Located in Parvati valley of Kullu district Kheerganga trek is probably one of the most famous treks in India. The place holds religious importance for Hindus but it is often visited by foreigners. It witnesses Rainbow gathering every year which is attended by people coming from worldwide. Let’s check out the top reasons why Kheerganga Trek attracts so much attention from all over the world.
1. Natural Hot Water Spring
Hot water spring is one of the main attractions for the people trekking the route. Perfectly settled on the altitude of 9700ft between the towering peaks and a green meadow this pool looks straight out of heaven. The Sulphur spring holds medicinal properties and is an absolute stress buster. Adding to this the spring holds a special significance in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Kartikeya the elder son of Lord Shiva meditated here for a thousand year. Shiva struck the ground with his trident to calm down the noise of wildlife and rustling forest so Kartikeya can meditate and the spring emerged from the ground due to the impact.
Holy or not, Nothing can beat a hot water bath after a hike, Right?
2. Most Scenic Trekking Route
The Kheerganga trek starts from Barsheni bus stand and takes you on a mystical adventure through the Pine forests of Parvati. There are two routes which merge into one and both of them are equally beautiful. The first one which goes through the Nakthan village continues through the Furious waterfall Rudranaag and it is mostly used by the trekkers.
The another one is on the opposite side and goes through Kalga village which is used by porters and locals. The path is steep but the views are amazing. To get most out of your trek I would recommend you to traverse the route!
On your journey, you will witness the confluence of Tosh Nala and Parvati river. You will be greeted by numerous Waterfalls on your way up. While you hike don’t forget to stop and look around for the magnificent view of the Himalayas laden with Pine trees and snow. On reaching the top you will be greeted by lush green meadow and the amazing view of mountains.
3. Kheerganga Trek is Easily Accessible
Reaching to the starting point of the trek is fairly easy. You can either fly to Kullu-Manali Airport in Bhuntar or you can take an overnight bus ride from ISBT Delhi to Bhuntar(488KM). From Bhuntar it’s 45Km bus ride till Barsheni. From Barsheni it’s an easy trek of 11km. You don’t really need any special equipment or gears other than hiking boots.
There are many cafes along the way which will serve you hot tea and Maggi. The ones around the Waterfalls are the best as they provide best views and soothing ambiance.
4. It’s In Budget
The budget sheerly depends on what kind of traveler you are. You will be spending most of your money on traveling to and fro Barsheni. The options are many and vary from a Flight, Private Taxi, Volvo to HRTC regular buses. After Barsheni you only have to pay for the food and accommodation. A tent can cost up to $8 with a sleeping bag and a room with a bed can cost anything between $4 to $7 per day depending on the season.
You can save more by staying at the Dharamshala as they only charge $2 per day for stay and food. Now, That’s a steal!
5. It’s one of the safest and easiest treks
Kheerganga is a moderately easy trek and is suitable for beginners. Follow the trail and you’re good to go. There are actually fewer deaths/Casualties on the trail in comparison to the people who decided to go off trail or indulged in cannabis related practices.
Most of the time its foreigners who go “off trail under the influence of cannabis“. You will meet a lot of trekkers on your way and there are many cafes in between. Considering that you will trek responsibly there isn’t any danger lying around the trail.
Blessed with serene landscapes, Surreal views, and tempting amenities Kheerganga trek is definitely something which should be on your bucket list. After you’re done with the trek head over straight to Tosh, Pulga or Chalal to rest and enjoy the valley leisurely.
Since last few years Parvati Valley, also known as mini Israel of Himachal Pradesh/India is grabbing a lot of attention from the young travelers. Mystical Pine Forests, Rave parties, and Marijuana; the valley contains everything youngsters seek nowadays. Kasol, the most famous town of the valley is where most of the travelers prefer to stay. However, If you can trek a bit then there is a Small village Chalal which is better than Kasol because of the many reasons.
