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The Complete Guide to Bijli Mahadev to Naggar Trek

The real charm of the Bijli Mahadev to Naggar trek trail lies in the interiors of Kais Wildlife Sanctuary. A 15 km approach by foot from Kullu town to the top of this hill is an experience in itself. In addition, there is a 12 km long motorable road that trekkers can take.

The sylvan surroundings of the quiet valley are mesmerizing, with a wide array of deodar and pine forests. This is complimented by the beautiful apple, pomegranate and pear orchards of Jana Village. The trek becomes more interesting with overnight camping inside a forested ridge at Matikochar. As you exit the valley and reach Naggar, you’ll learn that it’s a wonderfully satisfying weekend trek.

History and Folklore

Tarun Goel, a travel writer, likes to call Bijli Mahadev “Electric Mahadev.” It is said that the 60-ft-tall tall staff in this temple attracts divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore the Shiva linga placed inside the temple using butter and sattoo after every lightning episode, as it shatters to pieces each time. In that sense, the temple is said to be a defender of the valley, as it bears the brunt of every thunderstorm.

From Indiahikes Archive

➤ Highlights

The Electric Hills

The sylvan surroundings of the quiet valley are mesmerizing, with a wide array of deodar and pine forests. This is complemented by the beautiful apple, pomegranate and pear orchards of Jana Village. The trek becomes more interesting with overnight camping inside a forested ridge at Matikochar. As you exit the valley and reach Naggar, you’ll learn that it’s a wonderfully satisfying weekend trek.

History and Folklore

Tarun Goel, a travel writer, likes to call Bijli Mahadev “Electric Mahadev.” It is said that the 60-ft-tall tall staff in this temple attracts divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore the Shiva linga placed inside the temple using butter and sattoo after every lightning episode, as it shatters to pieces each time. In that sense, the temple is said to be a defender of the valley, as it bears the brunt of every thunderstorm.

A beautiful meadow

The temple is indigenously built of wood and stone, a form of typical hill architecture with sloping roofs made of wooden planks. Inside the sanctum is a 1.5-feet tall Shiva Linga. Outside the temple are two imposing stone statues of Nandi. It is believed the temple was established by Shankaracharya to revive Hinduism.

➤ Short Itinerary

Trek to the electric hills of Bijli Mahadev

  • Located on top of  Mathan hills, is the legendary Bijli Mahadev temple.
  • A 15 km approach by foot from Kullu town to the top of this hill is an experience in itself.
  • There is a 12 km long motorable road that trekkers can take, but the real charm of the trek lies in the interior of Kais Wildlife Sanctuary if you take the trail from Bijli Mahadev to Naggar.  

➤ Trail Information

Located on top of  Mathan hills, is the legendary Bijli Mahadev temple. A 15 km approach by foot from Kullu town to the top of this hill is an experience in itself. There is a 12 km long motorable road that trekkers can take, but the real charm of the trek lies in the interior of Kais Wildlife Sanctuary if you take the trail from Bijli Mahadev to Naggar.

How to do the Trek

Day 1 : Kullu – Chansari – Matikochar

  • Altitude: 7,677 ft
  • Distance: 12 km keep the drive, 8 km trek
  • Time took: 6-7 hours

The trek can be started from Kullu or Naggar town. One can take an overnight bus from Delhi to reach Kullu, which takes 12 hours. Local buses and shared Jeeps can be taken from the Kullu bus stand to Chansari Village, which is 12 km ahead. From Chansari, there is a 3-km-long well-defined trail maintained by the Forest department till Bijli Mahadev.

The trek is a steep ascent of over 2,500 feet via forest trails that pass a couple of villages. After over 45 minutes of hiking, the villages and apple orchards are left behind and one can see the beginning of grasslands and catch a partial glimpse of the temple top. Another climb of 300 feet and one enters the meadows of Bijli Mahadev.

The trek to the top of the hill can be completed in about 2-3 hours. From the hilltop, one gets a great view of Kullu valley and the confluence of the Beas and Parvati rivers. The views of the Dhauladhar and Pir Pinjal ranges are also impressive.

In the summer and monsoon season, the whole region is bustling with greenery. In the winter months, the hilltop receives heavy snowfall.

