Sunday, 28 August 2011

Janjehli - Shikari Devi - Karsog - Delhi

4 August, 2011
Today I got up early morning as I had to walk a lot to reach Shikari Devi Temple via Budha Kedar Cave and to get down towards Karsog. When I stepped out of the guest house and asked the locals about the way to Shikari via Budha Kedar, I got a feeling that the way was through jungle with multiple trails at certain places which could be misleading and could make me go astray. I was alone and I had only today's time to cover all this, so I decided to give the cave a miss this time and tried a convenient path which would go all along the roads. It is a 16 km trekking from Janjehli to Shikari Devi, one can also go by Bike/Jeep/Car (preferably by a 4x4) but the last few kilometers do give you a hard time as the road is in very bad condition (due to rains probably).

Apple orchards all across the road

A dead snake on the route

A local temple dedicated to Nag Devta (King Cobra). Had my breakfast in the shop (in background) near the temple

Was feeling very excited passing through these jungles (this was a short cut) 

Raigarh where the road on the left goes to Karsog via Sanarli and to the right to Shikari Devi

Lush green forests on the way

Grassland through a wild beauty

Wild Flowers

Unexplored beauty

Mother nature at its best

Karsog is behind this hill

Grazing souls in the green pastures in the footstep of Shikari Devi

Notice board just below the temple (3282 mt)

Approximately 500 stairs leading to the main shrine through dense forest

Foggy forest
Shikari Devi Temple (10,768 ft) is an ancient temple by the time of the pandavas who came in this region during their exile. The Goddess actually is Kali worshiped as Shikari Devi (literally means Hunter Goddess) who was worshiped by hunters to succeed in their hunting. As per the temple priest, the goddess loves hunting and asks for sacrifice which was quite visible as local people were coming with goats/sheep as offering to the deity. There was a special place for making animal sacrifices outside the premises.

The shrine is a roofless structure and the entire surrounding is snow covered during winters but surprisingly the main shrine gathers no snow at all believing the locals. The dense mist at the shrine had engulfed the entire surrounding, so missed the wonderful views of the nearby peaks from this height.

First mild glimpse of the shrine through mist cover

Final steps to Maa Shikari premises

Me finally at Shikari Devi

Blissful bells hanging at the gate of this roofless shrine

The entire surronding area was engulfted by heavy mist

Colourful premises of the shrine

Some local devotees with the sheep for sacrifice as offering to the deity

Young devotee with family carrying a flag as offering to the goddess

This is where I changed my route and climbed up to this place from the below road in the above photo
While returning back, I had planned that I would get down towards Karsog and take a bus to Shimla and then to Delhi. There were two ways one on the same route till Raigarh and then towards Karsog via Sanarli and the other one through the dense forest which was as per locals was a bit difficult as we had high chances of getting lost. After few seconds of struggle between the mind and the heart, I opted for the second route. Though initially with beautiful views of the pastures, the jungle was a bit confusing at points where there were several trails and I had to choose the correct path out of these. At one point (in below picture), I picked this trail enjoying the natural beauty and as I was moving further the trail was seemingly disappearing. At this time, I rose my head and looked around and to my surprise all the trails (actually no trail, only the passages created by rain and tree leaves) were looking alike. I looked back and forth, up and down a bit frightened, the jungle now was looking scary with strange sheer sounds of the tree insects in the jungle. 

Disoriented, with mixed feelings and helpless (as my mobile had no network and there was no sign of human beings around) initially, it took me some time to gather my senses and to think about getting out of this. Though, I had experienced this earlier as well on my solo trip to McLeodganj where I was lost while wandering in the jungles near Dharamkot.  

Beautiful jungle trail dotted with yellow and pink wild flowers, this was actually a wrong turn which later put me in trouble

Among many of the birds in the jungle, could capture this one
Hey bhagwan, kya karu??? Main to phans gaya, yahan to dur - dur tak aabadi ka namo-nishan bhi nahi hai...(this is what I was thinking sitting here, a bit frightened and disoriented too)

My friend resting on a tree, seems tired. Helped me get out of this jungle when I was lost between many misleading trails

I somehow managed to get out of this and felt delighted to see a way out. But I encountered many such misleading trails on the way back untill I saw some local villagers who directed me to reach Shankar Dehra.

Happy soul on finding this dhar (the other side of the hill) to come down after an hours struggle in the confusing jungle

Encountered this mysterious tree structure looking like the face of an animal with the horns

Another mysterious nature's artistic creation on the way

Just a couple of minutes sitting beside this lovely stream hearing the magical sound of the birds and the flowing water and all my tiredness was gone!!!

Local village children enjoying bath in this natural water body

Local temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in village Shankar Dehra (temple was closed so could not go inside)

Lush green paddy fields near Shankar Dehra

Nature's bouquet

Was lucky to witness the local musician playing various local instruments who were taking the local deity (Nag Devta) to a temple (the lady carrying the thali with flowers was waiting for the blessings of the deity)

The deity being carried to a home for worship and blessings

Captivating green fields

Stunning Karsog Valley left me spell bound, will come again to explore this!!!

A small temple near Karsog with several beehive boxes for honey production

A bill board in Karsog mentioning the nearby important tourist places, would cover some of them on my next trip to Karsog (my direct HPTDC bus to Delhi just behind this board)
I had started my day's journey at 6:30 am and reached Sanarli at around 4:15 pm. Perhaps, the luck was favouring me today, as a gentlemen told me about a direct bus to Delhi from Karsog departing at 5 pm. So I moved towards Karsog bus station enjoying the beautiful valley on the way. I reached Karsog at 4:50 pm and was delighted to read sign board at the HPDTC bus saying 'Karsog - Delhi' , got my ticket from the ticketing window and bade a good bye to Karsog Valley with a promise to come again. 

I was dying of hunger while on the bus (the last meal was the breakfast near the temple), which was relieved when the bus stopped for a while in Shimla. I reached Delhi the next morning before 7 am. This was a wonderful wandering and a lots of learning for me!!!  


  1. बहुत ही सुन्दर फ़ोटो है, फ़ोटो खुलने में ज्यादा समय ले रहे है, इनका साईज कम करो?

  2. Hello Himrahiji!
    Your travelogues are really inspiring. I also feel that you have some past connection to Himachal. It would be great to hear more of your travels. Will be following you here, for sure!
    All the best for all future adventures!
    Sasi Menon

  3. Hi Sasiji, thank you for dropping by and your encouraging words. I do have a connection to Himalaya as I belong to Garhwal Himalayas...shall soon be posting some more wanderings !!!

  4. Dear Fellow-Ghumakkar,

    Your travel blog is fantastic! Your pictures are even better. I loved that you have an eye for unusual vegetation/trees/landscapes. Keep doing this! I am going to visit your blog again and again to see your lovely posts!

  5. Thanks for sharing this great information with us.

  6. इस घाटी की सुन्दरता को बहुत खूबसूरती से दिखाया हैं आपने, धन्यवाद, वन्देमातरम

  7. why didn't you do Buda Kedar route - should've done that? Anyway, your blog is very nice with good description of the place. I'm planning to visit here soon.