The coronavirus has changed all of our world's, and not just in the short term. Things are getting back on track over time, and this was my first trip after the pandemic happened.
Trekking was on my list for a long time, so I thought, why not start with a moderate one. So, I planned a trek to Kasol-Kheerganga along with my cousins. We planned this trip with Just Wravel, and trust me, we have not regretted it once.
We boarded a traveler for 10 people from Vidhan Sabha Metro Station, Delhi, at 7:00 in the evening. It took us around 14-15 hours to reach Kasol. We stopped for dinner at Murthal, breakfast at a Dhaba, and chai tapris for snacks on the way.
The Magical Parvati Valley
Located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, Parvati Valley starts above Bhunter, where the Parvati River meets the River Beas.
The valley is utterly beautiful, that it moves your soul. Parvati River is definitely a top attraction in Kasol. The sight of the frothy river meandering through the imposing snow-dusted mountains renders an unexplainable peace to the soul. We simply sat on the rocks near the river and were mesmerized by the views and the rumbling sound. Try to reach the river a bit early so that you d not miss the breathtaking sunset in the evening.
Later, in the evening, we discovered various cafes and tried our hands-on local food like Bureka, Shakshouka, and Falafel. Kasol is also called Mini Israel because of natural beauty, flora, and fauna.
The day ended with a bonfire and lit music in the chilly weather, along with dinner.
KheerGanga - A Slice of Heaven
In the abode of Himachal Pradesh lies a beautiful place called Kheerganga (3500m) at the extreme end of Sylvan Hills' Parvati Valley, where it is believed Lord Shiva meditated for thousands of years.
Two different legends explain the origin of Kheerganga – One says that Lord Shiva meditated here for thousands of years. Another says that Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, meditated here. The natural spring emerged when Shiva struck the ground with His Trishul on Parvati's request as she was worried that her son wouldn't get anything to eat here.
This spring was kheer (Indian sweet dish made of milk and rice) in Satyuga (Golden Age) which was later turned into the water during Kalyuga (Iron Age) by Shiva on Parshuram's insistence.
The actual meaning of the word Kheerganga is 'milky white sacred water'.
The trekking distance from Barshaini to Kheerganga is 10-12 km. The routes available are:-
1. Through Nakthan and Rudranag (13 km) – Difficult to climb and offers stunning views. It is quite steep at places and, therefore, a difficult one.
2. Through Kalga (15 km) – Easier to climb and ideal for first-timers and occasional trekkers.
3. There is a different trekking path for Kheerganga from Tosh village. It also joins Route No. 1 near the village of Nakthan. This route is mostly used by tourists who stay in Tosh for the night and want to trek the next morning.
We went up through Route-1 and chose route through Tosh Village while coming down. It was a long route but a safe one.
Planning the trek to Kheerganga: It is recommended to start the trek around 11 in the morning if you want to reach before the sunset. One usually takes 5-6 hours, depending upon the person's speed and the number of breaks taken.
We started it around 1 in the afternoon, so we also witnessed the trek's beauty after the sunset. It was a bit scary, but trust me, trekking the slippery hills in the dark, with a torch in one hand, in the dense forests, under the stars, was one hell of an experience and super adventurous.
Try to plan one night in Kheerganga which means, climb on one day-stay overnight-come back the other day. Also, you can try your hands on the #brownies, which might not be available in Kasol.
The beauty of the trek
During the trek, we witnessed many waterfalls, fine views of pine forests, the sound of Parvati River, many Bridges and ladders to help you through the trek. The immense beauty of the trek will make you fall in love with nature and the place.
There are many shortcuts on the trek. It is advised to be very careful while taking shortcuts. You will find diversion of the path sometimes, be careful to find the right one, as the correct ones are marked with an arrow. Walk slow and steady while enjoying the beauty and scenery of the forest.
After Reaching Kheerganga: Once you reach Kheerganga, you can find multiple camps to stay overnight, which can be booked on the spot also. Along with the fantastic views, experience the very refreshing Hot water Spring bath at the peak of Kheerganga. There are separate enclosures for men and women in hot water springs near the temple. The bath will be so relaxing that it will take up all the trek's tiredness and make you feel fresh. The temperature shot down to -6°C in the night, so pack accordingly.
Also, don't miss the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara. It is a pilgrimage for Sikhs and Hindus. You will also find Hot water spring in Gurudwara. The water of the spring is also supposed to have curative powers. The water is so hot that rice for the "langar" is cooked by putting it into a linen-bag and dipping it into the boiling water. Do not miss the 'Langar' served, as it is super tasty.
Things to Carry :
- Sunscreen, Towel
- Trekking shoes and trekking pole
- Warm clothes (pack well as weather is unexpected)
- First aid kit
- Water Bottle
Things to keep in mind
- Leave the least amount of ecological footprint by choosing to not litter on the trail
- Watch your steps at the slippery Hot water spring
- Pack as light as possible
- No mobile networks at Kheerganga (make sure to do the urgent calls before starting the trek)
- Jim Morrison Cafe (You have to trek a few km to reach, but believe me, the aura of the cafe is lit)
- Moon Dance Cafe
- The Evergreen Cafe
Conclusion: Trek to Kheerganga is something that I will never forget. It was a fantastic experience. I would certainly recommend this trek to anyone who loves to connect with the nature. I realised how one can transform his/her life into more peaceful being and how one can be closer to mother earth!. How hugging a tree could take away all the worries and stress we carry. How a careless sleep in green meadows could unwind you and your mind.
Away from the judging eyes and society, away from the urban vices, away from the race of proving but nothing, away from the supremacy of money.
Just to be closer to nature and closer to God !
That’s what Kheerganga is !
Just Wravel: We planned our trip through Just Wravel, and it totally met our expectations. Proper Sanitisation was ensured; we were provided with masks and sanitizers, and body temperature was checked at appropriate intervals. The trek leader was way too helpful and properly briefed about the trip, motivated throughout the trek, keeping the members' needs into consideration. Also, I would like to appreciate the food provided to us during the entire trip. The food was utterly butterly delicious. I will surely recommend Just Wravel for planning a safe and budget-friendly trip.
#WRAVELERSFORLIFE #Adventure #Trekking