Most of the people who decide to do Kheerganga Trek are beginners, due to the fact that it is one of the easiest treks of Himalaya. As a result, people have so many questions while planning Kheerganga trek. I have tried to make an in-depth Delhi to Kheerganga Trek Guide.
So if you are a beginner all of your questions will be answered just hang tight. Even if you are an experienced trekker the information contained in this guide will help you a lot.
About Kheerganga Trek
Kheerganga (Khirganga) resides in the lap of Parvati valley in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It stands at an altitude of 2960 m. Kheerganga trek is a perfect fit for the beginners to get their feet wet with a Himalayan trek.
Kheerganga is in the close vicinity of the famous town of Kullu district i.e. Kasol which is also called Mini-Israel of India. Kheerganga trek starts from a small village named Barshaini just 16 km ahead of Kasol.
Due to its easy level of difficulty, Kheerganga attracts a lot of trekkers every year. Hence, you won’t be trekking alone even during the off-season.
Different ways to reach the starting point of Kheerganga Trek (From Delhi to Kheerganga)
First of all, you will have to reach Kasol from wherever you are coming. There are many options to reach Kasol. As most of the trekkers will be travelling from Delhi to Kheerganga. Below I have mentioned transportation details from Delhi to Kheerganga.
How to reach Kasol from Delhi
Bhuntar Airport is the nearest airport which is around 30 km from Kasol. There are many flights from nearby Airports like Delhi and Chandigarh.
If you are coming from Delhi, you can board an HRTC bus from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate to Bhuntar that are going towards Manali. The distance from Delhi to Bhuntar is 490 km. Most of the buses depart in the evening from Delhi and arrive next morning in Bhuntar. The Ordinary and AC Volvo buses cost from Rs. 600 – Rs.1500.
Furthermore, you can also board a private Volvo bus from Majnu Ka Tilla or Rama Krishna Ashram Metro Station in Delhi.
Afterwards, you can take another bus from Bhuntar to reach Kasol. Kasol is around 30 km from Bhuntar. It will cost you around Rs.60.
Additionally, there are 2 or 3 HRTC buses that take you directly to Kasol or Manikaran.
The Pathankot Railway Station is the nearest major railway station which is around 290 km from Kasol. Afterwards, you can take the passenger train up to Joginder Nagar from there, but it takes about 10 hours.
Finally, Kasol is about 150 km from Joginder Nagar. You can either take local buses or private taxis from there.
By Private Vehicle:
If you come via car or bike from Delhi, you will have the flexibility of stopping anywhere and enjoy nature while on the road. But do note that the roads are quite dangerous, a new driver shouldn’t drive on these roads. Once you reach Barshaini, you can park your vehicle there and get started with your trek.
At last, if you decide to travel from Delhi to Kheerganga using public transport then coming by bus will be the best option for you. If you want comfort, choose Volvo A.C./Sleeper buses, and if you want the cheapest option, local HRTC bus is the best option.
Although, do check online on different websites like Ixigo, goibibo and such. Surprisingly, you might find good deals on Volvo buses at the same cost as local HRTC buses. Indeed we got a good deal on Ixigo for a Volvo A.C. Sleeper bus while getting back from Bhuntar to Delhi.
Kasol to Barshaini (The starting point of the trek)
At last, you can take a local bus or taxi from Kasol to Barshaini. Barshaini is 16 km from Kasol. Hence, the bus will cost around Rs. 70. Although, Taxis will charge like Rs.600-700.
Where should you stay on the day you reach Kullu
Many people decide to do the trek on the same day they arrive in Kasol, especially the people coming from nearby states like Delhi, Punjab or Haryana.
For the people who came from farther southern, western or eastern states, I recommend you take rest on the day you arrive and start the trek next day.
But if you are going to do the trek on the next day, many options are available for stay.
In that case, you can stay at Kasol, Chalal, Manikaran or Tosh on the day you arrive.
Particularly, I would recommend you stay at Chalal on the day you arrive or Tosh if you want to take the Tosh route for the trek(More on that later).
Unlike Kasol which feels a whole lot of touristy and costlier. , Chalal offers a peaceful environment with low-cost food. But do note that Chalal is like 20 minutes trek from Kasol.
