Kheerganga Trek Overview
Kheerganga is located in the iconic Parvati Valley in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. The Kheerganga trek is perfect for beginners as it, not an arduous trek and the region is achingly beautiful with pristine views of the Parvati and Tosh Rivers, the glacier of Lahaul Spiti and lofty mountains for company.
About the Kheerganga trek:
There are plenty of trekking trails in this region and travellers flock here for its hot sulphur springs and relaxed vibe. The Kheerganga trek starts from Barsheni village which is where the Parvati and Tosh rivers meet. On this Kheerganga trek, you will be walking along the top of a ridge and you can expect to spend some time negotiating tricky descents, crossing a gorge, and walking beside the gushing Beas river. The trek has lots of interesting sights en route such as a Shiv Temple, Rudra Naag waterfall which is a waterfall that looks like a snake and an interesting variety of flora and fauna.
The Kheerganga Malana trek will take you past ancient shrines, rocky outcrops and quaint tribal villages with traditional wooden homes. Kheerganga is infamous for cannabis production and on the Kheerganga Malana trek, you will be sure to see lots of marijuana fields. At night, you'll camp out in tents, amidst terraced green fields and picturesque meadows. The beauty of nature here will leave you in a stupor as you advance on your Kheerganga Malana trek.
The highlight of the Kheerganga trek for many people is the Himachali village of Malana. If you're curious about this legendary village, where the locals run their own democracy, speak a language known only to themselves (and believed to be the devil's language), and fiercely guard their culture against outsiders, this trek will give you a glimpse into their lives.
Malana is the oldest village in the state of Himachal and is surrounded by the peaks of Chandrakhani and Deo Tibba. Apart from the cannabis-related taboo surrounding the village, there are ancient temples and structures to admire, and plenty to learn on your Kheerganga trek. The village itself lies in the midst of beautiful forests at a height of 9500 feet, so you'll have gorgeous views all along your Kheerganga trek.
You'll get to see a lifestyle and a belief system that is different from anything you've seen before and you will cross Manikaran which lies in Punjab. Located in the Parvati Valley, Manikaran is as beautiful as it is holy and you will get a chance to swim in the Manikaran Sahib (Gurudwara) hot sulphur springs.
Malana has fascinated travellers for years now. The locals Malanis claim descendence from Alexander the Great, and have their own system of administration and discipline, choosing to follow their village god, Jamlu, and not the Constitution of India.
Do note that the Malana residents are friendly, but believe they are superior to outsiders. They don't like visitors touching them or their homes. The region around the Kheerganga trek to Malana is fairly remote and so the culture and environment are untouched.
Best season for Kheerganga Malana treks:
Kheerganga is a true spring-summer trek. The best time to visit begins in mid-April, after most of the snow has melted away, and stays right until mid-July. The late spring and summer months are beautiful on the Kheerganga trek. 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. These things come together to make this one of the best summer treks in Himachal Pradesh.
From July onwards, the monsoons begin and rains sweep the region right until mid-September so the trek route is usually closed during this time. The Kasol Kheerganga trek route opens up again from mid-September to mid-October, with pleasant weather and thick greenery all around. During winter months, heavy snowfall may close the route again.
Kasol is a resort village which is well connected to neighbouring cities and towns. Reaching Kasol is hassle-free and you can get there either by road, rail or air.
How to reach the Kasol Kheerganga trek by air
The closest airport to Kasol is Kullu-Manali Airport in Manali, Himachal Pradesh. The airport is frequented by daily flights from Delhi and regular flights from other Indian cities. If you’re travelling internationally, it is best to travel from your home city to Delhi, and then to Manali. You can travel from the airport to Kasol via a hired cab or state bus.
How to reach the Kasol Kheerganga trek by road
Kasol is well-connected to neighbouring cities via a rich network of roads. You can easily catch a state or private bus from Delhi to Kasol or drive down yourself for an epic road trip.
How to reach the Kasol Kheerganga trek by train
The nearest railway station to Kasol is the Joginder Nagar railway station that is frequented by trains from Delhi. It is connected to other cities, too, but it may be difficult to find a direct train. In that case, you can board a train to Delhi, and then continue your journey towards the Joginder Nagar railway station. You can hire a cab or state bus from the railway station to Kasol.
If you're a beginner, you might like our list of Top Short Treks in India. Heading to Manali? Check out our list of the best adventures in Kullu.
Kasol-Kheerganga trek routes
The Kheerganga trek can be done via multiple routes, crossing a variety of villages and other landmarks. Picking one over the other entirely depends on how long you want your trek to be and your budget.
The shortest route, that spans over two days, starts in Barshaini or Kasol, continues onward to Kheerganga, with a trek back to Barshaini or Kasol via the same route. This is ideal for those staying in Kasol and want to go for a quick trek nearby.
Longer itineraries take you from Kasol to Kheerganga via the ancient town of Chalal, and back via Barshaini so you cover multiple routes in one trek. You can even choose to add a trek to Tosh, if you have an extra day on hand.
Kheerganga trek difficulty
The Kheerganga trek is an easy Himalayan trek and is perfect for beginners. Of course, a basic level of fitness is necessary to be able to trek for several hours each day, so make sure you include cardio and breathing exercises to your workout routine in the weeks leading up to the trek. The trek routes are all well-paved and -frequented, making it a simple trek to complete.
Places to visit in Kasol-Kheerganga
The Kheerganga trek takes place in the serene Parvati Valley in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. The trek is close to a number of historic locations and ancient towns, including the Barshaini village, the confluence of the Tosh and Parvati rivers, the Rudra Nag waterfall, the Malana village (oldest one in Himachal!), the Tosh village, the bustling town of Kasol, and much more.
How safe is Kasol Kheerganga trek?
The Kasol Kheerganga trek is an extremely safe trek with a gradual ascent. All routes on the Kheerganga trek are well-marked and well-frequented, and there aren’t any sections that require assistance and will be fairly easy to cover. You will also be accompanied by an experienced trek guide who is equipped to assist you in case of any emergency.