Jhulaghat border trip can prove to be one hell of travel tale. Jhulaghat is a small village that lies between the countries India and Nepal. While the part on the Indian side is called ‘Jhulaghat’ the part in Nepal is called ‘Julaghat’.
Jhulaghat border trip can be an experience of a lifetime for someone who loves adventure, nature, solitude and native culture. Most families in this village cum valley are migrants from Nepal. The place is of utmost cultural importance.
Once you reach Jhulaghat, you will find yourself at peace. The overall vibe here is joyful and the local people are cheerful. You can enter Nepal just by crossing a bridge. The guards on both sides of the border are welcoming. The best part is that you don’t need a visa to enter either the border area of Jhulaghat or Nepal as such.
If you’re looking for a lesser-known but beautiful travel destination this holiday season, make Jhulaghat a part of your bucket list.
Jhulaghat Border Trip: An Overview
36 km from Pithoragarh city in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
|Best time to visit||September to November|
|Budget needed||4000-5000 INR per head for a 3-day trip.|
|Safety conditions||Don’t get too close to cliffs over the river ‘Kali’|
|Eating options||North Indian food, Nepalese food and Some locally prepared items.|
|Ideal accommodation choices||Hotels, homestays|
|Budget tip||Don’t shop from vendors or shops at or near the bus stations.|
|Rules to follow||Photography near the Jhulaghat border bridge is not allowed.|
The Beauty of Jhulaghat Valley
Since Jhulaghat is a valley, the landscape around is beautiful.
During your Jhulaghat border trip, you will notice a lot of mango and banana trees. They look and taste different from the fruits we usually have. These are varieties of the native Pahari (mountainous) fruit.
The sunrise and sunset, when observed from the hilltop has unmatched beauty. The vapours rising from the river create tender mist and fog over the Jhulaghat valley and you feel like you’re standing above the clouds.
Lying on the Indo-Nepal border in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, which is also known as ‘mini Kashmir,’ Jhulaghat is divided into two countries by the river ‘Kali.’ It flows through the Jhulaghat valley creating an international border.
Must-Have Items for a Good Jhulaghat Border Trip
While on the Jhulaghat border trip, it is important that you remain aware of the terrain as well as the weather conditions. Actually, this holds true for any trip. Carrying a few important items can prove useful on this trip.
The hilly regions are quite different from the plains. The access to even the most basic requirements should not be taken for granted. Therefore, it is essential that you carry a few items from home itself.
During my Jhulaghat border trip, my backpack comprised a few items. I’m sharing them with you below and also explaining their significance.
|A water bottle
Staying hydrated at all times is a basic requirement of a traveler in this region.
|A portable charger (power bank)
Keeping your phone charged for an emergency situation is important. Also, don’t miss out on capturing good landscapes just because the battery of your phone ran out during the wrong time. Therefore carry a power bank.
|A double braid nylon rope
This item will be a lifesaver if you’re traveling to this region by your own vehicle.
Travelling in the mountains gives you a lot of exposure to direct sunlight. Hence, to protect yourself from sunburns and tanning, a good SPF sunscreen lotion must be a part of your travel kit.
|Hand Sanitizer and paper soap
Always carry a hand sanitiser and paper soap. It’s a matter of hygiene. Keep yourself guarded against diseases.
|First aid kit
Carrying a portable first-hand kit with you will save you a lot of trouble in case you get hurt. Your kit should comprise some band-aids, Dettol (or any other antiseptic), betadine, cotton, crepe bandages and any pain relief muscle spray.
Having experienced many injuries and some traumatic accidents first hand, I always keep a first aid kit handy.
How to Reach the Jhulaghat Valley?
Uttarakhand is the perfect gateway to Nepal from India. Your first destination from the Indian side should be Dehradun. From there, you’ll need to take a bus to Pithoragarh.
On the way, the bus from Dehradun will stop at Haridwar. Here, you can have a mini sightseeing and spiritual experience. Watching people dive in the holy Ganges with all their faith will make your trip more memorable.
Just before Pithoragarh, the bus will stop at Champawat where you can buy special handmade chocolate at unbelievable cheap prices. This can be the perfect souvenir with the real flavour of the hills for your peers and folks back home.
From Pithoragarh, take a bus to Jhulaghat. This will be your last stop. On reaching Gaurihat village you can observe the river ‘Kali’ flowing through the border and the beautiful village of Jhulaghat on the valley.
