Kheerganga is all about a small trek through the forest, one of the picturesque hot water pools amidst the mountains, camping under the sky, and finally a small temple to pray. Yes, trek to Kheerganga tends to give whatever you are looking for right from peace to the party mode and it will be a lifetime experience. Trust me, this is a DIY trek, as the trails are clear and one can find enough people heading to the same destination. In this article, I will be guiding you with information related to Kheerganga and will share my experience during the trek.
Kheerganga Trek Starting Point
Kheerganga trek has more than one trail. Two trails start from a place called Barshaini and the other one starts from Tosh, which later joins one of the trails from Barshaini. Both are small villages near Manikaran in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. It’s better to choose the Barshaini trail through Kalga Village, as locals confirmed it’s more scenic through the forest and safe. I opted for the same during my trek.
The trail towards Kalga village starts by crossing the Hydro-Electric Power Barrage, which is 100 mt ahead of Barshaini Bus Stop. You will be asked to log entry while crossing the Barrage. From Kasol, Barshaini is approximately 2 hours journey by public transport. Tosh is just 3 km ahead of Barshaini. You can have your stay in Tosh and start your trek the next day from Barshaini.
Basic Information about Kheerganga Trek
Altitude: 13,000 Feet
Duration: 7 to 8 hours Approx
Trek Distance: 9 to 11 km Approx
Forest Entry Fees will be collected on your way to Kheerganga. Approximately 60INR per head
Any Excess Luggage can be deposited at the Cafe near Barrage
Expereince of Kheerganga Trek
Being a regular visitor to Parvati Valley for more than 3 years, Kheerganga was one of the treks that were unchecked in my bucket list each year. Finally in 2019, in the month of May along with my friends, I packed my rucksack and headed to Tosh. Reaching Tosh by 3.00 PM, we had a pleasant stay at Tosh and the next morning we started our trek around 10.00 AM from Hydro-Electric Barrage near Barshaini Bus stop.
We dropped our excess baggage in one of the cafes near the barrage and started our trek to Kheerganga only with some basic needs. If you have questions on what to carry for the Himalayan trek, please read my article here.
Made an entry in the log placed at the barrage and crossed the barrage that was under construction in 2019. Since we did not hire any guide, initially we had some confusion in the trail. As soon as crossing the barrage we took the trail towards Kalga Village. Within a few minutes of the initial trek, we had a diversion for Kalga Village and Kheerganga. Unnoticing the marks on rock, we reached halfway to Kalga Village. Later on, we got some help from local people and headed in the proper direction to Kheerganga. Keep looking on the marks and signboards on Rocks during your trek, as you will encounter confusion only during the first half an hour of the trek.
Hiking through the forest
Taking the trail towards Kheerganga, we can find small cafes and shops until you enter the thick forest. Since we had a late start at Tosh, we had our breakfast in a cafe at Tosh. I felt it would have been great, if we would have had our breakfast in any of the cafes en route.
Hiking through the thick forest is a complete joy and one will enjoy the hike throughout. Trekking for almost two hours we encountered a waterfall, where we rested for a while and sip a cup of tea in the cafe over there. Even before reaching the waterfall one will encounter streams, where you can fill your water bottles. As said above once all the trail joins at a junction, the forest department collected the entry fees and handed us the receipt for the same. Ensure that you are carrying enough cash whenever you are heading to Parvati Valley, as the probability of finding an ATM and Online Payment is less. Finishing the formalities we started our trek again.
Say No To Shortcuts
There are a lot of shortcuts en route and we saw the caution board as in the below picture. We thought it’s a general caution for all the trekkers and proceeded to cross the caution board. After this caution board within 10 meters we found a wooden log across the trail and none of our friends took it seriously and just followed the fellow trekkers ahead. We got to know that we are heading is some dangerous trail, but at the same time we couldn’t take a U back as few our friends are ahead and stuck badly. The fellow trekkers who went ahead realized that we were following them and headed back just to caution us.
By the time they were near us, we were already in a critical place and struggling. Most of my friends are first-timers and the shoes were really not trekking shoes. With the help of fellow trekking friends, we just managed to reach the safe spot. This was something unforgettable and later we realized that there was an easy way which was never noticed by us. You are taking a dangerous trail if you are crossing the caution board shown in the above picture and proceeding straight. A good hiking shoe will really help you in the mountains and one should be careful in choosing the trail.
We trekked for almost 6 to 7 hours, as we were slow, enjoying, and taking a lot of breaks. A few of my friends reached Kheerganga around 5.30 PM and I along with others reached around 6.30 PM. After reaching the campsite, we just wandered around the campsite, had a good dinner, followed by a campfire (Party Mode). The next day morning we had our dip in the hot water pool and had a visit to the temple. Completing the breakfast, we started our descent. This time I wanted to try the different trail, but unfortunately I couldn’t and returned in the same trail.
Stay in Kheerganga
There are a lot of options for one to stay in Kheerganga. If you are taking your tents along with you, just pitch your tent in some isolated area. The local guys might be charging you a few bucks for pitching your tent in some flat clean surface. You can have your stay for free if you are capable enough to negotiate.
If you are looking for tents with dinner and breakfast options, they charge you around 400 INR per head. They have a common tent with fire and blankets to keep you warm. On request, a campfire with music will be arranged and one can hear loud music in every other camp.
Must-Try in Kheerganga
As soon as reaching Kheerganga, dropping the rucksack in tents, enjoying the scenic view, taking a dip in the hot water pool and campfire with music under the sky is a must-try one.
You can take a dip in hot water pool in the morning and head to the Shiva Temple, which is small, quite and peaceful.
Star gazing at such altitude will be really awesome and you will encounter at least one shooting star.
Important Things to Consider When Trekking to Kheerganga
- Never consider it an easy hike and be careless. Proper shoes are mandatory to be on the safer side.
- No ATM’s in Tosh and Barshaini. Kasol has one but the probability of getting money is very less. Don’t depend on Online Payments as network availability is inconsistent.
- If you want to return on the same day back from Kheerganga, consider leaving early.
- Even if you go with a mindset of not taking a dip in the hot water pool, consider taking swimsuits or quick-dry cloth. You will definitely take a dip in the hot water pool, once you see it.
- Don’t spend too much time in Natural Hot Water Pool, as they are rich in sulfur content and might cause tiredness. You can read the health benefits of hot water spring here.
I Might do a number of treks in the future, I did a number of treks in Past, but this trek will be The Best one in My Life–Monish
I had narrated the experience of my Kheerganga trek in a short and informative way. The trails and hiking experience can never be described by words. I want you to experience the beauty with your rucksack. It’s time for you to pack your rucksack and head to Kheerganga. I am waiting to hear about your experience in the comment box below.
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