The trek to Kheerganga is located in the achingly beautiful Parvati Valley in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks, with lush greenery and the sparkling Parvati River, this region is truly gorgeous. It is the perfect setting for an easy trek, just right for beginners to get their first taste of trekking in the Himalayas.
There are many short treks in Himachal Pradesh that are suitable for fit beginners, with durations between 2-5 days. Check our list of Short Treks in Himachal Pradesh for details.
There are plenty of trekking trails in the forests around Parvati Valley, and travellers flock here for the relaxed vibe and the hot sulphur springs. The Kheerganga trek starts from Kasol or from Barsheni village, which is where the Parvati and Tosh rivers meet. You’ll walk along the top of a ridge, negotiating tricky descents, crossing a gorge, and walking beside the gushing river. En route, you’ll stop at the Shiv Temple and the Rudra Naag waterfall which is shaped like a snake, as well as seeing the villages of Kalga and Pulga.
The Kheerganga-Malana trek will take you past ancient shrines and rocky outcrops, to the unique village of Malana. Malana is the oldest village in the state of Himachal Pradesh, nestled between the peaks of Chandrakhani and Deo Tibba. It is infamous for its cannabis production, but is also interesting for other reasons. The locals believe themselves to be descendants of Alexander the Great, and run their own democracy, speak a language known only to themselves, and fiercely guard their culture against outsiders. Outsiders are not allowed to touch the homes, or enter the inner areas of the village.
You'll get to see a lifestyle and a belief system that is different from anything you've seen before. You’ll also pass Manikaran, which is as beautiful as it is holy. Here you’ll get a chance to swim in the hot springs at Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara.
There are numerous treks to the small villages in Parvati Valley. Kasol is the start point of many of these treks, and is a famous destination in itself. Filled with Israeli cafes and backpackers, as well as funky souvenir shops, the main street of Kasol has a colourful, hippie vibe. Trance parties are common here, and there are usually crowds of tourists. However, as you leave Kasol behind for the upper reaches of the mountains, you’ll start to see the real beauty of the place.
The Kasol-Kheerganga trek: The trek from Kasol to Kheerganga is suitable for fit beginners. It’s a 7 hour climb up a fairly steep ascent, but you’ll end the day in the welcoming warm water of the sulphur springs.
The Kasol-Grahan trek: If you’re an absolute beginner, choose the Grahan trek as your first experience. Grahan is a small, charming village about 10 kms from Kasol. It is far less crowded and still has its traditional wooden houses and narrow paths. The village is famous for its wild honey, and is a haven for those looking for a quieter adventure.
Treks around Kasol: If you prefer the vibe of Kasol, you can make it your base camp for a few days and do some day treks from there. There are easy treks to Tosh and Chalal, between 2 and 4 hours away from Kasol. You’ll spend the day rambling through the beautiful forests and along the Parvati River, and will return to a crackling campfire and a hot meal at night.
The Kheerganga trek is one of the top summer treks in India. Between April and June, the summer is beautiful in the Parvati Valley. The skies are clear, the streams and rivers sparkle in the sunlight, and wildflowers dot the slopes. The weather is pleasant during the day, and can get chilly at night. This is the best time for the Kheerganga-Malana trek.
The trek from Kasol to Kheerganga is about 7 hours long, and involves some steep ascents. Fit beginners will enjoy the route, but for absolute beginners or those who can’t walk for so long, a shorter trek might be more suitable. You could choose a trek to Chalal or Tosh instead.
Your operator will provide you with a packing list for your trek, so do make sure you check it carefully. It is advisable to dress in layers, so that you can keep warm as the temperature drops in the evening and night. You should carry a water bottle, some dry snacks, and a cap and sunglasses in your day pack.
There are a few easy day treks around Kasol that are great for beginners. You can head to Chalal or Tosh from Kasol, making your way through the forest along narrow trails. It’s a beautiful trek, and will give you a chance to see the traditional wooden homes and meet the friendly locals of these villages.