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.
Doing Kamrunag and Shikari Devi treks in one go
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.