelers will definitely enjoy this experience.

Reasons to visit Jibhi

Jibhi River
Clean nature, which doesn’t have a big human footprint… yet…

Jibhi and its neighboring villages were a hidden paradise for me after Manali. I have to confess, I dislike most of the popular destinations in India because there is high traffic, noise pollution, constructions and overpriced charges for many basic services. Hill stations like Manali are beautiful, but in my humble opinion mass tourism has killed it.

Jibhi is so far less explored destination and, in my opinion, this town and its neighboring villages will not become a “hit”, because these places target a certain audience. I could relate it somehow to Aru Village in Kashmir – very beautiful, remote and not for everyone.

Being a part of Banjar Valley, Jibhi is a hill station with, mainly, homestays, a few guesthouses (ran by families) and cafes which are managed basically by the same homestays. It’s a great destination to come and settle for a few days/weeks, go for trekking, but there are no trendy crowd-attracting activities like in Shimla or Manali. Also, there are no souvenir shops to cater to mass tourism needs.

The lack of commercialization makes this place a beautiful retreat from the big city life into a natural ambiance with picturesque views.

Best time to visit Jibhi – weather and tips

It purely depends on your Goals. The peak season is from March to May. It’s time when summer comes to some parts of India and people are looking to escape the heat. The weather stays chilly during the night and pleasant during the daytime.

March to May is the best time to visit Jibhi weather wise. If you are planning an active stay with day treks, visiting neighboring villages and some adventure activities this is the time to choose.

Jibhi bus stand
The main road of Jibhi. Hello, traffic? 😀

If you are looking to escape travelers and rather do a “workation”, visit Jibhi during monsoons from June to September. It’s one of the places you can sit in a warm blanket and socks on a balcony with a cup of tea watching rainy green mountains and breathing fresh chilly air. Like on those seasonal instagram accounts.

Despite I adore Himalaya during monsoons, it’s the most unstable weather, when floods and landslides might occur. While you will encounter seasonal fruit, natural beauty and authentic stay due to the offseason, you need to be ready to miss some of the adventurous activities.

Jibhi in Autumn opens to you a warm color scheme and sunny fresh mornings. If you are looking to experience autumn colors, October and beginning of November is your time. Nevertheless, the weather gets colder day by day, so pack accordingly.

If you are looking to experience morning frost and snowfall – winter is your season. Visit Jibhi from December to February. Though winter is a special experience in Himalaya, keep in mind, there is no central heating in India. Take all the warm clothes with you and savor local hot chai.

Read also: Guide to Indian seasons – when to visit which part of the country?

Note: This post contains some affiliate links. If you purchase something using the link, I might or might not get a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for reading this blog!

What to do in Jibhi?

Enjoy nature. Jibhi is a slow travel destination, where you can sit for hours near the river listening to the water flow. The air is clean and there is no traffic disrupting peaceful life of the villagers. There is just one road passing through the village with handful of buses and cars going to Jalori pass.

Serolsar lake
Serolsar lake – it’s so clean, you can see through till the bottom

Trek – you can climb to the neighboring village Gada Gushaini which looks even more offbeat than Jibhi. Since it is uphill, you will get a picturesque view from there. There is also a waterfall 2 hours walk from Jibhi, which you can visit in the monsoon season or right after it.

Are you fond of trekking in the hill areas? Experience Dzukou Valley trek 😉

Visit Jalori Pass. The pass is 13 km away from the village. There is also a day trek to the serene Serolsar lake from the Pass.

Visit neighboring villages. For more natural delight, explore the neighboring villages – Shoja with its step-like mountain fields, Ghiyagi for the grey roof houses surrounded by wheat fields, Tandi with small waterfalls within the river, Chaini which has one of the best representations of wooden architecture in Himachal – all these villages are small and picturesque.

Looking for more unusual experiences in Himalaya? Visit a sustainable school in Ladakh

Jibhi homestay and hotels – where to stay?

