Himachal Pradesh, India has been my most favorite destinations in North India. The best reason for that would be the enchanting mountains and the friendly environment that is offered to the tourists. A traveler is mostly cautious about the threats that they might face at their destination but Himachal is a place that can be relied upon so far as one’s safety is concerned. Being a female backpacker myself, I make sure that my traveling is risk free by choosing my destinations wisely. So far as solo-traveling is concerned, all that is needed is FAITH. My faith in Himachal has surely grown over a period of time especially because of the kind of experiences I have had. The same is what I would like you to experience through this blog post.
Since you must be wondering about the place this post is talking of, let me first introduce you to the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. Parvati Valley which is a favorite spot for many foreigners is loved for serenity and hippie culture. A home to many Israelis, this place is the most explored area of Himachal. The valley is a collection of several villages and Parvati river is one its main attractions. It includes places like Kasol, Rasol, Malana, Tosh, Kheerganga etc. This will give you a quick guide on Tosh and Kheerganga trek along with some insight on places nearby.
Tosh, one of the villages in the Parvati Valley is known to the travelers in India for its serenity, cafe culture and as the starting point of Kheerganga trek. Kheerganga trek is one of the short treks in Himachal that is famous for the Kheerganga which is actually the name of the hot spring found at the end of the trek. The trek is of 4 hours. Since, the trek leaves you tired, you will have to stay at Kheerganga for the night which is a bliss in itself. There are ample of stays available at Kheerganga, although you will have to make sure that you reach before 5 P.M. to book your bed. You can stay in Tosh for one night and leave for Kheerganga the next morning. You can spend the next night at Kheerganga and trek down the other day after a good morning bath in the hot spring.
There are three routes in order to reach Kheerganga, although I explored only two of the routes. You can take the route which goes from Nakthan village to Kheerganga and trek down through Kalga village. My personal recommendation is to take the route through Kalga. It’s much beautiful and less crowded. Although you can take alternate routes while you trek up and down in order to explore the villages on the way. You can also plan a stay in any of these villages.
Best time to go: Although it is mostly pleasant in Tosh-Kheerganga, the place experiences heavy winters with snow covered mountains all around and summers are usually hot in the month of May- June. It experiences unpredictable rainfall mostly from August- September.
Period of stay: Perfect for a weekend getaway if you live in North India. If it is only Tosh and Kheerganga that you plan to visit, it can be done away with in maximum 3 days. In case you want to explore the villages nearby and relax without haste, you can plan a stay of a month.
Things to pack: Carry a light bag including two sets of warm clothes as it mostly cold. Do not forget to carry a raincoat.
- If you are traveling from Delhi or Chandigarh, you can take a bus till Bhuntar. There are frequent buses available for Bhutar from both the places. From there, buses leave for Manikaran or Barsheni via Kasol.
- Your next stop is Barsheni. If you take a bus from Bhuntar till Manikaran, you will have to take another bus till Barsheni from Manikaran.
- From Barsheni, you can either trek till Tosh, hitchhike or book a cab which will cost you around 200 INR only.
Where to eat?
Chicho’s cafe: Chicho, the one who cooks is one of the most friendly guy of Tosh. Try Pastas. Infact any dish of this cafe is scrumptious. There are lots of cafes which can be tried, although Chicho’s is my recommendation. Food with friendly people with snow capped mountains is the best way to enjoy a place.
Where to stay?
Although there are lots of cafes and hotels in Tosh to plan a good stay, my personal recommendation will be to plan a stay in a cafes run by the locals. Your purpose of traveling to his place will be fulfilled once you gather the experiences of the Toshis around you.