Someone advised us to visit the Jabarkhet Reserve before we started for Delhi NCR. We’re glad we got this counsel & that we took it. It turned out to be worth it!
The Nature Reserve is a private endeavor set up to protect & conserve the ecology of the forests around Mussoorie in the Himalayan foothills while encouraging nature – based education & tourism.
It’s small enough to be explored in a few hours but the moment we entered; we knew we could keep ourselves engaged here for days. There are seven main walking trails & countless connecting ones; the staff at the entrance can propose which one to take.
We would have loved to take a guided walk but we were early & the guides were yet to arrive. So, we equipped ourselves with a map & took off. Most of the trails could be covered in two-four hours.
We chose a mix of the Spring & Wildflower Trails due to paucity of time. The Wildflower Trail began at the main gate & went downhill, leading to a stone wall with a wooden gate.
We went past the gate & walked across the first meadow to The Hut. Just behind The Hut was a circular sit out & a small waterhole. We followed the Wildflower Trail sign & climbed the wooden stile over the dry-stone wall.
The lower meadows were covered with tiny blue gentians. From here, a trail to the left led us to The Spring, from where we climbed back up to the gate & the entrance.
We saw flora of many kinds and listened to numerous bird songs. We were ecstatic with the pin-drop silence and the unspoiled air. Due to the conservation measures, Jabarkhet has become an area to explore nature & encounter Himalayan wildlife.
We hope it becomes an archetype, for both the government & the private land owners, to conserve similar natural areas.
For your visit, we recommend –
- If you’re unused to exploring forest/ mountain areas on your own, please walk with a guide.
- Please don’t shout/ talk loudly as this will drown out the birdsong & disturb the wildlife.
- Please don’t walk in the Jabarkhet Nature Reserve after dark; this’s when the wildlife needs a peaceful sanctuary.
A cheery place, it delighted the nature lover in us. When we left the Jabarkhet Reserve, we were also leaving Landour & the Himalayas behind. Our sinking hearts took refuge in words again –
I leave behind the gravity defying inclines of Landour. The biting cold. The fragrance of pine needles. The winter line. A stand-off with monkeys. Endless cups of hot 🍫 & plates of momos. With a heavy 💓. For I don't know when I'll travel again, thanks to covid19. But जान है तो जहाँ है। This too shall pass dear 💓!