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A Complete Guide to Kheerganga Trek

When I did my first trek, I did a lot of research to get as much information as before starting it. I have to look for many blogs for minute details so that I can do it without any hurdles. This is a complete guide to the Kheerganga trek, from my own experience. I have covered every minute detail to look for in this trek. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I am happy to help you with that.

A Complete Guide to Kheerganga Trek

When it comes to trekking, most of us say “it’s not my cup of tea” and stay away from trekking trips. And those who had been on trekking trips became their favorites and kept on doing more such trips.

Indeed, trekking is not for everyone. But definitely, you can’t say it unless you’ve been to one. Because I can guarantee that, if you have tried it once, you will keep on doing it. It’s amazing, it’s adventurous, it’s special and, most importantly, it is the one that takes us closer to nature.

Imagine all those less explored places and hidden beauties. Nature will truly surprise you on these trekking trips. Those elegant waterfalls, valleys full of wildflowers where horses grazed freely, staying in tents near a beach or the river and waking up to those spectacular mornings. Its endless fantasies come true. All you have to do is try a good trekking trip. I have tried many moderate to difficult treks, but the Kheerganga trek is always close to my heart and it was my first trek.

The Kheerganga trek is considered to be easy to moderately difficult trek and is most ideal for beginners. A meadow in the lap of the Parvati Valley is situated in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. For me, Parvati Valley is one of my favorite locations in Himachal. It is famous for those charming and isolated villages and many of the names are familiar to most of us. Tosh, Malana, Kalga, Pulga, Rasol, Kasol, Manikaran, and many more villages stretched along the slopes and lengths of this mystic valley.

How to reach Kheerganga from Delhi

Delhi to Bhuntar

The most preferred location to start a Himalayan trip is from Delhi as it has a lot of options, most preferably booking a night bus from Kashmiri Gate Bus Station. I planned the Kheerganga trip in August and wanted it to be a solo trip. But my friend Denis told me that he could join me in Bhuntar. So I booked an overnight bus to Bhuntar. There is no direct bus to Bhuntar from Delhi.

You can book a bus that goes to Manali and get down at Bhuntar, which is around 15 KM before Manali. If you are taking a bus at 8 PM from Delhi, you will easily reach Bhuntar by 4 or 5 in the morning. Bhuntar is a small town and interestingly has an AirPort, along the bank of the Beas River. It is the meeting place of the Parvati River and the Beas River.

When I reached Bhuntar, Denis was already there waiting and we had a chai from the nearby shop and headed towards the bus stand, which is a walkable distance.

Bhuntar to Barshaini

From Bhuntar, there are buses available to Kasol, Manikaran, and Barshaini. Barshaini is a very important name that you should remember. Because this is where the actual fun starts. I took the bus to Manikaran and from there another to Barshaini. The bus ride from Manikaran to Barshaini is like a rollercoaster ride. The roads are not so good. But this is one of the most beautiful bus trips I have ever had. The Parvati River flows furiously below a vertical deep gorge. Pine and Deodar trees covered the valley till the edges and beyond that, we could see the peaks covered in snow.

A Complete Guide to Kheerganga Trek
A view on the way


Barshaini is a small town and this is the last stop for the bus. From there, a road goes down to a small dam nearby and from there another road up to Tosh Village. Barshaini is more like a junction and you will find only a few hotels and places to eat. Prem cafe is a great place to have breakfast or Chai here. From there, we can see two villages – Kalga and Pulga, both on different sides of the river. We decided to plan our stay at any of these villages and we already heard that we could get affordable home stays there.

We chose Kalga and there are two reasons behind it. It was the nearest one and also the starting point of our trek.

Before going further, there is something we should know and choose when we reach Barshaini. There are three routes to Kheerganga. The first and most commonly used one is from the left side of the Dam towards the Nathan Village and to Kheerganga. The second one is crossing the Dam, through the Kalga village and dense forest. Both these routes are on each side of the river. There is a third route from Tosh Village. I will explain all these routes in detail later in this blog.

We chose Kalga as our stay as we wanted to try the second trek route.

Kalga Village

Complete Guide to Kheerganga Trek
A Village House in Kalga

To reach Kalga, we need to cross the dam, then a steep winding climb up to the village. After the warm-up climb to the top, the sun was almost down and we asked the first person we saw for a place to stay. He pointed us to a nearby apple orchard and there was a small cottage standing there with all its charm. We talked to the owner and got a room for 150 Rs per night. And yes, it was 150 Rs for the room per night and was a decent one too. The view from the cottage was spectacular.

The cottage where we stayed
The cottage where we stayed

Trekking routes to Kheerganga

Like I said earlier, there are three trekking routes to Kheerganga.

  • The first one is the most commonly used one. Without crossing the Dam, turn left and walk towards Nakthan village. The route is well defined and clear cut out on rocks. It is difficult compared to the second route as there are steep climbs and less shade from the sun.
  • The second route is crossing the dam and climbing up to the Kalga village. From there is a narrow route through the dense forest. This route is tricky as we can easily get lost. Landslides happen on these routes during the rainy season. Before taking this route, it is advisable to ask the locals about the conditions of the path. But this is considered to be the most scenic route. This route joins the first route at the midway and from there, there is only one path to Kheerganga.
  • The third route is from Tosh Village and meets the first route at Nakthan village.