Different routes for Kheerganga trekking
There are altogether 3 different routes from Barshaini to Kheerganga:
- Nakthan Village route
- Kalga Village route
- Tosh and Nakthan Village route
Via Nakthan Village route:
Firstly, after crossing Barshaini, ask for directions towards Kheerganga through Nakthan village. Particularly this route is the most preferred route by the beginners. It falls on the left side of the Pravati river.
Furthermore, the path passes through the rocky terrain of villages and green apple orchards with relatively very less jungle. Because the trail is very well-trodden and marked, there is less chance of getting lost or something.
Lastly, it might take 3-4 hours to complete this trail, depending on your fitness level.
Via Kalga Village route:
Above all, if you are a little more adventurous and want to explore the dense forest full of enormous deodar and pine trees, this is the best route.
Firstly, cross the Barshaini bridge, and you will see steps leading uphill towards Kalga Village. During the whole trail, the trees will save you from direct heat if you are trekking on a sunny day. Although the path is not very well marked, you won’t find it difficult to find the right trail if you trust your instincts.
Afterwards, this route connects with route 1, halfway of the trek.
Via Tosh and Nakthan Village route:
Especially, this route is preferred by the travellers who decide to stay at Tosh village and start their trek from Tosh the next morning. Likewise, this route meets route 1 near Natkhan village.
At the starting of the trek in Barshaini, the officers of the forest department will register your personal details and will charge you 100rs as an entrance fee.
At last, I recommend you go through Kalga village route to reach Kheerganga and get back via Nakthan village route. It might take 4-5 hours to reach Kheerganga via this route, but it will only take half of that while descending back via Nakthan route. While descending back, you will look on the other side of the river and will be amazed to have a panoramic view of the jungle you just crossed the previous day.
Kheerganga Trek Weather – the Best time to visit Kheerganga
Generally, Kheerganga trek is open to the trekkers throughout the year, even in monsoon and winter. Here’s what you should expect during Kheerganga trek in different months.
March – June (Summer Season)
Significantly to escape the scorching heat of the summer, most people visit Kheerganga during this time of the year. The weather is cool and calm this time of the year.
The trail remains full of trekkers during this time.
Still, pack some warm clothes as the temperature atop Kheerganga can get colder during night time.
July – September (Monsoon Season)
Visit Kheerganga during monsoons to enjoy nature in its most beautiful form covered with greenery and blooming. The temperature remains favourable and cool if it’s a cloudy day; otherwise, it will be a bit hot.
Once you reach atop Kheerganga, the temperature will drop, and it will be freezing during the night up to early morning. So pack your warm clothes accordingly.
Due to rain, the trek will be muddy and slippery. The little streams will be running throughout the trek, which will make the stones slippery. So keep utmost caution during trekking and wear proper trekking shoes.
October – February (Winter Season)
The mountain remains covered with snow during this time. It makes trekking very difficult. If you are an experienced trekker, you can trek during this time. If you are a beginner, get a local guide to accompany you.
The weather is quite frigid in winter, so don’t forget to pack warm clothes accordingly.
Can you do Kheerganga trek without a guide
As I already mentioned, Kheerganga trek is well-marked and beginners’ friendly. It is doable without a guide. It is a popular trek, so even during the off-season, you won’t be trekking alone. You will come across many trekkers who are either going up or coming back down.
But if you have packed a lot and can’t carry your bag, you can hire a local person to carry your bag. He will also act as a guide.
If you book a package for this trip, then you are all set. They will have a guide to accompany you during the whole trek. There are many packages available from different tour companies. They will take care of all your needs, including food and shelter. Most of them, offer Delhi to Kheerganga to Delhi back package.
What to eat during Kheerganga trek
You will find many food stalls and cafes at regular intervals during the whole trek. But keep in mind, they will charge you double the price because they have to carry their supplies on the back up the mountains.
In 2018, the cafes and homestays were banned there at the top of the Kheerganga. But you don’t have to worry now. Many makeshift food stalls are available now that serve many things, including full dinner.
I recommend you stack up some fruits and snacks like biscuits, wafers, energy drinks, and energy bars from Barshaini. In that way, you won’t have to buy overpriced things during the trek. Plus, you will need to keep recharging yourself to keep going.
