Jibhi is a homely jewel in the midst of spectacular beauty. Cached in between the eminent valleys of Kullu, Simla and Tirthan this village feels like family. Banjar might be the market and Jalori Pass the pretty crown, but Jibhi is the bond that represents its values.
It offers the comforts of your own roost. It’s cozy. The people are simple and welcoming. They smile at you and will even come say hello; probably invite you to stay at their guest house or a neighbor’s.
A little river, scarcely more than a stream, flows through the center of this valley and Jibhi is spread out on the slopes on either side. The Sainj-Aut road curves through the tiny market. There was a plan to dam this rivulet by the administration and the residents opposed it. One of them, B. S. Rana fought a case against the plan and won the right to let the river flow naturally. There is even a summer angling competition where you can catch mountain trout. But it is a catch & release policy.
There are homestays, guest houses and even cottages alongside the rivulet. You can just step out in the afternoon and drop yourself into one of the eddies. The way across is to walk a wooden plank laid upon rocks in the water. It’s fun! The innovation of the people shows through in how they’ve adapted their houses to welcome travelers and stay in tune with the nature around them. There is also the Gadagushaini road which crosses over the rivulet and climbs up to the villages on the peak. This unpaved path strings up to a ridge from where snow caps are visible. There is a lotus pond up near the village of Bahu where dogs play tag and run into the muddy pond to cool off.
Over seven kinds of plums and peaches are what we found with roadside basket sellers; and the mouthwatering juicy kind! The fruits and flowers in summer are resplendent and give an aroma to the breeze. It is worthwhile to try the local squash, leafy greens and ‘Lingri’ (fern) pickle. At Rana Uncle’s guest house one can even find homemade multi-grain bread. They have a clay oven which was setup with the help of traveling guests.
Organic farming and volunteering brings the conscious tourist here. It builds an atmosphere of bonhomie and mutual admiration. The visitor and the local see each other as peers. If you’re ever in need of assistance, from booking an emergency cab to just borrowing a fishing rod, all doors are open.