Landour in Uttrakhand is blessed with immense beauty. From colonial architecture to walk in the woods, terrains, small beautiful cafes and eateries; everything blends in a way that you simply fall in love with the place.
We were there for three days out of which we had planned to spend one day trekking the Jabbarkhet Nature Reserve.
Mr. Bhagchand, caretaker of Rockvilla by Baaya (that was our home for two days in Landour) insisted us to visit Jabarkhet.
What To Expect From Jabarkhet Nature Reserve?
Though there are different time slots for visiting Jabberkhet Nature Reserve, morning is the best time to be in a forest. So, we chose to go there in the morning.
Virendra Singh who is the nature walk guide at Jabarkhet came to our stay place and we started walking towards our destination. Upon reaching there, we met a few other people who had also come there to enjoy the flora and fauna of the place.
He told us that Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is 100 acres of the unspoiled jungle with different trails. The property is run by the owner, Vipul Jain and conservationist and director, Sejal Worah.
It is situated at the elevation of around 2,000 metres above sea level across different altitudinal zones. Various types of plants, ferns, trees, insects, birds and mammals make you forget about the distance you have covered and the distance that is left to reach the top.
The trails as we were told could be completed in 2-4 hours, depending on the number of halts. You don’t have to worry about the trails and the level of difficulty. If you have a basic fitness level, it won’t be a fuss for you to traverse these trails.
There are several small waterholes and camera traps are installed to capture photographs/videos of animals that roam around at night when humans are not around.
Also, there is a range of interpretive materials and a map developed to help visitors identify the different species they encounter.
The reserve is home to around 145 bird species, 20 species of mammals and approximately around 350 species of flowering plants. Isn’t That amazing?
The type of flora you get to witness depends on the season.
Pictures of gorals, leopard cats, langurs, black bears, wild boars, barking deer have been captured in the cameras installed at different locations that you can see after you complete your trial.
Types of Trails That You Can Choose
Based on the characteristic features, Jabarkhet Nature Reserve has different trails namely:
- The Ridge trail: It takes you to the highest point of the Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, the Flag Hill Top.
- The Wildflower trail: It leads to a meadow covered in a carpet of summer flowers.
- The Mushroom trail: It has mushrooms of all colours and sizes especially during monsoons.
- The Leopard trail: It is a trail where leopards roam around at the night time and their pictures are captured in pre-installed cameras.
- The Rhododendron Trail: It has big red flowers in late spring and early summer. During this season, one can see the entire trail covered with red flowers.
Our guide, Mr Virendra kept sharing the information about the place and showed us different spots. Walking on these trails was an experience worth it. We came to know a lot about the place.
Reaching atop filled us with the sense of accomplishment. The view from here is awesome and on a clear day, you can easily spot Snowcapped Himalayan peaks.
On our way back, we spotted a small hut-like place within the property. there we stopped to enjoy a cup of tea.
They have built this place for the guests to take a halt and relax while having a cup of tea. Also, here you can see the pictures of different birds and animals such as leopards, wild boars, bears captured in their pre-installed cameras at different locations.
How Did Jabarkhet Nature Reserve Come Into Existence?
Before the property was converted into the nature reserve, the local villagers used to come here and collect firewood all through the year by cutting and lopping trees of various species. Not just that, they grazed their cattle in the forest and collected fodder. Also, there were instances of forest fire which sometimes couldn’t be easily controlled. The unchecked use and exploitation of the area worsened the situation of the property.
It was only after conservationist and director, Sejal Worah met Vipul Jain and took the charge of the property and brought about this major transformation and gave it the face-lift.
Over the last few years, CONSERVATION efforts went great and the duo made significant progress towards the restoration of the natural beauty and ecology of about 100 acres of the estate.
From removing over 400 kgs of trash, uprooting over tons of the exotic weed Eupatorium, recovering the vegetation to recover, developing waterholes, planting hundreds of trees, controlling the grazing of cattle; everything has been done in a well-planned manner and continuous efforts have been made to make what it currently looks like and properly maintaining it.
Hats off to Sejal Worah for giving life to this property and making it rise from the ashes!
You might like to check the other articles related to our Landour trip.
Best Time to Visit
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve offers something to the visitor at all times of the year. Each month brings with it new discoveries and vistas so you will never get tired of the place even if you are a frequent visitor.
While in springtime, one gets to see fallen rhododendron flowers and new leaves tend to appear on trees, walking on these trails during summers enables you to can escape from the heat as you get to witness cool forest glens and enjoy the flowering meadows.
During Autumn, one can witness acorns, wild grasses and trees. The snow-capped mountains which are clearly visible to the naked eye make the place all the more beautiful.
During monsoons, myriad of wildflowers, ferns and mushrooms pop up making the place beautiful. Snow-covered trails during the winter season is altogether a unique experience.
What to Carry?
There are few essentials that we think you should carry while exploring Jabarkhet Nature Reserve that will enhance your experience.
- A DSLR camera
- A pair of binoculars for bird watching
- Dry snacks and chocolates
- A water bottle
- A hat and shades if you are going in summers
- Shoes with a good grip are essential
Charges and Duration
The guided trail walk costs Rs 500/ person and lasts for about 2-3 hours.
They have membership options as well and you can see the details related to this here: http://jabarkhetnature.com/membership.
What We Liked About Jabarkhet Nature Reserve
To sum up, we would any day suggest you to not miss a walk into the woods and enjoy the flora and fauna of the Jabarkhet Nature Reserve.
Non-stop chitchat session, getting the know-how of marks of different animals, hearing voices of different birds, and mesmerizing views while walking on these trails was a wonderful experience for us and we enjoyed a lot.
We simply want to applaud the efforts made to convert a wasteland into such a place that in no time, it became the home to many birds and animals.
Besides, local people have got employment and for tourists and travellers, it has become a hot spot that brings them close to nature, leaving the chaotic mess away, at least for some time.
Have you ever been to the Jabberkhet Nature Reserve? If yes, do share your experience with us by leaving your comments below.