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A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

Pin Parbat trek distance- Approx 175 km. 
Elevation Gain – 2500 mtrs
Difficulty Level – Extremely Difficult
Min. days required – 8 days

A trek takes one from the Parbati valley in Kullu to the Pin valley in Spiti across the 5319-meter Pin Parbat pass, from the lush temperate forests of the former to the barren, cold desert landscapes of latter. One must be extremely fit and really well prepared for this trek as there’s absolutely no habitation along its entire length. Trek commences from Gwacha, a small hamlet high in the Parvati valley, past Manikaran. From there the route follows the Parbati river upstream for 3 days with night halts at Khir Ganga (hot springs), Pandupul (steeped within the Pandava mythology) and Mantalai. One passes through amazing forests of Betula( bhojpatra) and walnut, and makes some risky river crossings on wire-suspended baskets! The only persons you’ll now meet are the migratory Gujjars and Gaddis.

Treeline is crossed just before Pandupul. Mantalai is a huge glacial lake at 4116 meters. It’s the source of the Parbati. It’s an awesome sight with glaciers flowing right down to it from all
sides. From here it’s another two days of hard climbing to the Pin Parbat pass. The saddle of the pass is roofed with a permanent ice field and must be crossed cautiously because it is crisscrossed with crevasses. The fifth day’s campsite is much below the pass, on the banks of the infant Pin river at 4200 meters.
 
It takes two more days to reach the first village on the Pin side-Mudh. The whole stretch from the pass to Mudh is within the Pin Valley park which provides a haven for several rare species- snow leopard, Spiti wolf, ibex and ghural.
 
A road has now reached Mudh, 12 km beyond which are Sagnam/ Mikkim (3600 meters) a twin village located at the confluence of the Pin and also the Paraiho. From here it’s a spectacular drive of 35 km to Kaza, so on to Manali over the Kunzum and Rohtang passes.
 
 
Kheerganga Trek - Vishwa - Shepherdtrail Blog 2

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

After a weary workday, I got a call from my friend we were sharing glimpses and he came up with the Kasol tour plan. I wanted to escape from the routine so I didn’t check anything about it and without any hesitation, I said let’s go. And that’s how we ended up on this trek.

It was a companionless journey from Chennai to Delhi to join my friend at Delhi airport we were about to kiss goodbye to the bus that we booked. We could catch the bus at the last minute, met strangers on the bus who were planning to trek Kheerganga. After staying in Kasol for two days, on the pleasant morning of Day 3, we reached Bharshaini Dam to witness the beauty of nature.

 

I think there are certain moments which people will never forget, like All the firsts when the first tide touches your feet, first snowflake, first love, first kiss!! That’s how I felt after seeing the snow-capped mountains.

From there we started the 12Km trek, on the way we met a few students rushing to schools in the mountain terrain and walked through the villages to experience the completely unknown culture of Himachal on the way to reaching  the base camp

After trekking for 7km we reached the base camp of Kheerganga trek called Rudranaag amidst the white-capped hills, where we saw the poster stating reward for finding the person who lost in the trek and realized it’s all fun and games until you lost and cease to exist.

 

We were a team of 7 members and accompanied by a local guide in Rudranaag not to miss the stray dogs, who stayed with us from start to end of the trek. From base camp, we crossed the Parvati valley to climb the mountains covered with slippery snow. Trekked almost 3 hrs to reach the kheerganga camp at 13000 ft above sea level, where one could embrace the mighty Himalayan ranges.

On top, we found one hot spring, At that moment I felt “God is a great artist but we are luckier than him to live on his finest art!!”

Barefoot we walked in the snow to reach the hot spring, the warmth given by the hot water, Oh, God!! That was heaven in real-time.

After a long trek, we camped at Kheerganga that night, amidst the Himalayas and clear night sky showing its beauty, next day we started our return journey. Trekking downhill on a slippery surface is not an easy task. I would personally say the return journey was difficult and one should be mentally ready to face the fear because while trekking uphill we will be facing the mountain but in the case of downhill, it is the valley. With the help of a veteran guide, we made it back to Rudranaag.

The trek hasn’t only given us adventure but shown us the culture of Himachal. You may not remember their names, you may not meet them again but you will always remember their quick laughs, quiet smiles, small chats, and great gestures, you will cherish them forever.

