Shrikhand Mahadev – Unexplored Himachal

Himachal is an interesting place. Isn’t it? I would like to post my writings on unexplored Himachal to give a off the road view and a different Himachal to let you all see. Shrikhand Mahadev is one such place. Its hidden. Its unexplored. Not many people know it or visit here. Its purely natural. No hick ups. Best place for people who enjoy trekking. Actually i love to go to such places.

Shrikhand peak is sited along side the Great Himalayan National Park of Himachal. It is in Kullu region, but near to Shimla.

Shrikhand Mahadev
Shrikhand Mahadeva

Shrikhand Mahadev, as localites use to say, is one of the adobes of Lord Shiva, who resides there. They worship the natural, rock-made shivalingam on the great heights of mountains. The shivalingam is 72 feets high and stands still at the mountain top, above 18,000 ft altitude. One has to go through many gorges, ravines, and beautiful valleys.

I have been there last year (in July, 2007). The place is actually open for just 15 – 20 days in summers between mid July till starting of August. Going uphill takes 3 days trapping a stretch of around 35 – 40 KM. Return can be done in 2 days. So you may have to schedule full week for such an expedition.

To reach Shrikhand Mahadev peak, one has to go to Shimla, and then to Rampur (140 KM ahead). From Rampur, one way goes to Sarahan and the other to Nirmand. While trekking, Sarahan route is little tough than Nirmand wala route. Another route is via Tirtath (but that too is unexplored – hehe). Himachal Tourism has a Hotel at Sarahan named The Shrikhand, named after the majestic Shrikhand mountain Peak in front of it. Sarahan lies on NH-22.

I went there last year with one of my friend. We had taken Nirmand route. The day we started I got little afraid as it was raining throughout the day and we just knew that the route is all a jungle one has to pass through. But with stiff determination for Shiva, Naresh said “Bamm Bhole – Om Namah Shivaya” and I got the message. We started moving up hill from a village. Up till Jaon, we has a cab from Rampur. After few KMs there was a langar organized by localites. We rested, had some food and asked them if we could move up? It was 3:00 PM by then and the next stoppage was around 10 KM far. It was a risk. But a couple that we met there gave us assurance that if we all go togetther then we will reach there in time. We agreed.

First 10 KM

I still remember those 10 KM – complete exhaustness. It was tough, very tough. Steep 80 degrees height. Even a luggage of 5Kg on your back seems 25Kgs. We had dinner together. The cook charged Rs 40 for a plate of Rice, roti, Dal [cereals] and a subji [vegetables], but he looked more than satisfied while taking that money. We planned to move early morning so that we can reach next point in time. We hired blankets from the providers there and had a nap. In the morning we started again moving same steep hill.

Four of us

The moment we reached the ridge, I was tired. We were also out of water. And there was a deep narrow gauge ahead of us to move down. We filled out water bottles with the water that came out of soil. That is actually hard water with lots of minerals in it, but tastes great. Naresh helped me and supported to get that gorge passed, as it was quite slippery. Next we moved several hills up and down. That day we traveled around 22 KM.

Lost in deep valleies

On the way we saw and the localite couple with us explained about various medicinal herbs. There is was – both shelter and food (langar). We talked to those servicing people, who were there just to service others. Preparing food, maintaining shelter, managing excretory system. Heads off to them. We had our breakfast and started again. When we reached a place called Nayan Sarovar, that couple had a bath there. People believe to have a holy bath at this small lake before visiting Shrikhand peak. Beautiful waterfalls and complete greenness that anyone would fall in love with. It was shivering as we moved ahead.

Going and Going UP

Last few steps (I mean KM) were dead end to me. But still I was moving without my effort – I dont know what was it. We quickly had a round walk around the shivalingam and moved down. Actually at such a height its very hard to stay for long time as it starts to have breathing problem.

We quickly moved down to the shelter (about 8 KM down). We had good chat with those men offering service. It was nice to hear of those spiritual talks. Next day we started early (at 5 AM) and moved down and said bye to that couple who helped us so much in this trip. Later on I took a bus to my home and Naresh left to chandigarh. This is all what i remember. Hope you liked it. Thanks for being patient.

Shivalingam

I hope I will keep on updating you all with lesser known Himachal places. click here to read more of my writings.

50 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Vikas.