Jibhi accommodation
Room with a balcony, where you can smell the pine, hear the river and feel the forest wind <3 Many of us need this much…

There are plenty of homestays and guesthouses with a common price 500-800 INR. You can find cheaper if you are ready to compromise on some conditions. You can as well find luxury options if you are looking for a proper retreat. There are also plenty of camps in Jibhi if you are into this thing.

I’m a huge fan of balconies and terraces in the mountains because I often have to live in my laptop. I’ve stayed in Rana Homestay in Jibhi. The family running this place is very lovely, you can expect plenty of homey yummy local food and I swear, this lady makes the best ajwain(it’s a spice) parathas I’ve ever tried.

I liked my working place in the homestay overlooking the river and forest. It’s close to the bridge and bus stop which was convenient for me in the side-trips. Note, if you come here for a silent one-place retreat and don’t intend to travel too much, you can check the neighboring village of Gada Gushaini (it doesn’t have the access to the main road, so even less transport goes there) or choose more remote accommodation options in Jibhi far away from the road. I shared my logic behind choosing this homestay.

Jibhi monsoon
Rains in Jibhi, Himachal Pradesh

There are many more options depending on your location preferences and budget:

  • Mudhouse Jibhi – both hostel & private rooms.
  • Jibhi Inn (they charge less for accommodation, but more for food)
  • Shivang Guesthouse – uphill walk from the river
  • TreeSouls Hostel

On the way to Jibhi Inn, there is another homestay in the field of wheat and apple trees. The lady was very lovely there offering tea for the visitors. I don’t recall the name of the guesthouse unfortunately and it’s not online.

Read also: How to find accommodation in India? 

These are all mid-range options within 1000 INR + – budget. If you don’t care much about location, view and a few other conditions, you can find a place to crash for 500 INR within the season, but it will not be online of course and it will take a good walk around the village to find this.

Where to eat in Jibhi?

Wild strawberry
Wild strawberries – yummy and free! Anyone for the walk through the forest?

There are many eating spots, but most of them are part of the guesthouses/homestays. In my opinion, the most practical solution is to take food in your homestay. I’ve seen just a few “independent” cafes in the town – one local café near the bridge and another one at the roof of Asha Homestay. The last one has nice ambient music, a hilly view, and reasonable prices.

As mentioned previously, Jibhi is not a trendy tourist spot comparing to some neighboring towns and that’s why some of you may like it.

How to reach from Manali and Delhi to Jibhi?

Jibhi lies somewhere between Manali and Delhi (though not on the highway). You can also reach it from Shimla, Chandigarh and other bigger cities of Punjab state. If you start from Manali or Delhi, take a bus to Aut Village (Aut Tunnel). There are regular local buses and it costs 103 INR from Manali to Aut.

From Aut you need to take another local bus to Banjar – this is a big town in Kullu district which also serves as a starting point to numerous destinations in Tirthan Valley.

Aut Tunnel
Aut Tunnel

There are hourly buses starting from Aut Village. It takes 1 hour to reach from Aut village to Banjar and costs 35 INR. From Banjar, there are also a few buses towards Jibhi and neighboring villages. The journey takes around 1 hour and costs 20 INR.

If you travel by local bus from Manali to Jibhi it takes overall 6 hours to reach and costs 160 INR. You can find as well Volvo buses, but the price will be significantly higher.

If you start from Delhi or cities in Panjab, you might find direct local transport to Aut or arrive up till Mandi – it’s a big hill city in Himachal. From there you can get regular buses to Aut throughout the day. The bus ticket costs 60 INR and it takes one hour to reach from Mandi to Aut.

