The epitome of history and nature, the Bijli Mahadev Trek is a journey that no words do justice to, you simply have to do it yourself to truly understand the experience.The Bijli Mahadev (or Bijali Mahadev) Temple is located on top of the Mathan hills. The trail for the Bijli Mahadev trek would take you through dense pine and deodar forests. This view is well complemented by the pleasing pomegranate, apples and pear orchards of the Jana Village. From the top of the temple, enjoy the panoramic views of the Kullu and Parvati Valley. The entire valley is enchanting and the sylvan surroundings are quite mesmerizing. The Parvati River creates a meandering path through the magnificent mountains which are a sight to behold. These views are the first reason why people visit this place. The second reason is exploring and getting to know more about the heritage of the Mahadev hills and the Bijli Mahadev temple.
The Bijli Mahadev temple is a to-do trek for all trekking enthusiasts. The experience is electrifying as the beautiful sights and the history binds you together. The inner area of the temple is carved in wood and is something that you must have never seen before. These gorgeous and lifelike carving on the wood depict the mythological scenes. The temple doors are exceptionally beautiful as they are hand painted in natural colours. These colours add life to the wood carvings.
Table of Content:
- Bijli Mahadev Trek: An Overview
- Bijli Mahadev Trek: The Ideal Destination for Trekking Enthusiasts
- Discover Fascinating Stories of Bijli Mahadev Temple
- The Best Season for the Bijli Mahadev Trek
- How to The Bijli Mahadev Trek Basecamp
- Bijli Mahadev Trek Routes
- The Detailed Itinerary for the Bijli Mahadev Trek
- Villages on the Bijli Mahadev Trek Route
- Bijli Mahadev Trekking Essentials
- How to Get Fit For the Bijli Mahadev Trek
- Useful Tips for the Trek
- Summing Up
Bijli Mahadev Trek: An Overview
- Where it is Located: Himachal Pradesh
- Number of Trekking Days: 2 to 5 days
- Total Trekking Distance: 33 km (Approx.)
- Max Altitude: 7,677 ft
- Trekking Grade: Moderate
- Trail Type: Grasslands and Forest trails
- Basecamp: Kullu/ Manali
- Best Time to Visit: April to June; September to November
- Livingit Rank: Enthusiast - Advanced
Bijli Mahadev Trek: The Ideal Destination for Trekking Enthusiasts
Quite obviously, the best time to trek would be during the day because of the fact that the weather is pleasant. The Bijli Mahadev Trek isn't as difficult and is, in fact, great even for the beginners. The ridge alongside the temple is prone to lightning and therefore it is best to stay below the tree-lines. Also, keep away from tall trees as they might fall.
Also, remember that as you are on a trek, there might be minor injuries like arm or knee sprain, bruises etc. Therefore, it would be wise to carry a first-aid kit with yourself. The initial climbing might be rather rough but as you proceed further, there are well-made steps that have normal height. Once you get done with the steps and reach the plane areas, you would be able to find a few canteens that have been set up by the locals. You can stock up on some snacks here.
Discover Fascinating Stories of Bijli Mahadev Temple
The Bijli Mahadev temple has a 60-feet tall staff which is believed to draw divine blessings from the god in the form of lightning. It is also said that the priest in the temple has to recreate or restore the Shiv Linga that is inside the temple with the help of sattoo and butter after each lightning episode. This is because, as the lightning strikes, the Linga shatters into several pieces. It is for this reason that the temple is believed to be the Valley's defender. This is said in the sense that the temple bears the brunt of the lightning every thunderstorm and protects the people living there.
Inside the Bijli Mahadev temple, the charred parts can be seen especially on the walls. This is a result of the flames that happened during the lightning. As devotees, you can make an offering to the God only in the Hundi that is placed in the temple. Some articles for the Puja are also available inside the temple for no extra cost.
Just opposite to the temple, there are situated a few small stone statues where you can perform Puja if you want. There is also a 20-meter pole installed there which has an interesting story too. This tall pole is made of Deodar tree that had been brought from the nearby forest. On a special occasion, every once-in-a-while, this pole gets replaced with another one that is again made from the tallest Deodar tree that could be found in the forest.
