You must be wondering why I am calling Kheerganga, a Family Trek. Read along, you will know.
First things first.
HOW TO REACH AT THE TOP:
Kheerganga trek has two routes from it’s base, the dam near Barshaini village. One route goes through the forest area, which is approximately 13km long. This route starts from the right side of river Parvati. Another one is slightly longer one, which goes 400m towards village Tosh and then you take diversion to start the actual trek. This route starts from left side of River Parvati. Both of these routes merge at a cafe.
HOW TO REACH THE BASE VILLAGE:
Barshaini is the base village for Kheerganga trek. The actual trek starts from the dam. Which is approximately 1 km from the village. The real battle is to reach the dam.
First, reach Kasol, from Kasol you have many options
1) Take direct bus to Barshaini, or
2) Take bus till Manikaran, from there take either bus or cab. Bus will drop you at Barshaini village, from there you’ll have to start walking, or
3) Take direct cab from Kasol to Barshaini. It will drop you at the dam, the Kheerganga trek starts from here itself.
Direct cab(small one, Alto) from Kasol charges 900/cab, 4 people are allowed in it.
Bus from Kasol to Manikaran charges 20/person.
In Kasol, there is a cab committee, which gives numbers to cab drivers and only the driver with turn can take passengers. So you have to first take a slip from the office, they will assign you a cab driver and then only you can travel. However some cab drivers accept passengers without their turn, outside of the committee. But they too charge almost the same.
In my opinion, 3rd option is the best, because it is the fastest and most convenient. Sometimes bus conductor will put board of Barshaini but will drop you at Manikaran from there you’ll have to search for cabs (which is very difficult) or wait for another bus.
Now, to reach Kasol, you first have to reach Delhi. From Delhi you have frequent buses and not so frequent flights too.
So here is the path:
Anywhere in world –> Delhi –> Kasol –> Barshaini village –> Dam and start the Kheerganga trek.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Kheerganga is one of the most famous treks in India. People from different parts of India come here with friends and family to enjoy their vacations.
It is a 13 km long trek(one way). Along the way you’ll have many beautiful views which includes waterfall, mountain tops, valleys and forest route. These views would not let you get bored throughout your journey.
This is one of those few treks which has lots of refreshment points throughout the route. You can stop at regular intervals, have something and then continue again.
For those who have already done many other treks, this one would be a walk in the park. If you are a newbie to trekking then this could be a challenge for you. But don’t worry, with all the views and cafes along the way, you’ll do it easily.
Maximum portion of the route has a clearly visible and walk-able trail. Occasionally you will find some rocks. Near the water falls, you will have slippery area, be very careful at those places. Along with this, there are very few steep uphills and downhill. You can take your time and cross them with caution. At some places you will have to cross the waterfall area using the small bridge, which looks really cool.
At the top, you have a hot water kund. You can take bath there and remove all the tiredness of trek.
Apart from it, there is a famous Karthikeyan cave. You can visit there, but ladies are not allowed there.
THE TOP AND THE TENT FACILITY:
At the top, you will be surprised to see a whole village of tents. Each tent area is a Cafe and a hotel in itself.
The most attractive feature of Kheerganga trek is this tent facility, which allows you to spend the night at the top, surrounded by beautiful mountains. As the sun goes down, the colour of mountain top changes and it looks very beautiful.
As the night approaches, you can enjoy the bonfire and the music. Doesn’t it sound a perfect getaway from your daily life?
On top of it, there would be no mobile signals at the top, so you have no choice but to sit with your friends and family, no one would disturb you with call or message.
However if you want to make an emergency call, you can use the landline phones of your camp owner.
HOW TO BOOK A CAMP AT THE TOP:
You can search on google and contact any agent you find. You will hear the biggest lie of your life: “The tents are filling up fast, we are not sure if you’ll get any at the top if you don’t book in advance”. They will charge you in between 950-1200 per person. This will include welcome tea(some might give you biscuits or something with it, some might not), dinner and breakfast.
The truth is, you will always get the tents at the top and you can bargain with the owners. You can get the tent as low as 600 per person with same facilities. One tent can accommodate 3 persons.
Dinner includes Chapati, rice, dal and sabji, and breakfast includes one aalu Paratha and tea.
If you buy anything out of this package, you will have to pay for it. Charges are double or sometimes triple the actual price. Which, in my opinion, are justified. As they have to carry all the stuff 13 km up and arrange everything else too.
By now, you must have understood, why I called it a Family Trek?
First, there is no hurry of reaching at the top. You can start at 9 AM in the morning, take as much time as you want with as many breaks as you want and reach the top just before it gets dark.
Second, you do not have to worry about going back on the same day. Enjoy your stay at the top, relax, have a good sleep and start early in the morning.
This is one of the most chill-out treks.
THE NEGATIVE SIDE:
Cleanliness is the biggest issue here. You can not expect a luxurious stay at the top. With all the tourists and animals, the area outside your camp would not be as clean as one might expect it to be.
Food too, is not great either. Specially the one that you get in your package. If you are ordering something out of your package, you can expect good taste.
But I must say, toilets are considerably cleaner, given the facilities. In my opinion it is in our own hands too, to keep it clean.
WORD OF CAUTION:
Choose your gears wisely. It is highly recommended to equip yourself with all the mandatory gear. You must make sure you have these things ready with you
* Trekking shoes or atleast good sports shoes.
* Full length lower or leggings as it prevents you with unwanted insects. Same goes with t-shirts or tops. Atleast half sleeves should be wore.
* Water bottle, no matter how many cafes you have on the way, you must always have some water in spare.
* Something to eat. Energy bar, dryfruits and biscuits would make your trek a bit easier.
* Warm clothes: no matter the season, always carry warm clothes with you as it gets really cold in the night. Although they provide you blankets , but you’ll still need them.
This was all about the Kheerganga trek. I hope you would have liked it. Do not forget to take a dip in the hot kund, it feels like heaven.
Want to experience the beauty of this trek? Here is the link of my YouTube video. Help yourself
If you love to travel with your family, I am sure you will love to plan a trip to Gangtok too. Click here to read everything you need to know, right from planning to places.
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