When I first heard of Kasol, it was from some friends who were smoking up and called it India’s Hashish capital. I dropped the idea of visiting this place and never thought of it again until one day I chanced upon some pictures of this place on a travel site.
I was taken aback by the charm of the place which is pure rustic beauty and I was lucky to find a group going to Kasol at the same time I wanted to travel. Bas fir kya…I packed my bags and boarded the bus with that group.
There are several travel groups in India who arrange for weekend trips and you can just find one on google.
About the Place –
Kasol is a tiny village in the Parvati Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Once not a very popular place to be, Kasol has come a long way to be on every backpacker’s must-visit list of places. You can also spot a lot of Israelis around the place and gorge on Israeli food which is awesome to taste.
Reaching the place –
Talking about reaching here, you can hop on a bus from Delhi which takes more than overnight to cover the distance of 520 km with 200 km of drive in the hills. The best part is looking over the Parvati river flowing in the opposite direction as you snake your way towards the village. If you are driving, you can take NH44 along Chandigarh, crossing Mandi and reach Kasol. Bhuntar is the closest Airport which is 32 km away, though I wouldn’t suggest taking this option.
My suggestion would be to drive or get driven overnight and reach Kasol to breathe some fresh air in the mountains. The morning is mesmerizing in the hills and with abundant natural beauty literally thrown at you, you can’t escape it.
About being there –
The place (Moksha) that was booked for us took my breath away. I couldn’t imagine a better place to be at that moment.
A serene white tent with comfortable bedding and sound of the mighty Parvati river flowing beside was more than I could ask for. Outside our cozy tents, some tables were placed with chairs to enjoy the view and have food. I immediately felt blissful in those surroundings and never wanted to leave.
The valley is small and can be covered on foot. We went for a stroll soon after settling in. The tiny cafés in the street meant freshly baked food and smelled aromatic. We picked on one of the cafés to try their sandwiches which were delicious. You can just go for a walk and experiment as per your taste.
If you fancy a quiet getaway, this is the place to be. I became friends with some people in the group and the trip became more enjoyable after that. In case you want some adventure, you can go trekking to nearby places like Kheerganga, Tosh, Chalal, etc. The best time to visit is from October to June.
Winters are too cold here and trekking becomes difficult as roads get blocked due to heavy snow. I explored the place in April which was pleasant during the day and cool during the night. The ample flora and fauna around the place will soothe your soul and leave you refreshed for a long time.
A visit to the famous Manikaran Gurudwara where you can find natural hot springs was a delight. To add to the experience, we sat for the ‘Langar’ that was being served there. Our next stop was Tosh village which is about 20 km from Kasol and many trekkers go there for a short trek. Walking along you can witness the snow-capped peaks all along the way. The view keeps getting better as you move up towards the village.
Nestles in the lap of nature, Tosh has many cafes and eateries to offer the tourists. It has a hippie vibe to it. The lanes in the village are narrow and surrounded by houses on both sides. As soon as we reached up, we looked for a café where we could relax and have delicious food. The German bakery in Tosh is quite famous and one should try it. We sat there for a few hours before climbing down again. The people are friendly and me being from Rajasthan loved the village culture it has. I would love to go there again.
Coming back to Kasol, the shops and cafes close early and it may be difficult to find midnight food usually. So, shop for late-night snacks or alcohol if you wish to.
We had a bonfire on the last night as the tradition goes and had lots of fun knowing each other and chatting the night away. This is was my first time in India where I was traveling with a group I didn’t know earlier, and I loved it. My perception of the place changed for good and forever.
A short trip to Kasol will leave you wanting for more and staying there a bit longer than planned. A place to do nothing, yet so many things; that is what Kasol is.
Share your travel stories and experience if travel to Kasol. Till then happy reading and planning your trips!
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