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    SHARES
    The mesmerizing view of the Parvati Valley from Kheer Ganga

    6 November 2015

    Fancy a plate of white sauce pasta, a bowl of sweet corn soup and a free jacuzzi – all at a height of 3000 metres. Add to it a climb through the charismatic grey-green mountains along with the thunderous Parvati river. Reach the top and find yourself in the abode of Shiva. Yes, I am talking about the infamous hash land and a land full of mesmerising passages to  behold – Kheer Ganga. In my attempt to explore the infamy and the glory, I went on a date with these hills and let my camera talk. Scroll down while I spill the whispers.

    Kheer Ganga Trek – Planning and Route

    Detailed route map of Kheer Ganga trek

    Although tourism in Himachal is properly organized but reaching Kheer Ganga is not so easy and that’s precisely why it needs proper planning and iteration. The entire journey can be broken into two phases:

    Reaching Bhuntar: Nearest railhead, Pathankot is 150 km. We suggest Delhi-Chandigarh-Mandi-Bhuntar by road. Regular bus services run from Delhi post 6 pm.

    Reaching Barshaini: Though accessible by local bus from Bhuntar, private taxi costing INR 900 – 1,000, is also an option. If you have time, avoid a cab. Take a bus from Bhuntar to Manikaran (36 km in 90) and from Manikaran to Barshani (18 km in 40 minutes). Last bus from Barshaini to Bhuntar is at 5:00 pm. A shared cab from Manikaran can be helpful if you are tight on schedule. They usually charge INR 75 – INR 100 per person.

    From Barshaini – the base to Rudra Nag, Kalga and Pulga, opt from two routes:

    • Rudra Nag (13 km): It’s a steep climb, laced with stunning views; perfect for photography enthusiasts and easier to descend.
    • Kalga (17 km): Easy climb with longer descends, suited for occasional trekkers and those low on stamina. Not a good option for photographers looking for breathtaking landscapes.

    I took the Kalga route to save the best for the last.

    Enroute Kalga to Kheer Ganga

    Beautiful mountains en route Kalga village

    A 15-minute climb leads to Kalga – a small village full of stunning serenity amidst apple orchards. Here, there are a dozen, amazingly hospitable, home stays available at throw-away cost.

    Charging INR 100 to 500 per day, these homestays with the delicious food they serve, can give any normal city hotel a run for their money. From refreshing teas and Chinese  platters to Israeli to local Himachali cuisine, the chef, who is usually the owner, serves like a sophisticated waiter. The local version of rajma and rice with desi ghee is a delight.


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    The dining areas and rooms are pre-installed with ‘tandoor

    Tandoor installed dining area

    …and sealed windows for warmth. The spellbinding views from these glass panes and serenity inside the room guarantee the much-needed break from the tiring journey and climb. One can spend a night and relish the home cooked food.

    There are galleries, windows, and chairs…

    View from the Mountain View Cafe gallery will bring the artist out of you

    …and if you wield your pen, the moments here can help you create master pieces.

    THE ASCENT

    The beginning from rocky and curvy paths…

    The rocky path on the Kheer Ganga trek

    With bridges made from fallen trees and stones, the trek to Kheer Ganga via Kalga took us through one of the most untouched mountains… treks in Himachal.

    ..through bridges that have been there to behold.

    Bridges made of wood ensure a safe passage through the Kheer Ganga trek

    With some sadness and warnings,

    Memories on the way to Kheer Ganga trek

    …the show had to go on

    The tricky path up the climb to the Kheer Ganga Trek

    …while the roads cautioned!

    Rock inscription on the way to Kheerganga Trek

    The rustic charm and the scenic vistas were luring…

    A rustic village home with a backdrop of forests slightly ahead of Kalga

    …and so were the joys of being close to nature!

    Drinking water from a stream of water on the way to Kheer Ganga

    Amidst everything, River Parvati did conspire to keep us going;

    Gushing water and a scenic view on way to Kheer Ganga

    …and the charm didn’t cease

    Streams of water seeping down from Kheer Ganga

    …even through the tricky passages –

    The rock holding the tree has made the way for the trekkers

    ‘Coz there ‘were’ promises to keep!

    Through the Kheer Ganga trek

     Kheer Ganga – THE HILLTOP

    The mesmerizing view of the Parvati Valley from Kheer Ganga

    Amidst this heaven at Kheer Ganga, are several cafes, a dharamshala and a natural hot water spring – Parvati Kund.

    The natural hot water spring of Parvati Kund

    Stay Options at Kheer Ganga

    Colorful Shiva Cafe at Kheer Ganga

    On the top, there are several lodging and food options at pretty reasonable prices. The cafes offer stay in tents and large halls with inbuilt ‘tandoors’. The cost per bed varies from INR 100 to INR 200 depending upon the season.


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    Interestingly, the Kheer Ganga committee runs and maintains a ‘Dharamshala’ here…

    Dharamshala in Kheer Ganga

    …with private rooms and meals, at INR 100 per person!

    The dharamshala rooms at Kheer Ganga

    Plus, there is pool bliss; of a different kind.

    Bathe at the Parvati Kund

    Spend a couple of hours in the hot water pool, float under the scenic beauties of hill tops and you are as fresh as any other morning at home.

    And as the sun sets behind the heights, it’s time for that walk to remember,

    Sunset at Kheer Ganga

    …followed by an open-eyed dream at night, while staring at the star-studded sky.

    Starry night up the hills

    Wake up to a magical morning that stays with you forever. Pack up, and prepare for…

    THE DESCENT

    The Kheerganga trek path

    …through the thunderous roars of violent Parvati river

    Thunderous Parvati river on the way down from Kheer Ganga

    …to Rudra Nag, finally.

    Rudra Nag in Kheer Ganga

    The tea at cafe here will soothe you down

    The Rudra Nag Cafe at the waterfall

    …to let you carry your journey through the mountains

    Vibrant mountains on the way down from Kheer Ganga

    …while some clouds may await you when you reach the base, Barshaini!

    Cloudy sky in the hills

    This Kheer Ganga trek ends and will leave you with memories to cherish and a lot to ponder on.

    Inscription at Kheerganga

     

    Inspired? Want to embark on something similar? Pack your bags, boot-up and try Himachal.

    *All images used in the blog have been clicked by the author, Pushkar Ranjan.


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    Take a trip to spend the upcoming long weekend with your buddies.
    Stay at 4 star rating hotels with local sightseeing, meals and transfers.
    Travel in AC coach round trip (from Delhi).
    All Inclusive Deal– Camping, Jeep Safari & Trekking as per itinerary
    ✓ Sign up NOW to celebrate the long weekend out of town!


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