August Trails in Jabarkhet Nature Reserve

trail, Jabarkhet Nature Reserve

When we planned our Landour trip, the name ‘Jabarkhet Nature Reserve’ kept popping up. But we’d only one day in Landour & weaning ourselves away from this serene town seemed impossible.

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 –

  1. If you’re unused to exploring forest/ mountain areas on your own, please walk with a guide.
  2. Please don’t shout/ talk loudly as this will drown out the birdsong & disturb the wildlife.
  3. 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 💓!

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