Jalsu Pass is considered as an easy trek in the Dauladhar mountain range compared to other passes in this range. This pass is used to reach Manimahesh Kailash from Baijnath. By the way, local people use it from Utrala to Nayagram, meaning it connects Kangra valley with Chamba valley. We three people witnessed Manimahesh Kailash from Jalsu Pass in October.
The Holy peak of Manimahesh kailash (5656m)
It is October after the monsoon, the monsoon is going back from the Himalayas to come back again next year. All the time we spent in Bir, we did some small tracks and cycling. Over the centuries Jalsu Pass was kept in "To Do List" but the problem was that I forgot where this list was kept.
Temple on Jalsu Pass top
It was of 15 October 2018, when we three friends travelled along with our own. The weather was great and also the companions. Apart from me, Nupur and Amit Katoch was with me. We came out of Punto Car. Our first stop was Paprola from where we bought the necessary goods for Trek.
There had already been a decision that by the time the car will stop, without wasting further time we would start our trek, but in the affair of selfies we spent about 45 minutes there only. After all, started moving, it was discovered that the car could go even further. We parked the car at the Binwa Hydro project and decided to start climbing from here. By the way, most people start trek from there, where we parked Punto earlier.
Hydro water reservoir
The Hydro project started with a sharp climb. Some people told us that after crossing the project, and water tank, and school and village then this trail will connect with original trail of Jalsu pass. So all the energy till the water tank got finished. The school was over, and then the village came. Seeing the village, the first thought in the three minds was that "Is the process of migration completed here?" No one has seen us far and wide. After a couple of minutes, the voices of some children came, the conversation revealed that the way of Jalsu comes across the village. The children went further with us. Now the way is known but it does not know where the villagers are gone?.
The trails are full of surges, large water drains. Were brought potato paratha from home, before crossing the river, we worshipped stomach. There is a shepherd sitting here, but he is not here right now...Yes, it is very tempting to see 20-25 lambs. Water is not much in the Banu Khad, the river has crossed the shore before it landed. After running for almost an hour the rain started. It was good that we were in a hut. This is Bakludu where we meet some local people, all are local and spend about 8-9 months of the year here. Well until the rain stopped, we took one cup of tea.
So far, the path was not much harder, this track is kept in the category of easy trek in Dhauladhar. Before the evening we reached our destination. This is Parai (2298 meters), Parayi is almost 10 km away from hydro project. This time, due to heavy rains, this time very less trekker came here, thats why mostly tea shops were closed. There was only one man on Parayi. Uncle said that "a hut was almost swept away in the fence in the past. There were 2 people within that hut, both husband and wife are local. Husband is used to drinking alcohol, even on the fencing day, he was sleeping in the pillar. The wife came running from outside and pulled him out. Two of the four walls are almost flowing".
Uncle opened his account with this above story. We are going to spend this night here and Ram Singh uncle has heard so many tales as much that he did not even remember.
Story Number 01: Ramsingh uncle is from Deol village and at some point he used to have 30-40 horses and mules. Most foreigners used to trekking in India at that time, then his animals used to work. He has trekked with horses and mules, Leh, Zanskar, Kangra to Chamba, Pangi valley, Spiti to Pangong lake etc. Many times he has left the foreigners in the nowhere, not getting the full money from them. After doing this work for almost 30 years, he sold all the horse mules because of their family and his safety. Now, for the last 18 years, he has been running tea shop in Parai here.
Story Number Two: Once a Sadhu (monk) came here from in the white clothes all alone. In the darkness of the night, he pointed to the finger and said that there is a hot water spring behind that mountain and from there he came. It was evening time when he was sounding rough from the crater in the absence of unconsciousness. I went out to take water, suddenly heard her voice, I brought him here. Later the sadhu told that he had to go to Manimahesh by crossing the Jalsu pass and he lost alone in the forest for several days now he wanted to go back. I told him the easy way to go back. After several weeks we came to know that the monk has left the hot water spring again alone but this time he got out in the rain, the monsoon went but the sadhu did not reach here. Later a shepherd informed that a Sadhu is dead in the white clothes in the forest. I was distraught thinking about that monk, I went to that place with the shepherd, now there was only white clothes and bones left there, this was the same monk. We both gathered his clothes and bones and burn the by Hindu tradition.
Story Number Three: Once Nepalese came to me, they had guns. They tempted me that they want to kill bear, tell me where they sit and where they meet. If we succeed in killing then we will give you a lot of money. I came into greed and for a whole week we followed a black bear. We closely monitored every move and routine. Then the day came when Nepali guys covered his cave with green leaves and made smoke in it and sat in front of the gate of cave with guns. The bear shouted in the cave and got out fast, Nepalese fired on black bear. The bullet hit the bears on leg, but nothing happened to him. For the first time I saw how bears are so intelligent creatures. He broke some leaves of a plant to stop bleeding and put it on his wound. Just after this act we came straight into my hut. Since that day, I swore that I will never be tempted.
Story Number four: Ramsingh further said that there is another route from here which goes to Waru pass. There is a small lake on the middle and there are few structures of earlier King, if you want to see that place walk with me then I can show you guys, our answer was that "Next time will be sure".
