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.

hey, i am also planning for a

hey, i am also planning for a trek to kheerganga , can someone tell me what is the cost of one small camp and how much camp do i will require i have a group of 4 and also tell me the best hotel to stay in kasol .what else is required for this trip .

plz tell me the 2 best route to trek from kasol where i can get camps onrent and also food etc

thanks alot 

Hi Vishnu,   Me and couple of

Hi Vishnu,

 

Me and couple of my friends are planning for kheerganga trek on Jan 26th onwards. Is it safe to trek in this month?

We are 2 guys travelling to

We are 2 guys travelling to kasol from 23-28 January. We need to do kheerganga during this time , can some one help.

I contacted few agents who said its snowing hence SORRY. But we are adamant on kheerganga..... CAN someone help us with a stay in kheerganga . Else if we plan to leev by 5AM from tosh guess by 11-12 we will reach kheerganga (considering snowy terrain) but then we have to leev by 2 pm anyhow to avoid jungles in night right?

 

CAN SOMEONE GUIDE US OR HELP US.... BCOZ WE DONT WANT TO MISS KHEERGANGA AT ANY COST.... 

my contact -9665803127 

hmmm... I see.. you can

hmmm... I see.. you can inquire about staying in the ashram which be little before Kheerganga.

Hi, is it possible to trek

Hi, is it possible to trek Kheerganga in March for a beginner? Please suggest!

Thanks.. 

 

Hi, My Name is Sreeman. Im am

Hi,

My Name is Sreeman.

Im am not the author. You should also wait for the authors comment on this. But my suggestion is that you should concentrate on your cardio and endurance.

I've been to kheerganga recently and we picked the toughest possible route. Tough route or easy route, we realized endurance and cardio is very important to reach this place. And should also start the trek early. 

In march i think there will be some snow. It recently started snowing there and im sure you'll find snow in march. As you said you're a beginner, i suggest you take the tosh route as the jungle route will be very tough in snow. Or if you want to experience some adventure and thrill, you can opt for jungle route. But make sure you have enough food supplies and winter wear. And DO NOT STAY UNTIL DARK. That is what we did and i have to admit it was a little scary. Going with a big group is better.

All the best. Let us know your plans and experience.

 

Cheers.

 

Thanks for your comment,

Thanks for your comment, Sreemang. it is very helpful.

Hi Vishnu, Thank you for the

Hi Vishnu,

Thank you for the article. Me and a few friends are planning to go to Kasol during december end. I see a lot of posts and mixed views about whether the trek to kheerganga would be open or not during that time. Could you help me out please!

Thanks and Regards

Aayush Agarwal

9669821999

agarwalaayush2007@gmail.com

Sorry for the late response.

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

Hi Vishnu, Thanks for the

Hi Vishnu,

Thanks for the informative post.

We are a 5 friends traveling to kheerganga from 23rd-27th Dec. We will be carrying our own tents, sleeping bags and all cooking stuff. Hope to meet all adventurous people out there

wooow.. quite a trip. I hope

wooow.. quite a trip. I hope you had fun trip.

Hi, We are 4 people planning

Hi, We are 4 people planning a trek on 6th December 2016. Can anyone guide if it will be safe to trek on this day. And cn we get an accomodation @kheerganga on 26th night.

I hope you had good trip.

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

hi 3 of us are planning for a

hi
3 of us are planning for a trek to kheerganga in this coming week itself , Can u help me wih the trek requirements and if any trek agency available to help us .
Please reply ASAP

I hope you had great trip to

I hope you had great trip to Kheerganga

Hi, 4 of us r planning for a

Hi,

4 of us r planning for a trip in Jan first week 2017. We intend to cover Kasol, Tosh, Malana. I have some questions.

Will we be able to make it to kheer ganga?

How to reach Malana from Tosh or Kasol? Is it a scenic place?

Appx how many days should we keep for these places?

Where can we find snowfall?

How to reach pathankot from kullu?

Thanks.

Trek to kheerganga will

Trek to kheerganga will depend on snow situation. Most of the time its trekkable.

From Kasol, you can get a taxi to the base of malana. Yes, all scenic.

1 night at each destinations.

Snowfall will depend on your luck. check weather forecast every day.

there are direct buses from Pathankot to Manali i guess. take those.

