On a trip to Parvati Valley while at Kheerganga, a place where people find peace or as locals say, where god resides is where I first met Krishna. He was wearing a hat just like a cowboy and walking around.
We had our tent stay at his camp on October 3, 2018. Krishna welcomed us and made everyone in our group comfortable. It had started to drizzle and we were lucky enough to escape that. I sat with him, he was a storyteller with fascinating tales from the place.
has been staying at Kheerganga for more than 18 years, this adds to the stories he has to tell. He told me about his life at Kheerganga and how to get supplies to the top, it’s a long 14 km hike with loads which is a hard task.
He said, that he has been getting supplies for more than 15 years and will keep doing it until his last breath. In winters, it gets worse as Kheerganga gets plenty of snowfall and it’s tough to find the trail to the top.
The forest department made rules recently that asked for all the cafes and guest houses at the top to be demolished. Kheerganga top is a reserved forest area and the commercialisation has done heavy damage to locals including Krishna. Now there are cafes with a kitchen set up in huge tents and a tandoor to keep warm and cozy.
When it stopped drizzling, we went to the hot water springs and had all the trek pain washed away. It was an amazing feeling and as Krishna had told us about the power of Parvati Kund, it was special. According to him, Kheerganga is more powerful than other religious places.
In the night around 7, we heard a loud noise of a cow in pain and locals shouting in Pahadi language. Krishna translated what they were saying and told us that a bear was killing a cow some 100 metres from our tent. It was a moment where nobody had a clue what was happening, but later we found out that the cow was half dead so they left her as she was not going to survive.
After 20-25 minutes again we heard some sounds as the bear was back for the cow. Krishna told us that bears are smart animals. He shared the experience that he had with three of them who attacked him together. He escaped he said because of an old man who came and rescued him. He also said, bears walk with confidence on village roads as humans have entered their area and they have no option but to come out.
The weather due to the dam construction has affected things at the top, including the snowfall and the purity of Parvati Kund as compared to earlier times, Krishna said. The Kheerganga tent owner is very humble, a clever storyteller with great personality and the man with a hat which distinguishes him from other locals.
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