 

Some people say that unplanned trips are the best, I don’t know how far it’s true but the Kheerganga trek was unplanned, which will stay as a core memory in my life.

 

P.S: Find all information about Kheerganga Trek here.

Bhubhu Pass Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog

All you need to know about Bhubhu Pass Trek

Bhubhu Pass Trek | Himachal Pradesh | Detailed Itinerary

Bhubhu Pass is a trek that connects Chuhar Valley (Mandi) to the Lagh Valley (Kullu) in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The pass is situated at a height of 2900 m above sea level.

The best time to visit Bhubhu Pass trek is between May to September. Even if you are going in the summer, nights will be colder on this trek. Don’t forget to carry enough layers of woollen clothes for this trek.

Max Altitude – 9280 ft.

Travel to base –   Kullu is well known for its tourist attractions and is well connected by road. The nearest airport is Bhuntar (also known as Kullu airport) from where Kullu is approachable by road. The nearest Railway stations are Chandigarh and Pathankot from where you can board a bus till Manali. It’s advised to come by train to Delhi or Chandigarh from where you can find a lot of buses to Manali going on a daily basis.

Short itinerary for Rajgundha Trek

Day 1 – Kullu to Dalighat and to Dak Bunglow

Trekkers can start their journey from Kullu to Dalighat. From Dalighat start trek towards Dak Bunglow which is a 3 hrs journey from Dalighat. You can camp for the night here.

Day 2 – Dak Bunglow to Jhingbhan by Bhubhu Pass

Start the journey to Jhinbhan which will take approx. 7 hours. Trek is steep at a few points. The camp will be set up here for the day.

Day 3 – Jhingbhan to Dentbhial
Day 4 – Dentbhial to Mulling and further to Barot

Things to keep in mind before attempting Bhubhu Pass Trek.

  • There are a couple of stay options at the base that can be booked after paying some amount.  It is recommended to carry your camping gear or hire an agency to manage your stay and food needs.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India.

Camping Sleeping Bag10°

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

Kheerganga Trek - ShepherdTrail.in

All you need to know about Kheerganga Trek

Kheerganga trek is a must-do trek for any traveller and trekking enthusiast. The trek starts from Barshaini village which is 6 KM from Kasol. Going on this trek is a complete package if you are thinking about visiting Parvati Valley. Trek goes through lush green forest and there are multiple streams of water available throughout the trek. The best thing about this trek is that you don’t have to worry about carrying a lot of water which happens on most treks.

While you are going for the Kheerganga trek you can also visit a few places which are nearby this trail like Kasol, Manikaran Tosh Village & Malana. If you are staying in Kasol and want to do camping or need a place to stay you can find them here. If you wish to visit beautiful Tosh village there is a road which diverts from Barshaini and you can club visiting Tosh village if you have a couple of more days.

Travel to base – Barshaini is 16 KM from Kasol (also known as Mini-Israel). Kasol is well connected by road from Kullu and is a traveller’s inn. From Kasol taxis can be hired to reach Barshaini. The nearest airport is Bhunter (Kullu). Buses are available from Delhi and Chandigarh to reach Kullu from where taxis and buses are available till Kasol.

Short itinerary for Kheerganga Trek

Day 1 – Kasol to Kheerganga

Start from Kasol which is 16 KM from Barshaini. Barshaini is a small village where you can find a few shops and dhabas. If you wish to visit beautiful Tosh village there is a road which diverts from here and you can club visiting Tosh village if you have a couple of more days. Once reached Barshaini the trek starts through the Kalga Village. There are 2 trails that lead to the Kheerganga however if you wish to enjoy the trek to the fullest you should take a path through the right side of the bridge which is a lush green trail and goes through deodar trees. This trail is challenging at a few points and you need to be cautious. Once you reach the waterfall you can follow the trail further.
The trail goes along the Parvati river. The total trekking distance is around 10 KM to Kheerganga. Once you reach Kheerganga you will find a Shiva temple besides which you are welcomed with a hot water pool where you can take a dip and rest for some time. This relaxing dip takes away all the tiredness you had on the trek.
There are few Dhabas and bakeries at Kheerganga which also allows you to stay overnight. Alternatively, you can also pitch your own tent and stay.

Day 2 – Kheerganga to Kasol

In the morning after breakfast, you can head back to Barshaini and can take an alternate path that goes through the village. Once reached Barshaini you can also visit Tosh village which is on most travellers must-visit list.

