Named after the transformative cosmic force and the supreme presiding deity Lord Shiva, the Shrikhand Mahadev mountain summit at 17, 148 ft. is a revered Hindu pilgrimage and a great trek with the 75 ft Shivalingam at the top of the mountain. Fascinating legends surround this site of worship that of a demon named Bhasmasur who had meditated at the spot to please the Lord Shiva through hard penance was awarded the power of turning every living being to ash upon touching. The abode of the Lord stands across a backdrop of the breathtaking Himalayan panorama. The mountain ranges of Kullu, Jorkandan, and Rangrik rise prominently. The ranges of Kinnaur and Hansbeshan along with peaks to the south-east of the Satluj River too adorn the skies here. Approximately taking 5-9 days from Delhi, involving 3 days of hike, this trek is a welcoming option to holiday away from hustle bustle of city life. There are considerably challenging gradients found on this hike-- steep angled inclines that passes through glacial covers and rocky boulder moraine teasing your hunger for adventure to the fullest. If you take a shine to this hike, look to cover the trip during July. Every year, during this time, the route remains open for only 15-20 days, owing to critical weather conditions.
Set in the backdrop of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh, Shrikhand Mahadev is a renowned Hindu pilgrimage as well as a destination for die-hard trekkers. Flagging off from Jaon village in Nirmand, the trek takes up to 3-4 days to reach the summit. Harsh weather conditions plague this route, for which only 15-20 days opening in the month of July is possible. Mountain goers choose this one to get a glimpse of the breathtaking Himalayas from the green bosom of Parvati Valley. A vast panorama of stunning snow-clad peaks open up before us-- the ranges of Kullu, the Rangrik mountains on the Kinnaur side, and the undulations of Jorkandan, and the peaks of Hansbeshan and the surrounding slopes to the east of river Satluj enchantingly flowing. In the first quarters, the trek moves through the Great Himalayan National Park on the Kullu side of Himachal Pradesh. Myriad apple orchards on the way lighten up the trail; you can find the local workers with baskets tied to their back picking the blush red fruits. From Thachru onwards, the forests begin thick and quaint, punctuated with gurgling streams and many water bodies. The trek continues on a narrow track by the Shrikhand River. A steep climb ensues from Barahati to Thachru on an 80 degree incline. Moving forward towards Kaali Ghati, the number of trees will lessen and more of denuded snow covered slopes will be dominating the landscape. The snow covered Shrikhand Shiva Lingam too manifests afar looking spectacular. Up ahead from Bheem Dwari, we will be coming upon a resplendent valley of flowers, a little way up, begins the climb to Parvati Bag. Expect excruciatingly challenging inclines from the snow laden Parvati Bag meadows and a thorough test of your caliber before finally reaching the standing rock on the hill top iconized as Shrikhand Mahadev.
The highest point to be reached on this trek is the site of the Shiva Lingam at Shrikhand Mahadev, at an altitude of 17,150 ft.
The trek route remains open only during the month of July for a period of 15-20 days, and barred during other times due to harsh weather conditions.
By Air: The Kullu-Manali airport or the Bhuntar Airport is the closest to Kullu, availing regular flights connecting Delhi and Chandigarh.
By Rail: Kullu can be accessed by rail through Joginder Nagar rail station, or through Chandigarh railway station from where regular busses to Kullu are available.
By Road: Himachal Pradesh State Transport buses connect Kullu with Delhi, Pathankot, Ambala, Palampur, and several other cities and towns of northern India.
Are There Any Shops On the Shrikhand Mahadev Trek?
After leaving behind Jaon village, shops will be scarce to find on this route as the itinerary moves beyond localities.
It is possible to get affected with Altitude Sickness on this trek, especially after crossing Parvati Bag. Owing to dropping temperatures, low atmospheric pressure, and thinning oxygen levels, AMS can severe. Prior fitness training and a course in acetazolamide on reasonable medical consultation is necessary when taking this trek.
The trek could be moderately trafficked by pilgrims during the selected months of June and July, however, it remains a trek less opted for due to its high difficulty level.