Kheerganga Buni Buni Trek

Trekking to Buni Buni pass, which is a day’s distance from Kheerganga is where real trekking around Kheerganga begins. You leave behind the crowded pilgrim’s trail to enter a dense oak forest. A brown carpet of leaves lines the forest floor. There is no one trekking there except you.

Suddenly the forest gives away to spectacular views of big snow capped mountains. Below, the superb Parvati valley stretches till far away. Right below the pass, we set up camp in the meadows. The next day, along another superb forest route, we descend down to Barsheni.

For those trekking to Kheerganga, Buni Buni pass is a natural, more beautiful extension.

Destination
Kheerganga
Cost
Pricing 3990 Rs.

Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Barshaini. Trek to Kheerganga

Barshaini is the base camp for the Buni Buni pass trek. The best way to reach here is to drive from Bhuntar, 3 hours away. Bhuntar falls on the Delhi – Manali road before Kullu. Get off here if you’re taking a bus. Plan to reach Bhuntar by 7.00 am

A good way to acclimatise is to arrive a day early and stay at Kasol or Manikaran, both very beautiful places. Barshaini is a small village. The highlight of this village is a small dam under construction on the Parvati river. You will spot a village named Pulga on the opposite bank of the river. You can walk around Barshaini and explore the village.

Altitude: 7,261 ft (2,213 m) to 9,222 ft (2,811 m)

Time taken: 3 hours drive to Barshaini; 5-6 hours trek to Kheerganga

Trek gradient: Easy. Initial level walk for 900 m followed by a steep ascent for 600 m. Very gradual ascent all the way to Kheerganga, except for a 300 m steep ascent which occurs 5.4 km from Barshaini.

Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You can refill your water bottle at a stream, 3.55 km into the trek.

The campsite at Kheerganga, at the edge of a forest. PC: Tanmay Bain

The trail from Barshaini to Kheerganga is very popular among trekkers. Kheerganga is known for its hot springs.

Take the trail leading out of Barshaini. Around 900 m from Barshaini you will reach an under construction dam on the Parvati river. The Tosh river meets Parvati close to the dam.

Once you cross the dam, take the trail going uphill on the left. After ascending for around 600 m, you will reach a dhaba. This is a good spot to take a break since the views around are good, and you can hear Parvati and Tosh rivers below you.

The trail changes as you leave the dhaba. It is covered with pine and chestnut trees. The ascent from this point is very gradual. Enjoy the jungle trail with the river flowing by. You will spot several trees fallen on this trail. You can use these as landmarks, if required.

After 2.55 km from Barshaini, you will reach a small stream. Cross over to the other side using the log bridge. There’s another dhaba around 200 m from the stream. Walk past this and continue on the trail. You will reach another stream in about a kilometre. This is a good place to refill your water bottles.

Forest trail to Kheerganga. PC: Tanmay Bain

There will be a big rock on the trail around 300 m from the second stream. You will need to bend and negotiate your way around it. Within 5 minutes of trekking past the rock, you will spot a village to your left, on the opposite bank of the Parvati river. This is Natkhan, a beautiful village with a few huts.

After around 700 m on this trail (4.2 km from Barshaini), you will reach another dhaba. Continue past this. In fact, you will cross many dhabas on this trail. They all serve as landmarks and also have decent refreshments in case you wish to eat. You will reach another dhaba within a kilometre of this one.

Around 5.4 km into the trek, you will hear a loud sound made by a waterfall. The trail turns steep from here for about 300 m. This part is also rocky and muddy. You will be greeted at the end of this steep stretch by a huge waterfall. You can stop here to take in the view.

The trail eases off after the waterfall. A kilometre on this trail will bring you to another waterfall. This is a good spot to take a break and eat something.

Around 7.55 km from Barhsaini, you will hit a rocky section. Be careful as you navigate this since it is a little tricky. The ascent is very gradual. In about half a kilometre from here, you will reach a big patch of an earlier landslide. Around 30-45 minutes of trek from here will bring you to Kheerganga.