Hi Guys,   I am planning a

Hi Guys,

 

I am planning a trip to Kasol, Tosh,Malana and if possible Kheerganga around 23dec - 27dec.

I will be a solo traveller, and this will be my first trip as a solo traveller.

 

Any sights for accomdoations, Tents and other things will be of great help.

If anyone wants to join we can be a team and explore the place.

 

Thanks,

Prashant Gupta

Contact - 9833493339

 

Hi prashant, i am leaving at

Hi prashant, i am leaving at the same time too, first time solo.

 

Contact : 7300174074 

I hope you guys were able to

I hope you guys were able to connect and had awesome time in Parvati valley.

Planning 4 kheerganga trek on

Planning 4 kheerganga trek on 17th of December. Please guide me whether treking is on or not? And wt abut accomdatikn nd food as we r planning 4 nyt stay.

 

Reply asap..thnx in advance

Hi Puneet,   I am just back

Hi Puneet,

 

I am just back from Kheerganga. I dont think you will find accomodation in kheerganga on 17th December. By the time we are coming back itself, 90% of the homestays and huts are being closed and packed to avoid snowfall. They said we would find 3 feet of snow in some areas.

 

Although, there might be a chance that there is atleast one home stay there. If you are ready to trek in snow (Which i dont recommend, as i saw the trail throught the forest and it is very very risky) you should just take some tents and stay there. The cold there will be freezing. Before that you need to find out about the snow and weather conditions there time to time. This is the number (9805808591) of a homestay in Kalga. His name is raju and he owns a house/ homestay there. You can call them and find out about the conditions there. If there is no snow, then im sure you can go and find some kind of accomodation. But if there is snow fall I suggest you dont take a risk and just visit other places.

 

Regards,

Sreeman

Thanks for pitching in

Thanks for pitching in Sreemang. Your inputs are really very helpful for the travelers to Kheerganga and also your effort is truly appreciated among the community at thinkingparticle. Keep dropping by, keep traveling and keep sharing..

Hi Vishnu, Me and my friends

Hi Vishnu,

Me and my friends were planning for a trip to kasol, malana, kheerganga in the coming February (mid feb). Is it safe to trek to kheerganga at this time of the year ? And will there be any kind of accommodation at kheerganga at this time ?

And could you kindly provide me with any contact numbers from that place ?

Thanks in advance Smile

 

Sarthak,

8984545072

February is not the best time

February is not the best time for Kheerganga. there will be lot of snow and might be that entire trail is covered with snow. Accommodation will also be a challenge. I can pass you a number which might be useful.

Hi Vishnu, I am planning a

Hi Vishnu,

I am planning a trek during February second week. I called up the number you provided, the person is Nagraj who stays in Kalga,

He told me the trek is possible with snowwear. 

Although I don't know if it is SAFE..interms of absence of people/cafes. Google map shows kheerganga covered in thick snow, I don't know if the hot water spring is still hot, given the climatic conditions. I have heard the route opens for all in march first week. 

Let me tell you, that we(group of 6) will be trekking with tents and snow wear. It is just that the food and safety in the near deserted kheerganga that I am thinking about.

Please help me out here.

Thanks,

Shubhankar

Hi Shubhankar, Yes, trekking

Hi Shubhankar,

Yes, trekking kheerganga during winters can be really tricky. you need to prepare for snow and cold weather. one can do it but will be quite tiring. take a informative decision. can not really discourage or encourge you for this. if you are going with proper gears and guide then it should be OK to do.

+- Vishnu

Hi!  Your article is very

Hi! 

Your article is very informative!

We are planning to go do the Kheerganga trek in the month of feb..is it a good time to go there? Will it be safe to trek and would we find stay there?

Hi Prachi.. February is not

Hi Prachi.. February is not the best time to visit Kheerganga. trail might be covered with snow and will be tough hiking. besides there is no accommodation during winters so you need to get shade in one of the villages enroute or at the Ashram.

Hey we are a group of 6

Hey we are a group of 6 people planning a trek to kasol malana tosh and kheerganga from 23rd to 25th December.... can you provide some information and if possible some contacts for guidance?
Email at souravmalhotra24@gmail.com

December is not the best time

December is not the best time for Kheerganga however Tosh and Malana would be fun to visit. I will send you a number which might be useful.

hey , even ia ma plannig to

hey , even ia ma plannig to trek to kheerganga .. lets go together

Hey sure... we can go

Hey sure... we can go together... contact me on this no. 8601637632

Hey All, Its about TENTS &

Hey All,

Its about TENTS & ROOMS.

