Trekking in Karsog and Janjheli valley and nearby

Mandi district is a hotbed for a host of activities. Karsog area near Mandi is a beautiful retreat for nature and culture lovers. The temples, the trails, the age-old architecture, the festivals, and the valleys makes me go here again and again. I am compiling a list of a few treks in this region.

The most popular treks in this region are to Kamrunag temple and Shikari Devi temple. A few lesser known hikes are also listed below and offer hiking through areas untouched by the crowds, at times good views of the snow-clad Himalayan ranges, and beautiful meadows.

  • Kamrunag temple or Kumarwah lake trek starts from Chail Chowk or Rohanda
  • Shikari Devi trek starts from Janjehli or Kataru
  • Budha Kedar trek starts from Bulah or Kataru. I wonder if it can start from Raigad for those who want to hike longer.
  • Mahunag temple is at a road head but there are trails to this temple that locals use
  • Dhamoon Tibba starts from Sainj Bagr
  • Jyuni Valley hike starts from Dhangyara, 20 km ahead of Chail Chowk
  • Janjehli to Karsog
  • Tungasi Dhar
  • Magru Gala hike near Chhatri
  • Gada Gushaini

Shikari Devi temple is a very long one-day hike or is better done with overnight stay/camping. However, others are easy day hikes with immense cultural exposure.

A few other hills in the region are less popular and are not accounted for in popular posts on the Internet. There is a good scope of local exploration. The typical starting points of the popular treks are Sundernagar, Janjehli, Rohanda, Karsog, and Chail Chowk. These places are within a few hours of road distance from each other and are well connected by local buses. From Delhi, you can board a Mandi-bound bus and then use some local transport.

A very good account of winter trek to Shikari Devi is available at Inditramp website. The GPS trails of Shikari Devi are here and of Kamrunag is here.

Doing Kamrunag and Shikari Devi treks in one go

Kamrunag lake and temple

The two most popular treks in this region — Shikari Devi and Kamrunag — can be combined into a weekend. Given the shortness and ease of these hikes, it may be more fulfilling to combine these. It’ll also save time and money.

On day 1, reach Rohanda, do Kamrunag, reach Karsog, and spend the night.
On day 2, start early on Shikari Devi trail; finish by evening; reach Mandi by night and board a Delhi-bound bus at night.

Notice the important transport timings from planning perspective.

  • 0700 – first bus from Sundernagar to Rohanda.
  • 1400 – 1800 A few buses ply from Rohanda to Karsog. However, better reach Chail Chowk and take a bus to Janjehli.
  • 1500 – 1800 Can get a local bus to Sundernagar or Mandi.

Another possibility is to reach Shikari Devi directly from Kamrunag instead of coming down and taking buses to either Karsog or Janjehli. This requires a ridge walk of a few km to reach Shikari Devi from Kamrunag lake itself. It is a well-trodden trail and has water for most months. Accommodation options are available at both the destinations.

Please share your experiences, queries, photos, basic information, local contacts, GPS logs, blog links, etc. in the comments section below.


Child, elderly, and beginner friendly easy treks in the Himalayas

I am compiling a list of the child-friendly hikes and make this post a one-stop shop for all the trails that kids can accomplish. Of course, your kid’s mileage may vary so please do your due diligence.

This list, by its very nature, will always be a work-in-progress compilation. I’ve made public the incomplete details hoping these will help many folks. Leave your insights and suggestions in the comments section to update this best.


Trek Base city Accommodation* Distance to hike (km) Comments
Abott Mount Lohaghat Hotel, tent 5 Photos
Pangoot local hikes Pangoot, Nainital Hotel 3-12 A long trek, A short trek, photos
Barot local hikes Barot Hotel, tent 3-10 Jallan Guest House; Waterfall near the trolley tracks; Badagaon area
Bashleo Pass Shoja, Jaon Tent
Bijli Mahadev Hike Kullu Hotel 3 km from Chansari, 15 km from Kullu Info1, Info2
Chakrata Moila Tibba and Budher Caves Chakrata Hotel, tent 4
Chakrata Tiger Falls Chakrata Hotel 2
Dalhousie local hikes Dalhousie Hotel
Deoria Tal Sari, Rudraprayag Cottage?, Tent 2-3
Dugadda to Lansdowne Lansdowne Hotels 8
Hatu Peak Narkanda Tent 7 Photos
Jamu peak Renuka Ji Hotel, tent May get longish and heat may take its toll.
Kamru Nag lake Karsog or Rohanda Sarai, tent, hotel 4 km from Rohanda Listing; Photos
Kapil Muni’s hill Renuka Ji Hotel, tent
Lal Tibba Mussoorie Hotel
Mussoorie local hikes Mussoorie Hotel Info1
Rajagunda forest Bir, Billing Hotel, tent Hike from Bir to Billing on road; Billing to Rajagunda forest and alternatively to Badagran
Serolsar lake Jalori Pass Tent Info
Shikari Devi hike Karsog Hotel, tent 18 km from Janjehli; 1 km from road head if going in a vehicle Info1, Info2
Shimla TV Tower Shimla Hotel
Solan Tibba Solan Hotel
Taradevi Shimla Hotel 4 km from Tara Devi station on highway
Vaisho Devi Katra, Jammu Hotel, sarai

* Accommodation is categorized as ‘sarai/huts’ for basic roof (carry sleeping bag); personal ‘tent’ for camping trips; ‘hotel’ option for day hikes or short hikes where you can come back to the base city or reach the next town.

Please share the discoveries and the experiences of your kids or beginners with us in the comments section.