Being an adventure enthusiast traveling is my hobby or rather it can be said as my passion. So as a traveller I love exploring things which are still unexplored. My traveling activities include hiking, adventure sports, camping and many more. When it comes to hiking or trekking the North Indian state Himachal Pradesh is my dreaming hotspot. As the state is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountains and also endowed with the magnificent glory of culture, tradition and its people. The place is famous for its lofty peaks, lush green meadows and many more. The place also has religious significance due to the occurrence of large numbers of historical temples for which this state is also regarded as “Dev Bhoomi” or Abode of Gods. The place is also blessed with rich flora and fauna with varieties of forests like Coniferous forests, Mixed deciduous forests, Bamboo, Oak, Deodar etc. These forests are also home to many wildlife like Himalayan black bear, leopard, brown bear, musk deer and the Himalayan Thar.
In this context I am going to share one of my trekking experiences during my last Himachal tour that is the Kheerganga Trek.
About Kheerganga Trek
The magnificent trek to Kheerganga starts from a small hamlet Kasol in Himachal Pradesh. This is the most well-known trekking destination in Himachal which gives a stiff competition to Shimla. The place is located deep in the Parvati valley and is preached roughly at a height of 2950 meters approximately. Kheerganga is famous for its hot water spring. The trek usually commences from Barshaini and the 12 km trail gives the ample opportunity to explore the spellbinding beauties of this region. Apart from the hot spring one can find numerous waterfalls on the way which keeps convincing everyone. The place is also famous for camping and to enjoy many delicious foods and snacks as there are few dhabas on the way to Kheerganga which provides these facilities. The trail is graded as easy to moderate in difficulty level and it is the best one for the beginners.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours walk
Grade: easy to moderate
Total distance: 10-12 km
Start/End point: Barshaini
How do I reach there?
The trek starts from the small village of Kasol and the place can be reached by flight, rail and road.
My journey was through flight to the Bhuntar Airport or Kullu Manali Airport which is the nearest airhead to Kasol and has a sound connectivity with other big cities of the country. The journey is a bit costly but less time consuming. From there cabs are available towards Kasol.
One may also opt for the rail journey to the nearest station of Joginder Nagar which is 144 km away from Kasol.
The third option is road as the place is well connected with big cities of North India like Chandigarh and the country’s capital Delhi. Many buses are available from these cities towards Kasol at regular intervals.
Kheerganga Trek-My journey and experience
The trek starts from Barshaini which is 16 km away from Kasol. Barshaini is the Base Camp from where I started my long awaited journey of 5 to 6 hours towards the Kheerganga summit with my tour mates. Throughout my journey I came across some famous and mesmerizing sights and spots of this place which are as follows:-
1.Nakthan Pit Stop
My first stop was at Nakthan which is a small village lying on the trail from Barshaini to Kheerganga. The village is located 2300m left side of the Parvati river and is only accessible by a walk. There are 40-50 houses in this village and is a preferred stop for every traveller who comes for the Kheerganga Trek. There are some guest houses, homestays, dhabas and cafes from where I enjoyed having watermelon juice and noodles. This spot is the ideal spot to get energised for the rest of the trek.
This is another place which is located on the way to Kheerganga summit. After Nakthan village it was my second stop. The place is located 30 miles from Nakthan. The place is known for the sacred temple named as Rudranag Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the famous Rudranag or Serpentine waterfalls. There are some dhabas from where I had some mouth-watering beverages and snacks, the place is the best for foodies like me.
3.Hike through the Pine forests
After crossing the Nakthan village and Rudranag Temple we were greeted by the dense forests of Pine which gave me the mind-blowing views of lush greenery. The place is also ideal for a picnic.
This is the famous place on the way to Kheerganga located on the top of the mountains in Parvati valley. This is the most famous attraction of the Kheerganga Trek. The place is famous for a hot bath and visitors prefer taking a bath here. There is no better way to rejuvenate yourself other than taking a bath here. The ones who take a dip in the warm water get the most panoramic view of snow-capped mountains surrounding this water-body.
5.Camping under stars
Kheerganga Trek without camping is incomplete. This is the ultimate feeling which I got by spending a night under the blanket of stars and also enjoying the bonfire.
They are the ones who accompanied us as a tour member. These bunch of dogs rested, walked and chilled along with us and the trail was incomplete without them.
Last but not the least is to admire the sunset view from Kheerganga. The colour of the sun changes from Orange to blood red which is a mesmerizing sight to witness. The sunset of this place should be witnessed in complete attention to get the heavenly feeling.
Kheerganga Trek- Best time to visit
The ideal time to hike Kheerganga is during the summer season from the month of April to June as the weather is hot yet pleasant and in autumn from the month of September and October.
Things which I have carried for the Kheerganga Trek
- Valid ID proofs.
- Personal toiletries and medication
- Warm clothes like windproof jackets, full sleeve sweater, gloves, woolen cap, socks and scarf.
- Comfortable clothes like T-shirts, yoga pants, trousers or tracks.
- Raincoats as Himalayan weather is unpredictable.
- Sunscreen lotion and other moisturizers to prevent sunburn.
- Binoculars and torch lights.
- Toiletries including soaps, towel etc.
- First aid kits
- Water bottle, backpack and snacks etc.
- Extra foods.