Things to keep in mind before attempting KheergangaTrek.

  • There are tea stalls at on the way as well as at Kheerganga.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • There are a couple of stay options that can be booked after paying some amount.  It is recommended to carry your camping gear or hire an agency to manage your stay and food needs.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.
  • If you are doing this trek during winters please carry trekking and snow gear.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India.

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

Kareri lake - Shepherdtrail Blog 1

Kareri Lake – A Solo Adventure

The weather outside was clear. The evening breeze was cold and my brain was thinking, “it’s almost winter… So what next ?”. I wear a personality that longs to be in the wild but COVID and lockdowns had played their part in being a spoilsport. So when winter 2021 came and the world moved from “revenge travel” to “plain old travel”, I was the first one to get on the wagon and decided to go on a solo adventure.

I was longing for a sight of the mountains and Kareri lake was on my mind because it was the easiest to reach in terms of transportation. Booked bus tickets and ran off to Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh from Delhi. Took a taxi to the quaint Kareri village early morning. Nothing could give you more peace than being in a traditional pahadi homestay, talking to the locals who are yet to see destruction through commercialization. I had the whole day and also left my work laptop at home, so I decided to do some exploring on my own around the village. And ended up descending down a kilometre from the village and found a quiet stream to sit by, soak up the sun and just be present.

Day 2 was trek day. Since I did not get my own camping gear, I had decided to complete the trek in one single day, although I don’t recommend this because I did not have that much time to enjoy the path. Woke up early and when I got out of my room, I was welcomed by cloudy and cold weather with negligible visibility. I was recommended not to go by my Pahadi host, but, you know what they say, when the longing is strong enough, even God comes looking for you. So there I was, started walking from my homestay in Kareri village. My phone showed a biting 3-degree temperature, a weather warning highlighted in red, time was 8:32 am, my hands aching from the chill but my legs feeling strong ready to go all the way.

It took me around an hour through the village to reach “Nauli ka pul” as the locals’ state from where the trek starts. There are 2-3 shops around the bridge and you need to go along the ascending path just beside the bridge. The trek here was covered with overhanging pine, rhododendron and oak trees. I lost my way here twice because of fallen trees obscuring the path. But the beautiful forest kept me going. All the while I was walking alongside the stream which ended up being with me for the whole trek.

At around 10 am, I crossed the stream by jumping around some boulders and entered into a much more dense forest. There were wooden bridges but they were all in a dilapidated condition. The forest pushed me into a small meadow after a short while and the path was pretty much clear after this. It was like walking, all the while the stream brushing off of your trek path. The trail was pretty much defined except the fact that while ascending you may not be able to see it clearly due to huge boulders & stones. By 11:30 am I entered into territory where the temperature dropped steeply and I could see that even the stream was frozen in places where the sunlight couldn’t reach. I became reassured of my path when I came across a few closed dhabas and a Shiva temple. I could see the problems with going solo.

The last part of 4.5 km of the trail was the most difficult because the path was covered in snow and even though my trekking shoes were helping me, I had to tread carefully. I did not want to slip and injure myself since I hadn’t seen another soul along the way. At around 1:06 pm, I reached the top where I could see all of Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and parts of Kangra valley just melting together into Kareri lake, which was starting to freeze. It started snowing lightly, but the biting cold wind gushing around, made me decide to immediately head down the mountain.

All the shacks and dhabas were closed & there was nobody around. Just me standing at Kareri temple, which is dedicated to Shiva and Shakti. I just automatically bowed down to the temple and the mountains. Thanked them for showing me how minuscule I was.

Just as I started to head down, from nowhere a stray dog joined me along and started following me, and as if it was god sent, the dog, unlike any I have come across, followed me all the way back to base which was around 10 km of descending. 4 hours of descending just flew by. Exceptional Dog, an exceptional day and an exceptional view etched in my memory forever.

A few points to remember :

I stayed at Maan Homestay in Kareri Village. Everyone knows the host Maan Singh so just take a cab and ask around the village.

I did not take any vehicle to the starting point. Just took the beaten path just shooting off of the roadhead in the village. Had to walk 1-2kms extra due to this.

The very definition of adventure for me is to be alone and just be crazy in whatever you do. However, I do not recommend going solo especially if you have zero experience of hiking in the Himalayas or you are physically unfit.

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