Other useful Jibhi travel tips:

Jalori hill
View from the hill be like…
  • There is airtel 4G network in Jibhi, but you can find it only close to the road and outside the homes. Inside the homestays I rarely got a connection, thus if you plan to work, choose places with balconies and/or terraces.
  • I recommend spending at least three days in the area. In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to come here on one day off, because you would rather exhaust yourself. The road is quite long, plus it’s hard to understand much of this place during a short stay.
  • Buy local fruits and veggies when you are in Jibhi. There will be products imported from other states of India, but local is always the best. E.g. tomatoes, cucumber, cherries, strawberries, apples – depending on the season.
  • Are you getting well with technology? Help genuinely good homestays to register on Booking and similar platforms so more people find out about them.
Jibhi
Looks scenic? Pin to keep it with you 🙂

Here you have a quick guide to Jibhi which can give you an idea about this offbeat gem in Himachal. What about you? Do you have your favorite villages in Himalaya?

49 thoughts on “Jibhi – an offbeat village in Himachal”

  1. Hello. Beautifully described and after the blog i am feeling even more attracted to the place. I am planning a weekend gateway with my boyfriend to Jibhi and we are in Delhi. The plan is to start on friday night from Delhi and be back by Monday morning. Please guide how much will it cost and share some tips if any.. Thank you

    • Thank you for reading, Namrata! Glad you decided to visit Jibhi.
      It might be rather a hectic weekend trip due to the absence of direct buses. The budget depends on your style of traveling. Transport can be anywhere between 500 – 1000 INR per person one way Delhi – Jibhi if you travel by bus. Accommodation 600-1200 INR/night common price with possibilities to find cheaper and more expensive 3k+ INR options. I’ll be happy to hear your experience after the trip!

      • Beautifully described. I am an old man of 77 plus but love to travel and visit places like this. What about driving to the place with three or four together. Do you think it will be economical. PL suggest. I will be grateful. Thanks

        • Thank you for reading, R C.

          Traveling by car with 3 or more people is a more economical solution in India, as a rule, unless you choose to commute by local buses. Talking about Jibhi, you will be able to visit more places in the area if you have your vehicle. Nevertheless, I don’t know about the parking facilities & regulations in the area.

          Have a great trip!

  2. I have been this place four years back along with my family. We had a big group. The place is so lovely and awesome still difficult to describe in words…only you can feel it ..Want to go again and again.

    • Thank you for sharing experience, Barkha! I’m happy to meet like-minded people who fell in love with Jibhi ambiance and nature)

  3. Hi thx for the information . can you let me know how will i return from jibhi to delhi . i wants to use bus .shall i take a bus to mandi and than from mandi to delhi. Please tell me the shortest way.

    • Thank you for reading, Akshat.
      The best bet for the moment will be reaching Mandi and taking a bus from there to Delhi. Considering the road condition and distance, I recommend breaking the journey into 2 days 🙂

  4. Thanks for describing Jibhi so beautifully Natalia.
    I was planning to go there and now confirmed my plan after reading your experience.
    What about reaching there from Delhi via Shimla, Narkanda side ???

    • Thank you for reading, Deepak!

      To be honest, I was planning to reach back from Jibhi this way, but I couldn’t find any “definite” information about bus schedule and interchanges. There was no direct bus option at the moment of my visit. A few people suggested it might take around 7 hours to reach. After doing a day trip to Jalori Pass by local bus, I was not inspired by the speed and narrow roads. All these factors were going in favor of Mandi route, because it’s the main road, with plenty of bus options in any direction. The road is very picturesque towards Jalori Pass though)

      The situation is different if you are traveling by your vehicle

      • Actually I am planning to travel by my own vehicle. In this case, will you suggest this Shimla, Narkanda route or still Mandi route is preferrable ??

        • To be honest with you, it is hard to give you a “better” choice, Deepak, since I haven’t done Shimla – Jibhi stretch by car myself. I have only experienced Mandi route where I listed the pros and cons.

          If you decide to travel through Shimla, feel free to share how the journey goes 🙂 I’m always keen to hear about new travel experiences! Have a great trip!

  5. I recently stayed here in Gushaini and Ghiyagi for 10 days, and had trek to Chehni Kothi, Jalori Pass, Sirolsar Lake and Bahu nag temple. This was a great experience.

