Kheerganga is a beautiful meadow perched at an altitude of 2,960m, as part of the Great Himalayan National Park. Located in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, it takes you through warped trails into the woods and is the ideal trekking paradise for beginners.
So, where did it actually get its unique name from?
Kartikeya, son of Shivji and Parvati, chose Kheerganga as his place of solace, where he would often mediate. When his mother visited him, she wanted to cook for him. It is said that she would cook kheer (rice pudding – an Indian dessert) in the hot water spring nearby, giving the water a milky white colour. This could just be a mythical tale, but it is true that the water here remains boiling hot all through the year and still has the rice water complexion to it!
Overview of the Trek
· Difficulty Level - Easy to Moderate
· Trek Duration – 2 Days
· Altitude – 2,960 meters
· Base Camp – Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
· Trekking Distance – 12km
· Best Time to Visit – April to June and September to November
How To Reach Kasol
· By Road - One of the most convenient routes to Kasol is by road, from Delhi. It roughly takes 12 hours with a lot of pit stops, but the views are nothing less than exquisite.
· By Air – The closest airport to Kasol is the Kullu Manali Airport, Bhuntar.
· By Train – Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station to Kasol. You can take a cab from here and reach Kasol in about 3-4 hours.
· By Bus – You can board an HRTC bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Majnu-ka-Tila, or RK Ashram Metro Station in Delhi to each Kasol.
Kheerganga Trek Routes
There are a few different routes you could take to reach Kheerganga:
1. Kasol To Kheerganga If you have a few extra days, you can trek from Kasol to Kheerganga and visit some popular tourist places in Parvati Valley too.
Day 1 – Reaching Kasol You will reach Kasol from Delhi or Chandigarh, or your preferred place, and spend the night there, or in Chalal.
Day 2 – Kasol to Kheerganga The next morning, as early as 5 30-6AM, you will begin your trek to Kheerganga.
You will cover 12km in about 6-7 hours so you can spend the evening exploring the place.
2. Barshaini to Kheerganga You can begin your trek from Barshaini, instead of Kasol. From here, there are two routes as well – One goes via Nakthan Village and the second via Kalga Village.
This is the shorter route of the two, and what most trekkers choose, however, it is also comparatively challenging.
The initial stage of the trek is quite simple, you will journey through apple orchards and deodar trees in this traditional village of Himachal Pradesh. Right after the Nakthan Village, you will find the Rudranag, a beautiful small meadow in Parvati Valley. Home to the sacred Rudranag Temple by gushing waterfalls and surrounded by lush green thickets, this is one of the reasons people prefer to take this route despite its difficulty.
This route is not as steep and rocky as the Nakthan Village trail, but what you can do is take this route to reach Kheerganga and descend via the Nakthan Village route to experience its serene, refreshing environment.
Kalga also has plenty of homestays and good cafés if you want to spend the night.
3. Tosh Village to Kheerganga Some trekkers prefer to stay in Tosh Village for the night and trek to Kheerganga the next morning. This route is opted for by them. You can also reach Tosh from Barshaini.
Actually, all three trails confluence into one path after the Rudranag Temple. The good thing is, you can also find quaint cafés as you trek. (Shalom Café is a popular one).
Things To Do In Kheerganga
You can take leisurely strolls through the forest, indulge in mountain climbing and witness an incredible sunset through the Kheerganga forest. There is a Gurdwara near Manikaran, and even a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
You can take a dip in the hot water spring (which actually has medicinal benefits too), and visit the serpent-shaped waterfall, the Pin-Parvati Pass. The Pin Valley National Park is another popular tourist attraction, and if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a snow leopard!
Important Things To Carry On The Trek
This packing list is made keeping in mind your trek schedule and your requirements for when you head to a place like Kheerganga, right in the midst of a forest.
2. Umbrella & rain cover
4. Sunglasses & sunblock
6. Charger and power bank
10. Jackets and windcheater
11. Hiking pants
12. Waterproof shoes, extra pair of footwear and socks
13. Trekking pole
14. A good capacity
While this checklist should keep you #ReadyForAnything, it is also important to prepare for this trek physically – it will test your stamina, endurance, and confidence. So make sure you are equipped to embrace all of this!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How long does it take to complete Kheerganga Trek?
The Kheerganga Trek is around 12-13km km long and should take you just around 5-6 hours to cover including a decent number of breaks.
2. How difficult is Kheerganga Trek?
With an easy to moderate difficulty level, the Kheerganga Trek is a good choice for novices.
Is Kheerganga trek for beginners?
Yes, the Kheerganga Trek offers the perfect trail for beginners and takes just about 5-6 hours to reach the top.
4. Can Kheerganga trek be done in a day?
If you want to undertake the entire trek and come back in one day, it is possible if you leave really early in the morning since the ascent takes about 5-6 hours. However, it is better to spend more time up there in the picturesque landscape of Kheerganga and start your descent the next day.
5. Can we trek to Kheerganga alone?
Yes, the Kheerganga Trek can be covered alone but it does have a few tricky paths on the way so you have to be extremely careful and well prepared