While travelers out there are constantly on the lookout for an offbeat destination devoid of any disturbance from the outside world, I actually found one…and visited it! Even Google doesn’t know much about this pristine and peaceful little village of Laida in Himachal that lies in close proximity to Jibhi. And trust me, this secret Himachali village no less than a paradise courtesy the experiences it offers, especially in the monsoon season!
The views are sublime, the food finger-licking, and the weather made me and my friend want to stay there for the entire month! Oh, did I mention that we visited in the rainy season? That clean and fresh monsoon air of Laida and Jibhi seemed to cleanse our mind and soul. We did not want to return to the noisy streets and polluted lanes of Delhi after spending a weekend in Laida and Jibhi valley.
Details Of My Girls Trip To Jibhi And Laida
Trip Type: Friends, weekend getaway
Trip Cost: INR 8,600/-
No. Of People: 2 girls
Trip Duration: 1 night 2 days
Highlights Of My 2 Days Trip To Jibhi And Laida
Day 1: Views from ZostelX Laida | Kelotandi trek and maggi | Bonfire & music
Day 2: Trek to orchards in Laida | Jibhi waterfall
Weather In Jibhi And Laida
Monsoon in Himachal Pradesh has a charm of its own! And I got to experience that in this vacation that I took in the last week of June. The temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius in the daytime (with the sun shining bright!) and dropped to a whopping 10 degrees celsius at night. It did drizzle once or twice in the two days that we were there, but it only turned that mountain breeze a lot cooler, and the foliage more refreshing!
Things To Do In Laida And Jibhi, Himachal
Here are a few things we did on our trip to Laida and Jibhi to witness Himachal in monsoon and spend a peaceful weekend far away from work and responsibilities.
1. Trek To The Mountain Top In Laida
We had a guided trek to the mountain top that leads through this quaint village of Laida, a refreshing stream, and a pristine forest. Nomit from Zostel acted as our guide and took us all the way to the top. Known as Kelotandi, this point offers amazing views of the adjoining Paldi Valley and the valleys of Laida. Up there we collected some wood and pine cones and made Maggi to our experience of trekking in Himachal all the more awesome! The joy of sitting on a deserted mountain top, gazing at mist-covered hills and rice terraces below, and slurping hot Maggi is beyond compare!
Trek level: Easy to moderate
Total distance covered: 6 km
Elevation of Kelotandi mountain top: 8,592 ft
2. Visit Laida’s Fruit Orchards
The moment we had dug our teeth into the juicy apricots and apples served to us during breakfast on the first day, we decided we would visit the orchards where they came from! Located just 500 meters away from the Zostel, these verdant meadows and orchards were overflowing with apples, apricots, peaches, pears, few varieties of berries, and a sea of Cannabis plantations (*wink*). After a brief tour of the same, we proceeded to the top where we witnessed a breathtaking sunset!
The next day, we took an unguided hike to the orchards to take home some fresh fruits. Since we couldn’t reach the ripe ones on the treetops, we just lay there in that bed of white flowers for a while, watching the clouds pass us by.
3. Gaze At The Stars In Laida
Star-gazing it a privilege we city-dwellers will never get. And for that, Laida is the perfect place! We spent the night sitting around a bonfire, sharing our travel experiences with other zostellers, and listening to Nomit play some lovely tunes on his guitar. And once everyone had retired for the night, my friend and I stayed back to identify as many constellations as we could!
4. Dip Your Feet In The Icy Water Of Jibhi Waterfall
Getting drenched under the waterfall in Jibhi was one of the most refreshing aspects of our girls trip to Jibhi and Laida. The water at the base of the waterfall was downright freezing, and you have to walk over uneven pebbles to get to the main falls. But a dip under this refreshing waterfall will be worth all the effort!
5. Watch The Sunset At The Tirthan River In Jibhi
We stopped over at the Tirthan River on our way back to Aut and just sat on those massive boulders in the middle of the stream to look at the setting sun which was quite a sight! With no tourist crowd around to disturb our views, it was a rather rejuvenating experience for me and my friend to just dip our feet in those clean turquoise waters famous for their trout, and watch the setting sun paint soothing colors in the sky across the Jibhi valley.
Then again, you don’t really have to do anything there. You can simply choose to chill. Wake up to the chirping of birds and the fluttering of butterflies. Bask in the unparalleled views of the hills on all sides. Get a book from the common room upstairs and read it lying on the hammock outside. Visit the vegetable patch right below the zostel property and help the staff pick fresh vegetables for the day. Play games with your fellow Zostellers in the common room. There is no end to what you can do here to rejuvenate yourself!