    I haven’t heard about this place, thanks for sharing. Some more pics would have probably made the story even better.

    Looking fwd to next ‘unexplored’ place in Himachal :)

    • tg says:

      Hello Nandan,

      I need your help in planning the trip to Kinnaur region in first week of June 2018. Please advise on the below.

      1. We will start from Gurgaon and plan to cover Sarahan, Kalpa, Chitkul. What other places can be added if we have 8-9 days?

      2. We plan to reach Sarahan on the day one itself so that we have more time in hand. Will it be possible? Is it possible to come back from Manali side?

      3. How are the road conditions overall? Is this doable in an I10? Overall I have more than 20 years experience in driving and I have driven extensively in the mountains as well however are there any streches in between which can be a challenge for a hatchback since these are remote places?

      4. Also please suggest some good hotels.

      Thanks
      Tarun Grover

      • Nandan Jha says:

        Hello Tarun,

        Here’s what I think

        1. For 8-9 days, do not keep more than 3 stays. Since the drive are going to be very long. You can add Sangla to your list, it is one the way to Chitkul. So Gurgaon – Sarahan (3 days)- Chitkul (3 days) – Kalpa (on the return) 2 days – One more pit-stop for the night – (1 day)- Gurgaon.

        2. Sarahan on day 1 is possible if you start early. Coming back from Manali side is not recommended for 9 day program. Chitkul-Kaza is one day drive. And then Kaza needs some acclimatization. Kaza-Manali is also a single day drive.

        3. Road conditions is good except the last section. I am not updated but overall it should be fine. Beyond Sangla the situation is un-predicatable but you are not going further so it should be ok.

        i10 is a fantastic car. Light and agile. Just ensure that your spare tyre is in good condition. Most of the sections are fairly habited so if you get stuck, you would be able to get help.

        4. I stayed at Banjara hotels, they are a bit expensive though, for the value they give. If you want, we can have some one (not from Ghumakkar but one of our trusted partner/friend) help you with bookings.

        All the best.

        • Tarun says:

          Hello Nandan,

          Thanks for the information. However we plan to not stay in Chitkul but make it a day trip to visit only. Please suggest some other offbeat and worth while place to visit ahead of kalpa. Also on the return where should we stay in midway so that the drive is not too long. Please suggest the best possible itinerary.

          • tg says:

            Hello Nandan,

            Finally we decided only to visit Sarahan, Kalpa and Chitkul. However, for the return journey please suggest some offbeat place where we can stay in order to shorten the drive. Please suggest the best possible itinerary.

  • Celine says:

    A short nice post. More details and pictures would be better. I like the photograph here and its different tones. Himachal Pradesh is indeed an interesting place.

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Never heard about this lovely looking place. Seventy two feet high Shivalingam at an altitude of 18000 feet must be amazing. I echo Nandan and Celine’s view and am sure that a few pictures of the temple and the ravines ang gorges on the way would make the reading all the more interesting.

    Welcome aboard and do keep on sharing your views about the other unexplored territories of Himachal Pradesh.

  • Vikas Sharma says:

    Thanks Nandan, Celine and Ram for your comments. The place is actually considered to be one amongst the seven Kailash parvats [mountains] that we Hindus worship.
    I have added few more things to the same post and pics as well.

  • nandanjha says:

    Vikas – where did you add more pics ? I dont see them or do you mean something else.

  • ajeet says:

    Very inspiring. Vikas you are my kinda guy (in the right straight sense). I am on a hiatus from trekking and i hate that! I have great hopes from your posts. Going on treks really is a break away from city life. You are on our own, facilities are minimal, u dont have pressures, other than makin there on time, which is just a course of time and u enjoy beautiful scenaries and unblemished nature, the people are so different, they dont get on your nerves lol, their simplicity amazes you, you want to lisen to their little stories, the rains test you, wets your stuff, makes the ground slushy but makes your tea and pakodas taste so much more better, adds warmth to your cigaretes, makes your alcohol taste rich and smoother, makes the dhaba u take ur tea in so much more cosier with the pitter patter on the roof above, the walk gives u a sound sleep, the tent gives you a star rich view, the night has a raw feeling to it, like the days of the early man, u can see why and how they named the constellations, the firewood cooking, or just a bonfire, the light from fire on the faces of people around it making their stories sound like fairy tales, their emotions more clearer and real. Every element of a good 2-3 days trek has its own glory. I wish for you and the readers you get time to organise more treks like this one.