Also, you don’t have to worry about buying overpriced water bottles. You will come across many small waterfalls and streams on the trek. You can fill up your water bottles there. The water is fresh and safe to drink.
Where to stay in Kheerganga (After the tourist stay ban)
As I mentioned before, in 2018 tourist stay in Kheerganga was banned. All the camps and homestays were dismantled and closed.
Although the homestays are no more available, you can still stay in tents there. There are many 2-person, 3-person and even bigger tents with beds are available up there now. We did the trek on 6th of July 2019 and stayed in a 2-person tent.
There are ample amount of tents available to accommodate many trekkers. But still, if you want that certainty and want to book your tent before you reach there, here is one tent owner’s number: Chabbir Bhai – 9805348326. We stayed in his tent. But I didn’t like his hospitality.
You can also pitch your tents up there if you bring it with you.
Most of the camps have their washrooms. If you are pitching your tents, you can still use anyone’s washroom.
If you want to get fresh and have a hot water bath, head up to the hot water spring pool up there. There are two different sections for male and female.
If you decide to descend the same day, then you can stay at Tosh, Kalga or Barshaini. Tosh and Kalga will be cheaper compared to Barshaini.
Things you can do in Kheerganga
The most important thing you can do is not do anything and sit there and enjoy the magnificent snow-clad mountains that surround you. Feel the breeze. Then pat yourself on the back for the 15 km long, challenging trek you did to get up there. Now, once you are out of your Zen mode, get back to exploring.
Firstly, head to the hot water spring pool on the upside of the area. Then have a bath in the warm water. Undeniably it will be rejuvenating and will ease your sore muscles. Also, they have a separate section for male and female.
Furthermore, there is a temple of Shiva nearby. Also, you don’t want to miss the Kartikey cave just 100 m trek from the Shiva temple.
At last at night time, ask your tent owner, to arrange a bonfire. Because bonfires are always great and have these fantastic vibes. You will feel like you are connected to everyone around.
ATM and mobile network availability in Kheerganga
ATM availability in Kheerganga
Above all, I would suggest you withdraw enough amount of cash from wherever you are coming or from Bhuntar. Kasol and Manikaran have ATMs, but they are unreliable and are out of cash most of the time.
Mobile network availability in Kheerganga
You won’t get any signal during the trek. So make your important calls before starting the trek at Barshaini.
Although it is important to note BSNL might sometimes work on the trek.
Still in the worst case, if you forget to call as I did, you can ask your tent owner to use their phone to make the call if you don’t have a BSNL sim. They most probably will have a BSNL sim. But again, the network might not be available.
Kheerganga Trek Packing List – Things to carry in your bag
Basically, for Kheerganga Trek, you don’t need to invest heavily in trekking gear. Hence you can easily do this trek with whatever things you already have.
Things to wear
- Track pant
- Trekking shoes / normal sports shoes
What should be in your backpack
- Water bottle
- Warm clothes
- Extra t-shirts (Depending on how long is your trip)
- Microfibre towel
Besides, don’t bring trekking poles. Because you can buy sticks for 50rs at the starting of the trek. Furthermore, you don’t need to have a sleeping bag as well, as the tents provide blankets. Of course, if you are not comfortable using them, then definitely bring your sleeping bag or warm cover.
Total Budget for Delhi to Kheerganga Trek
Delhi to Bhuntar ordinary HRTC bus: Rs.700
Bhuntar to Kasol bus: Rs.60
Kasol to Barshaini bus: Rs.40
Total Transportation cost: Rs.1600
Stay for 1 night at any village: Rs.250 (Average)
Tent at Kheerganga: Rs.500(Average for 2 person tent)
Total Accommodation cost: Rs.500 (One day stay at any village and one day at kheerganga)
It is a bit expensive around here.
Food per day: Rs.500
Total Food cost: Rs.1500
In conclusion, the Total Budget for the whole trip from Delhi to Kheerganga and back can reach around 3600-4000 rupees.
Kheerganga trek was my first Himalayan trek. I hope this guide will help you plan your Kheerganga trek. I tried to mention everything you will need to know to do Delhi to Kheerganga trek but still if you have any queries or questions or any other comments, please don’t hesitate to write them below in the comment section.
Let me know in the comment section below when are you planning to do your Delhi to Kheerganga Trek.