  6. I am planing to go in August will it be a fine time to go..or there will be a pblm in finding bus and other transport nd I m planning from Thursday night returning Monday morning

    • August is a monsoon season. While the transport will be available, consider there might be delays sometimes due to the weather) Have a great trip, Jyotsna!

      • Thanks for sharing. I was looking for this kind of place. will you please tell me if we are going by own car how can we travel all these places you have mentioned.

        • Thank you for reading, Seema! There is a straight road from Banjar to Jalori Pass with multiple villages and small towns on the way. You can stop in any village you would like to explore more. If you are keen to hike to Serolsar lake, you will need to park your car at the pass area then do a half-day hike by foot.

  7. Are the road conditions okay? like, we would be going by our own vehicle, and if the roads are too steep or not too properly maintained, we would have to think of something else. Can you share your bus journey? How were the traffic and road conditions?

    • Roads in Himachal are good, as a rule. The road after Banjar is narrow, hence driving till Jalori Pass is quite challenging when another vehicle is moving towards you because of space, not the road quality. Otherwise, these are regular mountain roads, not the ones filled with crazy adrenaline (like J&K Leh to Manali highway).

      Talking about the bus – I try to avoid traffic by commuting during weekdays rather than weekends. Since it’s a monsoon season, you might also expect some delays in transport depending on the weather condition.

      Also, if you plan to explore the area around Jibhi by local bus, it runs till 3.30 p.m. – looking from this perspective, a vehicle gives more flexibility. Have a great trip, Maneesh!

  8. Hey, was looking to plan a short trip then I hv found ur blog. After reading this, I know where I wanna go plz suggest it”ll be fine if we hire a bullet from delhi to jibhi in July last only…As monsoon is almost here and roads can b slippery and more dangerous. What u suggest..?

    • It depends how confident you are in driving on mountainous roads, Shrutika. Personally, I prefer public transport as I can’t match extreme Indian driving skills 🙂 Himachal overall has good quality roads, but the angle and turns on the way to the passes are challenging in monsoons, especially when big vehicles are coming in the reverse direction.

      That being said, Himachal Pradesh is a popular road trip destination and I encourage you to talk to people who experienced it on their own vehicles )

      Have a great trip!

  9. Nalatia, Nice article on Jibhi. Planning a travel there coming december to experience chill and snow.
    I read your other articles too. Are you on twitter. What is your handle?

    • Thank you for reading and feedback, Yogesh! It will be interesting to hear about your experience of Jibhi in winters!
      I do have twitter – @mytriphack, though I’m not quite active in posting there at this time

  10. Thank you very much Natalia for such a lovely information on Jibhi. You actually took us there while going through the blog. Will it be a good decision to visit Jibhi with kids? specially if kids are visiting these kind of villages for first time ? kindly suggest and do let know your view on Shoja too

    • Thank you for reading and feedback, Shailesh! If you are asking about visiting Jibhi with kids from the point of development – the infrastructure is fine if we take a national level average (there is daily public transport connecting villages in Banjar valley, roads were changed on parts during my visit, people were really nice (whoever I met and asked any directions).

      If you are asking from the point of activities – I didn’t see many family visitors in Jibhi to be honest, comparing to solo/backpacker type travelers. I would probably look for some campsites for children if there are any because places on the way to Jalori Pass are mainly nature retreats with a few hikes, streams and natural activities. Unlike Shimla, Manali and similar places in HP with numerous activities for kids of different ages, Jibhi & surrounding areas don’t have such obvious suggestions outside of camping.

      I stayed in Shoja just for a short tea break while walking back from Jalori Pass – I found it smaller and quieter than Jibhi) Both places are calm & nice, depending on personal preferences. If you decide to visit these places, I’ll be happy to know about your experience if you feel like sharing. Have a great trip!