  • Vikas Sharma says:

    Thanks for those lovely comments ajeet. I have asked Nandan to upload the photos which will make a good view of the place

  • manish khamesra says:

    I was reading the comments and was wondering the reason for other comments as in my opinion the post is with nice photographs. Then I realized that many of these photos are added later on. Let me confirm that now this post looks perfect to me.

    I travelled with you Vikas, enjoyed the hospitality of the Langars and generous locals. With two small kids its not possible to do trekking on these seemingly difficult treks, but nevertheless, I can do travelling with other ghumakkars like you through their beautiful descriptions.

    A very interesting comment from Ajeet too. Such a nice emotions that only an experienced trekker like him can share.

    We would be looking forward to more from you Vikas.

  • Ripple says:

    Recently I visited this place and it was really an adventurous trip. I think it’s six days trek. At many places on web difficulty level high is mentioned for this.

    Vikas, please add more details so that other ghumakkars plan it in better way.

    + VJ

  • Narender says:

    I was part of Trek team this time and with the help of Vikas and Vishal, even I could make it to the top. Though first day (SinghGhat – Kali Ghati), we got drenched in rain and had fever. Despite that we could manage to go further.

    The time taken for this trek varies on Individual capacity and stamina. So plan accordingly. I recomend this to everyone once in lifetime.

  • abhay7108 says:

    I like the photograph here,

  • prakash says:

    thanx for these details….

    place looks really very cool

  • Vikas says:

    Its really a very good place to visit, at least once.
    Recently we visited the place… (Me and 3 friends)
    Hope if i get time to write that up.
    thank you all for these lovely comments.

  • Anshul says:

    jai bhole shanker…

    nice pics…wt i realize tht these pics are so different..like i had frns who clicked there..and i had my pics as well..they all seem totally different..each offering a great view….

  • tanya.s says:

    amazing….what a place to be….nicely described and it no more seems unexplored….

    treks are always a welcome break though they turn out to be extremely exhausting, the adrenaline rush is worth it…. but this trek looks like a difficult one…

  • hi all frnds.shri khand is 2nd hieghtest kailash after kinner kailash(6056m/20000ft) its actual hieght is(5856m/19000ft) above not 5268m it is wrong hieght.it is border of shimla-kullu.sarahan(shimla) is front of this peak and bagipul(nirmand/kullu) is back side of this peak.3 kailash in himachal out of 5 kailash
    1.(mount kailash-22000ft Tibbet/china) but lake is an hieght of 14000ft.but we can’t touch shivlingam
    2.(kinner kailash-20000ft-Himachal) same here we can’t touch shivlingam
    3.(shri khand mahadev kailash-19000ft-Himachal) shri khand is only one shivlingum which we can touch.but its yatra is very tuff out of all kailash bcos thier is no roads,transport etc.etc…. this is 5 or 6 days yatra
    4.(mani mahesh kailash-17000ft-Himachal) mani mahesh lake is an hieght of 14000ft.
    5.(aadi-kailash/om perbat range-16000ft-utteranchal)

  • pritpal singh says:

    I too was able to visit shrikhand mahadev this year i e in Aug 2008 , realy it was wonderful experience , It would have been better if mention of Parvati Bagicha , Kali Ghati / Kali Mandir and Bhim Shila etc is added , i have few photographs of these places and can share with u if u wish.

  • Harish Sharma says:

    I recently traveled from Mumbai to Sarahan. There, i could meet some people who had been to this lovely abode, serene & heavenly majestic place. I could only have a distant glance from another heaven called Sarahan and wish i could be there sometime. I have only been traveling across to mountains but never ever trekked, so i can’t judge whether i have that stamina and guts in me to climb this difficult place. My salute to all those lucky travelers who visit this peak. I will conslidate energies to see if i could sometime trek this peak and post pictures in my life…but i must say that one must go to this peak in lifetime and achieve that underlying satisfaction. Afterall life is a rare gift of God.

    • gaurav Sarochya says:

      Hi dear
      If you have the guts then everything achievable, I have seen a guy with only one leg going to yhis place…so go for it….