Story Number Five: In some places, the king gave permits for the Gujjars (a tribe name) of Punjab to feed their animals. Uncle further said that all the places were very suitable according to the fodder. Whenever the camps of the cadets were passing through those places, then both groups were abusive. Once the situation has reached the scramble. It was happened that a Gujjar had raised his hand on the shepherd, what was it then he came to his village Chobin, from where he reached with the Jalsu pass with 50 people. Then there was a day of massacre at the pass, the shepherds killed all the gujjars of that place. Later, members of the Gujjars family buried their dead bodies on the other side of the Jalsu pass. After this accident, no incident was ever heard and neither was there any chance to see it. His graves can still be identified around the Jalsu pass.
Story Number Six: Few girls from the village were going to cut grass in the forest, until evening almost all the girl came to village only except one. Days, weeks, months passed, but the villagers couldn’t find that disappeared girl. Then, after 2 years, a girl came to the village, she was almost without clothes. She told that she was the same girl who had disappeared from the village. The girl next said that "a black bear picked me up when I was cutting grass in the woods. The bear took me to his cave where he licked my sole for several days. After several days when he went out of the cave then I thought of running away from there but I could not stand, and when I reached the gate of the cave, it was found that the cave was closed by a huge stone. It was impossible for me to remove that giant rock from the gate of cave. He kept me in the cave for several months, He first brought the meat, and when he saw that I was not eating the meat, he did not know from where to bring the fruits, but he came up with fruits one day. I was hungry I eat fruits. One day, the bear formed a physical relation with me, now he started to do that with me everyday. Time passed and I became pregnant. It was surprise moment for me that how it is possible?. After a few months, I gave birth to two black bear babies. And finally after this hole delivery incident he left from the cave. He left the door open of the cave, and taking advantage of the opportunity, I ran from there and straightened up here. The villagers were very surprised to hear her story. All the people were talking to her, and suddenly everyone heared the sound of bear and baby bears, and after a while both of the bears reached the village which they both bears were killed by the villagers. Later, no one knew where the bear went but for several months he was seen walking around the village. Now she started to have a relationship with me every day. Time passed and I became pregnant. After a few months, two black bear babies gave birth. The bear did not leave after a few days of delivery, leaving the gate of the cave open, and taking advantage of the opportunity, I ran from there and straightened up here. The villagers were very surprised to hear him speak. All the people were talking to him only that the sound of shouting bears started coming to the village, as well as the children of both the bears reached the village which were killed by the villagers. Later, no one knew where the bear went but for several months he was seen walking around the village.
Story Number Seven: There are a lot of black bears here if you wait for one day and then you also see this black death. Uncle said that after completion of work in the field, the villagers leave their animals here in the jungle. Many cattle's roam around here. Earlier it was raining in the past days, the cow was shouting from outside, as soon as I went out with a torch, I saw that the bear had cut a cow's throat in front of the his hut. Bear ran away after seeing the light. Again the in next half an hour that sound again came, when I went out again, I found out that he had torn another cow. It happens three times, I thought that the next number might be mine. Then I did not get out from my hut. When sun came up, I found bodies of the animals all around my hut.
How long will we listen to his stories also we have to go to the Jalsu Pass top. We had dinner at 12 o'clock in the night and went to our sleeping bags. The next morning, all we three left the uncle’s hut after tea. Even yesterday, we had started a new path and we decided to climb upright from the Parayi today. The climb started here straight up to top. It took about 3 hours to reach the Jalsu pass from the uncle’s hut. The weather was clear with a padded mill near the pass. It was around 11 o'clock when we were standing on three famous Jalsu Pass. Manimahesh Kailash was standing in front of us at a distance, while there are Kuja peaks in the front us shining with snow. To our right side, Langha Kinnauri was standing, there is the “Waru pass” to the left and Dhauladhar in the left side which goes towards the Indrahar Pass, the Nayagram village appears in front and there is a Lake wali Temple. There is sunshine here, green grass and a small lake, it is said that there was always drinkable water before the battle of Gaddi-Gujjar, but after that incident, the lake went dry, and water was not able to drink. We take photographs, eat apples and spend about two hours on the return, and come back to Parayi.
The height of the Jalsu Pass is 3445 meters on my GPS Device. It took us to reach at Jalsu Pass from Parayi. Now we started descending down, this time we descend from the traditional route. On the way there is a land slide where a shepherd was trapped with his goat and sheep. We rest a few hours at Khatoru (which is next to Banu Stream), then straight from there we maintained our fast speed straight to Hydro project where our car was parked. After getting in the car we take a brake where we had lunch with tea. The friend who had car he left from Paprola village and we took the bus from there to Baijnath and again another bus to Bir from Baijnath.
:-Road Distance from Baijnath Utarala is 11.7 km.
:-Road distance Utarala to Hydro reserve is 6.7 km. Up to here you can take your car.
:-The walking distance from the Hydro reserve to Parayi is 10 km. (more than 3 hours).
:-Parayi to Jalsu pass walking distance is 4.5 km. (maximum 4 hours).
:-There are arrangements for accommodation and meal between Utarala and Jalsu Pass.
:-Tents are not required to bring here, one can carry their sleeping bag.
:-Time from April to June and September to November is good for this trek.
The Lake wali mother Temple
Lets go back