Pune, February 19, 2021: I am a travel agent by profession and after a hectic season of making everyone travel, it was time for my daughter and myself to take a break and travel somewhere. Since this was a Mommy-Daughter Duo trip together (first solo trip with my 04yr one and yes, a to-do thing from my bucket list), I wanted to be very sure of the safety. So we decided to visit Himachal.
Destination – Himachal Pradesh
Travel Date – February End 2020
Places Covered – Jibhi Valley, Tirthan Valley, and Laida Village
Ticking off usual places like Shimla and Manali, we went out to explore some interiors of Himachal, which are an upcoming tourist destination and splurging with homestay options (a perfect way to explore the true essence of Himachal).
We booked a flight from Pune and reached Delhi to catch our Volvo in the evening. Volvo starts at 6 pm from Delhi and next day drops at AUT (first stopover) by 08 Am approx. Our car was already waiting for us and the driver drove us to our first place of stay- Jibhi Valley. It took us almost 45 minutes to reach, enroute savouring the beautiful mountain peaks and the cool breeze. We checked into our homestay, freshen up and after a hot breakfast served with utmost love and care; we started for our first point of visit – Jalodi Pass.
It took us almost an hour to drive there and we were mesmerized to see roads covered with thick snow (The driving time would have been less only if we could stop ourselves from getting down now and then and clicking pictures of snow and valleys).
We were amazed to see snow everywhere and the view was enough to make anyone go crazy. Our host-cum-guide took us to the top called 360-degree viewpoint. A bit tough for us but he kept motivating us and finally we reached peak climbing, tumbling, falling and rolling.
This is the point where the movie scene of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was shot. (attached will make you recollect the movie scene).
After spending some 3 hrs there, admiring the beauty & making numerous snowmen with my daughter, we descended to visit our next point – Jibhi waterfall. Enroute we stopped at local roadside Dhaba for a simple yet very delicious meal of Rajma Rice with salad.
Satiated we started for Jibhi Waterfall. You need to walk some 7-8 mins to reach there, climbing some very artistic wooden bridges (fondly named as London Bridge by my daughter). The view was stunning and the water was super cold. A brave heart can enjoy a shower too. It was a worth visit to click some photographs. Later we returned to our homestay to enjoy the evening with bonfire, music and delicious dinner.
DAY 2- JIBHI VALLEY – LAIDA VILLAGE – ENROUTE SIGHTSEEING OF CHHOIE WATERFALL
Post breakfast, we checked out and started for our next destination- Laida Village, curious and excited to see what waited for us there in that remote and small village.
This village was also the hometown of our host – cum-guide. It is approx. 20kms from Jibhi Valley. Enroute we covered Chhoie Waterfall, after trekking for some 30 mins. This is the point that should not be missed in the itinerary. One of the very scenic waterfalls I have ever seen (can say so as I have visited so many places nearby Pune during monsoon time). We spent almost 3 hrs there jumping over boulders, practising river crossing and then left for onward journey.
Reaching Laida village, we halted our vehicle as it was time for us to climb for some 10 mins to reach our beautiful stay accommodation – ZostelX Laida. The icing on the cake is the location- the sit-out area makes you gaze at the huge mountain with chirping birds and a hot cup of tea as a welcome drink is enough to rejuvenate you. We chose to spend the evening reading books, indulging in card games and chess, clicking pictures, enjoying a bonfire and at last a very delicious dinner with dessert (all home-cooked).
DAY 3- DEPARTURE DAY
It was time to say goodbye to serenity and go back to the mundane city life. We checked out after breakfast, bidding goodbye to everyone with a promise to come back to this land again, we headed to our last sightseeing point – Shangad, fondly called Mini Khajjiar, before boarding our Volvo back to Delhi in the evening.
Drive to Shangad took almost 2hrs. It was peaceful to spend some time there. Rightly said as ‘Mini Khaijjiar,’ it had ample open space to walk, rest and enjoy the scenery. We also tried hands at a cricket match being played by local boys.
It was then time for us to wrap up finally and leave for the Volvo point and we were in time to reach Aut again, our Volvo point. And a very memorable holiday of exploring this part of Himachal came to an end.
What to Expect from This Trip– Exploring the rural side of Himachal, peaceful ambience, scenic abundance, warm hospitality, tasting local food, and mingling with locals.
What Not to Expect– Any lavish stay, widespread buffet meals, or anything fancy, such as a regular holiday package you must have been to any place.