Ten things to do in Kheerganga, Himachal Pradesh
Kheerganga is a 13 km hike to a sulphur hot spring high on top of the mountains in Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This haven is soon becoming the most sought after hiking trail in the country. Here are a list of things to do along the hike.
- Start early
The hike to Kheerganga is 13 km one way. It takes around 3-6 hours based on your hiking speed. Starting early is the best way to avoid the harsh afternoon sun and also gives you plenty of time to just sit back and chill at every water stream or café along the trail. The ideal time to start is by 7-8 AM from Bharsheni.
2. Naktan pit stop
A pit stop at the tiny village of Naktan is a must. The village has a couple of cafes which serve excellent watermelon juice and noodles. A great place to stop and take a breather and get some much needed energy back into the body.
3. Mountain dogs
The hike to Kheerganga is actually incomplete if you don’t have a dog or a bunch of dogs following you along the hike. This happens either both ways or at least one for sure. These dogs will tag along with you at any given point of time and become your trail buddy, they will literally rest, walk and chill at the same pace as you. Feel blessed if a dog follows you on the trail.
4. Robin Hood woods
After Rudranag, you will enter a dense pine tree forest which will remind you of the forest that your grandma told you fables about as a kid. The forest has plenty of run off areas which is actually flat land and makes an excellent place for a mid-hike picnic spot. Sitting and chilling on the grass is a must do along the trail.
5. Spring water
All along the hike, there are plenty of places where you can not only wash your face but also drink some of the freshest and most energizing water. Have a sip of this icy cold water and you’ll feel refreshed again.
6. Hot spring
Kheerganga is all about the sulphur hot spring at the top of the base camp. The hot bath is open from dawn to dusk and is the perfect antidote to those sore muscles. A dip in the hot bath with a 360° view of the snow-capped Himalayas is something words can’t describe. You have to be there to feel it. The bath is worth every single step on the hike.
7. Café chilling
At the base camp, there are plenty of cafés which sever excellent food and many also provide dorm stays as well. So basically post 11 PM, the cafés turns into a dorm. These cafes are the best places to meet fellow travellers and most of them now are equipped with even charging ports and 24 hours electricity with the aid of generations.
There is no better way to camp out. The Kheerganga experience is complete only by spending the night camping under the blanket of stars. Plenty of campsites are available at the top and the cost varies based on the day of the week. Avoid weekends and public holidays.
The sunset at Kheerganga is easily the best in the entire valley with the sky changing colour from orange to blood red. It is a sight to witness. Set a time lapse at five second intervals and shoot the entire evening while you sip on a cup of hot chocolate and watch the colours of nature change in front of you.
10. Enjoy the hike
There is only one way to reach the hot bath at Kheerganga and that is on foot. Rather than cursing the conditions and thinking about all the days you skipped at the gym, just simply forget the negative thoughts and enjoy the hike.
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