Our Accommodation In Laida And Jibhi
We stayed at ZostelX Laida. While there are plenty of homestays and small hotels in Jibhi, we had read really good reviews about this Zostel, and by the end of those two days we were glad we chose it! Owned and managed by Mr Joginder Thakur, it is set inside the quiet Laida village and offers amazing views of the surrounding valleys and hills. This rooms of this beautiful property are on twin-sharing basis and equipped with all the facilities you’d typically find in a lavish three-star hotel.
The property is absolutely clean and you get to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals while you’re here. If you’re looking for something exciting to do there, you can ask Mr. Joginder’s son Nomit to take you on a trek to Kelotandi and other nearby places. The entire staff is super friendly and caring and will ensure you have a memorable time in Laida.
Food In Laida And Jibhi
During our stay at ZostelX Laida, we were treated to wholesome home-cooked meals prepared by Mr. Joginder himself! Some of the famous Himachali dishes you can try here include Siddu (made with wheat, yeast, and cheese), Babru (sweet balls of wheat), and Patrodu (made from the colocasia plant). And every meal would typically be accompanied by fresh fruits grown in the orchards nearby.
Since it’s a small and remote town in Himachal, we did not come across any cafes and restaurants in Laida, though we did see a couple of local dhabas on the way serving snacks and tea. There also are several shops selling packaged food items like chips, biscuits, and Maggi.
In Jibhi, however, you’ll find a number of cafes and restaurants in the main market area as well as in the valley ahead. From small tea stalls to hip cafes and restaurants, this place has plenty of options to eat and relax.
Packing For Laida And Jibhi In Monsoon
Let us tell you what we packed for our trip to Laida and Jibhi, Himachal. These were enough to get us by, even in the monsoon season.
- A light jacket for day-time (it’s not that cold there!)
- A thick jacket or shawl for night-time
- Comfortable trekking shoes
- Mosquito repellents
- An umbrella (since we visited in the monsoon season)
How To Reach Laida And Jibhi Village
The most common mistake people make while traveling to Jibhi is that they ride all the way to Manali first and then end up taking a longer route to Jibhi. All you need to do is get down at Aut (after crossing the tunnel), hire a cab in more than INR 1,200, and ride off to Jibhi or Laida while enjoying the views enroute! The cab will drop you off outside a small village, where you need to trek around 300 meters uphill to reach the hostel.
Distance of Jibhi from Aut: 33 km (1 hour 20 minutes)
Distance of Laida from Aut: 30 km (1 hour 12 minutes)
On the other hand,
Distance of Jibhi from Manali: 100 km (3 hours 30 minutes)
Distance of Laida from Manali: 98 km (3 hours 20 minutes)
For getting to Jibhi from Laida Zostel, you can simply ask Mr. Joginder to call you a cab. We hailed a cab for INR 2,000 for a sightseeing tour of Jibhi and a transfer to Aut for our departure to Delhi.
Some Handy Travel Tips For Traveling To Jibhi And Laida
- These two towns are absolutely gorgeous and pristine. Don’t turn them into dumping grounds. Carry a small bag for your trash in case you don’t find a trash can on the way. But PLEASE DON’T LITTER.
- Carry some light snacks to munch on the way as there aren’t really any cafes and restaurants in Laida.
- Respect the people and local traditions of these places.
- You’ll encounter heavy traffic on your way to Jibhi from Aut (at the Jibhi market) that will take up around 30-45 minutes of your time. So, plan your sightseeing trip to Jibhi accordingly.
- Pack an extra set of clothes if you’re visiting Himachal in monsoon. It could be cloudy one moment and start raining the next here!
Common Queries I Had While Planning My Holiday
We had quite a number of doubts when we were planning our trip. Unfortunately, there was no one to solve them for us (owing to the fact these are relatively unknown destinations), but we’ll try and solve some of them for you:
Q. Does Jibhi have snow?
Yes, it does snow in Jibhi and Laida in the winter months of January and February. You can experience snowfall in these two places if you visit them in these two months.
Q. How far is Jibhi from Manali?
The distance between Manali and Jibhi is about 100 km and it takes about 3-3.5 hours to reach Jibhi from Manali. Aut is located just 33 km from Jibhi (1 hour 20 minutes) and 30 km from Laida (1 hour 12 minutes).
Q. What are the top USPs of Zostel X Laida?
If you choose to stay at this awesome property in Laida, you will be able to enjoy uninterrupted views of the surrounding hills and valleys, the luxury of staying in a private ensuite room rather than sharing a dorm room, delicious home-cooked meals, a bonfire at night, and unmatched hospitality!
We left wishing we could bottle up that petrichor and smell it every day to find peace in the chaotic city life. But since we couldn’t, my friend and I would surely be taking yet another thrilling girls trip to Jibhi and Laida in the winter season when Jibhi and Laida are covered in snow! Till then, we urge you to plan your own getaway to Himachal and explore its hidden gems before they too turn into crowded hubs. Happy Trippin’!