Jalori Pass over weekend – by Shekhar Patil

Frankly, having read so much about Jalori yet never bothered know at what height it was. I always compared Jalori to Rohtang or other passes on Leh route but less in height. To me a pass meant barren landscape at a height of 3500 mtrs plus. All these myths were broken once I reached Jalori Jot. This is a pass where there is a lots of greenery around you. You are amidst trees through out and except its steep hike (probably steeper than Rohtang) its is easier and very enjoyable. There is something about Jalori which attracts and you want to visit this place again and again. No doubt it is amongst the few rare places left in Himachal untouched by the city revelers visiting the hills in their air-conditioned vehicles. Jalori is still the old world what probably Shimla might have been a century ago. So whoever is reading this and if he /she has not been to Jalori, I strongly recommend to visit it as early as possible, simply because the wind of economic development may reach this part of the world sooner than you can imagine and we will have added another Hill station cum resort in Himalaya.
With over six months without a ride it was mandatory to go somewhere on Holi Weekend that was 22nd and 23rd March 2008. Making sure that my absence for two days is not going to bother any one I decided to go somewhere. Jalori? The thought itself was so exciting but had that apprehension that in two days it surely cannot be done on Bike when a distance was approximately 600km from Noida. Dropped the idea of doing Jalori all together made an alternate plan with the help of dear friend Barfani Baba aka Vivek Sharma who suggested to do Delhi- Solan-Rajgarh-Renuka -Delhi which was doable in two days. Friday was as usual at the office but was free by 4’o’Clock and at home by 4.30. Jalori thoughts were still struggling to overpower the alternate plan. Quickly calculated that if we leave now, at least some time can be saved for the next day ride and it was possible to do Jalori over weekend.A call was made to my 60kph fellow member Shuja (he too wanted desperately to get lost in the hills over weekend) who was taking a good afternoon nap, checked with him if he was ready to start now and he was more than willing. One hour later we were zooming towards the hills on our respective Enfields. By 10.30 at night we had done roughly 200 km which was a good pace. Now that for the next day only 300-450 km was left to do, we decided to take halt for the day. The nearest place where we could find a Hotel was Kurukshetra.
Saturday, 6.30 am we were again on the road and by 10.30 after crossing Solan took our first break for break fast. Almost sure that we can make it to Jalori, decided to go straight towards Shimla rather than taking a right turn towards Rajgarh. The next halt was at Naldehra, no lunch, just the tea and few photographs and we started again.
Before I write further , let me tell you that I didn’t check any map and my knowledge of Jalori was limited to the fact that it lies between Shimla and Manali. I was sure that we will find our way out. While discussing the plan with Baba some how was misunderstood that we have to go via Tattapani so we made our pilgrimage to tattapani, still no lunch but few photos later we were enquiring about the route and no one knew where Jalori was. The road was directing us towards Mandi, we decided to continue and another 50km ride and we attempted for another enquiry at Dharmor and were shocked to know that we have missed the route to Jalori all together. From Naldehra we should have taken the road to Sainz. Ab Kya Karein. Shuja was looking at me as if wanted to eat me alive. Again Baba came to our rescue and offered us another route via Karsog. He informed usthere is a route to Jalori if we take the Rampur Road from Karsog and via Behna,

we can go to Ani and Khanag. It was supposed to be 80-90 km from Kasog. The time was 2.30 pm, Jalori to jaana hai. The plan was changed ,we will ride till we can. Make a halt and next day early morning-do Jalori. By 4.45 pm we were at Ani, 40 km short of Jalori. Checked about Jalori, the tea stall guy showed a mountain quite far away saying at the top of it is Jalori and we can still make it till khanag which has a rest house. Distance to Khanag is 32km. By the time both of us decided to make it to top. Quickly we had our tea (still no lunch) and we were again riding. It was climb all through till khanag and by the time we reached it was already 7 pm. Finally reached the rest house and after lots of buttering the keeper cum chef cum attendant allowed us to stay for the night. Till now I don’t know what height we were at. A casual glance at Rest house plate informed us that we were at 2440 mtr ASL.

Since the original plan was to cross Jalori during day time and stay on the lower side, we didn’t bother to carry any woollen with us except the riding Jackets. I had 3 Tees with me and wore all of them and topped it with Jacket. The buttering and some tip made the trick. Chain Ram ji became very friendly and served us with hot fulkas straight from the angithi and we had our dinner served hot.

Didn’t kept any count but both of us must have finished over 20 chapaties. Next day (Sunday) we were at Jalori after a 5 km very steep and phadu ride. And it was worth all the pain we took to reach there. Spent sometime at the top with lots of snow around.

The time was to start our return journey and target was to reach home by late evening. We started our descent via Banjar-mandi towards Delhi. After riding 575 kms through out the day we were finally at home by 11.00 in the night same day.

Ride dates: 21st-23rd March 2008
Riders: Shekhar and Shuja
Route: Delhi-Kalka-Solan-Shimla-Naldehra-Tattapani-Ani-Khanag-Jalori-Banjar-Mandi-Delhi
Total distance covered: 1175 kms
Total Expenses incurred per head: Rs. 1900/- including Petrol

Your link to photographs


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.