Kheerganga is a beautiful and adventurous trek of 14 Km that starts from the village Barshaini in the Kullu which is located at an altitude of 12950 feet. Recently we completed the Kheerganga trek and I read articles and blogs about it While planning for it. I got a nice piece of information but somehow they were lacking in proper information about kheerganga trekking. So here I am with an exhaustive and detailed step-by-step guide on trekking to Kheerganga on your own.
Where is Kheerganga Trek located
Kheerganga trek starts from the village Barshaini and you will be scaling to the altitude of 14950 feet within this 14 km of the trek. Kasol and Manikaran Sahib are the most famous destinations in the beautiful Parvati Valley where the kheerganga trek is located. This trek to Kheerganga is loaded with a special gift of splendid waterfalls, natural views of Pin Parvati valley, and thundering of mighty Parvati river alongside the trek to the trekkers.
Barshaini village is around 15 km from Kasol and actual hiking starts from here only. You can reach Barshaini by local bus or taxi easily. The main attraction of the Kheerganga Trek is a hot water spring near the Kheerganga campsite at Rudranaag which is believed to have medicinal properties in its hot water. Beautiful views throughout the trekking route with the loud thundering sound of the Parvati river adds extra freshness to the trek.
Why Kheerganga trek is Famous
Kheerganga trek is famous for many reasons and as it is a trail which means it will provide you with the beauty of the valley in its raw form. You will feel nature very closely through this trek which will surely make your vacation memorable. Here are three reasons why you must go for this trek:
Being a trekking trail, adventure comes first in your mind when you listen to the name of trekking. This journey of 14 km through the slopes of Parvati valley will make you fall in love with the valley. You will find nature at its best in the form of calmness associated with the slow chirping of birds. This trekking route passes through some difficult turns and steep heights, giving you a sense of toughness. Tough trekking followed by a dip in the sacred water at the kheerganga top will take away your tiredness.
You will find great options for camping once you reached the top. You can enjoy your night with the delicious dinner being served by the local people with a bonfire at the peak. You also can arrange your private camping at a little distance from the peak provided you are camping at a safe place. Safety is an individual responsibility hence you must try to camp in the nearby area only. You can go for a sharing-based tent if you want to keep things within the budget.
3. Nature at its best
During this trek, you will find nature at its best with the thundering voice of the river Parvati. You will find yourself in the beautiful lap of nature once reached its peak. The trekking route to the peak passes through many steep curves and small waterfalls, making your afresh. Beautifully located small shops in between the trek route will give you a moment to recoup yourself.
Mythology behind Kheerganga
As per legends and local stories, Lord Shiva meditated here at this peak for thousands of years. As per some other locals, it was Kartik, the son of Lord Shiva who meditated here. Also, some say that there was milk used to flow through this spring in ancient times, but just before ‘Kaliyuga’ started, Lord Brahma asked Lord Shiva to convert it into hot water and it is the same since then. Kheerganga literally means ‘milky white sacred water’ and you will feel fresh after taking a dip into this holy water after tiring trekking. Rudranaag temple which is located very close to this hot water spring is also believed to be an ancient temple, so the kheerganga site is sacred as well and it should be kept in mind by all the trekkers.
How to reach Kheerganga
Hiking for this trek starts from village Barshaini which is 20 km from Kasol and 50 km from Bhuntar. Bhuntar is a small town located on Delhi- Manali highway and it is just 10 km before Kullu. So to reach Kasol, you have to take a turn from Bhuntar itself and you can easily reach up to starting point of the trek by road. You can reach Barshaini anytime in the day from the city of Kullu.
Kheerganga By Road
You can easily reach Barshaini village by road as it is just 50 km from Delhi Manali highway. Road condition till Kasol is excellent but from Kasol onwards, you may have to face bit difficult because of roads not in much good condition. You can hire a taxi easily from Bhuntar for Kasol / Barshaini or can drive your personal vehicle as well. Kasol has excellent options to stay and parking while Barshaini village has the limited option of stay but yes, you can park your private vehicle over there before trekking starts.
Bhuntar is well connected by road to major cities like Chandigarh and Delhi, and you will find continuous Bus services between Delhi and Manali. Buses from Delhi pass through Chandigarh and Bhuntar before reaching Manali. So, you have to get down at Bhuntar and take a new road to reach Kasol. There are luxury, semi-deluxe, and ordinary bus services available between Delhi and Manali and you can choose any of them at your convenience.