  • Sandeep Naik says:

    Great work dude n in my opinion its like a milestone achieved after visiting this xtraordinary land n i m planning to go there this year,please guide me abt the journey n luggage related info.Thanx a lot

  • Vikas Sharma says:

    Precausions:
    1. Since its very cold there, so please take warm clothing with you.
    2. Extra precaution for chilling wind – take a warm cap to pretect your head.
    3. While trekking, with warm clothing on you, you will feel sweat, but do not take off those cloths.
    4. Take medicines and moov gel with you. Medicine for headache, altitude sickness, may be vomit, digestion, aches, tireness.
    5. Food – very imp. Take dry fruits, some high energy foods with you. Food prepared by localits is not good (because of altitude). You can ask for worm soup prepared out of dal or something from them, that will be better option rather than eating half prepared food. I relaised this at the top, because of non availability of good food to me for 2 days.
    6, Make your luggage lighter – min you can carry. And while trekking, hire some guy from there. Initially you can carry the bag, but later on you cant believe me (you will feel extra tireness because of that). Hire some good guy, otherwise he may bother you up-hills. We hired a guy for 1200 who had gone till the peak with us. Most of them may not go. Dont take chance.
    7. If you going with your own car, then take some driver with you. Gain 1: He will take care of the vehicle, Gain 2: After 4-5 days of trek you will definetly be tired, so he will drive you to home.
    Happy Journey…

  • KULDEEP KUMAR says:

    I WANT VIDEO OF YATRA 2009. I WILL BE VERY THANKFUL TO YOU.

  • good work bro… u had done a great job. seriously this place is fabulous..
    i also went her in august 1 2007. and also looking forward 2 go sooner
    and also guys who ever goes here take some precautions like medicines, warm cloth, umbrella’,good snikeers, dry fruits, these all items will really help u and make ur yatra more comfortable… so guys cheers…. n say om namah shiyay… bhole shankar sabse bhayankar….

  • Ratish Sharma says:

    Shrikhand Mahadev is the next big religious place for Hindus (like Amarnath Yatra), which is still new and fresh. However, it is much more difficult and dangerous than Amarnath, and more beautiful than Amarnath. Only the most adventurous and fit of Himachali youth venture to go there, and the other Himachalis admire a hill youth who has managed to reach Shrikhand Mahadev. For plain folks, it would be advisable if they don’t try this yatra, as every year there are several deaths by exhaustion and high altitude medical problem during the short window when Shrikhand yatra is going on. If a plain person wants to go there, he should be absolutely fit, and should first come and stay above 9,000 ft in some tourist place for few days to get his system in place, otherwise, chances of dying during yatra is real.

  • Rupesh says:

    Dear all,
    it is a pleasure to share my experience with u all, when i visited and did Srikhand and Kinnar Kailash yatra back to back in 7 days in the year 2008, but i admit these both yatra was very dangerous and risky, however by the grace of lord Mahadeva our journey went well. here i would like to bring out the help provided by the porters and my copartners in this trek, Ms. Sri Latha & Ms. Pinki both are from Mumbai and a well known trekkers in Mumbai, altough they have never done any proffesional course but since their chidhood they have been exploring India. for this yatra a person should have full faith in Lord Shiva and strong detemined like minded group. this two factors are very important as the infrastructre is upto basic level. the ciry bred people like us may find it very difficult but i assure u all one thing the help , the courtsey extended by local people is excellent, they become our motivator, the langar provided by the local people is good and the natural surronding is good.

  • Gautam says:

    Pls can anybody share no of some local guide to assist on Trek

  • Anil says:

    I also did this trek last year it is totaly different experience for me .
    i suggest to every young man to do this trek .
    it gives you the real knowlege of life.
    ie.
    there is no selfishness in everyone,s behavior.
    automatically you gained the best qualities —-helpful behavior.selfishlessness,coordination and many more

  • vaishali says:

    Dear Vikas;

    Hi I am an Aavid trekker, travel across Sahyadri & Himalaya. We are planning to visit Shrikhand Kailash along with Kinner Kailash. Would you pl guide us in deciding the route, expenses and contact details of local? It would be a great help to us.

    Best Regards.
    Vaishali

  • Vaishali H. says:

    Dear Vikas;

    Hi I am an Aavid trekker, travel across Sahyadri & Himalaya. We are planning to visit Shrikhand Kailash along with Kinner Kailash. Would you pl guide us in deciding the route, expenses and contact details of local? It would be a great help to us.