    • The monsoon is quite intense in Himalaya, Sowje. If you plan a trip with a lot of hiking/outdoors and/or you don’t enjoy slowing down and watching mountain showers from a balcony with a cup of tea, I would recommend choosing a different time for a visit)

      Monsoon is a beautiful time of the year, where nature is lush green, the air is fresh, the streams & rivers & waterfalls are at their best. At the same time, it is not necessarily suitable for everyone to travel (due to transport cancelations, traffic jams, lack of flexibility in making plans and many other reasons). As long as you are aware of the pros & cons and have the right expectations, monsoon will not disappoint you ) Have a great trip!

  11. Hi. I am just back from jibhi. Awesome jibhi. I went there on 14/8/19,stayed at Doli paying guest house. Nice view from backside hut. Tasty food. Good experience

  12. Hello Natalia , you describe this place very beautifully , I am planning to go there now but is it safe now (August 20) because i heard there was landslides in himachal pradesh , will you please tell me about the safety bcoz i really want to go there…

    • Thank you for feedback, Madhu! I strongly recommend following weather reports and news to know the daily situation in the area. Landslides and floods are spread in Himalaya during monsoons and it can impact your travel plans a lot. That being said, Himachal looks beautiful and lush green in August)

  13. Hi, My boyfriend and I are planning to visit Jibhi in January. However, as I have motion sickness, please tell me how are the roads from Delhi to Jibhi and how many hours worth of ghat ride is it gonna be.

    • Hard to say, Princey as it depends on how you choose to travel. Even though I don’t have motion sickness, I felt dizzy the whole day after my first bus ride to Shimla.

      I would break the road in 2 parts. E.g. Delhi – Chandigarh – a good straight road – there are bus/train options. It takes around 4.5 – 5 hours to reach by public transport. Chandigarh to Mandi – that’s a “fun” part if you go by bus… Despite both towns look close on the map, it took me around 7 hours to reach because of the traffic. If you go by car, it might be faster.

      The roads are overall fine if we take on the national scale.

  14. Hi Natalia,

    I fell in love with this place after reading this and after seeing pictures of this place. I am planning to visit this place with my wife and son from Delhi but considering the time it takes could you please suggest a way where to take a halt or how to go about it….Your advice wud be appreciated.

    • Thank you for reading and feedback, Lalit! From the tourist point of view, you might consider Shimla. It’s a popular destination, that is well connected by transport and has various stay options for any budget. There are also many cute and small villages once you enter Himachal Pradesh, though you might want to have a well-planned itinerary in advance if your final destination is Jibhi) Have a great trip!

  15. Hey Natalia,

    Thanks a ton for the clear, concise and really useful info on Jibhi. You know, I Googled for a backpacker’s guide to Jibhi and yours was the first site it showed in the results! I read it and found it so amazing that it is all the info and practical advice I needed for my Jibhi trip as a solo backpacker this October.

    I would be so thankful if you could guide me about Jalori Pass and Serloskar Lake. Can one go by a local bus? If yes, are there many local buses from Jibhi to Jalori Pass throughout the day? How much would it cost? Alternatively, can one trek from Jibhi to Jalori Pass? Is it a hard trek? Can I do it solo without needing any help for directions, etc? If yes, when should one start in the morning for this trek so as to be back before dark to Jibhi. Can a trek to Serloskar Lake be done at the same time or would that be too tiring?

    Thanks again for the wonderful blogpost on Jibhi. You are such an inspiration! – Maddy

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, Maddy)) It makes me happy to know that this blog helped you plan a solo trip!

      You can travel to Jalori Pass by bus, but consider the timing, the transport is available hourly till 2-3 pm or so. I have a separate post on Serolsar Lake trek, which you might find useful as well) It’s an easy (you can do without prep) half-day hike from Jalori pass. There is just one road, so you don’t really need any directions in clear weather. Also, there are people going to the lake and back whom you can ask. I recommend starting in the morning if you are going by bus, so you can come back by bus as well) I don’t recommend trekking from Jibhi to Jalori Pass since it’s uphill movement on the road, through what I’ve done and found nice is descending from Jalori Pass to Shoja and a bit further. I just wanted to explore some neighboring villages!

      Wish you a great trip!

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