It is said, “there is much more joy in the journey than the destination.” So, my humble advice would be to travel via Pithoragarh. Away from the city noise and scrap, it is calm and clean and perfect for nature lovers. Pithoragarh is almost 36 km away from the Nepal border, but trust me, it is worth the expense.
Personal Vehicle versus Public Transport for your Jhulaghat Border Trip
If you’re planning to travel in your personal vehicle, make sure that you are a licensed driver and are confident enough to drive through the hilly terrains. Using public transport would cost you much lesser than using your own vehicle.
My Journey to Jhulaghat Village
I visited Jhulaghat in the month somewhere around Dussehra (An Indian festival). Although the roads were not well built after arriving at Pithoragarh I was really excited to explore the beautiful region. So after resting for a while at my friend’s place I visited Chandak. From here, one can get the complete view of this ‘mini Kashmir.’
From where I was staying I could also get a clear view of the mountain range known as the ‘Panchachuli’ meaning the 5 peaks. This mountain range is covered in snow all-round the year and provides a magnificent view.
After exploring all of Chandak including an eatery – The Café on the Rocks (which was an amazing experience), I went back to get some rest since it was already getting dark.
I Explored Much of Jhulaghat During the Morning and I Insist you Do the Same
The next morning, I woke up at around 6 a.m. and began my Jhulaghat border trip. On my way to Jhulaghat, I stopped at the ‘Maharajke Park. ‘ This is a memorial park in honour of the Kumaon regiment who captured the Maharajke village post from Pakistan in 1975. The park was beautiful and full of solitude and peace.
Then I rode along the Jhulaghat road crossing Wadda, Munakot and Killa where I saw a pair of Monals (the state bird of Uttarakhand) on the roadside.
When I reached Jhulaghat I could see clearly the river ‘Kali’ flowing through the valley. So, I stopped and sat at a nearby dhaba from where I could enjoy the kulhad chai (tea in a small earthen pot) along with the morning cold breeze and the view of the valley.
It was about time that I reached Jhulaghat I saw a field of banana trees. Here, the farmer offered me some fruit. It tasted really fresh and seemed healthy too. Then I headed straight to the border where I crossed the bridge which I admit I was scared to walk on because the bridge was swinging.
|I was in Nepal now. The market was really crowded and I noticed it was no ordinary market. The market was built on a steep mountain along the stairs. Each shop was leveled higher than the other and it seemed like a land from the fairy tales.|
I spent almost 2-3 hours there and was about to head back to Pithoragarh when I noticed some gathering at a temple and decided to join them. This is where I witnessed the Devtariact (which I will be describing later in the blog).
Then I headed back to Pithoragarh.
Total budget Spent During the Jhulaghat border trip
The Jhulaghat border trip is ideal for budget conscious travelers. Let me share with you the expenses that I incurred during my travel here. I want to mention here that I undertook this trip from Chandigarh. If you’re coming here from even further, your transportation charges will be more.
|Public Transport & Dhabas||From Dehradun to Pithoragarh public transport will cost you about 650 INR per head. The buses have a total of 6 stops. You can eat at the local Vaishno dhabas which cost about 50-100 INR per plate.
From Pithoragarh, you can either take a bus or a cab to Jhulaghat. The bus will cost you less.
|Fuel between Dehradun and Nepal||If you’re traveling by your own vehicle, the fuel will cost you around 2000 INR.|
|Accommodation||Decent accommodation will cost you around 800-1200 INR per night.|
|Food||400 to 600 INR for all three days.|
|Shopping||The market in Julaghat across the border is very budget-friendly. They have various Chinese and Nepalese handmade goods at quite a low price. My personal favourite was flavoured candies.
If you shop for artefacts and candies, it should cost you between 300 to 500 INR.
|Locally made chocolate||360 INR (for 2 kgs of handmade chocolate). Take this home as a gift.|
Budget Accommodation Options for the Jhulaghat border trip
Though the Jhulaghat valley itself doesn’t have good accommodation options travellers can stay at Pithoragarh city (which is 36 km away from Jhulaghat) or at Wadda Market (it offers decent guest houses).