    Best Regards.
    Vaishali

  • Rupesh says:

    Dear Vaishali,
    its great ur planning for Shrikhand Kailash and Kinner Kailash trip. as iam from mumbai and have taken the route from mumbai, i can provide the details from Mumbai. 1. come to chandigarh take a bus to rampur via shimla, stay at any hotel located at near the rampur bus stand. 2. at rampur bus stand their is taxi stand make a enquiry with taxi driver to take u upto last stop of a village (name is not being recollected). at village make enquiry with the tea vendors for porters, they may call them for you on an average tthe rate is around Rs.150/- per day, some porter insist to provide them food and lodging facilities, this u have to clear ur stand of either providing them per day charges or per day charges including their food and stay. first stop should be at langar which is in the last of where langar is held, the same is run by the locals of some village, good food and good peoples. next day early morning start at 4.00 hrs the climb take rest either at the pvt. camp which comes in route at around 4.00 p.m or go upto parvati baghicha, if stamina allows you. most important keep the porter company don t allow him to be away from you when u trk as this is one of the most dangerous journey.

  • VIKAS SHARMA says:

    Hi vaishali,
    Great to hear that many people are making Shrikhand as their hiking destination. May God bless them all.
    Lastest info that i got from local people is that the CHAD YATRA (first journey of the season) is begining July 16th. Usually the saints lead this yatra. Last is approx July 24th, but it usually goes till Aug first week depending on weather. Being a part of this yatra is good as you have many people around you that makes the travelling less hectic.
    For reaching there much info is already given by Rupesh.
    From Delhi there is direct BUS till Rampur. If coming to Chandigarh, take a BUS till Shimla and then to Rampur. From rampur hire a cab till JAON (last village or Nirmand – second last village). From there trk till Singh ghat and there will be many people to assist you.
    As advice please take care of following:
    1. Food / Drinks (Glucose etc)
    2. Medicines – headache, fever, moov etc
    3. Clothes (which can protect from rain). ALso have warm clothes with you.
    4. Water – No need to carry water as you get natural hard water from the mountains which i believe is sufficient. But take your decision.
    While hiking, do not rush up. Take it easy and it will be fun there.

  • panki sood says:

    we did the trek of a tirthan to shrikhand in 2005 …it was awesome experience ….first we summited the VIRGIN PEAK named yeshe peak with dr. jeff salz ….(Google for more details ) and from there we did this trek to SHRIKHAND MAHADEV

  • Vijay says:

    Please provide details & photographs of rest of the Kailash in India other than the Kailash Mansaovar , Manimahesh Kailash & Srikhand Kailash as mentioned in the Hiduism.

  • arvind chopra says:

    om nama shivya

  • Dinesh sharma says:

    I also did this trek last year it is totaly different experience for me .
    i suggest to every young man to do this trek .
    it gives you the real knowlege of life.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Recently, another Ghumakkar wrote a much more detailed account of this trek. Please click below to read that version.

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2012/03/19/srikhand-mahadev-????????-??????-??????/

  • Ashutosh kalia says:

    I also did this trek this year it is totaly different experience for me.
    My experience is that your mentally and physically challenged.
    but when you richh its simply haven . only shiva on there.

    • Vikas Sharma says:

      Great to hear about you. Share some experince on Ghumakkar!!!
      Yes its a totally different experience when you start and when you finish. When you start the hike, your are charged with full energy, but when you finish it, you are double charged :)
      Best part on such treks is that, at many occasions you introspect about your existence on earth. You forget about “Aishwarya” (wealth), and rather think about “Nashwar” (mortal). This is Shiva.
      I love to hear that more people are getting the finest hiking experience in their lives. God Bless All!!

  • Preeti Brahmania says:

    Any one going this juky 2013

    • PRAVEEN BHARDWAJ says:

      Yes, i and my cousin are going to this yatra in July. starting 14 or 15/7/2013. On 14/7/2013 it is heavy rain predicted,,,,,,so go on 15/7/2013 ——————till 19/7/2013, will be less rain.

  • Tanusree says:

    it seemed that you have written straight from your heart .

  • BHUVNESH GAHLOT says:

    Hi…I am looking for partners to go Shri khand Mahadev trekking…

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