It's a full moon night in Kheerganga. The valley shines under the moonlight and the ice capped mountains give the most majestic view. The snow reflects the moonlight and makes it a living paradise, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where the mind and soul can be at peace.
The dynamic river Parvati that runs through the serene valley provides a calm and refreshing feel. Parvati valley starts from Bhuntar, a small town of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh. The place has the perfect combination of calmness and dynamism. For the adventurous, one can explore and enjoy the picturesque mountains.
The journey begins from Kasol, a village at a distance of 42 km from Kullu. The place is full of cafes and hotels to sit back and enjoy trance music and scenic beauty of the valley. Some choose to visit village Malana (47 km from Kullu) because of its peculiar form of democracy. The local people do not let visitors shoot any part of this village and this fact attracts a lot of people. The village stays disconnected with the outer world and limited people are allowed to enter it.
Another village which is most visited is Tosh. It is a place with cluster of cafes where mostly foreigners are found chilling and relishing Israeli, American and English dishes. Rooms are easily available here at affordable price. Tosh is usually used as the base for trek to Kheerganga.
A 14- km-long trek is a tough one, but the lush green beauty all around makes it worth the struggle.
According to Hindu mythology, Kheerganga got its name from an act of lord Shiva where he had dug his trishul on the ground and kheer (a dessert made of milk, rice and sugar) started to flow from that point like a river. Hence, the ganga (river) of kheer. The water here flows at such a high speed that makes the water appear white.
Small villages on the way are a proof of how simple human life can be. Villagers warmly welcome every person that passes by. They help you with directions and if you sit with them they share some very interesting anecdotes. On the way you might find an 80-year-old woman with a little bunny and a puppy sitting and greeting passersby.
The old wooden bridges and tree trunks used to cross streams make this trek a lifetime experience. One is advised to use minimal baggage to make the trek less tiring. A water bottle can be carried along which can be refilled with refreshing water from the small waterfalls along the way.
You may think that you not be able to go for such a long and tiring trek, but once you reach Kheerganga, it serves you the best remedy for tired legs and aching shoulders. A natural hot spring with a cemented bathing pool makes the dip a dip of lifetime. It takes away all the pain and fatigue and leaves you with a relaxed body and mind.
A full moon night in Kheerganga is a traveller’s fantasy. If you have never tried a solo trip this can be the start. This trip can be done under Rs.5,000 from Delhi, and all you need is a sleeping bag, a tent, bonfire and love for mountains.
–By Mehak Chauhan