Ever since my first trip to Triund in July ’10, I was planning for next trip to The Himalayas. Planned for Leh in September but things didn’t worked. Then finally the dates were decided for 22nd to 24th October ’10 for “Any” Trek.
We shortlisted four treks (Kheerganga / Malana or Triund or Indrahar or Seven Lakes (Kangra Valley) )
Three of us (Me, Balvar and Vyom) decided for Indrahar out of all options but finally Balvar had to quit (only physically but mentally he was with us only throughout the trip)and we changed our destination to Kheerganga / Malana.
We left Chandigarh on 21st Night (Thursday) and reached Bhuntar next morning at about 6:30. Day 1:
Without wasting time we straightway moved to Manikaran.
After having “Parathas” there (actually delicious - very much not expected from the place) we started looking out for options to reach our next destination “Pulga” and the moment we realized that the next bus is after 1 hrs, we decided to take Taxi instead.
We reached Pulga at about 9:15 and started our Trek from there. Starting point was confluence of Tosh and Parvati river, we walk past the
machinery (Parvati Hydro project)into the forests of Parvati Valley.
It was leisurely trek (but for the initial half) and the ascent was also not very steep. Trail goes through well-forested path and a beautiful view of the River Parvati. After crossing Nakhtan (I think that’s the name of village on our way), we reached Rudranag, which is almost half a way from Pulga to Kheerganga.
The weather was ok till now with dark clouds all over but by the time we reached Rudranag, it started drizzling. Instead of staying at Rudranag for long, we crossed the Parvati River and continued our trek. The vegetation changes dramatically and the trek becomes steeper. We were not able to feel the impact of rains (because of dense forest) but could see it on the other side of Parvati River. We packed our Cameras and Cell Phone in the bag and keep on moving upward. About 2 km before Kheerganga, we increased our pace towards top as we realized it’s not only rains above our head but actually snow. The view on the top (Kheerganga) was awesome and flatland was covered with snow (though it was not much of snow at that time)
This kid asked for Chocolate from everyone
As we were trying to get accommodation (there are several rooms and tent over there), everything was converting into white sheet (including two of us ).
We started our evening with VAT 69 and Golden Onion Rings followed by Joints. Food served was good (we actually ordered about 5 plates of Golden Onion Rings). While Vyom decided to stay inside, I went to the Pool. I was not able to resist myself from taking bath at that time but as it was getting dark I moved beck to the restaurant in few mins only. We decided to wrap our day early. Once you reach Kheerganga and especially the Pool, you are relieved from all the pains and tiredness as you get to bathe in the hot spring. The experience at Kheerganga is unique with open hot spring overlooking the hills, temple and forest above that. Day 2:
Next morning, unaware about the amount of snow outside, I saw from the glass window; I was not sure what it was - White wall at a distance from the room, which was basically snow covered mountain on the other side of the Parvati River. Locals
informed us that it’s snowing since last evening (continued throughout the night). Now it was the time to go to pool again. I stayed there for about three hours. Sitting in the Hot spring pool with snow covered mountain all over and also falling from the sky, the experience was awe-inspiring.
By afternoon, we decided to move back from Kheerganga. Four of us (me, Vyom, Itay and Dave - we met them at the restaurant only) planned to move together. Afternoon was bright and clear. Except the initial 2 kms, the trek was clear of snow. We reached Pulga by evening (5:30 p.m.)and hired a Cab for Kasol. Dave stayed at Manikaran and Itay came along to see Kullu Dushehra. From Kasol we took Local bus to Bhuntar and then to Kullu. After checking in at Kullu, we again moved out to see the celebrations which were almost over except the cultural program at Dushehra Ground. Later we enjoyed local delicacies at fest. Day 3
After having parathas at Kullu, three of us (Vyom, me and Itay) proceeded for the individual plan for the day. Itay wanted to see Kullu, Vyom had to rush back to Chandigarh
and my plan was to go to Bijli Mahadev.
I started (local bus) from Kullu at about 11 a.m. for Chansari Village from where the onwards journey was to climb up the stairs till the top. The climb was exhausting but the view from Bijli Mahadev was worth it. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the lightening attracts the divine blessings of God. The place offers a good view of confluence of Beas and Parvatai River. After spending few hours on the top, I started for my journey back to Chandigarh.
The three day trip to Himachal was worth the wait with mix of Hot Springs to Snow Fall and Kheerganga Trek to Bijli Mahadev climb. The experience cannot be restricted to the words and pics. Detail about the places:
We started from Chandigarh at 321 mts and in three days went upto 3000 Mts at Kheerganga. How to reach there?
Chandigarh (321 Mts) -> Bhuntar (1089 Mts) -> Manikaran (1760 Mts ) -> Pulga (2290 Mts) -> Kheerganga (3020) -> Kullu (1219 Mts ) -> Bijli Mahadev (2438 Mts) -> Kullu (1219 Mts) -> Chandigarh (321 Mts) Manikaran / Pulga
Manikaran is located in the Parvati Valley between the rivers Beas and Parvati, northeast of Bhuntar in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. This small town attracts tourists visiting Manali and Kullu to its hot springs and piligrim centres. Pulga is another 40 min. drive from manikaran. Khirganga
Khirganga - a meadow at 2960m where Shiva is said to have meditated for 3000 years. The hot springs at Khirganga are extremely important for Hindu and Sikh pilgrims as well as many others who believe the waters have sacred healing properties. Khirganga has an old temple and also hot springs. Due to the waters being a milky white they were given the name of Khirganga. Kheer means rice pudding. Bijli Mahadev
is one of the sacred temples in HP located in Kullu Valley, 10 km from Kullu across the Beas river. The 60 feet high staff of Bijli Mahadev temple glistens like a silver needle in the sun. In this temple of lightning it is said that the tall staff attracts the divine blessings in the form of lightning. It is believed that the priest of the temple has to restore
the Shiva linga placed inside the temple using butter and sattoo after every lightning as it shatters to pieces with flash of lightening. It is believed that the Lord Shiva absorbs all the energy discharged from the atmosphere and saves the world. This the cycle goes on every year and hence the name, Bijli Mahadev Temple.
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