Kheerganga is just one of those places about which you hear a lot and you don’t realize how challenging and thrilling the trek and the final destination can be.
We can’t tell you when we first heard about the Kheerganga trek and how we decided to do this trek really, all we remember is that a couple of months back we decided we need to visit Kasol and then the rest is history.
If you asked us if we knew how hard the Kheerganga trek was going to be 2 days before our bus to kasol, we would probably have laughed and admitted that we were complete and utter fools. We had no idea what awaited us, we were blissfully unaware of all the obstacles and the challenges.
All we knew was that we had decided to travel to kasol and maybe try the trek which is nearby.
We both googled all the places nearby and how far they were and we saw that Kheerganga was just 8-10 Kms from Barshaini and we were all like ‘Hah! It is going to be not so difficult after all’. Little did we know that we were in for a surprise.
A night before our bus departed for kasol, two of our friends decided to join us and we thought to ourselves ‘the more the merrier’. Don’t mistake us, we are certainly not advocating you to avoid this trek, in fact, we think everyone should try this trek once. You will realize how insignificant we are in the face of Mother Nature.
Let us tell you beforehand that as a first trek, it is going to be a little hard and if you are not properly equipped then you are most likely to face a problem, my friend but don’t worry because on the way you meet many people who are very kind and helpful. This kheerganga trekking guide will help you plan your own journey to this place.
Kheerganga Trekking Guide
Kheerganga is basically the top of the mountain ranges which lies beside the famous Parvati river. It is an exhausting trek and if you are not a frequent trekker, then it would be advisable to climb and descent on two separate days.
Once you reach the top, you will find many camps and eating places and many sloping hills and the view! Well, the view is just mind-blowing. You will be surrounded by the mountains and they would look so magnificent that it would just take your breath away for a second.
In the morning, you will see the snow-capped mountains in the distance and the first rays of the sun lighting up the mountains and giving them a golden crown. Honestly, even though our whole body was aching for the next few days, the whole trek was completely worth the view!
And the hot springs! God, it felt so nice to take bath in the hot spring in the evening as the temperature was getting colder and the sky was getting darker. You just have to try the hot springs there, it would make you feel like heaven lies here on the earth.
Trust us, this is a trek you would definitely not want to miss. For all the details, keep reading on. You don’t want to miss out on these crucial details like we did.
How To Reach Kheerganga
Two paths from Barshaini for Kheerganga trekking
There are two paths for you to take you to Kheerganga from Barshaini. Yes, you heard us right! You have an option to choose the path which you would like to take. One path is through the jungle and would require you to do a lot of climbing and sliding and the other path is through the rocks and the villages.
Now, you might think that one path would be easier than the other but actually, there is no such thing as an easy path. Both are equally hard, although you certainly don’t have to worry about falling down from the mountains in the village path.
We tried both and we really can’t choose one as our favorite, we are just glad that we decided to try both the paths because both the paths lent us a completely different experience.
Tricky but loads of shade
So, for the jungle path, you would need to turn right from the Barshaini fork point. It is mostly a straight path, you just need to follow the road till where it ends.
You would find a climb from here on, the first climb will be a little steep but it would have rocks in the formation of steps to help you. Now, you might think the worst is over but this is just the starting.
You will come to a small hut and a little further, you will find your first shop to buy snacks and beverages. After that, it is a vigorous climb and descent, and some paths are too narrow and just on the edge and if it is muddy, then you are in for a nightmare.
After further 2-4 km, you will come across a small waterfall and then the first stop of your trek where you can rest and have snacks and beverages from the stall but just know that most of the time these stalls are empty as many people frequently embark this trek.
Then, a further 3-4 km of a climb and this is going to be a little harder and then finally you will come across a bigger waterfall and beside this, you would find a cafe where you can have an absolutely delicious Maggi and tea.
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From here on, it is going to be a difficult journey for the next 2 Kms. Once you have journeyed through this difficult 2 km patch, you will come across another small waterfall and a cafe. This cafe is the joining point for both the paths to Kheerganga and is only 1-3 Kms away from your end destination.
After this cafe, there would be two more obstacles and then the road is pretty smooth and straightforward. These obstacles would come in the form of waterfalls which you would need to cross because these waterfalls are situated just in the middle of the path.
Once you have crossed these two waterfalls, it just takes another 30-40 minutes to reach your destination. The final steps are a little steep but the worst is over.
