Janjheli, Himachal Pradesh

This is one of the most pristine pockets of Himachal and is surrounded by thick forests and tiny hamlets. This hill of Shikari Devi divides the Janjheli and Karsog valleys. Janjheli is accessed via Chail Chowk along a road lined by fields and neat whitewashed houses with slate roofs. The long curving Janjheli valley levels out and opens towards its end.

The rivulet, locally called the Bakhli Khad flows through the valley. Fed by snow melt coming down from the Shikari range and pure waters washing through woods and meadows, it waters this village whose population stands at around 1,200 persons. Around are fields and scattered orchards – while the backdrop is provided by the heights and thick woods of Shikari Devi.

Janjheli is rapidly emerging as beacon for trekkers and for all those fond of the outdoors. It is an area that produces a variety of fresh vegetables, excellent honey and the woods send out an enormous range of rare medicinal herbs.

Fast Facts

Height: 2100 m

Climate: The summer is mild and cottons and light woollens are suggested. In winter, the sunny days are pleasant, though the nights are cold and heavy clothes are required. Through the rest of the year, light woollens are suggested.

Getting There & Away: How to reach Janjheli

Road: From Chandigarh is at a distance of 226 kms, Shimla is at a distance of 214 kms and Chindi, via Chatri, is 94 kms.

Rail: The nearest broad gauge rail head is at Chandigarh at a distance of 226 kms and the nearest narrow gauge train station at Shimla is 214 kms.

Air: Bhunter airport near Kullu is 145 kms and Shimla Airport is 220 kms away.

Tourist Attractions in Janjheli

Shikari Devi (3,335 m): The hill of Shikari Devi stands as a divider between the Karsog and Janjheli valleys. From both, a steep and enjoyable hike can be done to the top – which has a spectacular view of the entire area. There is a 12 kms long driving route from Janjheli to Bulah that may be used in good weather – this stop about a kilometre short of the temple, which is then linked by a steep flight of around 500 stairs. The goddess, Shikari Devi is considered to be the goddess of the hunt and in earlier times, hunters would propitiate her for a good catch. She is worshipped as a stone image. The temple does not have a roof as it is believed that the Devi does not allow a roof over her head.

The area is thickly forested and is a wildlife sanctuary that hosts the musk deer, ghoral, bears and a variety of pheasants and other birds.

A trek route skirts the lower stretches of the Shikari Devi Peak and connects Chindi and Janjheli. Day hikes may be done to Bulah village, Budha Kedar and Tungasi Dhar.

Other places of natural beauty and general interest around Janjheli include Magrugarh, Kutha, Baila, the Pandav Shila, Lambathatch, Shilibagi, Thalout, Bulah, Kataru, Choluthatch, Niri, Kewli and Darbarthatch.

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