1. Chalal is more Peaceful
Most of the crowd get filtered in Kasol itself as half stays in town and half proceeds further in the valley towards Tosh and Kheerganga. Only a few who are looking for peaceful ambiance proceed towards Chalal. But don’t let this Peace fool you. Deep inside the forest, someone is raving always!
2. Beautifully Located
Chalal is only 20 minutes walk away from Kasol which makes it one of the most easily accessible Villages in Valley. However, The only way to reach Chalal is by doing a short trek from Kasol.
Starting from crossing a suspension bridge over the roaring Parvati river to drifting through the Scenic trail amidst the Pine Forest, You will have it all here! Echoes of Parvati, rustling Pine trees, and chirping birds create an absolutely psychedelic setback for your trip.
Unlike Kasol Chalal offers cheap accommodation and cafes. You can choose between Comfortable homestays, Hotels and Riverside Camps. Hotels and Camps can charge you anything between $7 to $10 while homestays will let you in for as low as 4 bucks!
4. Tempting Food
This is the reason why I love Chalal, Amazing food at unbelievable prices. Menu cards of cafes are heavily dominated by the Israeli cuisines but you will be able to find most of the things you wish to eat. My experience with food in Chalal was out of this world. Everything I ordered was fresh and under my budget. What’s better than having a Sizzler on a Monday morning sitting near Riverside?
Parvati Valley is often in the news for trekkers being lost and illegal activities of Hashish mafias which make travelers question the safety of valley. These issues can not be ignored but they are limited to the upper secluded areas. Chalal is inhabited by locals who live with their families and depends on tourists to earn their livelihood. All in all, Chalal is safer than the Amsterdam.
So, If you’re planning to visit Parvati Valley to seek some peace with safety in the budget then it is the place for you. With mystical pine forests, Serene river bank, Delicious food, and psychedelic atmosphere Chalal indeed holds the essence of Parvati!
Trekking is a well-known adventure activity among the travelers in India. The Himalayas provide a diverse playground which hosts the players of every age and due to this vivid gradient, more people are getting into the game every year. With 600+ trekking companies operating in Indian Himalayas the treks have lost their real charm and every other meadow looks like a regular picnic spot these days(and ugly). So, without wasting any more time here is a rundown of top ten offbeat Himalayan treks in India.
A List of Offbeat Himalayan Treks
1. Dzongri, Sikkim
Duration: 7 days Difficulty Level: Moderate
Dzongri Trek includes a Scenic trail with the greatest rise of 4020 meters. The fascinating trek offers amazing sights of Mount Padum and Kanchenjunga. The trail navigates through green woods of Oak, Bamboo, Rhododendron, Birch and Maple. With a view of the world’s third highest peak and fascinating meadows, this trek deserves first place in top ten offbeat Himalayan treks!
2. Dayara Bugyal, Uttrakhand
Duration: 6 Days Difficulty Level: Easy
Dayara Bugyal is probably one of the most beautiful and peaceful treks in Uttrakhand. The meadow stretch out far and wide and the sight of the Himalayas from here is breathtaking. Situated at a height of around 3048m. The trek experiences open area and thick backwoods at various places. In winters the slopes are covered with snow and are greatly excellent!
3. Parang La Pass, Ladakh
Duration: 8 Days Difficulty Level: Strenuous
The Parang La Pass Trek that goes to the picturesque valleys of Ladakh, is a standout amongst the most mainstream trekking trails in the Ladakh-Spiti valley. Offering surprising perspectives of the towering mountains and the snow clad slopes. The Parang La trek starts from the Kara villa and proceeds till Karkoza. It begins picking up elevation as it advances through Spiti Valley lastly takes the trekkers to the Tso Moriri Lake.
4. Kashmir Great Lakes, Kashmir
Duration: 8 Days Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Paradise on earth is the expression that will ring a bell while undertaking the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. The journey starts from a charming spot like Sonamarg and as you stroll along the trails, you get the chance to witness just about the whole scope of environmental zones in the Himalayas.
