Jalsu Pass Trek

Difficulty
Difficulty
Moderate
Duration
Duration
3 Days
Trek type
Trek type
Easy Trail. Although the walking distance is close to 40km. Advisable to start from Chamba and not Kangra side. It’s a mule track all the way and barring few patches the trail isn’t demanding.
Altitude
Max Altitude
11050 ft
Required Fitness
Base
Uttrala
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
Late July to early September.

Jalsu Pass Trek

The spectacular meadows atop the Jalsu Pass trek and en-route offer a mesmerizing view. Jalsu Pass is the easiest connecting link between Chamba and Kangra Valleys. Throughout the Chamba Kailash Yatra season, which is during monsoons, this trail remains busy with pilgrims and adventurers alike. Some trekkers even call this Flower Valley of Himachal Pradesh and rightly so. Jalsu Pass can be crossed between early April and late October. The best period remains the July-August period when the valley is blossoming with greenery all around.

The Trail

The trail starts from Uttrala near Paprola town, close-by to the beautiful tourist destination Palampur. A road was proposed here and even the preliminary survey works were done but the politics of the road brought the entire construction work to a standstill. One can reach Uttrala by bus or cab and head towards the Binbanagar from where an incomplete road takes you to the first makeshift shop, which runs for 6 out of 12 months. The gradient is relaxed and it passes through a dense forest. Although, bears don’t come this low but monkeys are a real nuisance on this stretch. You would like to use your walking pole as your protective gear.

Author: Tarun Goel.

Tarun

A thought wandering in the Himalayas.
Nothing more. Nothing Less.

Flower Valley of Himachal Pradesh

  • Jalsu Pass is the easiest connecting link between Chamba and Kangra Valleys.
  • Throughout the Chamba Kailash Yatra season, which is during monsoons, this trail remains busy with pilgrims and adventurers alike. Some trekkers even call this trail Flower Valley of Himachal Pradesh and rightly so.
  • The spectacular meadows atop the pass and en-route offer a mesmerizing view. The Jalsu Pass can be crossed between early April and late October.

Jalsu Pass Trek Guide

The spectacular meadows atop the Jalsu Pass trek and en-route offer a mesmerizing view. Jalsu Pass is the easiest connecting link between Chamba and Kangra Valleys. Throughout the Chamba Kailash Yatra season, which is during monsoons, this trail remains busy with pilgrims and adventurers alike. Some trekkers even call this Flower Valley of Himachal Pradesh and rightly so. Jalsu Pass can be crossed between early April and late October. The best period remains the July-August period when the valley is blossoming with greenery all around.

The trail starts from Uttrala near Paprola town, close-by to the beautiful tourist destination Palampur. A road was proposed here and even the preliminary survey works were done but the politics of the road brought the entire construction work to a standstill. One can reach Uttrala by bus or cab and head towards the Binbanagar from where an incomplete road takes you to the first makeshift shop, which runs for 6 out of 12 months. The gradient is relaxed and it passes through a dense forest. Although, bears don’t come this low but monkeys are a real nuisance on this stretch. You would like to use your walking pole as your protective gear.
There is another trail that branches-off near a bridge and that takes you to the Fatahar Village, so you should know which way to take. If you are on your own, then make sure you are on the right track. After walking for almost 15 kms, you get to see the next shop, which is on the right bank of the stream. Even if you don’t intend to drink a cup of tea, you will have to cross the stream and that’s some trouble. The water here was cold and knee-deep when I crossed in the month of October here. So if you are crossing this stream in the peak monsoon season, you better cross it early in the day.
Jalsu Pass Trek
Bridge across Ravi Laaqa Mandir
Here I was told that a black bear mom was roaming around with her two kids. Now a black bear is a worry, a bear mom with kids is even worrisome. From here on, the gradient increases abruptly and that’s when you get the real feel of the Dhauladhars. Although the rocky nakedness of the Dhauladhars is not to be seen anywhere yet the gradient rise will certainly remind you of the Indrahar Pass. The next shop is at Prei, three km from the previous shop. Prei shop runs only during the pilgrimage season. The next two-kilometer or so is exhausting and mesmerizingly beautiful at the same time.  And you have already walked 22-24 km from your start. Its upto you how you walk all these kilometers because you still have to go another 10-15 km to reach at the nearest road-head.
Jalsu Pass Trek
Surei Village, Jalsu Yatra
Once you have reached at the top, rest is just a gradual descent until you reach Yada Camp. Although there is a FRH at Yada but it is in a bad shape. If you are carrying your own tent, you can set camp at the Yada Camp.
Jalsu Pass Trek
Yada Goth
The Manimahesh Kailash and the Kuja Peak are visible from Yada Goth on a bright sunny day.  If you have walked all this much in a single day, camping at Yada is the best part of your trip. High ridges on all the sides surround it and you get to see the meadows on both the sides. From Yada it takes another 5 km walk to reach at the next campsite at Channi. Channi is a beautiful campsite and here too you will find makeshift shops during the pilgrimage season.
Jalsu Pass Trek
Channi Campsite
From Channi onwards, you walk on a mule trail that takes you through a series of ups and downs which is exhausting to say the least. The Chamba road-head is visible from ‘bella wali mata’ temple and you will also see the remnants of the road which was supposed to be constructed here. Across the road, you will see the ‘laaqa mandir’ and that’s where you have to reach. Mother Ravi flows downstream originating from the highlands of the Bada Bhangal Ranges. The bluish waters of the Ravi carving out its way between the rocks is a sight to behold. The last leg of the trek is a very steep rise to the road-head.
Jalsu Pass Trek
Laaqa Temple, Chamba
From ‘laaqa temple’ you can either hire a cab, if it is available. Else walking is always a option, from ‘laaqa temple’ to Nayagraan Village, another 5km walk.
Once you have reached Holi Village, you can either go to Chamba or embark on another trek journey that takes you to the holy abode of the Lord Shiva at the Manimahesh Kailash.
Read more about the Sukh Dali Pass here.

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How to get fit for the Jalsu Pass trek

The Jalsu Pass trek is classified as a trek of moderate difficulty

Cardiovascular endurance


For two days, you will cover a distance of 40 km. The secret to covering this distance comfortably lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. 
You can begin by jogging everyday. 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 everyday. 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 in 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 work out.

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.

What to take on the Jalsu Pass trek

Bare necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: There will be several slippery patches on the trail, and you will need trekking shoes with 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 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 sun burns 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 woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof 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, 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 own cutlery for hygiene reasons. 
  4. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry 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 (diarrhea)
  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)

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. 
  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
  • Medical Certificate and Disclaimer (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF
  • Medical certificate (to be filled by a doctor) – Download PDF

If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.

 

 

Complete trek guide

Last updated: January - 2017

 Complete trek guide