Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains

23rd Mar 2018

The snowy peaks, chilled air rushing through the veins, the unparalleled beauty and a clear blue sky. Other than this, I don't know love is!!

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

Snow!! Snow!! Snow!! Isn’t your heart starting to dance just by the mention of this. The thought of slow clad mountains gives a soothing chill to your heart. The very fact of snow is an amazement. It provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. We have all had snowball fights and made our snowman no matter what the age. And it’s so much fun every time.

I happened to be at one such place called Kheerganga with my girl gang and it was the first snowfall I had ever seen which left me awestruck. The first snow is like the first love. Do you remember your first snow? Of course, you do. It leaves an imprint on your mind.

Day 1

Parvati River, Kasol

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Preity Yadav

We were in Kasol in the month of March for a repose, a town popular amongst trekkers, hippies, nature admirers and wanderers. All we eagerly wanted was to climb to the most talked about and holy place Kheerganga. While roaming around in the city, we enquired many localities about the trek and kept getting the similar negative response that the path is too difficult to traverse being blocked by snowfall. But we were too adamant to drop the plan. In the evening we asked our hotel reception and luckily he arranged for a guide for us.

The excitement to reach this beautiful abode of Parvati River!

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

How to reach Barshiani Village, trek’s threshold : Nearest railhead is Pathankot which is 150 KM from Bhuntar. I would recommend taking an overnight Volvo bus from Delhi to Bhuntar(runs daily). Take an HRTC bus from Bhuntar to Manikaran(36 Kms in 90 min) and then from Manikaran to Barshaini (14 Kms in 45 min). Taxi option is also available from Bhuntar but bus is a cheap option.

Route to Kheerganga : There are two route options to reach Kheerganga,

Via Rudranag (13 Kms steep climb). Not recommended for people with less physical fitness but this route is more scenic.

Via Kalga, Pulga (17 Kms moderate climb). Recommended for easy going trekkers.

Starting point of Trek, Barshaini Village

We reached Barshaini at 10AM in a private vehicle provided by the guide. Although Kheerganga trek is crowded with trekkers all throughout the year but still if you are totally new to the area, I would recommend hiring a guide for a relaxed and guided journey. And also don’t forget to take along with you the best companion for your trek, a Himachal breed dog. There are many in the area always eager to befriend you. We decided to take the Rudranag route and stepped right onto our venture crossing the thunderous Parvati river.

And the journey Begins!

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

Full of zeal and excitement, we kept running towards the snowy peaks and the freezing heights. After climbing a fleet of concrete steps for around 1.5 hours, we reached our first port of call, Nakthan village. It’s a beautiful village offering some breathtaking views of the region inhabited by warm and welcoming people. The village is full of wooden artistic homes and home-stays are also available here. There are many stalls here to rest and recharge and it was a heartwarming experience to bond with the locallites over a cup of tea. It’s quite a popular stop for trekkers headed towards hot springs of Kheerganga.

View from Nakhtan village

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

Around 20 minutes ahead of Nakthan, there lies a holy place on the outskirts of the village, Rudranag temple. It’s a tranquil place lying amidst the green pastures and beautiful waterfalls nearby. Sitting there listening to the music of the falling water streams encircled by lofty snow clad peaks is all the therapy you need to de-stress.

The valley is filled with thunderous sound of Parvati River

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

From there, the path led to the other side of the thunderous Parvati river with a wooden bridge giving the way. Deafening burble of the streams echoed in the valley. The thud made us shudder while walking on the narrow bridge and the sight of the maelstrom thumping the boulders was both ghastly and awe-inspiring. The path from here unfolded into narrow steep trails and slippery rocks. It became difficult and difficult with each climb but we went on. After an hour of strenuous and back-breaking climb, we got a glimpse of what took our breath away, dissipated our weariness and made us jump out of joy.

The sheer joy of reaching the summit!

Camp site

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

It was right there in front of us. White, white and only white sparkling like glitters in the bright sun!! All around till the point our eyes could see. Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations and it was so pretty and magical. We sat and beholden the scenery for hours to take it all in.

Beauty, beauty and beauty!!

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

Kartikeya Temple and Kheerganga bathing spot

Photo of Hippie trail to Kheerganga Trek, Kasol #WeekendWorthy #BackToTheMountains by Preity Yadav

There is a beautiful temple at the top devoted to Lord Kartikeya and Kheerganga hot water springs to enjoy a soothing hot bath in that chilling weather. Water is a little sticky and has a milky texture giving the impression of Kheer and hence the name Kheerganga. You can easily find camps to stay overnight at reasonable prices and cute little cafes to dine with fireplaces inside. Don’t forget to give orders well in advance because it takes more than an hour to cook even maggi. So, you can imagine. The temperature plummeted to -4 degrees in the night and it was freezing cold outside. The reflections of the camp lights on the crystal clear white frozen snow was mesmerising to watch.

Day 2

Next morning, after having breakfast we started our downward journey with lot of memories and a picturesque view in our eyes which will remain with us forever. After reaching Kasol, we boarded the bus for our journey back to Delhi.

One of the most memorable places I have been to. A must go place for an adventure seeker. Jobs fill your pocket but adventure fills your soul. Happy travelling guys!!