Into the mystical woods of Parvati Valley – Kheerganga/ Khirganga Trek

The meadows of Kheerganga
The meadows of Kheerganga

Location – Parvati Valley, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh (India)

Elevation – 2,960 m

Trek difficulty – Moderate

Trek Route – Barshaini – Nakthan- Rudranag – Kheerganga

Best Season – May to November

One of the most scenic treks in Himachal, you will find everything from waterfalls to alpine forest trails and mystical woods to hot water springs here. The trek trail runs along with the Parvati River that keeps bellowing throughout this 12 km long trail.

Starting point of the trek
Starting point of the trek
The trail
The trail
Nakthan village
Nakthan village

The starting point of the trek is Barshaini, which is also the last motorable point. From here, the uphill climb leads to Nakthan, the last tribal village of Kullu district. This is the best place to take refreshments/supplies. You can spot lovely apple orchards and quaint houses here at Nakthan along with a few options to stay. Alternatively you can continue with the trek until Rudranag, a spot with a waterfall that resembles a water snake, hence the name Rudranag. From this point onwards, you will reach even closer to the thick alpine forests and the views to die for!

The gushing Parvati river
The gushing Parvati river

Around midway across a makeshift wooden bridge, the supersonic confluence of the Parvati river gushing through the valley at your right and the roaring waterfall in the front will leave you speechless. The views around with beautiful Chinar trees shedding leaves as well as moss covered alpine trees will make you stop to soak up the mystery around. Trust me, it would be no less than some Hollywood fiction or Mirkwood for that matter (Remember Lord of the Rings).

Rudranag - The waterfall that resembles water snake
Rudranag – The waterfall that resembles water snake

From this point onwards, the climb becomes steep with couple of water streams running through the woods on the left. You need to be extra careful here with the muddy and slippery patches especially in the rainy season. Through the thick forests and gradual steep ascent, you will finally reach the flatland or meadows of Kheerganga. You can spot a couple of cafes here serving you international cuisine as well as options to stay. You can locate a camping site if you plan to stay overnight in a tent or simply rent any available lodge/room. The main highlight of Kheerganga is the Hot Water Sulphur Springs. Find them adjacent to the temple / Kartik Gufa there and soak yourself into the invigorating natural hot waters that will make you forget any aches or pains. There are separate bathing areas for males and females.

The natural hot water springs of Kheerganga
The natural hot water springs of Kheerganga
Cafes to eat around at Kheerganga
Cafes to eat around at Kheerganga

According to the legends, Lord Shiva meditated at Kheerganga for around 3000 years. Some other stories say that Kartikeya, the eldest son of Lord Shiva meditated here too, hence a cave or Gufa by the name Kartik Gufa is located in the temple vicinity.

You can easily get rooms in approx. 300-400 INR (the prices may escalate in the peak season though) and if you wish you can stay at Dharamsala of the temple for free. I stayed in the tent overnight here which cost me around 400 INR. Sleeping under pristine night sky with million stars and clear views of the Milky Way is probably the best thing ever! More than that, the hot water springs were such a blessing! It is revered site for Hindu pilgrims and the water of the hot springs are said to have healing properties.

Our camp at Kheerganga
Our camp at Kheerganga

This trek should be on the ‘to-do list’ of every trekkie or adventure enthusiast. The trek has so much to offer let alone the pristine mountain views. You can continue to trek further up to Mantalai Lake (4116 metre) and Pin Parvati Pass (5319 metres). This is a much difficult trek which will involve at least 4-5 days with gradual pit-stops and complete trekking gear.

So fellas get rolling and do share your experiences /inputs in the comments below

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36 thoughts on “Into the mystical woods of Parvati Valley – Kheerganga/ Khirganga Trek

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Yes I am really fond of trekking/hiking and in fact strive to cover as much as places on foot as well as via scribes on my blog. No wonder Himachal is the ‘it’ place for such adventures. And your blog is really incredible esp the pictures 😊

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    1. Hey thanks a ton for taking time to read and comment on my blog. Well you should try with entry level trek or easy hike to start with..they can help you built a strong mindset and you can test your skills physically as well as mentally.

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  1. We will have to add this to our India itinerary when we finally make it there! My boyfriend has already been to India and is head over heels in love, so much that when we do go together he wants to spend at least a year there! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Megan, thanks for taking time to read my blog and this comment! Well if you are visiting Himalayas (and they sure should be on your must-visit list) I have written about Triund trek in Dharamsala too, I think you will definitely like it as well. That too is one hell of a trek!

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  2. Exploring and seeing new things. Always awesome. I took a trek through Belize. Heard a lot of negativity about it. Went through the town. I loved it. Had so much fun learning about the people, I almost missed the cruise. That’s the beat part about traveling. Learning about the people, cultures and customs. A real eye opener you don’t ever forget. I know you had fun – once you finished hiking!

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    1. Oh yes, definitely! Had real good time hiking and especially towards the end of the trek soaking my feet in hot water springs..it was like a therapy, the whole trek! It was amazing to go through ancient villages, taking a peek into their culture and then eventually reaching atop, it’s just uplifting, the whole experience!

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  3. I’d love to do one of these! I completely the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award but want to step things up a notch and go to harder terrains in foreign places!

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  4. I have been wanting to do this trek for the longest time, and you have told pretty much everything I should know about it. Did you also try Rose Garden Cafe in Vashishth, or any other eating joint that you recommend?
    Thank you so much for this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mukul, thanks for the positive feedback 😊
      You must try this soonish, it’s among my favorite treks so far!
      Sadly I missed Vashisth as it was entirely different route from Kasol!

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    2. Oh did you mean Vashisht Caves In Manali? well I have been there long time ago so I really don’t remember if I went to Rose Garden Cafe, but yes I checked a couple of them and they were pretty decent from what I remember.

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