Hippie Days: Trekking to Kheer Ganga, Parvati Valley

Kheer Ganga
                                      Kheer Ganga enveloped with clouds
Let me again Thank Paul for unraveling the hippie trail of Himachal Pradesh which is a series of strikingly distinctive destinations, mostly villages though. In the south of Kullu lies Parvati valley which is known for various reasons and mostly for the wrong ones.  Pin-Parvati pass trek was the first thing I heard about Parvati valley and later I got to know how it became a major hideout for hippies in India. Needless to mention that Parvati valley produces the best marijuana of the country which in itself draws a large number of travelers seeking contemplation in sheer isolation. After researching a bit, I decided to trek till Kheer Ganga and Tosh to get a glimpse of hippie culture and making new connections. So here goes my account of hippie days. Please forgive me if I offend anyone.
Apline Meadows Kheer Ganga
                                     Alpine Meadows Kheer Ganga
Kheer Ganga (2960 meter) lies in the extreme end of Parvati valley and the last inhibited village while trekking to pin valley via Pin-Parvati pass. Kheer Ganga remains snow-covered during winters and only get temporary settlement during summers which make is a perfect hide-out for those who want to smoke weed, hash etc etc without any concern…… Cheap and safer staircase to heaven… Well anyway, caught an overnight bus to Kullu and got down at Bhuntar circle to catch the connecting bus to Barshani.
Map of Parvati Valley
                                              Map of Parvati Valley

How to reach Kheer Ganga:
Delhi-Chandigarh-Mandi-Bhuntar (Catch any bus to Kullu and get down at Bhuntar Circle). Bhuntar lies on Manali highway so you will get many busses on this route if you are coming from any other city of Himachal (e.g  Shimla etc). After reaching Bhuntar, catch a connecting bus to Barshani via Manikaran (Known for Gurudwara) and Kasol. There is one bus each hour and will take around 2 hours from Bhuntar.  Barshani can be easily identified with a huge dam they are constructing on Parvati river. Kheer Ganga is 13 km trek uphill from Barshani. There are many villages, apple orchards in between so you won’t get lost.

Bhuntar-Manikaran (36 km, 40 INR, 90 minutes)
Manikaran-Barshani (18 km, 18 INR, 40 minutes)

Last bus from Barshani to Bhuntar (Via manikaran) is at 5:00 PM however there are shared/private jeeps one can get on this stretch.

Accommodation in Kheer Ganga
                                            Accommodation in Kheer Ganga

Stay and Food at Kheer Ganga: There are basic guest rooms there (they of course pack up and go home over winter). They range from tin shacks to something not much more luxurious ... but with beds (albeit lousy mattresses!!). From about 200 Rs per night. And attached are dhabas so food is no problem

Parvati Valley Himachal Pradesh
                                          Alpine forest in Parvati Valley

 

Parvati valley lies at the periphery of Great Himalayan National Park and mostly covered with dense forest of alpines and oaks with apple orchards in between. Road to Barshani goes parallel to the Parvati river and passes through Kasol (Major hippie town of Parvati valley) and Manikaran (Famous Gurudwara). Barshani is the last village connected with road (However road now goes up till Tosh) and lies on the bank of Parvati river.
Parvati River

Soon after reaching Barshani, I found myself in the midst of hippie culture with stoned freaks dominating the streets and staring at something unknown.  And of course there were some gorgeous chicks as well seeking something within. I started to Kheer-Ganga just after reaching Barshani to buy myself enough time. There are few things you should know about hippies

- Hippies acknowledge you and ignore you at the same time. If you are soft hearted, your chances will diminish.
- Hippies worship those who can arrange them something to get intoxicated. If you don’t smoke then you are not welcome.
 - Hippies don’t mind much if you are flirting with their girls but if you don’t go by their rules, there are least chances to get their girls.
- Start learning Hebrew to strengthen your chances. Forget about bragging about your possessions or knowledge, it won’t be any help.
- Remember not everyone in Parvati is hippie.
Delicious Apricot on the way
                                             Delicious Apricot on the way

