Jauljibi Mela or Jauljibi Trade Fair
Situated at the confluence of Kali and Gori rivers Jauljibi is a town having a small bazaar on Indo-Nepal border. It is situated at a distance of 65 km from Pithoragarh district. The name Jauljibi is used for bazaars on both sides of the river. One being in India and other being in Nepal. A suspension foot-over bridge on the Kali river joins the two bazaars and both countries together.
Neplese bazaar is smaller as compared to the bazaar on Indian side. Armies of both the countries are always there on their respective side on the bridge. One doesn’t need a passport or Visa to cross the Indo-Nepal border. However, there are custom checks on both the sides of bridge for the goods being transported from one country to other.
Jauljibi Mela (Trade Fair):
Jauljibi Mela or Jauljbi trade fair is held on Makar Sankranti for 10 to 15 days every year at the confluence of the Kali and Gori rivers. The trade fair is very popular in this region and a large volume of people come to be a part of it. Indian and Nepalese traders join the mela(fair) to sell clothes, shoes, handicrafts, carpets, horses, ghee, utensils, show piece items and many other interesting objects.
Food Stalls at Jauljibi Mela:
Food is one of the things that attracts foodies to this fair. There are many food stalls serving the wide range to fast food and typical Nepalese and North Indian food. Nepalese momos, chowmein, thuppa, fish-rice, chicken-rice, mutton-rice, veg and non-veg noodles and soups are some of the popular dishes served in the fair. Locals also make local cheap wine in their homes, which adds variety to food options. However, consuming this wine is large quantity is not recommended.
History of Jauljibi Mela:
Jauljibi Mela has had a rich and vibrant trading history. In the 20th century, it was a point of confluence for traders of three countries, namely India, Nepal and Tibet. Even merchants from Kolkata and other regions of West Bengal used to come here for trading. People of this region were dependent on it for warm clothes, spices, utensils and herbs. They used to wait for the mela the whole year and shop for the whole next year. After the Indo-China war of 1962, trade from Tibet came to a halt.
How to Reach Jauljibi:
Nearest airport is Naini Saini airport, Pithoragarh but the airport is not active yet. Nearest active airport is Pantnagar airport, which is at a distance of 305 km. Buses and cabs to Haldwani are always available from the airport. From Haldwani one can get on a bus going to Dharchula or hire a shared cab. Jauljibi is 249 km away from Haldwani.
Jauljibi is well connected to all major cities of Uttarakhand. Buses or taxis from ISBT Dehradun, Anand Vihar ISBT and Haldwani are available but one has to check the timings of buses. Taxis or buses from Pithoragarh are regularly available to Jauljibi.
Nearest railway station is in Tanakpur, which is at a distance of 211 km. Then public transport and cabs are the only two options. Kathgodam railway station is an option too, which is 242 km away from Jauljibi.