I am not much of a trekker and the concept of a difficult trek somewhat frightens me. So when we decided to go for a trek from Kasol to Kalga, I was a bit apprehensive. It was only after I started the trek that I felt excited at the possibilities that lay ahead. The mesmerizing view of the Parvati river, the snow-laden trekking path and the prospect of visiting a small unknown hamlet thrilled me.
How to reach
Reach Kasol or Manikaran by bus or private vehicle and head all the way to Barshaini. Kalga can be reached by a half an hour trek from Barshaini. It is advisable to opt for a local guide if you are not too familiar with hiking or trekking. It is better to inform the driver beforehand if you plan to drive to Barshaini because some drivers refuse the ride owing to poor road conditions. The climb is not a difficult one for a person with average fitness. However, do remember to wear hiking\trekking shoes, especially during winter. With snow-clad mountainous paths, slippery shoes can prove to be dangerous.
Where to stay
Kalga trek in itself can be done within a day if you are staying in Manikaran or Kasol. However, most travelers prefer to go for the Kheerganga trek where Kalga is the first stop. In that case, you can opt for home-stays at Kalga. The home-stays are pretty basic and do not burn a hole in your pocket. We met some aspiring writers and lazy travelers who were staying there for months. Please do remember winters are quite chilly and the temperature can go way below -4 degree C. You can have a view of Tosh village right from Kalga.
What to see
The magical colors of the Parvati river, the ice sheet on the water during winter, the apple orchards during summer or autumn; Kalga is a traveler’s delight for any season. The recent construction of hydel power plant at Barsheini has polluted the beauty of that place. However, once you are halfway up the mountains, you will no longer be disturbed by the pollutants. The accommodations are as cheap as possible, however, food is a bit expensive in comparison.
There are quite a few trekking options from Kalga, especially if you are visiting during summer. Apart from the much famed Kheerganga trek, you can also opt for Bunbuni pass trek or complete Kalga-Tulga-Pulga tri-village trek. You can choose to visit Tosh village too, and maybe proceed to Sara Umga Pass Trek. For the more adventurous ones, Pin Parvati Pass Trek awaits you beyond Kheerganga. Enjoy your trip!
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