Hikes along trails that lead up or down from the Shilogi-Rishikesh road are a delight to experience for those who would like some physical activity during their stay. Trekking shoes with a firm skid-resistant sole are a must, and a hiking pole of adjustable length is recommended. It is also a good idea to carry a small backpack with a bottle of drinking water or lime juice, a small snack (e.g., a packet of biscuits), a flashlight (just in case it gets dark before you’re able to return to the resort), a foldable umbrella (the whether can be quite unpredictable), and a cap to protect from harsh sunlight. Do carry your camera with you if you have one. And don’t forget your cell phone behind – it can be a life saver, although only on the rarest of rare occasions. While these are relatively short and easy treks, you’re advised not to take children along unless they are in their teens. These treks are not recommended for those short on stamina.
AstreVue to Kirtikhal along hill crest
(3.5 km one way from AstreVue; Ascent – 140 meters)
The trek starts about 200 meters from the bottom of the AstreVue ramp along the road to Kirtikhal. The initial climb up a narrow path to the top of the hill is steep. Once the top is reached (about 1 km) there is no further ascent on this trek. Walk along a stone-paved track just below the hill crest, through verdant hillside and open scrub-land, past
the inter-college, all the way to Kirtikhal market. Great birding all along the way. One can exit the trek at Kirtikhal and walk back 4 km to AstreVue along the main road or continue the trek to Bhairon Garhi temple.
Kirtikhal to Bhairon Garhi temple
(2 km one way from Kirtikhal; Ascent – 240 meters)
For this trek one must walk or drive 4 km to Kirtikhal from AstreVue, park by the roadside, and take the paved path leading up on the right, past the shops and the Vaishno Devi temple. The path curves along the hillside and ascends to a hairpin bend and climbs further to the crest of the hill. A yellow bench marks the point where a path doubles back
towards Hanuman Garhi, while the path to Bhairon Garhi continues up and around the hill ahead to the Kali Ma temple and up the paved slope beyond. Past a large water tank that supplies the surrounding villages, the last stretch of the trek provides some spectacular views of the valley below.
Kirtikhal to Hanuman Garhi
(3.5 km one way from Kirtikhal; Ascent – 210 meters)
The initial 1.25 km of this trek is common with the Bhairon Garhi trek. The path to Hanuman Garhi diverges at the hill crest and doubles back in a west-southwesterly direction. The ascent thereafter is at relatively mild incline. The Hanuman Garhi temple is a small shrine without a priest in residence, and the trek has a desolate charm.
(9.5 km round trip from AstreVue; Descent – 280 meters)
This trek starts about a kilometre from the bottom of the AstreVue ramp along the road to Kirtikhal, and descends along an unfinished road going down to the village of Khareti. The road winds down the hillside providing for expansive views of the valley, interspersed with patches of jungle and potential birding opportunities. At times the road all but disappears due to overgrowth or rockfall, till it reaches Khareti at the bottom of the descent and joins a motorable track that goes past the Khareti village temple and turns round the spine of the mountain towards Mathgaon. Hugging some spectacular cliffs on the right and a overhanging a deep valley on the left, you can get an awesome view of the sunset if you’re in time. Turning round the apex of the valley, one must begin the return climb up the hillside past the Mathgaon village temple and a series of hairpin bends. The climb can be long and exhausting but exhilarating at the same time. Some great birding on the way. After reaching the main road there is, of course, the 2 km walk back to AstreVue.