Bhuntar is a small town where the airport is also located, and it is the point where the river Parvati flowing through the Awesome Parvati valley merges with the Beas river. You should get down at Bhuntar from the bus and catch your new vehicle or bus to Kasol or Barshaini from here. It will take another 1 hour to reach Kasol and 2-3 hours to reach Barshaini. Bus services between Bhuntar and Barshaini are frequent and you can easily reach your location timely. However, the last bus from Barshaini to Bhuntar is at around 2 or 3 PM.
Kheerganga By Flight
As you are going trekking, so you can not expect flight services to leave you at the start point of the trek. But yes, the starting point of trekking in Kasol/Barshaini has an airport in Bhuntar which is close to here. This Bhuntar airport is at a distance of just 50 km from Barshaini and you have to take a private vehicle or Bus to reach here from the airport.
Kheerganga By Train
There is no direct rail connectivity between Main cities and Kasol or Kullu, and the nearby railway terminal to it is at Jogindernagar at a distance of 95 km. Jogindernagar is connected by a small train to Pathankot railway station which is further well connected to major Indian railway terminals. You should check the train timing for Pathankot and Joginder Nagar before boarding at the official website of the Indian Railway.
Best time to visit Kheerganga
The best time to plan for Kheerganga and Kasol is from April to July and then mid-September to November. The temperature at the peak remains quite low during nighttime, so extra cautions must be taken. Winter months can be avoided because the presence of snow at the trek can make the trekking more tiring, difficult and dangerous as well. If you want to enjoy the snow during the peak then December and late March are the ideal months for you to travel.
Difficulty level of Kheerganga Trek
Kheerganga trek is not too difficult and not too easy as well. But it can be undertaken by the beginners if have enough time in hand. It can be labelled as a beginners trek which goes for 14 Km with gentle slopes and curves throughout the trek. The only exception is the last one Km of the trek where you will find a steep climb to reach the peak. Novice trekkers can feel some altitude sickness, so it is advisable to go slow and at a steady pace. The trek route has two or three locations midway where you can enjoy limited snacks like tea, coffee, noodles, and omelette and refresh yourself.
Trekking Routes to Kheerganga :
You can reach the peak by three routes from the Barshaini village and the total trek distance by any route is around 14 km. There are three routes from Barshaini to go to Kheerganga:
From the village Barshaini, you have to start for the trek if you are halting at Barshaini and Kasol. But if you are planning to reside at Tosh village, then, in that case, you can start your trek from Tosh village itself. Out of these three routes, two starts from Barshaini while one starts from Tosh village.
First Trekking route to Kheerganga
The first route is from Barshaini through the Nakthan village which is around 3-4 km from Barshaini and it takes about 2 hours to reach there. This is the shortest and most preferred route by the trekkers. This route falls along the left bank of river Parvati with sufficient markings and directions painted along the route. To take this route, you have to take left after crossing the first bridge from Barshaini village and have to climb over on the left side. Nakthan village is a traditional hilly village with very minimal wooden houses. Nakthan has two or three small cafes where you can refresh yourself.
Second trekking route to Kheerganga
The second route for Kheerganga trekking is through Kalga village and you have to turn right after crossing the first bridge. The trekking route from Kalga to kheerganga lies along the right bank of River Parvati and it joins the main trek to kheerganga in the middle of the trek. This route is a bit difficult from the first one and you have to pass through dense forests on this route. There are chances that you will lose your way, if not guided properly through this route. So, this route is not so popular among trekkers and locals will also guide you to take the first route only.
Third trekking route to Kheerganga
The third route to kheerganga starts from the village Tosh, and it is usually taken by the tourists who are residing in the Tosh village, as Tosh has some good options to stay in. This route joins the main first route near Nakthan village and is followed by the first route. Tosh River flows through the village of Tosh which joins River Parvati in the Pulga village. After one hour of the trek from Nakthan village, you will come across Rudranaag temple which is located at the bank of a beautiful small waterfall. Here is a small Dhaba where you can halt and take some rest and recoup yourself. The second route joins the first route just after this temple. There is one bridge over Parvati river, from where you can see a deep gorge is formed by the water which will surely give you another level of satisfaction. You can easily fill your reusable water bottles from this waterfall, as the water bottle is costly at the peak.
Once you reach the peak, you will find many options to reside on an individual basis or on sharing basis. You can not expect hotels at the peak, but there are a lot of camping and tent arrangements over there to accommodate you. It is advised to start from Barshaini timely, to reach at the peak timely, else you can find difficulty in finding good options to stay. But yes, you can share common space being provided by the locals at minimal prices.
Planning Kheerganga trek :
Since this trek is short, you can complete this within a day and come back to start in the early morning. But it is recommended to halt at the peak in the night to witness the beautiful sky and high mountain peaks surrounding you. If you are planning to complete this trek in a single day, it is advised to reach Barshaini one day before your trek. Take proper rest at Barshaini or Tosh village and start your trekking early in the morning. you will reach the peak around 1 PM. You can take a dip in a hot water spring and start your descend to the starting point. Travelling time for the return journey is almost half as compared to the trek time. So you can easily come back within a day after reaching the peak.
