Situated in the beautiful Parvati Valley, Kheerganga is a wonderful trekking destination. Kheerganga is famous for hot water spring. In the recent years Kheerganga has become favorite trekking option especially among youth and college students.
Kheerganga trek starts from Barshaini. Next 14 km trek is a sheer joy for a traveller. Not being too difficult, Kheerganga is suitable for all. After getting to the top one can get rid of all the tiredness of the trek by having a relax bath in hot water pool.
Coupled with other places in Parvati Valley like Tosh, Pulga, Kasol, Malana in the vicinity, Kheerganga can be one of the best travel package in Kullu Manali.
Reach Bhunter by Bus or by flight. Get a taxi or bus for Manikaran. You can opt to stay either at Tosh, Pulga, Kasol or Manikaran. Kasol being the costliest while Manikaran is the cheapest place to have a stay and food. You can have food at the Langar at Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara any time of the day and can also enjoy hot water bath in hot water pools in Manikaran too.
Start early in the morning and reach Barshaini by some vehicle. Then start the trail on foot. Initially the terrain is very easy. The trek runs parallel to Parvati river up to Rudra Nag. There are few villages and small water streams on the way. The trail also passes through Apple orchards. In between you can have a halt at Nakthan. Nakthan is hardly an hour walk away from Barshaini. Nakthan village has few cafes and shops. There you can have food for breakfast, lunch or refreshment. After having a brief halt, resume the trek. You can enjoy the mountain views of Parvati Valley on the way.
The terrain remain same up to Rudra Nag which is at another one to two hour walk depending on your walking speed. There is a beautiful waterfall at Rudra Nag. Rudra Nag also has a small dhaba which offers tea, maggi and other food. At Rudra Nag you will cross the Parvati river. Then the tougher and the steeper part of the trek starts. The trail passes through a thick deodar forests. The path can be slippery in the rainy days, so being cautious at every step can be a great help to yourself. The trail ahead is an awesome walk inside the forest with the sound of Parvati River’s water beating the rocks, keep you reminding about the power it’s water holds. There are a couple of cafe huts in the way.
This 5 km portion of the trek is the most adventurous. As you reach Kheerganga you’ll see a number of tents and camps spread on the way upward. Now a days there are a number of options to stay in Kheer Ganga. You can choose to stay in makeshift rooms as well as in the tents. You can also put your own tent if you got one. After settling down with the accommodation part, you can have bath at hot water pool. Pool gets closed at about 7pm. After having dinner you can go to sleep but if you are a stargazer and wish to spend some time under sky counting stars, this is the perfect place.
Get up early in the morning and first thing to do is, to bath in hot water while waiting for the sunrays to get down from the hills and reach at you.
Have breakfast, spend some time in the pleasant sunlight, walk around the meadow, click photographs and head back towards Barshaini.
When to travel:
Best time to visit Kheerganga is from April to October. You can also go for a winter trek but you have to take care of food and accommodation yourself then and adding to that it is somewhat risky.
Accommodation and food at Kheerganga:
There are many camps providing accommodation and food. You can also pitch your own tent there. There are many cafes serving variety of food.
A trekking Trip cum Cleaning drive to Kheerganga with Healing Himalayas Foundation:
My first visit to kheerganga was in October 2016. It was a cleaning campaign organised by Healing Himalayas Foundation. With the increase in number of visitors in such places, amount of garbage has increased to an alarming extent. Many of such places has become dump of plastic in recent time. We take mineral water, energy drinks and snacks with us and forget to bring those bottles and wrappers back. As a result the plastic keep accumulating at these places and the nature is getting polluted more and more.
Healing Himalayas Foundation is an NGO working in for a clean Himalaya. The foundation has organised many campaigns last year. The major campaigns were Chandratal, Hamta Pass, Shrikhand Mahadev and Kheerganga. It was a great opportunity for us to be the part of a noble cause for mother nature.
We were 10 volunteers under the command of Pradeep Sangwan, the founder of the NGO. On the way up, we started collecting plastic bottles and wrappers and filled the sacks and kept them aside to be taken back next day. We covered most of the part up to Rudra Nag and half of the part beyond Rudra Nag in first day. Next day in the morning we cleaned the area around pool. We also collected some sacks of plastic from camp owners and moved back to Barshaini while taking the crap that we had left the previous day. After some time we were left with no empty sack and had to terminate the drive.
The volunteers picked up the filled sacks as maximum as one can pick and started moving down. We had packed 35 sacks with plastic. It would be really hard for us to bring all those sacks back to Barshaini. Luckily some locals with horses who used to port ration and other material to kheerganga agreed to take the sacks on the horses to Barshaini. The collected garbage was sent to dumpyard in Kullu next day.
It was indeed a great experience for me being a part of such a cause towards mother nature. We all seek peace and adventure away from the exhaustion of our daily life and head for these places but in return we leave the garbage behind which does not belong there. As a result these places are being polluted and loosing their charm. Travel more and more places but remember one thing “Take back what you bring with you” and that’s what nature needs from you.