No. of Days: 2D/3N (15-16 July 2017)
Expected Cost per person: Rs. 1700-3000
Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Route: Delhi – Bhuntar – Manikaran – Barshaini – Kheerganga and return.
Lesson – You always learn something new and important in every trek. In this trek we learned – always check your tent for other living things before sleeping in it. Around 12 o’clock we discovered this guy in our tent. Biggest I have ever seen. You can’t exactly sleep after that, can you? Anyways.
Day 1: Reaching Kheerganga via Kalga
We left Delhi around 7 PM on Friday by some non-AC semi sleeper bus. That was our mistake number 1. Get some volvo if you want some rest before trek. Our bus cost us around Rs. 600/- . We reached Bhuntar around 7 AM in morning. And took bus to Manikaran which cost Rs. 50 (Almost 2 hrs). Ever since we left Bhuntar random people tried to sell us weed and Malana cream. We had a small lunch near bus stop and took bus for Barshaini which cost Rs. 25 (Almost 1 hr). At 11:30 AM we started climbing up. Confession: I was not fit for this trek. Second mistake – lack of exercise. By first 4-5 km I realized that this is going to be tougher than Triund.
After reaching starting point (near dam), you have decision to make. On your left there is route which is safer, has more scenic beauty, goes through some villages has one very beautiful spot where you cross the river. On your right, there is another route, which goes through Jungle, has a beautiful waterfall mid way, but longer. We chose longer because we didn’t know about second option.
After this it is pretty much straight forward. No need to get any guide. Just keep your head straight and keep walking. There are many cafe-shops in between. Coffee is not good though. But you can get your food, energy drinks etc there. After almost 6 km you will reach waterfall and you will realize that this route is there for a reason. Luckily we didn’t face any rain. It was an ideal weather for trekking. Not too cold- not too hot.
Another 6 km and you will reach the top. Total time for normal fit guy will be around 4-6 hrs. I took 7. I blame IT job for it. 😛 At the top there is hot water springs just like Manikaran. You can take a bath and rent a tent. Tent price for small tent (for 2) is Rs. 300. For 4 its 500. I repeat – Check your tent.
Day 2: Return to Barshaini via Rudranag.
In the morning we started our return journey. This time we knew about second route. So we went through that one. Return journey is not that difficult. This route is actually quite scenic.
Due to rain in night, flow of the river was quite fast, due to which water splashing on rocks was more beautiful. After crossing the river, we took a little break. Had a coffee. And looked around for a while. Because if you don’t do that whats the point? After a break we continued our journey. Reached Rudra-Nag temple. We didn’t stop there but it looked nice. It took almost 4-5 hours to reach Barshaini.
From Barshaini we took direct bus to Bhuntar. But Bus was real slow. And stopped for everyone on road. Just 13km before Barshaini, our bus gave up and started smoking. I had never experienced ‘Abandoned the ship’ before. We got down and went to restaurant nearby. By then Bus was fixed and people left. We decided to hitch-hike. Luckily we got lift in our first attempt. Good fellow dropped us in Bhuntar. From there we booked a volvo which cost around 950. And back to delhi.