The locals and people from the surrounding areas all join in and help in replacing the pole. This is because the people feel that this activity is like serving the God and therefore it is considered as an opportunity to get blessings from Lord Shiva. The tree is carved into the shape of a square and is then installed firmly into the ground.
The Best Season for the Bijli Mahadev Trek
As is quite obvious, the climate in elevated places remains unpredictable. Summers would be the perfect time to visit Bijli Mahadev. This is because the weather around this time is the most ideal for trekking, it is still cooler than normal, but it isn’t cold enough to cause trouble. You can visit anytime during September to November but it would be best to avoid the rainy season as the trail can become quite slippery and trekking there wouldn't be such a wise decision.
You would get to see snow during the winter season but the weather is rather cold and at times unbearable. Also, several hotels, homestays, and shops remain closed during the winters.
- Summer: 30 ° C to 35 ° C (day); 22 ° C to 26 ° C (night)
- Winter: 19 ° C to 24 ° C (day); 10 ° C to 15 ° C (night)
- Monsoon: 27 ° C to 32 ° C (day); 18 ° C to 23 ° C (night)
How to The Bijli Mahadev Trek Basecamp
To reach Bijli Mahadev, you would first have to make your way to Kullu. The easiest way to reach there would be from Delhi or Chandigarh.
You can easily get to Kullu from some of the major cities of the country. From Delhi, there are regular buses that leave at regular intervals to Kullu. The fare can be anywhere between Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 for each individual and it would take approximately 11.5 to 12 hours to reach Kullu.
It is an approximately 1 hour 15 minutes flight from New Delhi to Kullu. There are daily flights between the two places. The nearest airport is the Bhuntar Airport which is located at a distance of approximately 10 kilometres from the heart of the city. The cost of the flight tickets, however, would differ depending on the season and availability.
Between New Delhi and Kullu, there are no direct trains so you will have to take a train to reach Chandigarh (Kalka Shatabdi from New Delhi would be the most favourable option) and then take a State Transport Bus from Chandigarh to Kullu.
If you want to, you can even choose to drive to Kullu. The drive from New Delhi to Kullu is a pleasant one and the views on the way would leave you mesmerized. Also, for people who aren’t too fond of trekking or cannot trek, there is a motorable road that would take you to Bijli Mahadev from the Naggar side via the Jana Waterfall. For this, you first would have to reach Naggar either from Manali or Kullu. However, only motorcycles or small motor vehicles are the preferred mode of transportation on this route.
Bijli Mahadev Trek Routes
Now, there are several trails that lead to the temple. Each and every village situated on the mountain slope has its own path that would take you up to the ridge. The bridge over the River Beas would be crossed after the Ramshila Bazaar and from there the trek would take you through the forests of pine, deodar and oak.
You wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost on your way as there are several small hamlets wherein you can find information related to the directions and route. The distance on foot to the temple from Kullu is about 10 kilometres. A jeep road of approximately 12 kilometres has also been constructed, in case you do not wish to trek. This road, however, stops at about three kilometres short of the temple from where you will have to walk on foot.
The Detailed Itinerary for the Bijli Mahadev Trek
The trek up to Bijli Mahadev can either be started at Kullu or at Naggar town. You can decide which one is more convenient to you.
Kullu – Chansari – Matikochar
Once you reach Kullu, you can take a local bus from the Kullu bus stop to reach Chansari village which is about 12 kilometres ahead (shared jeeps are also available). When you reach Chansari, you would be required to walk for 3 kilometres till Bijli Mahadev on a well-defined trail that is maintained by the Forest department.
The trail is a steep ascent of more than 2,500 feet that would take you through beautiful forests and the Nashala Village. After walking for approximately 45 minutes, the gorgeous apple orchards and villages would be left behind. From here, you would be able to notice the beginning of the grasslands and you would also be able to get a partial glimpse of the top of the temple.
After climbing another 300 feet, you would soon enter the beautiful meadows of Bijli Mahadev. The trek to the hilltop would be completed in approximately 2 to 3 hours. From here, you would be able to get enthralling views of the Kullu Valley. You would also be able to see the convergence of Parvati and Beas rivers and the impressive views of Pir Pinjal and Dhauladhar ranges.