Kheerganga has a lot of dhabas, hotels and camping spots spread all over. Cross Kheerganga and trek for about 800 m. This place is secluded from the crowd of Kheerganga. It is a beautiful and quiet place to set up camp.

Day 2: Kheerganga to Buni Buni Pass

Altitude: 9,222 ft (2,811 m) to 10,987 ft (3,349 m)

Time taken: 5-6 hours, 4.8 km

Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Steep ascent for 1.3 km followed by descent for 1.5 km. 700 m of ascent which eases off into a gradual walk till the Pass

Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You can refill your water bottles from a couple of streams around 2.5 km into the trek.

View from Kungti Thach, on the way to Buni Buni Pass. PC: Tanmay Bain

Start from Kheerganga by 8.00 am. The trail today is a delight – you have dense jungles, beautiful clearings, and snow clad mountain view. It has everything you could ask for in a trek.

The trail begins with a steep ascent in a dense forest. Maple and pine trees are predominant here. You will also see some flora such as cobra lilies and zeromium. There a lot of monkeys in the jungle. You will need to be careful while trekking in this section. The trail is steep and is laden with leaves and roots.

After 1.3 km in the jungle, the trail suddenly opens into a clearing. Views of snow clad mountains open up before you. To the west is Ali Ratni Tibba (5,682 m). You can also spot some glaciers in this direction. If you look towards the south west, you will spot Buni Buni pass. This clearing is called Kungti Thach. It is a popular place for shepherds who bring their sheep here to graze. You will find some channi or shepherds’ tents pitched here.

From Kungti Thach, the trail descends for about 1.5 km. Juniper, birch and rhododendrons grow here in plenty. Rhododendron is the state flower of Himachal Pradesh.

Be careful here since the terrain is rocky. A trekking pole will be very helpful here. You will soon cross a stream. In 1.5 km, you will reach another stream. Cross this using bridge of stones.

Buni Buni glacier, flowing down from the mountain. PC: Tanmay Bain

The trail begins to ascend after the stream. This stretch is rocky and muddy. After 700 m of ascent, you will reach a beautiful meadow. Buni Buni Pass is a 10-15 minutes trek from here, on a gradually ascending trail.

Buni Buni Pass is at an altitude of 10, 987 ft. The views from here are majestic. You can spot Tosh village from here. Walk ahead of the pass for around 500 m to pitch your tents. There are a few shepherds’ tents around. You will also find a water source here. Rest and enjoy the views. The sunset here is beautiful – this is a good spot to capture it through a time lapse.

Day 3: Buni Buni Pass to Barshaini

Altitude: 10,987 ft (3,349 m) to 7,261 ft (2,213 m)

Time taken: 3 hours, 7.46 km

Trek gradient: Easy. Descending trail all the way.

Water sources: Two litres of water should last the entire trek. There is one source on the trail to refill your water bottles.

Channi or shepherds’ tents near the campsite ahead of Buni Buni Pass PC: Tanmay Bain

Start by 8.00 am from Buni Buni Pass. The trail to Barshaini is through Kalga village. The trail descends all the way through forests.

In about 500 m from the Pass, you will reach a channi (shepherds’ tent) alongside a green coloured pond. Continue past this for another 1.2 km till you reach another channi. This one is next to a stream. Another kilometre down this trail brings you to a beautiful meadow. There’s a channi here as well. You can spot Kalga and Barshaini villages from here.

Shepherds’ tents on the trail to Barshaini PC: Tanmay Bain

Once you cross the channi in the meadow, the trail enters a forest again. It is muddy, moist and strewn with leaves. Be careful since there will be parts that are slippery. 1.5 km of trek through this forest will bring you to a beautiful clearing. You can spot a village ahead – this is Kalga. There are a few huts and apple orchards around. Do not pluck apples from the trees – you will have to pay a fine of Rs.5,000, if caught.

Trek past Kalga village. In 200 m, the trail merges with the one you took on Day 2, on the way to Kheerganga. Barshaini is 1.6 km from here. It’ll take you 15-20 minutes to reach.

Travelspot will arrange for a drop to Bhuntar from Barshaini. You will reach Barshaini by 3.00 pm.