Trek to Bunbuni Paas – An Alternate Route to Kheerganga

Kheerganga is one of my favourite treks in Parvati Valley. Despite how commercialized the region has become off-late, there is something about this place that makes me visiting over and over again. I have done kheerganga Trek multiple times and from different routes. But the one that I love the most was BunBunbuni Paas Trek that is an alternate and kind of difficult way to reach Kheerganga. Those who want to experience fewer crowds while trekking to kheerganga should try BunBunbuni Paas alteast once. It is a nice place to be with a small Glacier and stupendous views that you won’t find anywhere in Parvati Valley.

KHeerganga (7)

Note – BunBunbuni Paas trek takes 2 nights so if you plan to finish your trekking on Sunday afternoon and be in Delhi then this route is not for you.

To start Kheerganga trek from Bunbuni Paas you have to arrive at Kalga first. You won’t get direct bus to Kalga as there is no drivable road. Find a bus for Barshaini from Bhuntar or change one when you are in Kasol and you’ll be at your destination before sunset. Now the thing is that by the time you reach Kalga it will be around 2:00 p.m. so we cannot leave for Bunbuni Paas on the same day. Better idea is to spend a day in Kalga and explore the region, click some photos and have some nice food at the cafes over there.

There are two ways to reach Bunbuni Paas, one is from Kalga and another is from Kheerganga. You won’t find a lot of information about this place on internet because most of the trekkers who go to Kheerganga take the easiest route. Bunbuni Paas lies at 3800 metres and is difficult than the normal route preferred by the trekkers.

This route is easy for solo trekkers but more than often, you’ll find a couple of trekkers going to Kheerganga via Bunbiuni Paas from Kalga so you can join them. Make sure that those trekkers are not fast walkers and they know about the route. Since Bunbuni Paas is an empty area and relatively less crowded so make sure that you don’t play loud music or leave plastic wrappers on the trail. If you are planning for camping then you can also rent camping equipment from Kalga.

The trek to Bunbuni Paas starts from the forest behind Kalga. During the first few hours you will have to walk through a long trail of grass covered muddy path through the dense forest. Parvati Valley is also a rainy area so make sure that you have rain coats and ponchos because it can shower anytime unexpectedly. This route also requires good trekking shoes as constant showers make this trail slippery.

 

As you come closer to Bunbuni Paas the hike will get steeper but the views will get much more mesmerizing. This is unlike anything that you’ll see during your hike to Kheerganga. Pine and Devdar trees cover the entire area and look very majestic. This is also a favourite route of shepherds because of less people and green meadows so you’ll find a lot of sheep grazing around you along with cows and horses.

KHeerganga (2)

When I was on my way to Bunbuni Paas it rained really badly. It was the month of June and my camera got wet because of which I could not take any photos. The route is very photogenic and scenic. If you are landscape photographer then you will love everything that you’ll see. Clouds play hide and seek over Pin Parvati Paas. Hundreds of sheep playfully graze while their owners watch them from a distance. Some shepherds also stay here with their family and their kids will be intrigued to see you.

I made sure that I trek carefully because if the path got steep then chances of skidding and falling down were very high. At times I get distracted by the gorgeous views of Himalayas. The snow covered Pin Parvati Paas looked really gorgeous and kept distracting me. And because of this view, I slept twice and almost hurt my knee.

KHeerganga (4)

I started my trek around 7:00 in the morning. I had to inform the guest house caretaker that I will leave early morning so I’ll like to have my breakfast at 6:30. He was really nice and also packed my lunch in advance so that I don’t get hungry while on trekking. I think he also informed a couple of people on the route because I was asked where I was staying and then they proceeded to guide me for the rest of the path.

It took me almost seven hours to reach Bunbuni Paas. There were a couple of moments when I almost decided that I should go back to Kalga because the road was getting very difficult and muddy. Occasional rain didn’t help either.