Anyway for the first time I was trekking with some weight so initial stretch became really taxing till I get adjusted to the situation. Trail passes through beautiful alpine meadows following the river Parvati uphill. En route I came across to many villages and surprisingly Hippies were staying everywhere. I also get chance to pluck apples and apricots from the orchards adjoining the trail. Following the roaring parvati river and crossing some breath-taking wooden bridges, I made it to Kheer Ganga after 3-4 hours of trekking. While trekking I was greeted by many fellow travelers and I weighted my chances every time.
Tableland Kheer Ganga
                                              Tableland Kheer Ganga

Kheer Ganga is a tableland surrounded by thick forest of alpine meadows. It was a mesmerizing view when clouds started enveloping the forest and the snow-clad mountains. Kheer Ganga is known for hot water stream which flows beneath the temple of Lord Shiva. Temple is highly revered hence alcohol is not permitted in Kheer Ganga however other kind of Intoxication are in surplus. There is well made pool to bathe in the hot water stream and water is really hot.
Kheer Ganga Trek
                                                     Kheer Ganga Trek

Sadly, the day I reached Kheer Ganga was also the start of some freak gathering in Kasol so most of the long term travelers were receding down to Kasol. You will only get basic tent kind of accommodation in Kheer Ganga. I browsed all the available options and evaluated the possibility. Finally lodged myself in a tent situated at one corner of the table land. Soon after it started raining heavily and spoiled the whole scenery so I surrendered to sleep to rejuvenate myself.
Clouds enveloping the peak
                                             Clouds enveloping the peak

In the evening when I woke up, views of the forest and the peaks were simply spectacular. Heavy mist was enclosing the valley but the peaks were shining while sun was setting down at a distant horizon. In addition to that, the melody of Parvati River was soothing the entirety of that moment. It was too much to absorb and appreciate for a nature lover. Later I realized that I am accompanied by a hippie couple in the same guest house. They were much interested to explore the beauty within and smoke weed.  My chances were completely shattered as there were just 3 travelers at Kheer Ganga that evening.
Apricot Tree in trekking trail
                                            Apricot Tree in trekking trail

As it was dawned and night approached, clouds disappeared completely to offer us the crystal clear view of sky and the stars.. a view of sky which we hardly feel in towns or cities…. I roamed around the plateau, climbed small rocks, barged into the grooves, listened to the sound of silence and I realized the very freedom of this place which makes it so special. Being in Kheer Ganga is a different feeling than what you feel while accomplishing a challenging peak or high altitude trekking or defeating harsh terrain or exploring untraveled. There is nothing to feel special about…nothing to brag about… no feeling of home or homelessness….it was just thoughtlessness…. That evening was a conditioning to the mind and the soul or to the existence.. So relaxing and laid-back… and if you want to reach the state of thoughtlessness, Kheer Ganga is your destination.
Hot water Spring Kheer Ganga
                                      Hot water Spring Kheer Ganga

Next morning, I woke up and headed straight to the hot springs to take a bath and brush my teeth. Believe me it was really hot water and it scared me for the first time. Later I overcame the fear and dipped in the hot water spring. It was a refreshing pool in the midst of nature.  Although there was no problem of food or accommodation but in the absence of the tourists, Kheer Ganga was quite deserted and I was not seeking isolation those days so I decided to pack my stuff and recede back to the valley in the search of new destinations. I was fortunate not to witness rainfall while descending to Barshani else it would have not been 2 hours descend.
 

Places around Kheer Ganga:
* Buni-Buni pass is 3 hours trek from Kheer Ganga and your chance to find snow. From the pass, you can descend down to Kalga.
* Mantalai Lake (4116 meter) is a picturesque lake on the way to Pin-Parvati pass and some 3 days trek from Kheer Ganga.

hi Vishnu,   great post.

hi Vishnu,

 

great post. thanks. we are planning to do the trek this weekend. will drive from Delhi to reach Tosh before sunset on Thu and do the trek on Fri+Sat.

