A Travel Guide for Trekking to Kheerganga

Kheerganga trek is really an amazing experience in Himachal Pradesh. The beauty of nature, cloudy weather in the trekking route is really unforgettable. A 9 km long but fairly easy, the Kheerganga trek amidst the beautiful mountains is a delight. The Kheerganga Peak is abode to a temple of Shiva and Parvati from where the hot springs originate.

The most sought after trek is Kheerganga, nestled in the Parvati valley at 3,605 meters in a Kasol district of Himachal Pradesh. The trekking is enveloped with picturesque views of the valleys, greenery, waterfalls, panoramic skies and tiny village hamlets which is epitome of the local culture of Himachalis.

The most exciting part of the trek is the natural springs on the top of the valley known as Parvati Kund, the best place to take a bath after a tiring trekking and a refresh in the winter season. Kheer Ganga is at 3050 meters, lies at the extreme end of Parvati valley in the Himachal Pradesh and the last inhibited village while trekking to pin valley via Pin-Parvati pass.

This trek is a most sought after as Kheerganga's panoramic skies and vast greenery are a delight to the trekker's and for memories behold. As Kheerganga trekking is now one of the most sought after and there are lot of guided trek routes, as the trek starts from the beautiful hill station Barshaini which is the starting point of this trek.

Enroute explore some of the tiny village hamlests like Rudranag. This hamlet is very scenic and picturesque and epitome of the local culture of HP, as you can taste the local cuisine in the local cafes on the way, also there is a Rudra Nag temple. After crossing the the waterfall, the trek gets a gradually steeper as you walk uphill you'll sight a view of blue and yellow tops, which indicates the village.

Once you reach the Kheerganga, the trek is not complete without taking a dip in the natural hot water at Parvathi Kund. This is the most attractive in the winters, unwind your day with gossip and vocal music or just read the books and enjoy the local food and pack up with new memories.

The night trek has its own charm as it provides you with a beautiful sky. Nothing can get better than a trek where all you are surrounded by a cluster of stars and a huge abode of forests of the Khirganga National Park.

Kheer Ganga (2960 meter) lies in the extreme end of Parvati valley and is the last inhibited village while trekking to Pin valley via Pin-Parvati pass. Kheer Ganga remains snow-covered during winters and only gets temporary settled during summers which makes it a perfect hideout.

Khir ganga trek is truly a heavenly affair! There are homes, only guest-houses, and restaurants, all prepared to receive people. Khir Ganga lends itself to see nature, alternating with thermal baths. Here you can see the Rainbow movement. What is it about? A movement that was born at the end of the 1960s and takes as an object the meeting to camp and live in community.

There is shared cooking, shared music and a little meditation. The idea is that everyone can learn what they want and teach what they know. It is done on certain dates, in certain places.

A valley in the middle of the Himalayas has to be amazing. The energy of the place can be felt but cannot be seen. For hippies the place emanates a special energy. Anyone who stops in the valley can feel it. Find the magic of the place and see nature in all its magnitude. Huge mountains are separated by the force of the river.

KHEERGANGA night star

Trek till Kheer Ganga and Tosh to get a glimpse of hippie culture and making new connections.

Catch an overnight bus from Majnu ka Tilla to Kullu that leaves around 7:00 pm in the evening. Mostly it takes a maximum of 12 hours but it’s also a part of the fun totally covered around in nature. Get down at Bhuntar circle to catch the local bus and reach Kasol (30 km from Bhuntar) in the afternoon.

Parvati valley lies at the periphery of Great Himalayan National Park and mostly covered with dense forest of alpines and oaks with apple orchards in between. There are multiple hotels located in a range of 2 Km in every direction but you must try to take the hotel at the edges of the Parvati river. There are a lot of bridges and people can walk above the river to reach the hotel.

While trying to reach the hotel see multiple dogs on the way like Pitbull, Husky, Lebara, Royal Retriever, American bully types and people staying here generally take care of them.

Wake up early. Firstly go to Manikaran Sahib road and wait for the bus for Barshaini. If you miss the bus for the first time then you have to wait for an hour for the next one. Take some snacks for your trek from the upper bus stand at Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara. Road to Barshani goes parallel to the Parvati river and passes through Kasol and Manikaran.

Barshani is the last village connected with road and lies on the bank of Parvati river. Soon after reaching Barshani, find yourself in the midst of hippie culture with stoned freaks dominating the streets and staring at something unknown. And of course there are some gorgeous beauties as well seeking something within.

Start to Kheer-Ganga just after reaching Barshani to buy yourself enough time. There are few things you should know about hippies. Hippies acknowledge you and ignore you at the same time. If you are softhearted, your chances will diminish. Hippies worship those who can arrange them something to get intoxicated. If you don’t smoke then you are not welcome.

Hippies don’t mind much if you are flirting with their girls but if you don’t go by their rules, there are least chances to get their girls. Start learning Hebrew to strengthen your chances. Forget about bragging about your possessions or knowledge, it won’t be any help. Remember not everyone in Parvati is hippie.

The trail passes through beautiful alpine meadows following the river Parvati uphill. En route come across many villages and surprisingly Hippies stay everywhere. Reach Kalga, a small village surrounded by apple gardens. If no one is watching, you can pluck the apples from the trees and eat. Also get chance to pluck apples and apricots from the orchards adjoining the trail.

Spend night at Kalga, lots of guest houses are available. They offer very yummy and cheap food to eat.

In the morning start for Kheer Ganga again. From Kalga it is around 11 km trek to Kheer Ganga. Following the roaring parvati river and crossing some breath-taking wooden bridges, make it to Kheer Ganga after 3-4 hours of trekking. Lots of waterfalls are there. It is a simple trek but still you have to be careful. Lots of small food stalls are available in the trek. You can have tea, hot chocolate, maggi, omlet etc.

While trekking get greeted by many fellow travelers. Kheer Ganga is a tableland surrounded by thick forest of alpine meadows. It is a mesmerizing view when clouds started enveloping the forest and the snow-clad mountains. Kheer Ganga is known for hot water stream which flows beneath the temple of Shiva. The temple is highly revered hence alcohol is not permitted in Kheer Ganga however other kind of intoxication are in surplus.

There is well made pool to bathe in the hot water stream and water is really hot. You will only get basic tent kind of accommodation in Kheer Ganga. In the evening, views of the forest and the peaks were simply spectacular. Heavy mists enclose the valley but the peaks shine while sun sets down at a distant horizon. In addition to that, the melody of Parvati River is soothing the entirety of that moment.

It is too much to absorb and appreciate for a nature lover. As night approaches, clouds disappear completely to offer the crystal clear view of sky and the stars, a view of sky which you hardly feel in towns or cities. Roam around the plateau, climb small rocks, barge into the grooves, listen to the sound of silence and realize the very freedom of this place which makes it so special.

Being in Kheer Ganga is a different feeling than what you feel while accomplishing a challenging peak or high altitude trekking or defeating harsh terrain or exploring untraveled. There is nothing to feel special about or nothing to brag about, no feeling of home or homelessness. It is just thoughtlessness. That evening is a conditioning to the mind and the soul or to the existence.

If you want to reach the state of thoughtlessness, Kheer Ganga is your destination and if you continue your trek you will reach Mantalai Lake.

Wake up and head straight to the hot springs to take a bath at the altitude of 3000 mtr. It is really hot water. Overcome the fear and dip in the hot water spring. It is a refreshing pool in the midst of nature. Although there is no problem of food or accommodation but in the absence of the tourists, Kheer Ganga is quite deserted.
Kalyan Panja

Next Post »