To say that a journey towards the picturesque locationof Kheerganga trek at an altitude of 2960 meters is rewarding would be an understatement. After a tiring day at work, nothing helps you unwind more than a soothing warm water bath. Similarly, after a taxing trek to the summit, nothing feels better than a dip in the warm waters of the natural hot springs in the Himalayan region. This is the perfect getaway to relax your mind and leave your worries behind as you immerse yourself in the beauty of the vibrant valleys. The best part? If you are a beginner then this trek is ideal for you because of its uncompleted terrain thus making it one of the most popular treks in North India.
Kheerganga Summit: A Brief Road Map
The base camp for this trek is the quaint village of Barshaini which happens to be the last motorable spot. Stock up on all necessary items because beyond this place, you will only come across small shacks. To reach Barshaini, one needs to board a bus from Bhuntar and to arrive at Bhuntar, you could either book your flight tickets for Kullu-Manali Airport or come from Joginder Naagr railway station or simply travel by road from Delhi by buses that Himachal Road Tourism Corporation provide.
This 12 kilometres trek can be undertaken in a day or two depending upon your capacity to cover the distance. The first route takes you through the Nakhtan Village which is connected to the Tosh Village. If you are a nature enthusiast and a keen photographer then this route is made for you. The gushing Parvati river accompanying you on one side and the breathtaking vistas of the Himalayan ranges on the other make for stunning captures. The cascading Rudra Nag waterfalls resembles the serpentine demi-god Sheshbag. This natural waterbody cuts through the boulders and makes us realise the force of nature. The temple beside the waterfall is a pilgrimage site and welcomes devotees who wish to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
In case this journey becomes a little overwhelming for you, take a detour to the hippe village of Tosh which has comfortable lodging facilities for you to take a good night’s rest and recharge your energy. If you have some time in hand, do visit the Tosh Glacier and Tosh Nallah. The third route also joins the Nakhtan route towards the end of the trail but is starkly different from it in terms of the visual elements.The Kalga Village is an equally charming place, adorned with pine trees and wooden houses, the quintessential markers of a hill station. In the backyards, there are vibrant apple orchards which are an absolute delight. This is route is mostly not travelled much on because not a lot of people prefer to walk through the forests. However, if you wish to witness the beauty of the morning sun piercing through the canopy and lending a golden hue to the surroundings as the Himalayan Monal chirps on, this is the place for you to find peace. Aesthetically speaking, this trail can also be a photographer’s muse in its own ways.
The Natural Hot Springs: Kheerganga Trek Highlight
There are many theories about the origin of the geothermal springs in the middle of a a winter landscape. According to local legends, when Lord Kartikeya relocated here to meditate, Goddess Parvati ensured a perennial supply of food by mixing rice with the water source, converting it into an Indian dessert known as ‘Kheer’. However, with the onset of Kalyug, Rishi Parshuram believed that humans would eventually kill each other fighting over food so he removed the food particles from the water and created the Parvati Kund.Another theory is that Lord Shiva meditated here for close to 3000 years and the serpentine demigod, Sheshnag heated the waters to provide comfort to the former.
Thus, it is believed that these waters have magical healing abilities and restorative capabilities. When you take a dip in the natural pool after a hectic climb, you might just start believing in these takes because of how refreshing and soothing it feels. There are separate areas for women ensuring a great deal of privacy as well Soak in the beautiful landscape of the Himalayan as you unwind after a long day. At night retire to your camps to sleep under the starlit sky. The next day, once you reach the base camp, head towards the town and visit the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara which also has a hot spring within its premises which is considered to be equally pious by the Sikh pilgrims.
As you descend towards Kasol, you will be able to see the changes in yourself. A composed mind, a renewed sense of energy, and greater appreciation for the small joys in life. Let the Himalayan region and its natural hot springs work their magic on you.