But the moment I reached the end point for the day, everything that I suffered during the trek was gone. The view was so mesmerizing that I simply fell on the soft grass and enjoyed my surroundings. When I was on the Paas, the foggy mountains of Pin Parvati Valley came closer. I almost felt like walking on the clouds. Couple of shepherd huts were present around the paas and I went to one of them to ask if they can make some food because I had eaten my packed lunch on the way. I had a meal of daal rice at one of the huts and it was really yummy. They also offered me to stay at their place in the night and go to Kheerganga the next day. Spending the night at Bunbuni Paas is worth it because you will see a gorgeous sunrise that is way better than Kheerganga’s. Morning offers a lot of chances to click portraits although I could not do anything because my camera got wet.

KHeerganga (3)

I had a hot cup of tea at a same shepherd’s hut for which didn’t charge anything. The trek to Kheerganga started soon, but it’s not any upwards climb and all you need to do is to walk on the trail. The path gets kind of slippery so make sure that you are wearing proper trekking shoes when you are taking this route. There are a lot of shepherds along the way so you will not find difficulty to get food or tea on your way.

It took me around 4.5 hours to reach Kheerganga. I dumped my bags at a guest house, had a hot cup of tea and maggi and the left for the hot water springs. After spending around an hour in the springs and I felt rejuvenated enough to take a short nap before dinner.

It is said that Kheerganga’s history goes back to time when Kartikeya the eldest son of Shiva and Parvati meditated in caves of Kheerganga.

BunbuniPaas is an amazing trek that you must do once if you are bored of crowded trekking destinations during weekend. Whole journey is worth the pain and tiredness that you will feel but the views and the landscape will make the experience worth anything you go through.

Camping ban in Kheerganga

KHeerganga (1)

Since 2018 camping at Kheerganga has been banned by the local authorities. You will you will also need to pay a green tax of 50 rupees per plastic product that you are carrying inside Parvati Valley. It will be returned once you are back at the base with the same plastic products. Now you cannot stay at Kheerganga unless you are carrying your own tent or have a guide over there that will provide camping gear. The guest houses and the small makeshift hotels are gone and there is heavy fine on throwing plastic in that region.

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Responsible trekking in Parvati Valley

Parvati Valley is an eco frigid zone that suffers with the problem of mass tourism. As a responsible trekker you should make sure that you don’t leave any footprints on the trails behind and dispose your plastic wrappers and packets in dustbins from where it can be sent to recycling centres. You can also volunteer with the local cleaning groups that regularly clean that trail.

How to reach Bunbuni Paas

KHeerganga (5)

To reach Bunbuni Paas you will have to you come to Barshaini from where you will have to trek to Kalga. From Kalga there are two routes, one goes directly to Kheerganga and another goes to Bunbuni Paas. You will find regular buses to Barshaini and Kasol from Manali and Bhuntar. If you are coming from Delhi then it is a better idea to get down at Bhuntar instead of going to Kullu or Manali.

Safety in Kasol and Parvati Valley

Kasol is fully of Tourists and some of them can get very really rowdy. So I always recommend travellers to stay in Tosh or come to Kalga. When you are trying to Kheerganga aur Bunbuni Paas, make sure that you have started your trek by 7:00 a.m. because it starts getting dark by 4:30 and you will not like getting attacked by a brown Bear on your way. Other than this there is no danger but keep your eyes open.

Where to stay in Kalga and Bunbuni Paas

Kalga has a lot of stay homes and small guest houses where you can spend the night. All the homestays in Kasol have their own kitchen where you can have your meal. For stay at Bunbuni Paas you can either carry your own tent or rent a gear from the guest house manager. You can also ask the Gaddi Shepherds to allow you to spend a night at their home. It is a better idea because it gets very cold on the top of the summit.

To stay at Kheerganga you will have to contact the guest house manager at Kalga to provide you with camping gear or book a tent in advance.

Hope this blog will helps you plan your solo trip to Bunbuni Paas. For More information you can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram. Also subscribe to this blog to stay updated with my new posts.

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