About the Kheerganga ban:
2018 was the year of bans. Malana banned tourists from staying there, camping at the bugyals (for Roopkund trek) was banned and then there was also a news of the Kheerganga Ban. It’s important to know that the land is owned by the Forest Department and anyone running a cafe, or providing accommodation commercially was notified by 25th April. It was the High Court’s mandate on 25th May that compelled everyone to leave the place.
If you’re looking for an offbeat alternative, check out ‘Rasol Trek’ in the same region.
Is the Kheerganga trek banned now?
The Kheerganga trek is open. Makeshift stay options that operated commercially and cafes have been banned from Kheerganga. This means the following:
- Kheerganga trek is open and you are allowed to go to Kheerganga, no permission is needed if you are just gonna visit and come back.
- There would be no food and stay options at the top.
- You need a camping permit from the DFO office in Kullu, in case you wanna pitch your own tent at Kheerganga.
- You are supposed to bring back your own trash! This is something which you should follow on any trek.
Why the ban?
Parvati Valley has seen a sudden boom in its tourism. Kheerganga, being an easily doable trek, attracted attention from everywhere. Cafes and accommodation options popped up, in an unauthorized manner to cater to the demand. Without any set waste management policy, the ever growing trash had begun disrupting the ecology. The trek route also witnesses streams at certain portions, which attract a lot of litter. Uncollected litter can accrete and flow into streams.
The forest officials and the NGOs are hoping that Kheerganga regains its former ecological balance and health.
Current Stay Options for Kheerganga Trek:
First option is camping after taking a permit from the DFO Office in Kullu, but if camping alone in the wild is not appealing you can stay at one of the lower villages and then cover the trek on the next morning. Tosh, Kalga, Pulga, Tulga and Rudranag are such villages. Tosh is usually the most crowded one, while Kalga and other villages happen to be less noisy.