Kheer Ganga

Tripoto
5th Jun 2010
Photo of by Tushar Chaudhary

This was my second trip to the heavenly spot nestled in the Himalyas, some kilometres away from Manikaran. Though its been many many years since i went there, this travel post is still relevant and totally worth publishing in my opinion.

It still remember, just a few minutes after we started, we encountered the most stubborn jam I have ever seen :) . We basically had to walk over them to continue with our journey to Kheer Ganga.

Photo of Kheer Ganga Trek, Khir Ganga, Himachal Pradesh, India by Tushar Chaudhary

And then you see the fields along the way, probably the only wholly organic wheat that you can get in India. The view is such a contrasting one; you see wheat fields (what I had previously only seen in the flat lands of Punjab) with snow clad mountains in the back.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

And going a little further, you see the steep slopes that the people must brave to harvest this wheat (or maybe just let it go if it were to me).

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

The journey never gets boring, and you very quickly get to go through a small traditional Himachali village, called Nakthan ( probably, not sure though). This house that i saw in the village seems like it obviously belonged to a strong member of the community.

Photo of Nakthan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Tushar Chaudhary
Photo of Nakthan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Tushar Chaudhary

Just walking along the road, I came across this view from one of the animal sheds. I have always considered this to be "window to heaven", but the ones who get to see this, I'm pretty sure would be bored out of their minds with it.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Just as we passed the village, we came out in open again. And now this is something special. I have been to a couple of European countries after this, and specifically in Italy i was so happy to see that you could basically be roaming around the city streets and drink water from the many drinking fountains that they have. Not only was it free, but it was really tasty as well.

Back in India, you cant even imagine this now. But what you see below is the best quality mineral water, completely chilled, tasting amazingly refreshing and sparklingly clean for "FREE". Though it's a different story, this is what seems to be the beginning of "bottled mineral water" as you can see " :) .

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary
Day 1

Now for all those people who have been on a mountain trek, we know that on these trips, there will always, always be a beautiful looking dog that will follow you through the entire trip. Just on this trip itself, when we started from Manikaran, a dog started following us, and we had to take a bus for a few kilometres to get rid of the poor thing. Here's one for you which was pretty young then, but I'm sure would have turned out to be an amazing trekking companion dog by now.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Along the trek, you come to a point where there is a small lake with a waterfall and a small temple nearby, which serve free hot tea (unreal i know, but feels awesome). This is almost the mid point, so you can sit and stretch your body here and then carry on to the journey after some time.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Just when you start walking from there, you have to pass an old wooden bridge giving you the view of another pretty site, a PERMANENT RAINBOW. Yes, the spot is such that the way water foams up from the fall and the way the sun-rays fall, its a permanent rainbow.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Happy me just beyond that bridge

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

So from here on two roads diverge, and when you are on an adventurous trek, you take the road less travelled, to reach an awesome pretty clearing with a couple of walnut trees here and there.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Inside this forest you can stumble on many things, this is one of them. This view is from INSIDE of a tree. Yes, you might find a couple of burnt down trees. Trees that have been struck by lightening and opened up from the inside and turned into magnificent black beacons of roasted grandeur.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

The landscape keeps on changing every few minutes. You might come out of the forest every some time and see small huts and opens spaces with some small brooks there along the way to greet you.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

And then again you have to start climbing up through the forest. This is a thing with camera shots, and this climb might not seem that steep, but this is the stop where my feet froze and I couldn't move no further because I couldn't find a spot to put forward my next foot. So I did what ? Obviously i took photos :) and waited for other more experience trekkers to show me the way forward.

But at this point i was sure i was going to fall or slip or something else not very awesome might happen.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

But on we went and gradually in some time through the pretties forest we finally came onto a thatch, an open clear area just teasing us with the view of Kheer Ganga eventually.

Also we were greeted by a majestic Oak tree, which looked so much like the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter, but fortunately this one kept totally still.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary
Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

And here it is, the view from the top of Kheer Ganga eventually.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

This small pond you see here is the Kheer Ganga. The reason behind the name you might ask, well there is white algae carried along with Sulphur in his hot water reservoir, giving it the appearance of Kheer in the water on the bottom. Like all old legends, this has many other reasons for the name as well, but this is what I go with.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Some people might not have seen it and its easy to miss out, but on top of Kheer Ganga, under a boulder is a small temple.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

And this is what you see around.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Again, it seems totally impossible, but this is the view opposite Kheer Ganga. There was a real mad snow storm happening right there, and somehow sitting in a hot water pool, under the open sky and looking at this view seemed like Absolute Bliss.

This is the last photo I want to leave you all with.

Photo of Kheer Ganga by Tushar Chaudhary

Well this is definitely the most rejuvenating trip I have ever been on, and I just cant wait to do it again. I have been here twice already, and I can guarantee anyone who goes here once will definitely come back here again.

Hope this gives you all a good insight into the trek and persuades you to "take a hike" :).

P.S. - Its a very clean and pristine spot, please be responsible tourists and don't harm the environment.