The most well-known trek in Himachal Pradesh is the Kheerganga trek. It is situated in the Parvati Valley, in the Kullu region of the high Himalayan range, at an elevation of 2960 metres above sea level. Kheerganga is a paradise for nature lovers, and it is famous for its hot water spring and pleasing view of the valley.
The bewitching beauty of Parvati Valley
Kheerganga is a small village on steep slopes. The Lahaul Spiti valley is visible from the mountain’s other side. Although there are many popular hikes in the vicinity, Kheerganga is the location to travel in the wilderness, unwind and take hot spring baths. Kheerganga trek begins at the village of Barsheni, which can be reached by carcar from Manikaran, a renowned Sikkh pilgrimage site. It’s a 22 kilometre stretch of pristine environment and modest village sceneries in the Himalayas starting from Manikaran. There are several interesting places to visit along the trek’s route, it is full of picturesque sites and interesting spots including the Shiv Temple, the Rudra Naag Waterfall, and numerous captivating rock formations. On the road to Kheerganga, it offers a diversity of greenery as well. From there, one can even hike to the Pin Parvati pass. The Pin Valley is widely recognized for its protected wildlife, including snow leopards. Charas (marijuana) is popular in Kheerganga since it is widely grown here.
From the name, Kheerganga, which comprises two words, we can deduce that it refers to the sacred ‘Ganga’ river and ‘Kheer’ (a traditional Indian milk-based dessert). This name derives from the white, milky water that flows continuously from all directions and along the mountain borders to the Parvati Valley.
The Parvati Valley is a popular destination for tranquility and beautiful scenery. This valley, which is often referred to as the Amsterdam of India, is unquestionably worthy. According to custom, Lord Shiva meditated here for more than 3,000 years before eventually changing into an ash-smeared or naga sadhu. After a very long time, Lord Shiva finally opened his eyes, gazed around at this pristine, beautiful environment, and gave it the name Parvati, after his consort. The beauty of this place is said to have impressed Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to folklore, Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati chose to stay here for a few more years because of its exquisite beauty. Legend has it that they stayed here for a total of 1100 years.
The Mythological History of Kheerganga
Kheerganga has an extensive background in mythology. The locals claim that it was at that time when Lord Shiva told their sons Karthikey and Ganesh to travel across the entire world. While Lord Karthikey began His journey of the globe tour, Lord Ganesh, believing that the entire world was at the feet of His parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, encircled them. Lord Shiva was taken aback by Ganesha’s cleverness and appointed him king. Years after Karthikey had left, he discovered that Ganesh had become the king and was taking use of all the privileges and rights that an older brother should have. He entered the cave (located in Kheerganga), frustrated and enraged, to practice intense meditation. He spent countless years in a state of ‘Samadhi’ (meditation). Lord Shiva tried to lure his song back by channelling a stream of kheer. According to folklore, kheer, blessed by Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati, arose from the Ganga river during the Satyug era. Later, Lord Parshuram stopped the kheer and all that was left was the boiling water as he realised that Kalyug was approaching and that there might be anarchy among the populace.
The summit of the Kheerganga trek is approximately 2960 metres above sea level. The difficulty of the trek scales from easy to moderate, making it achievable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. Everything about the Kheerganga trek is justifiable. The two-day trek is budget friendly and optimal for all novice hikers and experienced backpackers.
Its towering Himalayan peaks, lush forests, glittering streams, and waterfalls make it an adventurous playground for rock climbing, trekking, and camping.Kheerganga holds great significance for both Hindus and Sikh Pilgrims. The Kheerganga trek experience will leave an unforgettable imprint on your soul. The journey through the pristine terrain, the hospitality of the locals, and the chance to establish a deeper relationship with nature. You can take an immersion in the hot spring that is naturally located at Kheerganga’s top in addition to taking in some spectacular views. Although it may seem difficult at first, as you climb the mountain, every step of this journey will be gratifying.