Only if ill have the permission of the dear blogger here,then the comment will be reliable or if he does not permits me for this he can delete this comment.

We are a bunch of local college students who had done a professional course in mountaineering & take guys to kheerganga & whole parvati valley with us throughout the year. One who is enthusiastic & have a great zeal to live in the laps of nature leaving the hand of the crowd for absolute solitude is the one for which we are very happy to help realise his dream to do so.

We are not businessman's.Just some crazy maniacs who want to enjoy life in the mountains. the trekk for you is an excuse for us to again sleep in laps of mother parvati.

Anyone interested can please contact us.We'll be ready with all the equipments for the trekk,Rooms you need to stay whenever you need wherever you need. When its you & us it wont be a guide-guy relation rather will be a friend-friend relation.I can promise you that.

Charges are 2/3rd of what actual guides charge you.Its a guarntee.

Contact: WA-9817366174

            Call:7018091741

Email:bookknownlife@gmail.com

 

Hi Shubham, After closely

Hi Shubham,

After closely looking at your post I have approved it as I feel it might be useful for the fellow travellers to Parvati valley. I will be happy to connect with you on facebook to know more about your venture and how do you help travelers in exploring the valley.

I will be glad if you can help travelers with your expert inputs and answer the queries which are posted on this website. This way it will bring you more reliablity.

Send me a facebook add request

+- Vishnu

Hi Guys, We are 5 guys

Hi Guys,

We are 5 guys planning this trek in december. We will be in parvathi valley from 7th to 10th december. We will be exploring all the villages there and try to trek up to kheerganga. Let me know if anyone wants to catch up or share insight.

 

Regards,

Sreeman

I hope you had fun

I hope you had fun Smile

hey guys i am planning to

hey guys i am planning to visit kasol and trek to kheerganga during christmas week .. itll be great if anyone can catch up .. itll be a lot of snow there and will be better to healp eachother..

contact me (whatsapp)
+919873751844 

I am planning to Start on

I am planning to Start on 27th Dec from Delhi to Olda manali , Kasol , Tosh and kheerganga .. Need some guidance 

Glad to know about your trip.

Glad to know about your trip. Have fun.

Hi   We are a grup of 7

Hi 

 We are a grup of 7 people planning for kheerganga trek in dec mid ( 15-18 ) .

1. Should we book online hotels or it will be good to see hotels there itself in kasol .  In dec. there will be rush in hotels or not ? 

2. we want to go for trek ..  Please provide contact no. if u have any. 
3. There will be snow fall in dec. ?

Regards
Amit Sharma
amitsnsharma00@gmail.com 

Yes, December has chances of

Yes, December has chances of snow fall. I will pass you a number which might be useful.

hey even we are planning a

hey even we are planning a trek to kheerganga during christmas week before the new year..  is there any possibility that we can catch up ?

Hi. Little curious to know

Hi. Little curious to know whether end of November is a good time to trek down to Kheer ganga. Is is too crowded at this of year ? And whether it's start to snow at this point of year ?

November is not the busy

November is not the busy time. Its end of season and you will not find any accommodation at Kheerganga. You can see snow in November end but chances are not high.

Hi Vishnu, I am planning a

Hi Vishnu,

I am planning a trip with my friends almost 10 ppl in the 1st week of march. I want to spend 7 days in the kasol, tosh, malana and other areas there. If you can suggest me a proper itinerary for these 7 days and where to stay with such a big group. And if planning to treck to khirganga where to stay there and where to park our cars so that it is safe.

Thanks in advance 

March is not the best time

March is not the best time for Kheerganga. I would rather suggest Tosh, Malana, Rasol, Kulga, Pulga and Kasol for this trip. You can park your car near Barshaini. It is safe.

Contact me at 9817366174 via

Contact me at 9817366174 via WA. Ill help you out. 
Smile  

Hi, we r planning on a trip

Hi, we r planning on a trip on dec 13 - 15, can u suggest any trek availability during the period and contact.

I do not organize trek so can

I do not organize trek so can not tell you about treks availablity. Will send you a contact number which might be useful.

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