Parvati valley comprises several exciting and long treks for backpacking trips. The trek to Kheerganga is one of the most sought after treks for many backpackers and tourist groups. It has become one of the most popular places in Parvati valley and it gets thousands of visitors every year during both the summer and winter months. The hike to the Kheerganga campsite is a long and easy one and it can be attempted by a beginner trekker as well.
Table of Contents
To reach Kheerganga one, must hike along a 13km trail along the sides of the mountains with the views of the beautiful river gushing below. The trail winds along steep slopes and you climb up all the way to 9,700ft or 2,956m ASL. The campsite of Kheerganga is nestled on a cliff which has been paved and levelled to make place for tents and dorms.
There are two stops on the way to the campsite at Kheerganga 1) Nakthan village which one encounters upon completing 5kms and 2) Rudra Naag bridge which falls halfway on the trail. Both these stops have cafes and rest stops all along the stretch of them where one can rest and eat something along the way. The hike to Kheerganga is a very stressful hike where one begins to think that the trail goes on forever. It is a trek which shows you the power of mind over body and takes around 6-7 hours for a beginner to complete it.
The campsite of Kheerganga is known for its beautiful views of the snow clad mountains, the camping experience, the forest trek, hot water spring, and the generation old temple. The most popular place of attraction are the hot water springs which attract thousands of tourists and backpacking enthusiasts from all over the globe. The travellers hike for 13kms on unpaved mountainous terrain for 6-7 hours before reaching the spot.
Upon reaching Kheerganga, one settles in a camp and then heads toward the hot water spring pool which is located at the topmost part of the camping area. The camping area at Kheerganga extends till the edges of the cliff where one can hear the roar of the river gushing down below.
The hot water spring experience at Kheerganga starts with first taking off your clothes to wash yourself before immersing yourself in the pool. The pool is also known as “Parvati Kund”. This pool collects the flowing water from the spring for the travellers arriving at the site. It stays open from 6am to 7pm for all. One can only enter the pool upon having washed themselves under the shower located just outside the pool. The pool has been sectioned off for males and females using a wooden screen built around the ladies section.
The hot water springs are a result of sulphur exiting the earth’s mantle and getting mixed through the water. This then causes the water to become hot and once the water reaches the surface, the water evaporates, along with the sulphur in it. Once you enter the water there, you will experience a feeling of great relief as the water enters your skin and calms down every single wound up muscle in your body. The locals claim that the water is said to have relaxing and medicinal properties which can heal tight tissues and loosen sore muscles.
The experience for women is no different than the experience for the men, except a huge wooden screen on all three open sides of the ladies section. The floors are extremely slippery due to accumulated moss and one must be very cautious while stepping into the bathing section as well as the pool. You must wash yourself in the bathing section beside the pool before entering into it. You can use soap here to wash yourself as well. The ladies section falls short of a place to keep your clothes so it is best if one carries a bag while going for a dip.
The pool itself is majestic with its green tinted flowing, steaming water. It may be a bit hot to touch at first, but once you get used to it, you relax and enjoy the calm flowing water. The water’s source is a natural spring which is located at a walking distance, a bit higher than the pool itself. One is allowed to view this spring but not touch it as it is believed to be a holy spring of water by the locals.
Once you have entered the pool, it relaxes every muscle and bone in your body and makes you feel like you are floating in a comforting stew of warmth. You constantly feel like drifting off to sleep. The entire experience is a blend of relaxed breathing and an instant relief from the day’s hike. However, one is advised to be careful as to not spend too much time in the water as the constantly evaporating sulphur may make you feel lightheaded and dizzy later on.
The hot water springs at Kheerganga are a must visit for both young and old travellers who enjoy a long treacherous hike and a relaxing bath later on. Summing up, the Kheerganga trek is a must try for all. Just make sure you exercise for at least a month before attempting it. Once you attempt this trek, you will never get tired of walking anywhere ever again!!