Some good hotels in Pithoragarh city are the ‘Mall Palace’ and the ‘Sangam Hotel’.
|The Mall Palace||Rs. 800-1000 INR per night without a view
Rs.1100-1300 INR per night for rooms with a view
|Sangam Hotel||1200 -1500 INR per night|
Though both the hotels offer facilities like medical assistance, help desk and dry cleaning, the Sangam Hotel being a reputed establishment in Pithoragarh is slightly costlier while Mall palace is relatively new.
In my opinion, the Mall Palace is preferably the ideal choice because it’s budget-friendly and comes with a good view of the hills.
If your preferred accommodation is in Pithoragarh, take some time to explore this place.
|Places to visit||Location|
|Moshtamanu temple||Chandak hilltop Pithoragarh|
|Maharajke park||Kasni, Pithoragarh (Jhulaghat road)|
|Pithoragarh Fort||Simal-gair, Pithoragarh|
|Meghna complex. Do eat at Café on the rocks here.||Chandak, hilltop Pithoragarh|
More Unique Places to Visit in Uttarakhand
If you have the time and are keen to explore more places after you undertake your Jhulaghat border trip, feel free to do so. I am listing below two such places that you will like as a traveler.
|Undertake the Kedarnath Yatra||Enjoy Boating at Tehri Dam|
|Go trekking at Kuari Pass||Bath at Sahastradhara Springs|
Is Undertaking the Jhulaghat Border Trip Safe?
Though Jhulaghat is a safe place, you should still keep some things in mind. I’m mentioning them below.
|Watch out for the terrain||Stay away from the cliffs and edges above the ‘Kali’ river|
|No Pictures||Photography at or near the bridge at the border is not allowed. So avoid it at all cost there.|
|Landslides||The roads might be blocked during rainy seasons due to landslides. Try visiting Jhulaghat during the Diwali season.|
|Accident Prone Roads||If using personal vehicles for travel drive within the speed limit because the hills have some steep edges and sharp turns. The roads between Wadda and Jhulaghat are accident-prone.|
Do Not Consume Alcohol on the Nepalese side of the Jhulaghat Border
While it is alright to consume alcohol on the Indian side of the border, the Nepal government on the other side is quite strict about it. You are allowed to buy hard liquor but you cannot consume it openly. Also, no form of rowdiness is allowed. So, if you’re a drinker, keep the law in mind.
Where to Eat During your Jhulaghat Border Trip?
The food in this part of the world is quite unique. The flavour and texture of the food here is very crispy and crunchy and people here are cheerful and enjoy every moment.
Even if you visit them as a guest they celebrate it by preparing festive food which includes at least 8 dishes.
|The people of Jhulagarh prepare homemade Gur (jaggery) which tastes totally different than the one available in commercial markets. Take some home with you if you come across someone selling it. It is good for health.|
You can find dhabas (small eateries) in every village along the way and can enjoy their tasteful food at a very low price.
Festive Season in the Jhulaghat Valley
The people of Jhulaghat are devout believers in the almighty. You can find temples everywhere, even in places which haven’t been civilized yet. From hilltops to valleys there are lots of temples.
|For instance, I visited the visited ‘Dauli’ and I noticed 12 temples in the village with a population of barely 100 people.|
The best experience you can get is if you visit during Diwali season you can see the houses decorated with aipan ( red paint on the floor and walls with amazing designs made with white paint on them). People gathering and singing folk songs together is a common sight during the festive season.
You can also witness the local spiritual act where they believe God enters the body of one of the believers and then gives blessing to all the people thereby throwing rice bits at them. This is the most amazing and unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen.
While my visit to Nepal I visited Kalchhin Temple where people were gathered to see one such act called Devtari. A woman sitting beside me started to shake and suddenly her face brightened up and I couldn’t believe the glow she had in her face. It was one of a lifetime experience.
|Devtari basically implies that a person starts to shake up because the local gods have entered him or her.|
When I questioned some local folks about whether it was real or fake, they told me about some other instances they’ve witnessed one in which a person swallowed a piece of burning coal unharmed to prove his authenticity.
This might seem a bit creepy to you while reading but witnessing such acts can change your perspective of how you see things. I myself wasn’t a believer until I saw this.
During your Jhulaghat border trip, enjoy beautiful views, local wildlife, the greenery, the clean environment, the fresh air and the smiles of the people harvesting crops in the fields. All of this will make you feel more alive as a person and more connected with nature as a traveler.
About the Author
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