Kheerganga is roughly 10 to 15 KM long and is easy to moderately difficult. I took the second route to Kheerganga and came back by the first route. A taste of both the routes. If you are staying in Tosh Village, then the third route is ideal for you.

Kheerganga trek in one day.

We planned to start the trek in the morning and complete it in a day. We can either complete the trek in a day or you can stay at Kheerganga for the night. There are a lot of staying options available there and if you opt for a tent, you can carry your own or you can rent it.

We wake up at around 6 and get ready for our trek at 7 AM. Kalga is a very calm village close to the forest.

Apple Orchards
Apple Orchards

From the village, we had to ask the locals to get an idea about the route as there is no clear marking. After walking through a narrow mountain path, we were able to see a small clear path up to the forest and that was the start of our beautiful trek. The valley was covered in lush green and we could hear the voice of the Parvati river flowing somewhere nearby. There was freshness everywhere as the monsoon just receded from the valley. The villagers had already warned us about the landslides that destroyed the roads. But we decided to go forward as nature was too tempting to ignore.

At first, it was easy as there was small climbing and the path was well defined. But soon it became wild and difficult. There are times we need to climb rocks and it is tiring. But every climb will take you to views that are better than dreams. Sitting on the rock under the pine trees after a long climb, relaxing in the sweet breeze, is something well earned.

Waterfalls and villages

There are small waterfalls on the way and the Parvati river flows below, giving us the feeling that we have climbed a lot higher then. At one point, we can see the Nakthan village which is on the other side of the river. That is part of the first route that was mentioned earlier.

View of the villages on the other side of the riverView of the villages on the other side of the river

Mountian Dogs

We got two travel companions.

When we covered a third of the trek, we got the best guide that we could find, that too without any charges. I am talking about mountain dogs. They were very friendly and they helped us cross the forest route without any trouble and disappeared when we were about to reach the top. They walked in front of us like the north star that guides the way and when they thought we were lagging, they stopped and waited for us. We were happy to share some biscuits and the Paratha that we ordered in the Dhaba on the way, with them.

Denis with mountain dogs
Denis with mountain dog

I remember someone saying that dogs never consider us as their masters. Instead, they consider us as their siblings. That is the reason they help you, even risking their own lives and I found this very much true.

A little love from me..
A little love from me..

On this route, you will be able to find two good places with a few Dhaba around. The first one is near a beautiful waterfall. I would suggest taking a short break here with a hot chai and paratha with a view of the waterfall.

The waterfall on the wayThe waterfall on the way

From here the trek can be a bit difficult and, after some time, it is joined with the first route that links Nakthan Village.

I have a habit of walking very fast. This was my first trek and I did the same long steady pace during this trek and that was a painful lesson that I have learned. During the last 30 mins of the trek, I was crawling on my knees to reach the top. Trekking is something that we should enjoy at a short and slow pace. Take rest when it is necessary and manage the time before the trip.


Kheerganga Top view
Kheerganga Top view

When we slowly reached the top, it was already noon and we were hungry. We went to the first shop and had our lunch. It was simple but expensive. Food and drinks are like double or even triple the normal price here. That is justified as the vegetables and other provisions need to be carried from the villages and it’s a long trek. Then I recalled a villager carrying an LPG Cylinder to the Kheerganga and he was walking faster than us.

About Kheerganga

Kheerganga’s top is a small sloping meadow and a small temple on the top. There is a small hot spring near the temple. It is considered to be sacred and believed to have many medicinal properties. Visitors can bathe in this hot spring. There is also a separate bathing area for women. There are a lot of places to stay and also to eat. Since we didn’t have a plan to stay for the night, we didn’t waste much time and walked to the hot spring to get a bath.

At first, it felt too hot to take a dip in the water. Slowly, your body will get used to it and become normal. Dip your legs first and slowly the rest of the body. That is the trick.

It was a refreshing experience and we soon forgot the sores of the long trek.

Return Trek

We spent some time lying down on the velvet grass. After a small nap, we were energized for our return. We started at around 4 PM from there and this time we took the first route.

After walking for half an hour, we took the right turn to the first route. Since this is the most common route, you will be able to see other travelers, some going to Kheerganga for an overnight stay and others returning like us.

There is a small bridge near another waterfall and here we cross the Parvati River to the other side of the river. Rudranag is a small village with some staying options on the other side of the river.

A Complete Guide to Kheerganga Trek
The fury of the Parvati river can be seen here and this is one of the most photographed spots on the trek.

This route has a well-defined path and is open without many trees. We were going down the path, but I felt like climbing up through this route could be much more challenging than the forest route. During the day, it can be sunny as well. This route is more alive with people in villages and apple orchards. We could see the thick forest on the other side of the river. That was the route we took while going up. From here it looked so dense with the mountain path hidden in it.

A Village on the way
A Village on the way

Also Read: 11 Best Places to Visit in Manali

After Nakthan Village, we reached near Barshaini by around 7 PM, and that concluded my first trek. We didn’t have the energy to climb to Kalga village, so we decided to walk to Barshaini to get a hotel for the night. The next day, we got on the early morning bus to Kasol.

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