Kheerganga – A place where you can relax, heal and know a soul’s worth. It is said that once upon a time there used to flow a stream of Kheer (wiki: Kheer is a rice pudding from the cuisine of the Indian) by the aashirwaad of Lord shiva. Also according to local belief, Lord Shiva resided there and mediated for over a thousand years.
It feels exciting and heavenly at the same time, right. Well, this is exactly what you will feel when you visit Kheerganga.
How to reach to KheerGanga from Delhi:
Kheerganga is a place situated in Himachal Pradesh, It’s height above the sea level is approx. 10000 feet.There are two ways by which you can go to Kheerganga:
First by bus ; for this you will have to catch a bus from Kashmere Gate for Bhuntar. (Actually any bus which is going to Manali or Kullu will go by the same route, you just have to go to Bhuntar).It’s approximately a twelve hours journey.After that you can take a Bus from Bhuntar to Barseini. You can start your trekking from there.
Second option is by reserving a tempo travel or a four wheeler to Barsaini. As we were twelve people, we went by Tempo Traveler and it costed us 26500 rupees.
On the way to Barsaini from Bhuntar you will come across Kasol and Manikarn. My suggestion is that if you have never been to Kasol or Manikarn you should first think about making a trip to Kasol.
Now coming back to Kheerganga; your trek starts from Barsaini, kheerganga is approx. 14 km from there. From Barsaini there are two ways: the left one goes to Tosh (one hell of a place) and the right one goes to Kheerganga.
Nowadays construction of hydroelectric power plant is in progress there, which means we will have 800 MW of electricity after few years when this dam is build.
As planned All group members met at same place near Hanuman Mandir in Gurgaon and from there at 12 o’clock we embarked on our journey. As luck would have it we got stuck in a traffic and reached Murthal by 5 am (5 hours to cover 60 km!!).After having heavy breakfast at Murthal we started again and it took us total 24 hours to reach Kasol. After eating at Kasol we planned to go further to Tosh. We reached Barsaini by 1.30 am.
It was so dark outside, we couldn’t look outside and could only see what our traveller headlight was able to show us.It was scary and exciting at the same time. After reaching Barsaini we started moving up and after few minutes we reached to a point from where it was difficult to drive a tempo traveller, so we decided to go by foot. Everybody picked up their bag and turned on their flash lights. It was dark and the way was quite steep. Everyone was little worried as there was absolutely no trace of humanity.
We didn’t know what lay ahead. To pass the time we started chatting and cracking jokes. After half’n hour of trekking we finally reached Tosh. But the night didn’t end there.
Although we reached Tosh, we couldn’t find a single soul to talk to. All the hotels were closed and there was no one at the reception. We had not expected this so naturally, everybody got worried. I then decided to find a room at any cost. I asked all my friends to stay there and started climbing upwards towards hilltop. After roaming for around half an hour, I heard a female’s voice coming from a small home. I got so excited that I started shouting from there. Hearing me shout one of them came to the Balcony and asked me what has happened, I told them about our problem. She then suggested to walk ahead, as there was a probability that we may find a hotel. With little hope I started off again in the guided direction and my eyes fell upon a door which had a reception sticker.
I went near the door and realized that someone was sleeping inside. I started knocking or rather banging at the door, and after 5 minutes, a man responded. I told them about our problem. He said that he wants to help but he has only one room available. We managed a single room somehow as we had little choice. He gave us lots of Bed-sheets and blankets. As we were so tired we slept within minutes.
We woke up early in the morning, freshened up and had our breakfast. We then started our trek at 11 am. We again returned to Barsaini and from Barsaini we started our trek to Kheerganga at 12.30 pm.
There are two ways to go to Kheerganga too, one is from river side, it’s an easy trek and the other is from Jungle side which is little tough, we took the tough one. First 2 km were really tough as the mountains were very steep .But after finishing those 2 km the real trek began, (one gets surrounded by long Pine trees, cool breeze is flowing and you can constantly hear the roar of Parvati River flowing downwards.) There are lots of Cafeteria available there so there is no need to take any guide with you.
The whole trek is very peaceful as the only thing to see is Pine trees and clear sky, the only thing to hear is your thoughts and the roar of Parvati River and the only thing to feel is the cool air on your body and the silence in the mountain which makes you realize that you are alive.
After trekking for approx. 9 km we came across a big waterfall, I mean literally very big.
We couldn’t resist ourselves and went near the waterfall to take a bath. Oh, the water was cold I could feel my legs getting turned into lead, but it felt so good, the cold washed all our tiredness till then, and we were feeling refreshed after that. We ordered a cup of hot tea, and hot tea felt so good after taking a cold bath.
After that we resumed our trekking and finally reached Kheerganga at 6 pm.The view from the top of the mountain was spectacular, and for the first half hour all of us got silent and were just staring at the beauty of Mother Nature. It was getting late so we had to postpone our plan to bathe in the hot water stream until next day.
We booked tents there, as darkness started dissolving all the mountains, sky above started to clear and within minutes it was full of stars. Lying there under the stars and making signs and shapes from them was an amazing feeling. As it was getting cold we asked our tent owner to light a Bon Fire, He was ready to light it in Rs 150.We sat near Bon Fire for a long time and went to sleep around 1 am.
We woke up early around 6 am and within an hour we were at the Hot Bath Shower. The view was breath taking, a small stream of river was coming from behind Lord Shiva temple, which was forming a small pool in front of the temple and then was leaving the pool through 3 outlets. It is a rule to first wash your body with the water which is coming via holes and only then one could enter the hot water pool. At first, water felt really hot, but once we went in the pool, everything changed.
You can literally feel your body getting relaxed and rejuvenated as if water was entering through your pores and healing parts of your body. We sat in the water for almost an hour or two with our eyes closed and just letting all our sins wash away. There are separate washing pools for Men and Women.
After taking bath we went into Lord Shiva Temple. The temple is one of it’s own kind, very simple and very clean with Lord Shiva Ling situated in the center. One can sit there and meditate for few minutes. Trust me it felt heavenly.
When we came out of Mandir, we met a pujari ji (Indian priest) who told us about the Karthik Mandir which was up above from Lord Shiva Mandir, although it was only some 100 meters away from the Shiv Mandir, the path was very steep. Finally we reached the mandir and to our surprise it was a cave. There were lines painted on the wall from which we got to know that the cave was actually closed and it was very deep inside, We sat there for few moments enjoying mother earth’s beauty and then returned to our
tents as it was time to return home.
We returned from the second route which as everyone suggested, was the easy one. No one wanted to return from Kheerganga as we all had to be at office day after tomorrow. So we started heading back to Barsaini, singing to full volumes ‘Phir se ud chala’. On the way ahead, we came across a small waterfall which looked so exquisite that we couldn’t resist bathing again. As expected water was very cold, but it was worth a shot. After bathing we went to Rudra Nag Temple, bowed our heads there and then carried on with our return journey.
Overall I can say that it was a great trip, we had loads of fun. Apart from that, the most import thing that you will attain at Kheerganga is solitude and peace of mind. A chance to get acquainted with yourself while sitting and meditating in the hot spring , a chance to get inspired by the mesmerizing beauty of the Pine trees, a chance to recharge your battery and be it just for two days a chance to forget the hustle and bustle of the city life .