Is it a good idea to carry tents and camp in kheerganga? any other tips would also be helpful. chance of rain? weather? 

in one of your previous posts you mentioned a number that will be helpful. pls share that also.

thanks,

Puneet

Good Morning, Sir would you

Good Morning, Sir would you please tell me is august end week a good time for kheerganaga!

Hi,   I have planned going on

Hi,

 

I have planned going on 09th June thats my Birthday.

Manikaran(Stay 1 day)

Tosh (Stay 1 day)

to Kheerganga ( via Rudranag)

Stay at Kheerganga (Stay 1 day)

Back to Bhuntar via Kalga.

take bus from Kullu.

Please suggest what to carry, total cost, please email at bharatktillani@gmail.com 9810168226

 

 

Thanks

Bharat

What will be the expense for

What will be the expense for food at Kheerganga?

Hi, My friends and I are

Hi,

My friends and I are planning a trek to kheerganga however I've been facing breathlessness (most likely altitude sickness). I spend most of the time breathing in from my mouth. Do you think it's advisable to trek in such a condition? Are there more difficulties to breath when you reach kheerganga ? Please advise asap. Thank you

Kheerganga is not high

Kheerganga is not high altitude so it is highly unlikely to get hit by AMS. But seems like your problem is severe so you might consult a doctor before going there or access the situation once in Kasol.

Hi Vishnu, my husband and I

Hi Vishnu, my husband and I are planning the kheerganga trek in June- the extended Eid weekend (June 26). Do you think it is a good time to visit the place, weather-wise. Can you please also pass on some suggestions on accommodation options at shrutthii@gmail.com?

Thanks,
Shruti

I can send you details which

I can send you details which might be useful.

Hello Vishnu, Could you also

Hello Vishnu,

Could you also send me the accomodation details at shubham.agarwal982@gmail.com ?

Thank you for the article as well. Really helped me plan my trip.

Cheers.

Hi, I am planning a solo trip

Hi,

I am planning a solo trip to the area on 3rd to 6th June? is it safe to travel alone? Also, how cold will it be? Do I have to carry heavey winter clothes? 

 

Hope to hear from you soon

Akash

 

No need to carry heavy winter

No need to carry heavy winter cloths. Weather would be pleasant in June..

full power safe place

full power safe place brother. local people are so helpful. m going there on 23 may on a solo trip too which is my 7th time.

Hello, I have a 7 yr old kid,

Hello, I have a 7 yr old kid, can I take her along for kheerganga? this trek sounds quite a tough one.

An anxious Mother

 

Hi, Kheerganga is not that

Hi,

Kheerganga is not that taxing a trek. Its a moderate hike and trail is well outlined with many villages enroute so i would not say that its a risky call to go Kheerganga with 7 year old however you need to take care of everything else. may be its a long walk for 7 year old so better take stops in between or go with a guide.

+- Vishnu

Hi vishnu ji,  Kindly

Hi vishnu ji, 

Kindly recommend me and give my contact if you like specially for kheerganga trek 2017.

I am based in  Dharamshala and my friend Mr suman ji is in kasol. 

We are working in this sector since 9 years now and organising many treks. 

If you like i can show you our  license Under H. P  government registration too. 

Thanks

Nitin verma

 

 

Hi we are planning to go on

Hi we are planning to go on 21st april.

 

Can you please help me with few queries.? 

1. We have to take bus from delhi to bhuntar?

2. Bhuntar to barhsini agian bus or cab?

3. Again cab to Tosh?

4. Any good hotel options in tosh can you suggest and also some food points?

5. Earlymorning trek to Kheerganga from Rudra nag path, how much time will it take?- this is our first trek.

6. Stay in kheerganga- Please suggest options over der? and some food points?

7. Will there be snow on 21st april? any idea

8. Then back to manikarn  and den bus from bhuntar to delhi at 6 PM.

 

Is it fine? and please answer my queries. Its urgent.,

 

Hi Gaurav, I have a few

Hi Gaurav,

I have a few suggestions. I have been to kheerganga recently, so i have some info.

