Weekend Getaway Kasol-Kheerganga-Manikaran
Working in travel industry has its perks.Daily trip reports motivates you to travel.Besides this you can book for travel at a very reasonable price. Following this my office team(10 members) planned for a weekend getaway to Gurgaon-Kasol-Kheerganga-Manikaran-Gurgaon (India).We booked a traveller (mini bus) for the trip.
Journey started on friday July 7, 2017 at 5:00pm from Gurgaon.Due to last working day of the week, there was a lot of hustle and bustle on road.People were driving to their native place.This caused us 3 hours to cover 25km stretch from Gurgaon to Delhi. To kill the scorching heat and traffic jam we had cold beers and high music.
Our first stop of the journey was Gulshan Ka Dhaba in Murthal (Sonipat).Dhabas in Murthal are very popular for their delicious food. Paranthas filled with a spicy mixture of vegetables served with desi white butter and sweet lassi can turn anyone into a foodie.
Next we had a 2 hour game of Antakshri. 2 team having 5 members each were divided and game is kicked off with the recitation of couplet
“Baithe, aithe, kya karein? Karna hai kuch kaam, Shuru karo antakshri, leke prabhu/rabb ka naam!”
In this game each team sings the first verse of a song (usually a Bollywood song) that begins with the Hindustani consonant on which the previous team’s song selection ended. Due to above couplet end, first song must start with (m).
As soon as we crossed Ambala and entered in Punjab, driver turned off the engine at a local dhaba at around 11:45pm. He complained that until the road tax of Punjab is not paid he will not drive further.Road Tax is a tax which has to be paid on a wheeled vehicle to use it on a public road of different state.
Punjab road tax website was not accepting any payments. Finally at 1:30 AM(July 8, 2017) it started working.This period was gruesome because driver denied to continue journey.
Now our driver was also getting sleepy.Because of this I had long conversations with driver to drive safely.Till the morning we had an eventful ride because one moment we had a near miss by a truck, in the next one tires missing an abyss by inches on hilly road.
We rested at a local dhaba nearby Bilaspur at 5:30AM.Next part of the journey was filled with scenic beauty.Sky was like a perfect empty canvas. Trees around us were glittering like gold by sunlight.Along with the road Beas river was flowing in a rhythmic music.Early morning foggy arena lets you travelling like amidst the clouds.Soaked by natural beauty of this trail we arrived Kasol at 11am.
Kasol is a small village situated on the banks of Parvati river. It is all about cannabis plant that grows wildly over here.Food in Kasol is to die for and Mama’s Cafe is one of the best places for it.Painted walls with murals of Bob Marley clubbed with music and mouth watering food adds a new experience.Israeli tourists pours in numbers here to relax.Besides this local bakeries and caffeinated air prevents drowsiness.
We had lunch and started trek of 4km to Manikaran. This is a place of temples, gurudwara and a hot water spring that is supposed to have curative powers. According to Hindu’s belief, Serpent God Sheshnag hissed to rise a flow of boiling water.By this Parvati managed to find mani(Precious stone) lost.
We had a soulful evening at Manikaran Gurudwara. Gurbani(Holy Scripture) verses and beautiful landscape made our fatigue being away.
Next Morning (July 9, 2017) we planned for Kheerganga. After breakfast our driver dropped us to Barshaini. This is the starting point of 12km long trek to Kheerganga. From base to Kheerganga two routes option are possible. One is with steep climb, covered with trees having breathtaking views for photography.While the other one is slightly longer descends having apple orchards on the way.We opted first one to climb and other one to descend on the next day.
Joy of being so close to nature and scenic beauty made us forget the rocky path. Parvati river flowing besides the trek motivated us to flow like a river.We reached Kheerganga at 4pm after five hour long trek.Tent for the night costed around 100 to 200 rupees per person. Kheerganga has a holy pool of hot water.Fatigue of this long trek lost in minutes after having a bath in spiritual water.We were fresh as morning now.
Next we sipped coffee in a cafe and absorbed beauty of this place .In the morning we trekked back to the base with zeal.
Our return journey started at 11:30am on July 10,2017.Finally we reached home next morning.
All in all this constitutes long tiring travel, trekking, healed with hot spring baths, cherished with scenic beauty and lip smacking foods.