If you want to halt in the night at the peak, which is well recommended, in that case, you should reach the start point by 11 AM. If you are coming by Bus from Delhi to Bhuntar, it will drop you at Bhuntar at around 5-6 AM. You have to take the first bus from Bhuntar to reach Barshaini, as the bus will take another 3-4 hours from Bhuntar. If you missed the first bus, it becomes difficult to undertake this trek on the day because you will be late in reaching to start point.
Hotels near Kheerganga
Kheerganga peak has only camping arrangements, but you can reside at Kasol, Manikaran Sahib, Barshaini, or Tosh village if you are arriving early for the trek. Both Kasol and Manikaran Sahib have a lot of options available for you to reside ranging from three-star to deluxe hotels. You can easily find ATM facility at both the location, hence you can pay the bills online or offline as per your convenience. You can book your hotel on the trip online easily, by paying with Plastic money like Credit Cards and other methods.
Homestays: Both Barshaini and Tosh village has these options for you to halt and to explore the local culture closely. Both these villages have basic facilities to eat and reside, hence it is advised to buy the needful items from here only because you will be charged heavily at the kheerganga top for the same item.
Kheerganga is a very popular destination during the summer months and you will find many huts and camps at the peak to accommodate you. You can book your tent or hut at a price range starting from 500-600 depending on the weather and crowd at the peak. Nowadays, many companies are engaged in the planning trek, where you can be clubbed in groups and accommodation will be provided by them at the peak provided you have to pay them in advance.
But, I must recommend that if you find it off-season, it is better to reach at the peak and bargain by self for the tents. It will be economical with no much difference in the trekking experience. Accommodation provided will have no bathroom facilities, as this facility is available on sharing basis. In case accommodation is not available at Kheerganga, one can sleep in the common space for a small charge. You will find many tents and Huts at the peak offering you to reside within a 10-minute walk from the hot water spring. You can also pitch your own tent by paying marginal fees at the kheerganga peak.
Nearby Locations to Kheerganga
Manali – an awesome hill station — 95 KM
Tirthan Valley — 100 KM
Spiti Valley – 183 KM
Chandertaal – 185 KM
Important Information about Kheerganga trek
- Always give attention to basic but important points while planning your trip and do check the important things to carry on a trip with you.
- Please be adhere to simple but effective travel safety tips.
- While planning trekking, you must go through 6 basic trekking tips.
- Food and other required stuff are priced heavily at the peak, hence it recommended to carry sufficient stock.
- Carry sufficient water and chocolates along in the trek to keep yourself energetic. Please keep filling your reusable water bottles from the waterfalls and streams you are going to cross during the trek. It will save your pocket and also it will save the environment in another way.
- If you are reaching the top late in the evening, it can lead you in a difficulty with no options of accommodation, but you can share common space at a marginal price with blankets provided by the owner.
- You can take a dip in the hot water spring at the peak which is believed to be sacred, hence you must not pollute the water and don’t indulge in such activity which can lead to pollution there at the peak.
- There are separate arrangements for ladies and gents in the hot water spring, and you must respect the space provided.
- Don’t litter the place around you while at the peak or during the trekking, it is our moral duty to respect mother nature.
- You must have enough cash available with you as sometimes ATM does not work in this valley. So it is better to dispense cash from Bhuntar or Kullu itself before coming for trekking.
- No mobile network is available at the peak and you will find only the BSNL network which is also very rare.
- Kids below 12 years of age are not recommended for this trek
- A beginner can face altitude-related sickness during the trek, hence it is recommended to go through a medical checkup on your own prior to boarding for this trek.
- You must carry a small travel medical kit with you on every trip to make you safe from small infections and allergies.
- Try to have minimal weight in your backpack because a heavy load at the back can cause discomfort while trekking. You can go through a helpful guide to backpack for travel.
- This trekking can be undertaken as a solo traveler very easily because the route is well marked and locals will guide you in the best possible manner. However, if you feel any difficulty, it is better to hire a guide.
- The road from Kasol to Barshaini is not in good condition and it will take more time for you to reach the start point, hence you should start from kasol by catering this time.
- While transiting from Kasol to Barshaini, you will pass through Mnaikaran Sahib which has religious significance for both Hindu and Sikh people. You must respect the space accordingly and should not do any activity which leads to trouble for you.
- Kasol is a small town with a completely different culture dominated by Israeli people. So, it is a good chance for you to explore the same.