1. We have to take bus from delhi to bhuntar?

Sreeman: Yes, that is the best and safest option for you to take. You can book a HRTC volvo bus from kashmere gate delhi to bhunter/ kullu/ manali. It is a safe option when compared to bike or cab or other private travels. It will take you around 10-12 hrs based on snow and other factors.

2. Bhuntar to barhsini agian bus or cab?

Sreeman: Bus is better and cheaper. It is a safer option. Cabs drivers are a little rash in their driving. Not everyone, but if you have a time constraint, you better take a cab. Else, you can catch a bus from bhunter to barsheini. It will go via kasol, manikarn and then barsheini.

3. Again cab to Tosh?

Sreeman: No, mostly. Barsheini is the last stop. No public transport vehicles beyond barsheini. Although, there are some cabs which will take you towards tosh, but not till the end. I suggest you trek from barsheini to tosh. but it will take a few hours. If you have a time constraint, take a cab (a bit expensive) from barsheini towards tosh. I am not sure which point is the last point, but from that point you only have a trek a little bit to reach tosh.

4. Any good hotel options in tosh can you suggest and also some food points?

Sreeman: Pink floyd cafe is supposed to be famous. Not sure.

5. Earlymorning trek to Kheerganga from Rudra nag path, how much time will it take?- this is our first trek.

Sreeman: It depends. Even though its your first trek, it depends on your stamina. Usually people can reach kheerganga in 4 to 5 hrs from that point. For us, it took arounf 10 hrs from kalga. The path is not so easy and it snowed a lot recently. i think if you start early in the morning like 6 or 7, you could reach kheerganga before lunch. Again, it depends.

6. Stay in kheerganga- Please suggest options over der? and some food points?

Sreeman: This is not the season. Not sure how may joints will be open. Also, last i heard, there is a lot of snow in and around kheerganga. Almost any of the home stays are pretty decent there. Finding a place to stay itself if a blessing right now. So, take what ever is available. We stayed at lotus homestay

7. Will there be snow on 21st april? any idea

Sreeman: Yes, i guess. It snowed a lot recently. And i think there will be snow. Although, im not sure if it will be snowing at that time. But yes, snow will be there. Again, weather over there is highly unpredictable.

8. Then back to manikarn  and den bus from bhuntar to delhi at 6 PM.

Sreeman: You should checkout kalga too. Its isolated and homestays are really good. You can have some real peaceful time there.  manikaran is also good. It is safe to take the last bus to delhi. We boarded a bus at kullu at 10 pm. We came to delhi by 7 am next morning. I said safe to take the last bus because, we never know, just some buffer time for safety. Also, book the bus frm Bhunter, else it will not stop. Dont book from kullu and expect for it to stop. We heard of a bad experience in that angle.

 

Anyways, all the best. Let me know if you have anymore queries. Also, look forward for the authors comment as well. 

Hi Sreemag, Thanks once again

Hi Sreemag,

Thanks once again for posting your answers. Travelers community of the country would be in debt for these detailed answers.

Keep dropping by..

+- Vishnu

Thank you !!   For answering

Thank you !!

 

For answering all my queries. I will surely post my experience once back..

 

Thanks alot. 

We are group of friend

We are group of friend planning to vist on mid of april. It is good time to visit ? What clothes shoudl we carry ? Is there any way we can contact any1 so that we can stay a night in kheer ganga or near by kheer ganga so that we can explore near by nature like parvati pin point. etc 

Kindly revert & as we coming from delhi will reach bhuntar by 7 or 8 a.m from bhuntar can you suggest how to reach kheer ganga. 

Hi Sarab, Mid-April is good

Hi Sarab,

Mid-April is good time for Parvati and Kheerganga. Weather will be really good. It would be colder in the night. I can give you a number which might be useful.

