Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean

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Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean by Disha Kapkoti

If you wish to be happy in life, then be. Nature has it all placed right for you. All you need is to slip your feet slowly into your shoes, set out and never stop.

For me, the HRTC bus stop is always a beginning of the happy stories from the hills. Kheerganga had been up there at the very brim of my bucket list. It was unbelievable to imagine a natural hot water spring midst the snow and the photographs of this beautiful hike had been stuck to my head for way too long. And one lazy evening when a friend spoke for way too long about the hows and wows of Kheerganga, I had to see it to believe it.

I only had to convince the convinced trip buddies and we were ready to roll.

Day 1: From City lights to Star-Sprinkled Sky

Delhi to Bhuntar (498 kms)

A 12 hour journey from Delhi to Bhuntar was an unbelievable crossover to the lap of Himalayas. It's best to start this bus journey at night but I had my qualms about missing out on the beautiful locales of Sundarnagar and other small towns midway. No one else really cared about what I was talking about until the morning sun brought the magical sight of the Sundernagar Lake outside the bus window. We now knew that this refreshing ride around the blue lake is only a trailer to the eventful days ahead.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 1/10 by Disha Kapkoti

Image Credits: Wikimapia

This bus ride took us through the Aut Tunnel, the longest tunnel in India and gave a wake up alarm to the dreary weary travelers. Few silent minutes inside the 3km long dark tunnel was indeed a little spooky for everyone. 

The bus finally stopped at Bhuntar where the fruit market welcomed us with all the freshness of the hills and the Himanchal apples took my heart away at the very first sight.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 2/10 by Disha Kapkoti

Bhuntar to Kasol (30kms)

You can either choose to take this one hour journey through bus or a local taxi. Our long journey through the bank of the gushing Parvati River finally begun from here.

Day 2: At Kasol, here you do not take a trip, the trip takes you

This small town must firstly be mentioned for its lovely eateries. A walk through the streets of Kasol made us casually enter a cafe and choose something from a menu in hebrew we couldn't understand. We loved all that we saw, all that we had. Little Italy, Yan's Cafe and Evergreen are some of the restaurants which simply amaze you with all that they offer. There's something about this town that make you fall in love with it within hours of arrival.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 3/10 by Disha Kapkoti

Day 3: Kasol - Manikaran - Barshaini - Tosh - Nakthan - Rudranag - Kheerganga

Kasol was also a spot for our initiation into the Parvati Valley. A walk through the bridge that connects Old Kasol and New Kasol and a silent morning on the bank of the Parvati river prepared us all well for the day ahead.  

Kasol- Manikaran (by bus/ taxi 4-5km)

Day 3 was a day of action. Bidding adieu to the bustling life at Kasol, we headed forward hiring a taxi from Kasol to Barshaini. You can either choose to take a comfortable local taxi or a bus ride from Kasol. Manikaran come midway, a destination of religious and spiritual importance, both in Sikh and Hindu belief system. A walk through the narrow street of Manikaran in desperate search for an ATM accidently took us to the Vishnu temple and the Manikaran Gurudwara. I also found some camera friendly locals posing with an easy smile for my camera.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 4/10 by Disha Kapkoti

The taxi from Kasol dropped us at Barshaini, the last motorable spot to reach Kheerganga. We managed a quick breakfast at Barshaini, Masala Thukpa, if that soup has a name at all. But the lovely lady at the restaurant gave us just nothing to complaint about.

 Barshaini to Kheerganga (on foot 14kms)

Tosh, just 2kms away from Barshaini, welcomed us with some fresh air and beautiful mustard fields in full bloom in the month of April. Tosh also gave us the first glimpse of traditional Himachali houses in the valley.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 5/10 by Disha Kapkoti

After a few minutes walk from Tosh, we crossed Pulga Dam and spent few blissful moments on the bank of the freezing cold Parvati river. The apple orchards throughout with gushing waterfalls all around us left us in complete awe.

Nakthan was the next spot for some rest. This serene quiet village with dark cowsheds in the village houses took me back in time. A random cricket match with the village boys here was all that we wanted to keep our spirits high for the distance ahead.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 6/10 by Disha Kapkoti

At a distance of few kilometers Rudranag was the next stop where a local priest at the Rudranag Temple stopped us and offered lunch. Now where do you find people offering you free lunch like that? This mouth watering mutton curry and rice was enough to take away all the fatigue and we were fresh to start again.

