A memorable trip to Kheerganga.

Kasol has always been a chilling place for the teenagers and kheerganga trek being a major component of it, this is the story how I witnessed kasol and the kheerganga trek with my family.

It was 2016 when I convinced my parents to visit a hill station as my after board vacation was in progress, one of my mate gave me the suggestion of Kasol and told me regarding the kheerganga trek and that’s it, I made my mind that kasol is the place we need to hit this summer and somehow I convinced my parents regarding this trek and the trip to Kasol.

Day 1

We boarded the train in the night @ 11 pm and reached new delhi @ 10 am in the morning and headed straight to my cousin's residence to have some rest before the exhausting road journey, We had a bus to catch in the night @ 10 pm from kashmere gate ISBT. The bus journey was delayed by an hour and the bus started at 11. As the bus started It didn’t took me much time to fall asleep.

Day 2

Next day I woke up @ 6 am , It was something that I haven’t witnessed till date. The fresh air, the mountains, the view, I haven’t seen something like this before and It was accompanied by a rainbow which somewhere made it look way more beautiful. 

It was 8 am when we reached kasol, and went straight to the hotel, where we decided to explore kasol and regions nearby and my parents wanted to visit the temples which were located nearby as told by the locals.

Our first destination was Manikaran, We went to temples like naina devi ji mandir, shiv parvati mandir, jamdagni mandir etc, we had our lunch at the gurdwara only. It was the best langer I’d eaten in a long time. Manikaran is famous for its hot springs, We had bath in the hot springs of manikaran which was one kind of an experience. Then there was a place named Rasol situated in the outskirts of kasol, It was a barefoot journey from kasol to rasol and as per my experience I found rasol more beautiful and peaceful than kasol.

Cold breeze made my experience more delightful. We spent the rest of the day wandering in rasol and came back @ 6 pm and we craved for food. We went to a local restaurant nearby the food was delicious from the starter to the dessert everything was delicious. Then we went back to the hotel to have some rest before starting for the main component of our journey.

Day 3

I woke up @ 5:30 am to witness the beautiful sun come out from the mountains and trust me this was once in a lifetime moment, I wondered how beautiful It’ll be when I’ll witness this sunrise from the kheer ganga valley but anyway, I just sat there for around an hour or so and it felt like a few minutes, it was 7 am and I realized that I need to start preparing for the upcoming trek, We left our hotel @ 9:30 and hired a cab to barshaini, as the road was bumpy it took around 1.5 hours to reach barshaini, barshaini is 22 kms away from manikaran and is the starting point of the kheerganga trek, from there on it was a barefoot journey of 9kms to witness something extraordinary.

My parents hired mules for themselves but I refused, what is the point of trekking by sitting on a mule? I wanted to discover things by myself. So I started my journey barefoot. I had a backpack which contained of some basic medicines, a torch, 2 packets of glucose biscuits, a water bottle and some warm clothes which may be needed when it gets dark above. The starting was good, I was full of enthusiasm and power and headed towards my destination but as the day progressed by speed decreased drastically.

I started parting and exhausting and I realized the fact that this is not going to be easy, as I reached half way it was already 2:30 and there was a stoppage made for the trekkers to have some rest before continuing their journey, my parents were waiting for me there, they saw me fully covered in sweat from top to bottom, stinking like hell and they asked me to join them and cover the remaining journey on a mule, but I simply refused and after a power break of 30 minutes, I started again but in a few minutes I realized that I need to breathe in deeper to get the optimum amount of oxygen as I was heading towards my destination the oxygen was getting low, and low and low and I started parting in every 10 minutes.

Apart from my tiring journey to the top, the scene was something which cannot be described, The woods were beautiful, the greenery, the pleasant smell drove me crazy, I guess these small factors made me continue my trek and motivated me to reach the top. I interacted with many locals whom I met while I was trekking and it was a good experience listening to them and their stories about this trek.

So eventually I reached the top @ 7:45, I missed the sunset which I badly wanted to see but anyway, after reaching to the top I headed to the place where the mules dropped their passengers, I saw my parents waiting for me there, my father had arranged for the tents and we’re gonna be camping for the night at the cliff.

Our tents were ready @ 9 pm but I didn’t wanted to just stay in that particular tent the whole night, I wanted to explore. So I sat near the river, dipping my legs into the river and trust me nothing in the world can beat that feeling, I sat there for around 2 hours, then took a look around the beautiful scenes, I’d call that “Nature at its best”, trust me it was that beautiful.

It was 12 and I decided to have some sleep before exploring kheerganga tomorrow, so I went back to my tent to have a power nap.

Day 4

Next day I woke up @ 5:30 in the morning and what I witnessed was the most beautiful sunrise of my lifetime, the orange sun coming out from the mountains and I can feel the warm sun rays on my face and it felt really really good, I sat there at the cliff for around 1 hour and around 6:30 when my parents woke up, we headed towards a natural hot spring to have a bath, we found one after half an hour and had a great time there too.

Then after the bath we started to explore the kheer ganga valley, kheer ganga itself is a small village but it is surrounded by jamdagni, rudra nag, tosh and many small villages. I had a visit in these 3 only as we had limited time, then @ kheer ganga I had the best israeli food of my life, kheer ganga is also called as mini israel, just because of its food factor.

Then we hired mules for our returning journey as it was not possible for anyone to trek back to Barshaini. We reached back to barshaini, then hired a cab back to manikaran, then after reaching our hotel we packed our belongings quickly as we had a bus to catch. The scheduled departure for the bus was @ 9:30 but it got delayed and departed @ 10 pm. I was dead tired from the over exhausting journey and badly needed a sleep, and honestly I’m not aware of the fact when I fell asleep.

Day 5

Well well well guess what I was back to delhi with a bunch of memories and experience, I reached kashmere gate ISBT @ 8 am in the morning and I can feel the heat, we headed towards my cousin’s residence and relaxed a bit as we had a train to catch in the evening as well. Someone rightly said “Time Flies” and it was 7 pm and we were in the ANVT-BSB garib rath, heading back to Varanasi.

I’ll always remember my trip to kasol.

Prashant Arora