Here you can stay for some time and explore the area and then head back to Kullu. You could even trek ahead to Naggar which would be approximately 18 kilometres. On the way back, you would be passing the Kais Wildlife Reserve’s dense forest which makes for a compelling trek. The trek back to the campsite is a moderate one with a level walk over the forest ridge. This stretches for about 5 kilometres and would take you approximately 4 hours to reach Matikochar.
At the camping spot, there is a Guest House where you can stay. From this camping site, you can spellbinding views of the Kullu Valley. During the monsoon and summer season, the entire valley bustles with greenery. However, in the winter season, the hills receive heavy snowfall and therefore trekking to this area is generally avoided.
Matikochar – Jana Village – Naggar
For this stretch, it is recommended that have a good breakfast as this is going to be one long day of walking. On this day, the trek would begin with a descent towards the Jana Waterfalls. It would take you about 3 to 4 hours to reach this place and is considered as a nice place for camping. You can even have lunch here while enjoying the captivating views of the waterfall.
The Jana Village is about another 20 minutes away from this spot. The entire area, in the harvesting season, gets covered with pomegranate, apple, and pears. The trails from this village are basically shepherd trails that go all the way down to Nashala village. From here you can hire jeeps to take you to the popular Naggar castle. This is one place that you wouldn’t want to miss. The villages on this mountain slope have that distinct wooden architecture of Kullu.
You can either choose to stay there for the day which is what most people do or head back to Kullu or Manali.
Villages on the Bijli Mahadev Trek Route
On your Bijli Mahadev trek, you would come across several villages.
The Parvati Valley is the place to be at to calm down an agitated soul. Situated in the lap of the Himalayas, the valley caters to various tourists and travellers from all over the world. The valley begins from a junction of river Beas and Parvati and then runs towards the steeper side of Bhuntar. The invigorating mountain air combined with delectable Israeli food along with the fresh smell of burning herbs, make up for what is popularly known as the Amsterdam of India.
This village is located high on the East side of the valley of Kullu and is perhaps one of the most charming villages that you would come across in this valley. Once, it was Kullu Kingdom’s capital. Therefore, in the village, you would be able to find a castle which has now been converted into a heritage hotel.
On your Bijli Mahadev trek, you would come across the Puid Village. This is a village in the district of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh and is surrounded by Lahul Tehsil in the North, Kullu tehsil in the South, Chaunthra tehsil in the West and by Spiti tehsil in the East.
This is a small, sleepy village which is a small heritage village known for its picturesque locations and panoramic surroundings. Take a winding 5 kilometres road towards the right of Naggar Haveli and around the hills to reach this gorgeous village. Other than its spellbinding beauty, the village is popular for the Chamunda Bhagwati Temple. Visit the village to get a true taste of the Himachali Culture.
Bijli Mahadev Trekking Essentials to Carry
Packing wisely for your trek is a very crucial thing as you need to carry your backpack on your back. Thus, keeping only the most essential things in it is advisable. It would be difficult for you if you pack much more than what you can carry, but always keep the weather in mind.
With the detailed checklist shared below, you can make a note of the things to pack for the Bijli Mahadev trek.
- A Sturdy Trekking Backpack (40-60 litres) with comfy straps and a supporting frame to carry all your essentials. A rain cover must also be taken.
- Water Bottle. Must carry at least two water bottles, of one litre each to keep yourself hydrated. Carrying at least one thermos flask that can be used to carry warm water or tea or coffee is also recommended.