At the end of the 14kms trek, we reached Kheerganga after finally fathoming the last slope which led to the pool of a beautiful natural hot water. We finally took the much awaited refreshing dive into the sacred water and lazed for hours inside the hot water pool.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 7/10 by Disha Kapkoti

A blissful hour inside this sacred hot water pool (kund) tookover all the weariness. We later walked down for a hot cup of tea to the amazing 'Ice and Fire' cafe. The cafe also surprised us with the most delightful Israeli dinner we could ever imagine at this remote spot. To spend the night, the cottages at Kheerganga offer bare minimum facilities. The forest is the wide vast toilet and some blankets and a comfortable fireplace helped us spend the night warm.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 8/10 by Disha Kapkoti

Day 4: Back to Kasol

The next day before the lazy afternoon sun could takeover, we started a walk back to Barshaini. The trail back is equally challenging since the trail is not a simple sloping pathway. Snow had slipped down to the narrow pathways making the trail more difficult than usual.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 9/10 by Disha Kapkoti

However, it took us relatively lesser time and energy to complete the distance back. From Barshaini local taxis and buses are frequently available to drop you back to Kasol.

Day 5: Kasol - Bhuntar - Delhi

Have you ever had tasted white honey which tastes almost like vanilla? Our Day 5 at Kasol began with a warm cup of honey lemon ginger tea. Later we booked a bus back to Delhi from Kasol and not before we had lunch, we took a local taxi from Kasol to Bhuntar at noon. This last day was also our only chance to explore Bhuntar. Though you literally need a lifetime to understand these mad small towns of Himachal, a hot cup of tea at a local chai shop in Bhuntar gave all the warmth and memories to keep close for years.

Photo of Kheerganga: A Journey To Wash Your Spirit Clean 10/10 by Disha Kapkoti

Though you literally need a lifetime to understand these mad small towns of Himachal, a hot cup of tea at a local chai shop in Bhuntar gave all the warmth and memories to keep close for years. A comfortable night bus from Bhuntar to Delhi with bollywoood music buzzing through tattered speaker lulled us to sleep.

A stopover that welcomes all with the scent of Himalayan apples.
Photo of Bhuntar, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
People take trips. Trips take people here.
Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
Out of a hundred legends about this small town, an interesting one notes that according to the Hindu mythology, Manu recreated human life here, after the flood.
Photo of Manikaran, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
The last stop on wheels, here's where the trail begins.
Photo of बर्शेणी सड़क, शांगणा, सोसन, हिमाचल प्रदेश, भारत by Disha Kapkoti
A village, majorly known for the Pulga Dam (under-construction) that we crossed on the way to Kheerganga.
Photo of Pulga, मणिकर्ण - बर्शेणी सड़क, Sosan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
The beautiful mustard fields here give the best start to the trek.
Photo of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
A concealed quaint village en route to Kheerganga. A random cricket match with the village boys here was all that we wanted to stir our spirits up.
Photo of Nakthan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
The place is named after the resemblance of the waterfall here to a water snake.
Photo of Rudranag by Disha Kapkoti
At the end of the long tiring trail, the natural hot water pool awaits you to breathe in bliss midst the snowscapes.
Photo of Khir Ganga, Himachal Pradesh, India by Disha Kapkoti
9 Comment(s)
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Hi Disha, Loved the article. can you provide contact no. of the cafe which provided shack? Since I am travelling there on an extended weekend so I am afraid it would be crowded with non availability of shack/room. Pl suggest
Tue 10 04 16, 23:25 · Reply · Report
Hi, do i need to book any place for a night stay before visiting kheerganga?
Wed 05 25 16, 04:19 · Reply · Report
Hi, Plans are to camp at Kheerganga, leaving tonight. Would you say weather in May would allow that?
Wed 05 18 16, 21:50 · Reply · Report
Hi which month was this?
Tue 04 05 16, 02:35 · Reply (1) · Report
This was in the month of April last year.
Mon 05 09 16, 03:07 · Report
Photo of Harry Sehgal
Harry Sehgal
Where did you stayed there and also how much you spent on this. Love the way you wrote it
Tue 06 09 15, 23:39 · Reply (1) · Edit · Delete ·
Thanks. We were at Royal Orchid Hotel in Kasol and in Kheerganga we stayed at one of the shacks near Ice and Fire cafe.
Mon 05 09 16, 03:08 · Report
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