One can choose to explore the area and head back to Kullu or trek ahead to Naggar. The trek from here to Naggar is another 18 kilometres. There is a dirt trail maintained by the forest department but is in bad shape. But the dense forest of Kais Wildlife reserve makes for a riveting trek.

The trek from Bijli Mahadev to the campsite at Matikochar is a level walk over the forested ridge. It stretches 5 kilometres. It takes another 3-4 hours to reach Matikochar. There is a Forest Guesthouse at this camping spot as well. One gets a great view of Kullu Valley below from the campsite.

Day 2: Matikochar – Jana Village – Naggar

  • Altitude: 7,677 ft – 6,990 ft – 6,713 ft 
  • Distance: 13 km
  • Time took: 7-8 hours

Today is going to be a long day. The trek starts with a gradual descent to the beautiful Jana Waterfalls, which is a nice camping spot as well. Generally, it takes 3 to 4 hours to reach here. This is a suitable spot to break for lunch and to drink water.

Jana Village is another 2o minutes away from here. The whole area is considered the fruit belt of Kullu. In harvesting season, expect the whole valley laden with apples, pomegranates and pears. The villages here have distinct Kullu wooden architecture. The trails from here are shepherd trails going down to Nashala village. From here, one can pre-arrange a Jeep pick-up or choose to trek to the famous Naggar Castle. Once at Naggar, the trek ends and one can head to Manali or Kullu.

➤ What to take on the Bijli Mahadev to Naggar trek

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Bare Necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: There will be steep ascents on the trail, and you will need trekking shoes with a good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable enough. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for the backpack is essential.

Clothes

  1. Two warm layers: At the campsites, especially the higher ones, the temperature after sundown will drop to around 2-6 degrees. You will need at least three warm layers (two lights layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek.
  2. Two trek pants: One pair of pants should suffice for this trek. But you can carry one spare pair in case the first one gets wet. Wear one pair and carry one pair. 
  3. Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sunburns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one.
  4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow closer to the lake, so carry a pair of sunglasses. 
  2. SuncapThe sun is more 
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woollen hand gloves. One pair of waterproof/resistant, windproof gloves.
  4. Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.

Others

  1. Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, a medical kit and some light snacks. 
  2. Toiletries (Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  3. Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their cutlery for hygiene reasons. 
  4. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit 

  1. Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
  2. Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  3. Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  4. Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  5. Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  6. Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
  7. Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhoea)
  8. Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  9. Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  10. Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  11. Gauze – 1 small roll
  12. Band-aid – 10 strips
  13. Cotton – 1 small roll
  14. ORS – 10 packets
  15. Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  16. Moov spray (aches, & sprains)

➤ How to get fit for the Bijli Mahadev to Naggar trek

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The Bijli Mahadev to Naggar trek is classified as a trek of moderate difficulty

Cardiovascular endurance

For two days, you will cover a distance of 16 km. The secret to covering this distance comfortably lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging every day. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start slow and increase your pace every day. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. 

Strength

This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and your core body. You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your workout.

Flexibility

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. Carrying a backpack, however, light can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Working out indoors

If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

➤ Alternative Treks you can do

If you’ve been on a few treks then Bijli Mahadev is a great trek to go by yourself. Not to say that first-timers can’t do it. However, if you’re a first-time trekker, the process of organizing a trek by yourself might get a bit overwhelming. If you want to trek with your family or friend then you might not want the hassle of doing it. In such cases, we have a couple of great treks for you.

If you have a couple of days more in hand, Beas Kund is a great option. The starting point of the trek is Solang, just an hour’s drive from Manali. That makes it very easy to access. If you’re a beginner, it is the perfect trek with great views of the biggest mountains of Manali. Moreover, you get to stand right at the base of the Pir Panjal Range.

View of Hanuman Tibba on the way

Read more about Beas Kund Trek here

If you don’t have as much time though, the Pundrik Lake trek is just perfect for the weekend.

Surrounded by giant pine and fir trees, Pundrik lake is a hidden treasure in Himachal Pradesh. The thick forests through which the trail winds are a bird watcher’s paradise

Views on the Pundrik Lake Trek

Views on the Pundrik Lake Trek

The dense forests on this trek are filled with pine, fir, spruce and a variety of other trees. Pundrik lake, covered by tall grasses runs for 400 metres and is surrounded by forests on three sides.

Read more about Pundrik Lake here

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