Kheerganga is a plain mountain top, almost like a plateau, surrounded by cloud-covered mountains on all sides. Sometimes those mountains descend lower, covering this hilltop in mist and dew. It's one of those places that were once less discovered, only to be ruined by the overcrowding brought on by commercialisation. As is the case with most hill stations, flocks of tourists who storm to these places have left it littered and filthy. But the locals are equally to blame, for the number of tents in Kheerganga seem to be increasing every year. At the moment there could be well over 500 tents, over 50 make-shift cafes and many animals and their excreta to litter the place with. A lot many things and people have been crammed into a limited space, which has entirely ruined it for everyone. The trek has become commonplace now, and so has this hilltop.
There are natural hot springs that have been converted into bathing areas for men and women- an open area for men and a covered one for women. The water is boiling hot but surprisingly clean, except for the moss growing on its stones. I should know- Humpty had a great fall upon slipping over the moss!
Intending to stay 2 nights in Kheerganga, we changed our plans once we settled in and realised there was little else to do but to enjoy the hot springs and eat good food by our tents. There was little beauty left to enjoy and we found ourselves packing our bags to begin our descent back to Kasol the next day.
On a sunny day the trek can get tiring and it can sometimes be a bit of a drag. Beware of the sun burns- they are more common than you think. On a rainy day the trek can get dangerous (even if it's just a drizzle), for those 5 kilometres of difficult climb become slippery and narrow, increasing one's chances of slipping or injuring themselves. The waterfalls also garner a heavier flow, making them tougher to cross, specially because one small slip over a stone that isn't fixed to the ground could have you tumbling down into the valley below. When it's raining head-on it's best to avoid trekking on that day at all.
The trek to Kheerganga is worth the journey, though not worth the destination. It's a trek that offers a comfortable trekking experience for the first-timer, with an incredible view for company.
This blog was originally published on Stumbling Around Delhi.