- Snacks like dry fruits, energy bars, granola bars, chocolates to keep you going
- Wear high ankle Trekking shoes that have a really good grip as there would be steep ascents on the trail. Sports shoes or converse wouldn’t be as comfortable. Hiking shoes would be much more favourable)
- A Walking stick/Trekking pole and a Reliable Flashlight or headlamp
Clothing and Shoes: (Weather would be the determinant factor here)
- At least 2-3 Comfortable full sleeves, collared T-shirts
- Windproof and waterproof jacket or a poncho in case it rains
- A thick woollen sweater or a fleece jacket (of travelling in winter)
- Trekking pants and thermal inners (one pair is generally enough but you can carry an extra one in case the other one gets wet)
General Medical Kit
Be sure to consult your doctor before coming on the trek and then pack your medicines accordingly. Given below is a generic list of the medicines that should be in your trekking medical kit:
- A painkiller
- Medicines for fever and common cough and cold
- Medicines like Digene for acidity
- Medication for allergies if you have any
- A small roll of gauze and cotton
- Relief sprays for muscular pulls, sprains and aches
- Band-aids, Crepe bandage and ointment in case of any injuries
- One pair of woollen or fleece hand gloves and one pair of waterproof and windproof gloves
- At least 5 pairs of cotton and woollen socks
- A woollen scarf to keep you warm
- A good pair of sunglasses. The sun in the mountainous areas can often be blinding
- A good sunscreen
- Hand sanitizer
- Wipes and Toilet paper
- Lip Balm, Toothpaste and toothbrush
When going on the Bijli Mahadev trek, there are a few mandatory documents that you must take with yourself. Also, make sure that you are carrying a few Xerox copies of each of the original documents.
- Government recognized photo identity cards like Driving License, Voter ID card, Aadhar card, etc. Make sure that you are carrying the original ones as well as a few photocopies of each of them
- Medical Certificate that is filled in and signed by your doctor
How to Get Fit For the Bijli Mahadev Trek
The Bijli Mahadev trek is moderately difficult and on this trek, you would approximately be covering a distance of 16 kilometres or more. The trek might not seem difficult but you would have to walk and climb a lot. You might walk a lot on a daily basis but walking and climbing in the hilly areas is different. Hence, you need to that you are physically fit.
Exercises for Flexibility
Flexibility is an essential aspect when it comes to trekking. Indulge in some stretching exercises like stretching your lower back muscles, quadriceps, hip flexors, hamstrings and shoulders. Make sure to keep your muscles absolutely relaxed.
Exercises for Cardiovascular Endurance
As you would be trekking for about 3 to 5 days, you need to have an excellent endurance. This way you would be able to cover the entire distance comfortably. Begin to prepare your body at least a month in advance by jogging every day. In an ideal situation, you should be able to jog for approximately 4 kilometres in twenty minutes before you go on the trek. To cover this distance in the specified time would take time, therefore, have patience and keep jogging every day. Begin by jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace each day. You could even indulge in swimming, cycling or climbing the steps.
Exercises for Strength
Strength is undoubtedly important when you are going on a trek. You are going to be walking uphill carrying your backpack which honestly isn’t an easy task (especially true if this your first ever Trek). Therefore strength needs to be built in your muscles and in your core. Strengthening exercises like squats can help strengthen your leg muscles. Begin by doing approximately 3 sets of squats with each set having a total of 8 squats. Crunches and planks can also be included in the workout.
In case, you cannot go outdoors to jog because of space or time constraint, you could even workout indoors. For instance, running on the treadmill and working out on the stationary exercise cycle would also work.
Other exercises like stretching, squats, planks etc can easily be done indoors. Carrying a backpack no matter how light it is can seem strenuous after a while. Indulging in all these exercises would help you to get in good shape for the trek.
Useful Tips for the Trek
- Get acclimatized. This is very important as if your body needs to adjust to the climate. Not acclimatizing can be a serious health issue.
- Remain hydrated and refill your water bottle at every chance that you get. Your bottle may not be completely empty however, it is best to remain prepared as there may be chances where you might not find a water source ahead.
- Have enough cash with you and don’t just simply on the ATM’s. In the hilly areas, there are high chances that the ATM’s may not have cash or might be closed on holidays.
- Stock up on food if you spot a shop on your way.
- Speak with the locals. They may be aware of a shortcut or might be able to offer you any useful tip.
- Pack only the necessary items. As discussed above, you are just going away for a few days and you would have to carry your items on your own. So, pack only as much as is essential and what you can possibly carry.
The Bijli Mahadev trek is the perfect reflection of nature’s peace and wonders. The enthralling beauty comprising of flora and fauna is ought to leave every individual amazed. The tranquillity of the place would lure you and with such intriguing views that your fatigue would vanish in seconds. It can be said that at the end of the trek you would be left with memories that you would cherish for a lifetime.