Easier but scorching heat
This one starts from the Tosh side, you need to cross the Pulga river and reach the other side to start your Kheerganga trek. Initial 2-3 Kms will be covered with rocks which can be a little cumbersome to cross, but it doesn’t last long so it is okay.
Then you will come across a village, and after a walk of 1 km or 2 km, you will see a stop. From here, another 2 km walk and then you will come to another stop and a small waterfall.
Here you will find a few stalls to eat. There would come a bridge which you would need to cross. This is probably the biggest waterfall in this area and it often displays rainbow colors when the sun rays fall on it.
From here, it is another 2-3 km before you reach the cafe point which adjoins the two routes to Kheerganga. And then the path is the same as we described above. Frankly, although this one is not as difficult as the other path, it is more draining if you are trekking during the daytime because you get no cover from the sun, unlike the forest path.
Things You will Need
Carry Cash. Not many ATMs nearby.
Last proper washroom at Barshaini. Cost: 10-50/- INR per person
We made a lot of mistakes in this department and suffered a lot as a result so make sure you don’t follow our mistakes. You will not find washrooms after Barshaini, so make sure you are ready for it before the trek and the last few washrooms at Barshaini will cost you some 10-50 bucks.
Also, make sure you keep cash with you because you would obviously not find an ATM in the mountains. One thing you need to pay attention to is that don’t overstuff your bag. Keep your backpack as light as you can but don’t miss out on the important things.
Things you should definitely have with you:
2. Warm clothes (3-4 pairs because your clothes get dirty and wet a lot in the waterfalls)
3. Socks (3-4 pairs)
5. Trekking pants
6. Trekking shoes(Don’t wear sneakers, a completely bad choice.)
7. Extra phone batteries (Although there won’t be any network, you would need your phone charged once you reach back down.)
8. Extra camera batteries
9. Food items like apples, chocolates, biscuits, chips, etc.
10. Water bottle
11. Energy drink
Kheerganga Trek Timings
Total Time: 7-10 hours (Including to and fro journey)
Best Time to Trek: 6 a.m.
It would be better to start your trek early morning around 6 a.m for both the to and fro journey. This is because it gets really hot in the afternoon. The sun can make you feel energy-drained and extremely exhausted.
It actually depends on how used to walking you are. But on an average, it takes everyone 4-6 hours to climb and around 3-5 hours to descent.
Best Time to Visit
Our recommendation: After Monsoons (September – February)
Kheerganga is a place you can visit at all the time of the year.
Summer – Most people tend to visit this beautiful place from May-July. This is a great time to run away from the heat of the summer months. This time is best for people who want to experience a cool temperature in Kheerganga without being frozen. But please keep in mind that since Kheerganga is at a high altitude, the temperature here tends to remain slightly cold, at least on the top of the mountain.
Monsoon – If you want to see the mountains covered with lush greenery, then go after monsoons. The temperature in Kheerganga stays pleasant and cool although when you are trekking to the top, you might experience a sunny hot weather. But once you reach the top, you will be freezing so make sure you pack enough warm clothes for yourself.
Avoid going during monsoons as the path can become quite muddy and slippery.
Winter – A lot of people also attempt the Kheerganga trek during the winter months when the mountain is covered with snow. While it will be slightly difficult to trek, it is not exactly impossible. Make sure that you hire a guide for attempting this winter trek though.
What to Eat in Kheerganga
Take snacks and chocolate bars
There are a few stops as we have told you above.
For the first path, you will find around 5 stops before you reach Kheerganga. And, for the second path, you will find around 6-7 stops.
But always carry your own food because these stops are most often out of stock. If you don’t carry food with you, you are bound to stay hungry for a long time.
There is one advantage that you don’t have to worry about the water. You can always fill your bottle with the waterfall water. Don’t worry, this water is pretty fresh, probably fresher than your mineral water.
Where to Stay in Kheerganga
Update: Camping is not allowed anymore (June 2018)
There is no provision for staying here anymore. So, you can camp at Tosh and start the trek early morning to return the same day.
How to Reach Trek Starting Point
For more information on how to reach Kheerganga starting point, you can refer to our blog post on Kasol which would provide you with all the information about buses and cabs that you would need to know.
We hope that you liked out Kheerganga trekking guide and found it informative and useful for your journey.