+- Vishnu

Hi Vishnu, we are planning to

Hi Vishnu,

we are planning to visit kheerganga on 2nd weak of June. can you please provide me contact details of person who can provide us accomodation (tents) . you can mail me at yash.aimhigher29@gmail.com

Hi Yash, I will send you the

Hi Yash,

I will send you the contact details.

+- Vishnu

Hey Vishnu,   I read a couple

Hey Vishnu,

 

I read a couple of your articles on Kasol. Good reads indeed.

Me along with 4 friends of mine are planning to go to Kasol checking in on the 16th morning and leaving 18th March night. We plan to go to Tosh, Kheerganga trek, Manikaran.

Would it be possible to cover all of these in the 3 days?

Aslo, we wish to stay in a camp. Could you suggest some relevant contact details which would be helpful ?

Thanks in advance. My email ID is gargnimish94@gmail.com

Waiting for your reply.

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. I hope you had good time.

Hello backpackers,  Be aware

Hello backpackers, 

Be aware of some fraud agents out there. I want to share my experience with you. This guy who is commenting here-Shubham and his travel agency has almost cheated us in the most shameful way. We 15 guys were likely to do trek of kheerganga on 16th Feb. We has already given the advance amount of 16000 as per their demand. But when we reached barshaini at 12 noon, we got to know there was no any guide to take us on the trek. We tried to contact but we didn't reach. We just awaited for hours but no any contact which he had given was on. We just succumbed in very tornment status. It was like we were broken mentaly because we were excited at peak to hike and to stay in tents, but all went in vain. Though still we didn't find any original fact after this incident, but whatever still such things can be meticulously examined first then we need to go further.

At the end,we got our money back through Kullu police with some immediate actions.

Thank you

We are planning to do

We are planning to do kheerganga trek in last week of march 

Will we dat be a safe option

 

Safe. :) 

Safe. :) 

Hey, There is two of us

Hey,

There is two of us planning for trip to Kheerganga in March 3rd week probably from 11 or 13th. Will stay be available and what are the charges for taking a guide. 

I hope you had a great trip.

I hope you had a great trip.

Hey we are travelling to

Hey we are travelling to kullu and kasol on 12 march and we are interested in trekking at kheerganga ... so is it possible to trek in march or it is closed in march due to heavy snow?

Please guide me

March is indeed not the best

March is indeed not the best time for Kheerganga. there would be a lot of snow and finding accommodation at the meadows near Kheerganga is very difficult.

We have also decided to

We have also decided to travel to kheerganga on march 11. Are camps available at this time of year.  

Thanks 

Shivam 

shivamkalra93@gmail.com

9013678881

Hi, A group of 6 guys

Hi,
A group of 6 guys planning to do the Kheerganga trek on 12th March. Is it a good time to go? Asin, will the trek be open and doable?

Hey, You can trekk to

Hey,

You can trekk to kheerganga with no difficult issues but you cannot stay on the peak. So you need to follow 1D2N Plan.

Eg:-

Day 1- Starting nearly at 12 from barshaini. Reaching Rudranaag till 4-5PM. Base camp there. Spending the Night there.

Day 2- Early arrival to Kheerganga from Rudranaag. Will take you only a couple of hours to reach kheerganga from Rudranaag. Returning to base                 camp till evening. Spending the night there.

Day3- Early morning return to Kasol after breakfast from base camp.

This plan will cost you around 17-1800 bucks per person including food which is very cheap for this time. During on season,Guys charge till 3700 for the same plan.

Locals can help you with the confirmation of this plan & arrangement at Rudranaag.

This time is good for the people in search of isolation from the outer world. After march it'll be again overcrowded & no peace at all.

Vishnu helps with the contacts over there. 

 

Regards.

Keep Exploring. Smile

Not the good time for

Not the good time for Kheerganga, there will be lot of snow.

Hi Vishnu,   I am plannig to

Hi Vishnu,

 

I am plannig to trek kheer Ganga on 10th of March with my wife. Is it possible to trek Kheerganga up and down as we will be staying in a cottage near Kasol.

