You never really travel alone. The world is full of friends waiting to get to know you! - Unknown traveler.
How true it is? Throughout my complete 12 day solo trip, I never felt alone. It's always nice to be around like-minded people who shares the same interest as you. Unplanned trips are always best. I had always wanted to go to Golden temple, Amristar. So, I just booked flight tickets from Bangalore to Amristar and from Delhi to get back. Just had some few places in my mind. Nothing else. I want to keep myself flexible without worrying about anything.
Day 1 - ManiKaran (expense Rs 300):
I thought of taking the HRTC bus to Bhuntar or Kullu from Amristar Bus stand. But God got other plans
Day 2 & 3 - Kheerganga Rs 1500:
I took bus to Barshaini, which is 12 KM from Manikaran. Arrived sharply at 7:45 and started from Manikaran at 8:00 AM. It took one hour for the bus to reach Barshaini. Had my breakfast at a local cafe in Barshaini and started walking towards starting point of the trek. It's an another one km walk. There are two routes to reach Kheerganga. First one is through Nikethan Village and another one is the jungle route with full of hilly terrain with waterfalls and many small streams. The first route is easier compared to the jungle route because you pass through the village and so there are few pit shop options. I took the jungle route and returned back in village route the next day. I was the only trekker in the complete stretch because it was a weekday and just before the season starts. Even though the route is marked, I got lost a couple of times and managed to get back on track again. I got stuck with hundreds of goats on short trail for more than 30 minutes. I had to return back a few meters to find a place where I can let them pass me. It took me almost 4-5 hours to reach the top. Got tent for rent 600 Rs per day and took rest for some time. Then, Went to the hot spring water pond and took one nice bath for more than an hour.
I felt very cold, even with thermals, T-shirt, winter shirt and two thick blankets inside the tent. Temperature even drops to -5 degrees at night. So, I suggest you to prepare yourself accordingly. Took bath again in the morning and started back around 11 AM from the top and reached Barshaini around 4PM.
Day 4-5 - Tosh & Kutla Rs 1700:
We saw a board to Kutla village and decided to go there, thinking it will just take a few minutes away. It is little longer than we expected though. But I must be regretting my whole life if I had decided to return back to Tosh. We reached the top of the village around 4:30 PM and We saw a beautiful wood &en house, colorful guest house, water stream flows through complete village, dedicated place for horses to run. It was literally Heaven on Earth. Started to get down around 5 PM and reached Tosh around 7 PM.
Day 6 & 7 - Kasol & Malana (Rs 2300)
Nothing beats sleeping near the River and listening to relaxing sound of the river during sleeping. Don't agree with me? Just camp nearby riverside in Kasol. You will also agree afterwards. I negotiated for Rs 300 per day. Me and friends whom I met in Tosh decided to go to from Kasol. They returned back from the Kheerganga next day and we hired a cab to Malana. Since, there has been a landslide on the way to Malana. We had to hop two cabs to reach Malana village. It was another 3 KM hike from the entrance of the Village. Others were already very tired because of Kheerganga previous two days. So, they decided to give it a pass this time. Back to Solo again :) Reached top within 45 minutes. I saw complete trash thrown in the complete stretch till the top. I was really disappointed with how travelers destroyed the beauty of the valley. Outsiders are not allowed to touch anyone or any holy places like temples. It is how it is and people who travel there has to follow it. But everyone in the village is photogenic people from kids to old people. Roamed around for some time and returned back to the entrance.
Must try: German bakery cakes, Momos at Sunshine restaurant, Evergreen restaurant, Local shopping.