Sinchita Mitra

Over the rivulets and across the crystal clear stream, behind the mountains and through the hills lies the bustling town of Kasol. Once a sleepy hamlet, Kasol has now become a huge hub for tourists from around the world. The small town located in Parvati Valley, in Himachal Pradesh, has caught the fancy of millions of people worldwide. No trip to Himachal Pradesh is complete till once visit this enchanting little place.

People don’t just visit Kasol to witness peace, but also to enlighten their minds- but in a different way. Kasol is infamous for its cannabis. A lot of travellers and hippies flock this place to just get a taste of this ‘oh’ so magical grass that opens the mind and frees the spirit (don’t take our word for it)

How To Reach Kasol

The best way to travel to Kasol is via the railways and the bus. Kasol doesn’t have a direct train or bus connection from the major cities, thus, one has to make few pit stops to reach this gem of a town.

One can either go to Chandigarh or Pathankot. People usually prefer Chandigarh, since it is a better-connected city.

From there one has to take a bus to Manali. The Manali bus has a stop called Bhuntar, this is where one needs to get down to continue on their path to Kasol. Kasol is a mere 31km away from Bhuntar. Any local bus from Bhuntar will take one to Kasol.

What To Do In Kasol

Kasol is known by many other fascinating names owing to the different things one can do here. “Mini Israel” (all the wall graffitis are in Hebrew), “stoner’s paradise” and “Little Amsterdam” are some of the names that have become synonymous to Kasol.

Leisure walk by the Parvati River

Parvati Valley River
Parvati Valley River | Credit: Meta Networks

There is nothing more mind-opening than taking a walk by a free-flowing and burden free frothing river. The scene that one sees as one walks along the river is reminiscent of any William Wordsworth poet. The scented flowers fill up the nostrils, as the pine trees account for the perfect backdrop, while the river water makes the perfect calming noise as one slowly forgets about the worldly worries. One is instantly transported into a parallel universe where everything is beautiful and calm. This walk is said to be so pure that it heals anyone from inside out. 

Drive to Tosh

Malana Tosh Trek
Malana Tosh Trek | Credit: Facebook

Tosh is a stone’s throw away from Kasol. This quaint town is a must visit for anyone who is in Kasol. It is merely a 20km drive away from Kasol. The journey itself is breathtaking. One can witness several magnificent waterfalls and serene valleys. One has to cross a rickety bridge to finally reach to Tosh. The town is almost like a painting. Small huts are drawn against snowy white mountains, as tourists’ soft voices fill the whole town with a chatter.

Visit Malana

Malana is one of the most interesting and off beaten place that one can visit while in Kasol. It has a starkly different culture from anywhere in India. The locals are famous for their faith in Jamlu Devta. The most interesting fact, however, is that they have completely isolated themselves from anyone outside of their community. They are staunch believers of the Aryan race and believe that they are the direct descendants of that race.

Malana Village
Malana Village | Credit: mexinsta.com

A visitor cannot even touch their walls, and if by mistake a visitor puts any part of their body onto their walls, they wash it with buffalo blood! They resist anything that might hinder the purity of their race. The locals have their own sets of rules and regulations and do not consider themselves under the jurisdiction of the Indian Government.

However, this quirky town has excellent views, and the beauty is astounding. Many have even dubbed this place as ‘Little Greece’. There are also few guest houses where one can relax, and cafes are also omnipresent. Just the locals will not hand the food, one has to go and collect it from a chair that is the designated place where the ordered food is to be kept so that the locals can avoid any interactions with the visitor.

Head Over To Manikaran

Manikaran Gurudwara
Manikaran Gurudwara | Credit: पंजाब केसरी

Kasol has a lot of gems hidden inside it. Manikaran is another hamlet which has become a popular relaxation place. It is only a 5km trek from Kasol, and the trek itself is refreshing. Manikaran is famous for a gurudwara and the spiritual hot springs. Many believe that the hot springs actually have healing powers. After a visit to the shining and tranquil gurudwara, one can walk to Chalal village. This village is infested with Bob Marley. One can find every kind of item with Bob Marley’s face on it. Chalal village is also known for its rave parties.

Israeli Food

One cannot possibly go to Kasol and not gorge over some yummy Israeli delicacies. Bureka, Shakshouka and a lemon cake are the most famous dishes that one must try in Kasol. The German Bakery, The Evergreen and Turquoise Kasol, Jim Morrison Cafe, Moon Dance Cafe, Alpine cafe, are few of the most popular eateries in Kasol. The small Israeli joints that line up the streets have some gorgeous food as well. They are perfectly hygienic as well, since, dirt is a foreign concept in Kasol.

Israeli Food | Credit: Quora

Important Tips

  • Warm clothes are always a must even during the Summer months. The temperature tends to drop during the evening
  • Carry cash. Kasol has only one ATM, so carrying cash is a must
  • There is a lot of walking in Kasol. One must always wear comfortable walking shoes to travel around.
  • The hills are steep and have a lot of curves. Driving can get a little dangerous in such places. One must be careful.

Kasol itself offers a lot of cool places to explore and just walk around. There are several fields lush green parks where one can just laze around, walk or ponder over some deep thoughts. There are also a lot of camping options in Kasol with Forest Department Tents. They are strategically located at the banks of Parvati River, making it the perfect place to sleep at. The tents are as cheap as 150 rupees in the offseason to 300 rupees in peak season.

Kasol is a place that redefines both the idea of adventure and relaxing. It has something for everyone. So, don’t wait one moment and let yourself be engulfed by the charm of this lovely town in the midst of the Himalayas.

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