Kheerganga is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Himachal. It is situated at an altitude of around 3000 meters in the Parvati Valley near Kasol. The 10 kilometre trek starts from Barshaini, a small village 22 kms from Kasol. It takes around four hours to a moderate trekker to reach Kheerganga. This place is very popular among the young adventure lovers and every year many people visit Parvati Valley to venture into the wild.
Significance of Kheerganga
Kheerganga is the land of Shiva. It is also considered a sacred place as the local legends believe that lord Shiva’s son Karthikey spent many years here and meditated in a cave at Kheerganga. There’s a small temple which is said to be very ancient. Kheerganga is a combination of two words Kheer which means a sweet dish made of milk and rice, and Ganga a river or stream in general. It is called so because there’s a natural hot water spring and the water has very thin rice like particles in it. It is believed that bathing in that water is a sacred act and also has health benefits like it can cure skin and stomach problems.
Best Time to Visit and Route
The best time to do this trek is during the summer months between March and September. During this period the weather is pleasant and relatively cold at night so you can enjoy the experience of camping and bonfire also. Kheerganga is best for a 2-3 days short trip from Delhi or Chandigarh. You can take an HRTC bus to Manali from Kashmiri Gate in Delhi and Sector-43 in Chandigarh and get a ticket for Bhuntar. The buses usually starts in the evening so you will probably reach Bhuntar by 5-7 in the morning. From Bhuntar you can take the bus to Barshaini where you will reach around 10-11 am. Most people start the trek the same day, reach Kheerganga by 4-5 pm, spend the evening and night in the tents there and return the next day. There are two main treks for Kheerganga, both starts from the bridge near Barshaini and meet halfway in the forest. It’s best to reach the bridge, turn right , hike the trek to Kalga village and proceed towards Kheeganga and return via the other trek so this way you will get to trek both the paths.
The treks to Kheerganga cross through woods and have some really amazing waterfalls on the way. The sound of water falling in and flowing through the Parvati river creates a soothing music throughout the way. The serene atmosphere in the woods is something that will put your heart and soul at peace. You will also find a few eating points on the way where you can rest and recharge yourself.
Food and Stay
For the accommodation and food at Kheerganga you will find around 10-15 camping points that provide food and night stay in camps. You can rent a single tent for Rs 500-800 that can accommodate 2-4 people and you can also sleep in the shared tent for 100-200 Rs per person. Even if you haven’t booked in advance you can easily find a place for the night. Most probably you won’t find any network up there so make the important calls before you start the trek at Barshaini.
The hot water spring falls into two man made pools, each for men and women, and the moment you enter the warm water of the pool all the fatigue of the trek disappears and you feel relaxed and calm. So never miss to bath in the hot water pool up there. After taking the bath people sit amid the mountains around them at the open cafes and enjoy their evening with their friends or other travelers from different places. The weather is usually cold at night so don’t forget to take some warm clothes with you.
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