Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brahmganga: an amazing Trek

Kuldip Dhiman

Crystal clear waters, cool breeze, mountains, and deodars — it is the Brahmganga!

To many a visitor, Manikaran means hot springs, the Parvati river, Raghunath Temple, Manikaran Sahib Gurdwara, narrow bazaars, sadhus, Indian and foreign tourists. But there is a lot more to Manikaran than these, provided you are prepared to walk a little.

Flowing between mountains and forests, the Brahmganga is a small river that joins the Parvati river just a mile ahead at Manikaran. There are no road signs to lead you to Brahmganga, all you have to do is to ask the shopkeepers near the bridge, and they will point you to the steep cement steps that lead you to a narrow passage. As you walk you cross a narrow wooden bridge from where you get an aerial view of Manikaran town. From here you could take pictures of the town as well as the Parvati. Just keep following the track, and in a few minutes you would find yourself facing the Brahmganga. In this season, the river is rather quiet, so you could sit on the boulders and submerge your feet in water. If you find the water not too cold, you could perhaps bathe in the river, but don't do it for too long.

This is a nice place to have lunch, but if you didn't have it packed, you could try the lone fruit-chaat stall. If you have a camera or a video camera, there are lot of photo opportunities here. As you relax, you can watch workers digging a tunnel high up in the mountains. Short treks could be made further up by following the river, but one must not venture too far.

Even in summer, you could easily spend half a day in this place, as the wind is quite cool.

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