"Kasol : an ambiguous destination magnified"
January 1, 1970
by Akanksha Rathore
Kasol, ideally a very small place hibernating in the hills of himalayas but practically a plethora of allurement. With a population around 800 people, as acknowledged by the locals of the village. Kasol is a village in the Parvati Valley of district, Kullu. Kasol is 50 kms away from Kullu.
It was a journey three years back when I decided to explore the untold part of Himachal Pradesh. Although, the journey was tiring of almost fifteen hours from Delhi but once I encountered the village I forgot all the pain of my body and started detoxifying my mind with the breathtaking view and invigorating air blowing in every direction.
The place is famous with another name “mini Israel of India”. The reason behind the latter name which I figured out is the crowd. The maximum crowd of the village is from Israel and supposedly living there since few years.
Astounding views of the Place
Kasol is popular for it’s Marijuana. And I realized the fact when a tourist from a different country told me that he often visit the place because ‘the best Marijuana grows here’. Well, it might be the major attraction but not the only one. I found very pleasing cafes like “Lil Italy” which offers mouth-watering Italian cuisine and “Evergreen cafe” which has consolatory ambience where the music tranquilizes the mind. And at the same place I met with a 65 years old strange looking man who called himself as “Babasababa” claded in a black dress, his head covered with bandana and holding an Italian chillum (pipe), who serves the chillum smoke to the peeps sitting in the cafe for free. Anyway, it’s a must visit cafe in Kasol.
While strolling down the streets of Kasol breathing the fresh air I found shops full of a variety of chillum (pipi) and other hand made items. While shopping, bargaining should not be ignored.
The Old Bridge
It’s an old Bridge swinging between New Kasol and Old Kasol. Beholding the magnificent and splendid beauty of nature at its best. When striding the suspended bridge, eyes get lost in the surrounding of mother nature, ears blow out of the sound of running water of the Beas river flowing underneath. Moving forward cross the bridge to reach old Kasol, trekking on the alleys of standing stones and trees along the side of the river. People do camping with friends and family beside the river. The ambience and the glory of the place is outstanding.
When I reached old Kasol which is also known as ‘chalal’ it was a great time sitting besides the river and playing with pebbles,chirping of birds, everything moving in a different way. Suddenly I realized that it’s getting dark and ofcourse there is no road light to show me the way back. So I put on my celphone’s flash light but still it was hard to recognize the path. Then I saw a dog and got really scared that it’s going to bite me now but instantaneously it started walking on my way and that magical dog has saved my life that day it escort me to the old Bridge. So, not only the people and place even dogs are amazing.
Dessert in the Hills
German bakery is the delightful appetite Kasol. Cheesecakes, pancakes, hash brownies, every bit of which can tempt the taste buds. It’s a must visit bakery in Kasol.
Extension to Kasol
Since kasol can be covered in 1-2 days. Trekkers can extend their trip to explore more. There are many unexplored places in Parvati Valley like Tosh, Kheech Ganga,Manikaran, Malana, Rashol.
Tosh is 18kms away from Kasol. Many local taxi and buses run between Kasol and Tosh. It’s a small village of Parvati Valley. Waterfalls are the main attraction to this place. Rather, many yet to be explored. This miraculous place also has decent cafes like ‘Pink Floyd’.
Manikaran lies between Bhuntar and kasol. It’s a religious Centre for Hindus. It’s famous for the natural hot spring but it comes into the premises of the pilgrimage.
Kheer Ganga is a 9 km trek which can only be touched by trekking. No other conveyance is available. It’s a steep climbing trek which can stretch upto 6 hours. The fascinating thing about this place is, it has a ‘Hot Spring’. Tents and food should be carried while trekking up to Kheer Ganga.
How to reach Kasol
- Volvo buses run directly from Delhi to Bhuntar.
- Journey from Delhi to Bhuntar takes around 12-13 hours.
- Bhuntar is 30kms away from Kasol.
- Local buses and taxis run between Bhuntar and Kasol.
- Journey from Bhuntar to Kasol via., Manikaran takes around 1 hour.
Things to Remember
Maverick people resides in the village Kasol. There are no police stations. The only nearby police station is 5kms away in Manikaran. So it’s better not to indulge yourself with locals and respect the culture and traditions they follow.
The best season to visit Kasol is from April-June for people interested more in trekking and exploring the new sites of Kasol. Kasol can be exceptionally beautiful in winters. Even a colorful camera can give a black and white picture only during winter season. Infact, February is the best month to enhance the white beauty of Kasol.
Embracing the stupendous view of the snow covered mountains where white snow resembles the peace, purity and Serenity.