A Traveller’s Guide to Kasol
Situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Kasol is a little hamlet in Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh. It’s around 32 Km from Bhuntar. This beautiful village is surrounded by alpine and coniferous forests and Parvati river flows with all its might, right through the heart of Kasol. This place was once regarded as a hideout for only hippie backpackers. Today, Kasol has become one of the quick weekend getaways around Delhi and Chandigarh. The distance from Delhi to Kasol is around 500 km and one can easily reach there overnight. With multiple cafes and serene beauty, it’s not difficult to understand why Kasol is a reckoned a favorite destination amongst youngsters. In case you are planning to visit this hippie’s paradise, here is a complete guide to Kasol for first-time travelers.
The answer is really very simple. Kasol has lots to offer. From beautiful cafes to the bustling market, from hikes like Kheerganga and Waichin to serene Parvati Valley, from hippie culture to spiritual retreat at Manikaran Gurudwara, Kasol has got everything. Whether you are looking for a simple location to spend some peaceful time with yourself or you wanna do a crazy party with your college friends, whatever be the reason Kasol never fails to impress.
When To visit Kasol??
Kasol is a destination which you can visit around the year. However, the best time to visit Kasol is from March-June. This place changes its shade from season to season. During the months of December, January and February, Kasol gets snowfall which turns this place into a white wonderland. Then as time goes on, shades of green start to seep into the picture. By July, Kasol and whole Parvati valley are covered in lush green forests. October-December witnesses autumn season, where the entire landscape turns to orange and shades of brown. Now it’s your choice which hue of Kasol you want to explore!
Which Places to Visit in Kasol?
Chill with your gang in Cafes of Kasol:
Kasol is famous for its cafes. They serve exquisite food, hot beverages, and have a vibrant ambiance. Jim Morrison Cafe, Evergreen cafe, and Little Italy are amongst the famous cafes in Kasol. You can enjoy some lip-smacking Israeli food with amazing views of Parvati Valley.
Hike to Chalal Village:
Chalal is the laid back version of Kasol. There are spots in Chalal from where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets. The distance from Kasol to Chalal is around 1.5 kms which can easily be covered by foot. A walk from Kasol to Chalal along the river Parvati and amidst the pine woods is enchanting.
Give Your Soul a Spiritual Retreat at Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib:
Manikaran is just 3 km from Kasol. Take a local bus, or better yet walk your way up to Manikaran from Kasol. A walk is truly refreshing. You can take a dip into the hot water spring at the Gurdwara followed by a delicious and wholesome ‘Langar’.
Go for a hike to Tosh Village:
Tosh is the last motorable village in Parvati valley.The total distance from Kasol to Tosh is 20 Kms. Take a local bus or cab from Kasol up to Barshaini. Tosh is then 3 Km up from Barshaini. You either walk the rest 3 km enjoying the view or travel by the road in your own car or a cab. From Tosh, you can even go for a trek to Kutla Village.
Trek to Kheerganga:
Kheerganga is probably the most famous place to visit in Kasol. It is an obvious choice for a trek in Parvati valley. It’s also a place of holy significance, mounted with surplus beauty. After a hike of 14Kms, you can enjoy a dip in natural hot water spring here. Take a bus from Kasol and get down at Barshaini which is the starting point of Kheerganga trek.
Trek to Grahan Village:
Grahan Village is also called the magic honey village. It is the base camp of Sar Pass trek. The trek from Kasol to Grahan leads you through forests, crossing rivers along the way and offers complete isolation. The beauty of this village is unmatched by any other village in Kullu.
Trek to Waichin Valley:
Waichin Valley is the best alternative to Kheerganga. It’s a beautiful valley with minimalistic commercialization. The peace and calm of this valley will definitely make you stay an extra day here and trust me you’ll always want to come back.
Trek up to Magic Rasol:
Sometimes also referred to as magic valley, Rasol is a small village in Parvati valley which serves as the farming ground for the locals. They do hemp farming in these regions. It’s here you can talk to locals, know about their lives in the Himalayas. You will also get to know about the harsh and yet peaceful life of living in mountains even without the basic comfort of cities.
Visit the Infamous Malana Village:
The distance from Kasol to Malana is about 20 Kms. Malana is a very unique village in Parvati Valley. Locals of this village do not consider themselves as a part of India or any other place. Apparently, they have the oldest democracy in the world. They consider themselves as the direct descendants of ‘Alexender the Great’. Its unique culture makes it an experience worthy of.
Trek the Pin-Parvati Pass:
Pin-Parvati trek is one of the most beautiful and adventurous treks in Himachal. Although many treks around Kasol are easy, however, Pin-Parvati is an advanced level trek and it takes around 10-12 days to complete the entire trek.
How To Reach Kasol?
Kasol By Road:
Kasol is easily accessible by roads. Take an HRTC or HRTDC bus from Delhi going to Manali and get down at Bhuntar (60 Km before Manali). Take a local bus to Kasol from there or you can get a personal cab. If you are coming from Chandigarh, you can board a direct bus to Kasol or Manikaran.
Kasol by Railways:
Nearest Railway station to Kasol is Pathankot (150 Km). From here you have two ways to reach kasol. One is you come back to Chandigarh and take a bus from there to Bhuntar and so on to Kasol. Another way is to take a bus to Dharamshala and then a cab from there to Kasol.
Kasol By Flight:
Nearest Airport to Kasol is Kullu Airport (32 Km). Take a cab from there to kasol. From there, it will take about 1 hour to reach Kasol.
Where To Stay in Kasol?
There are ample of options to stay in Kasol. You can stay at hotels like Hotel Sandhya, Blue Diamond etc. You also have options for camping at ‘Kasol Sanjh’ and ‘Kasol Camps’. Those who want to stay at a resort, Himalayan Village Resort is a good option. If you want a local homely feel while staying at Kasol, homestays like Backpacker’s Nest and Moksha Riverside Cottage are excellent options.
Hope that I’ve answered all your questions that were an obstacle between you and your trip to Kasol. I’d suggest you to visit this beautiful place and the surrounding villages at least once since its a different experience from other tourist destinations. You can either go by yourself or better book yourself a travel package to Kasol from leading tour operators so that you can enjoy your trip without worrying much about travel and accommodation. Happy Travelling!
Blog By : Akash Gupta