Thanks in advance

March is not the best time

March is not the best time for Kheerganga

Hi, I had a query like do we

Hi,

I had a query like do we need to have a guide to get to kheerganga.Or can we can find our way through the trek to kheerganga

Guide is not necessary if On

Guide is not necessary if On season is going on because the path is full of fellow travellers so you can ask the way from them. But during this time there are hardly any travellers you are gonna find. Guides assures safety for you guys. The path is broken somewhere also frozen ice is in the path. However its totally upon you guys whether to hire one or not because the path is a trail,we know a trail when we see one. We know someone has walked over it. Just dont walk carelessly over the path,observe it first if there isn't any ice on the way or the path you are walking on does not has loose soil or you might end up swimming the freezing temperature of River Parvati.

 

Hope it answers your query.

Keep Exploring.

Smile

Hi firends we are a group of

Hi firends we are a group of 50 people

we are planning to visit kheerganga on third weak of march. can you please provide me contact details of person who can provide us accomodation (tents) . you can mail me at piyushtesting92@gmail.com

any help will be useful.

Hi Piyush, I will send an

Hi Piyush,

I will send an email which might be useful.

Regards
Vishnu

hi, i am planning to go in

hi, i am planning to go in end may . can you please provide me some contacts on meghnaa.15@gmail.com. also how safe is the trek during the season.

thanks!

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. I hope you had good trip..

Hi Vishnu, Excellent blog.

Hi Vishnu,

Excellent blog. Thanks for sharing information as well helping co-trkkers.

I along with my friends ( group of 3 ) planning to trek on 19th and 20th Feb, 2017 to Khirganga. Need few detail from you.

1> Will we get guide to trek khirganga from Kasol / Manikaran ? and yes than what would be the cost ? How long it will take to reach and come back in 1 day ?

2> Any chances to get accomodation at Khirganga ( you have already said no ), i believe there is some Dharamshala as well.

3> What other 1 day or 2 days trek options are available ?

My Mobile no is : 7600069392.

Thanks

Nirav Shah

 

Sorry for the late response.

Sorry for the late response. I hope you enjoyed the trip.

Hi,  We are a group of 9-10

Hi, 

We are a group of 9-10 both boys and girls planning trek to kheerganga on 25th feb weekend. Is this time safe to trek and whether we will find any accomodation up there? Also any idea about the temperature, whether we need to go in snow wear and rent sleeping bags or not? 

Any help will be appreciated. THANK YOU. 

Hey Safety depends on you

Hey

Safety depends on you guys only. The road is clear till kheerganga But you can't have a night stay there due to snow. the temperature will be in minus during night time. Simple Warm clothes such as jacket & warm inner wears will be enough. 

You can even camp in between.You can opt for 1N2D Or 2N2D plan.

1N2D- First day trekking till Rudranaag. Camping there. 2nd Day Till kheerganga (Rudranaag to Kheerganga is 2 hours) & then return to kasol.

2D2N-First Day till Rudranaag Base Camp. Camp there. Next day Kheerganga. Spending the whole day there. Returning to base camp till 6PM. Spending the night in the base camp. Next day return to kasol as per your convinience.

 

Hope it answers your queries.

 

Keep Exploring.

Smile

Hi Vishnu   I am planning for

Hi Vishnu

 

I am planning for kheerganga trek on 18, 19 and 20 feb. Please advise if 3 days are enough for kheerganga trek. What will be the position of accommodation and food on this time. Provide some contact numbers for my ease of travel.

Thanks

Hey, 3 days are enough for

Hey,

3 days are enough for not only kheerganga trekk but also to roam around other villages such as Tosh Chalal & Malana.

Since you are coming in february,there will be no accomodation available dur to heavy snowfall but there can be a round trip to Kheerganga. Early morning arrival & return in evening.

 

However if you are interested in camping & living in tents & all that, there are other trekk options available such as Bijli Mahadev trekk,prashar lake trekk etc.

I am a localite here & you can contact me through blog administrator for other trekk related queries.

 

Keep Exploring. 

Smile

 

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