Himachal Pradesh is famous for a myriad of beautiful treks. The Kheerganga Trek in Kullu district of Himachal, is known to be one of the most refreshing and surreal treks. Tucked away in the charming Parvati Valley, Kheerganga is a popular spot among backpackers, travelers, nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
A simple village called Barshaini, where the Parvati and Tosh rivers meet is the start point of the trek. Barshaini is also the last road head point. A dirt road goes further up for a little distance, but the trek commences from this point onward. The 13 km trek can be covered in 4-5 hours at a moderate pace.
The trail goes through old, traditional villages, forests, waterfalls and streams. The landscape is ever so beautiful with stunning vistas of the Himalayas. The trek is also known to be safe for solo travellers. Especially during the peak season, with numerous trekkers around, solo trekkers will always find company.
Best Time To Visit
April through November is an ideal time for the Kheerganga trek. However, it is advisable to avoid the peak monsoon months as the trail may get slippery. Also there are chances of sudden cloudbursts triggered by heavy rainfall in the valley during the time. To be on the safer side, weather forecast can be checked before planning the trek.
Bhuntar is the nearest major town in the Kullu district that is well-connected with Delhi and Chandigarh. Bhuntar has a domestic airport with flights connecting to New Delhi and Chandigarh. Upon reaching Bhuntar a taxi can be hired to reach Barshaini which is around 30 km. A few buses also shuttle between Bhuntar and Barshaini, and the ride usually takes under an hour.
The route has many villages and cafes and overall it is a comfortable climb. The first few kilometers of the trek is an easy hike with gentle ascends alongside the gushing Parvati river. The trail goes through beautiful farms, hills and villages of the quaint valley. Crossing a few swingy wooden bridges along the path adds to the thrill.
After trekking for about a few kilometers, you come across the Nakthun village which is the first halt point. Have a quick pit stop here to eat hot Maggie or sip tea or move forward. Walking for a few more kilometers, almost midway to Kheerganga, is the next village called Rudranag. The place houses a stunning waterfall, which is in shape of a serpent.
The trail gets steeper and slightly challenging from Rudranag. But at the same time, the landscape turns into a visual treat with lots of waterfalls, lush meadows, dense forests and pristine streams. The trail gets enticing with crossing a few more picturesque hamlets amidst the canopy of trees and against the backdrop of snowy peaks.
PC: YUVRAJ ANAND
Walking through several spots that look straight out of a fairy tale, you will soon reach the mystical Kheerganga. The view here is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a belief that Lord Shiva meditated at Kheerganga for several thousand years. There's a natural hot spring with sulphur rich water at the top.
Stretch a bit and take a walk around to visit the beautiful Shiva temple. Watch the undisturbed views of the Himalayan ranges. Take a dip in the hot water to relieve all the stress and fatigue from the streneous trek. The place has a handful accommodation for an overnight stay.
To truly enjoy the place and for a memorable experience, carry your camping gear and pitch tents under the dark starry sky for an overnight stay. It is also possible to pay and get the camping gear on rent at Kheerganga.
The evenings and nights get quite cold and the temperature drops to several degrees even during summers. Pack warm clothes and jackets even if it is bright and sunny when you start.
Things To Carry
Invest in good and comfortable trekking shoes. Get a sturdy backpack that will accommodate items required for an overnight trek but keep it light. Pack warm clothes and jackets, extra pair of clothes and socks, water bottle, food and energy bars, a personal kit for medicine and toiletries, and torch. Carry a rain and windproof jacket if you are trekking around the monsoon months.