The trek is very diverse and it takes you through the midst of thick mild woodlands of pine. You then pick up height and enter wildernesses of morinda spruces and deodar trees which vanish as you achieve elevations of more than 11000 feet.
Here you are welcomed by broad glades of lavish grass and bushes and they are anything but difficult to trek through because of their similarly compliment landscape. From these meadows, you will have the capacity to see completely clear lakes and snow-secured mountain crests out there.
5. Dharansi pass, Uttarakhand
Img Source: Tripoto
Duration: 6 Days Difficulty Level: Moderate
The Dharansi Pass trek through Lata Kharak is your nearest experience to the confined Nanda Devi Sanctuary. The passage was banned till as of late when it was halfway opened for a set number of guests consistently. The fabulous scenes of crests encompassing the National Park are Trishul (7120m), Dunagiri (7066m), Nanda Devi (7817m), Nanda Devi East (7430m), Bethartoli (6352m) etc. With a limited number of trekkers permitted to enter the sanctuary, one tends to feel blessed to have even entered this one of the best offbeat Himalayan treks.
6. Panwali-Kantha, Uttarakhand
Img Source: Raversexpeditions
Duration: 5 Days Difficulty Level: Easy
Panwali-Kantha a high height glades, arranged on the south-western edge of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand state. The waterway Ganges takes its source in this remote massif, at the hallowed altar of Gangotri, and surges down to the fields in a heavy rage. The trek offers panoramic views of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath mountain peaks. Panwali-Kantha trek is a fairly easy and beautiful trek but yet remains as one of the best offbeat Himalayan treks in India!
7. Buran Ghati
Img Source: India Hike
Duration: 5 Days Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Buran Ghati is an immediate course from the Pabbar valley to the Sangla valley of Himachal Pradesh and includes the intersection of the 4725 meters high Buran Pass. It is a medium troublesome trek that should be possible anyplace between May-June and September-October. This one is thought to be a mashup of the various treks due to the differing qualities of the landscape. Also, It is additionally one of the slightest navigated offbeat Himalayan treks.
8. Sandakphu, West Bengal
Img Source: 4bp
Duration: 7 Days Difficulty Level: Moderate
Trekking into Sandakphu begins off from a height of 1,524 meters and ascends through woods of rhododendron, mammoth magnolias, spruce and different trees. For flora admirers the months of April and May are the best time for the trek while for the individuals who have an unquenchable hunger for a perspective of the mountains; the greatest months are at harvest time. The view from Sandakphu is unbeatable by any perspective anyplace. With 180 degrees view of mountains like Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, and Kanchenjunga in one single stretch, Sandakphu is one of the most beautiful offbeat Himalayan treks in India.
9. The Bailey Trail, Arunachal Pradesh
Img Source: Groupouting
Duration: 10 Days Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Named after British officer Lt. Col. F M Bailey this is an ancient trading route which connects India to Burma and Tibet. It is blessed with panoramic views of Gorichen and Kangto peaks. The trek takes you through the mixed subtropical forests to the high Himalayan Meadows and it ends at the world’s second oldest monastery at Tawang. While planning vacations people often miss out NorthEast India which makes this area less explored and peaceful.
10. Markha Valley, Ladakh
Img Source: Markhavalleytrek.in
Duration: 9 Days Difficulty Level: Difficult
Markha Valley trek is close to Leh, which is one flight away from Delhi and can be something any voyager to Leh could consider doing.
The trek goes inside a delightful Hemis National Park and includes two pass intersections Gandala La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La, (17,060 ft). Beside from the striking diverse trekking in a dry frosty desert valley. You get an extraordinary perspective of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, the Kang Yissay(6,400m) and the Stok Kangri(6,153m). Crossing segments on Markha River to trails going through intriguing Buddhist towns and rough gorge are a portion of the components that give this trek a novel enthusiasm.
If you know other amazing locations then please mention them in comments so we can add them here.