Take Vacation; go as many places as you can.
You can always earn money,
You can’t always make memories.
With the long weekend coming, a quick break is what I needed to escape from the stresses of a mundane life. For such days like this Himachal is like a gift from God, it is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. There is a long list of places I want to visit in Himachal but there is definitely one place I want to strike off your bucket list before I settle down as it is home to a deep-rooted local culture of pot and hippie hues . Starting at the confluence of River Parvati and River Beas, the valley is famous for its pretty as a picture and mesmerizing forests and crystal clear mountain streams. Nestled in this beauty is KASOL. The place is gaining popularity and emerging as a hub for backpackers, trekkers & hippie lovers. With pleasant climate all around the year and low population density, this wonderful place is all set to give you an unforgettable experience. Here is my literary for Kasol .
Day 1 :
Left New Delhi around 9PM from a private car hired from Travel agency. Stop for dinner at Pahalwan dhabba in Murthal.(National Highway-1, Murthal 131027, India, Just before Amrik Sukhdev ). No Journey will be complete if you don’t dine at a Dhabba. I personally prefer this dhabba among all as it’s not overly congested , service is super quick and washrooms are clean and the food is hygienic . Must try from the place is ; Parantha with white makkhan , butter tandoori roti with dal & mix veg. One hiccup for tangri lovers , the dhabba is pure veg. like most of the dhabba’s nearby!
With few quick tea breaks along the way we stopped at Mandi, Himachal Pradesh around 8 in the morning for Breakfast. There are a lot of small eateries and restaurant cum-lodge where you can have a quick light meal and a coffee to energize you for the run .Finally, we reached our hotel Sandhya around 11:30 in the morning which was pre-booked and one of the best hotels in Kasol to stay. They have a private parking area . So, with no worries, you can park your car and get fresh for some hippie-run.
We started our trip with a relaxing meal at Evergreen café which was a 5 min walk from the hotel. One thing about Kasol ,it’s never in a hurry . So, your lunch might go up to evening and no one complains. With almost 3 hr lunch break , we were on the main road for a walk and to absorb what this place has to offer . The market is flooded with Dreamcatcher & Boho clothes . So, you might want to pick up a rugged shrug and be on trans mode for some time with a big chocolate cake on your hand. With this, I want to emphasize on not missing out small home bakery shops which serve delicious cake & pies.With a lot of buzz around for Jim Morrison Café in the area for its legal transaction for the ‘Kasol thing’. We ended up visiting it , it was just opposite to our hotel and there is a little trek which you have to do. You will be welcomed with some “never seen “plants. And then there is a cottage between all wild in dark night which freaked me out a little initially. I stepped inside star trek movie was on screening on a projector (As it was a Movie night) with a trippy interiors and candle light. The place is for stoners. They served only basic beverages and veg food & dried leaves. Later, we decided to dine in at Born 88 café in Sandhya hotel. The food is decently priced and value for money. We went with north Indian meal and it turned out to be the best meal in the entire day.
Breakfast at hotel (complimentary). Try to leave early because you will be taking many halts for capturing your next dp. The place is a beauty, uncut tall mountains and cackling, churning and frothing Parvati river on one side and looming pine trees on the other. Head to Manikaran Gurudwara , about 6 kms from Kasol.
Manikaran Sahib is a huge Gurudwara tucked between imposing hills and a fierce Beas. The high point of the Manikaran Sahib is the hot spring located within the premise of the Gurudwara. The devout takes a dip here to wash their sins and illnesses away as the spring water is believed to have healing properties. The ‘Langar’ is delicious and wholesome. It is a fact that the rice is cooked in the hot water from the spring. You have to take off your footwear and cover your head in respect before entering the holy Gurudwara. It would be wise to carry a convenient piece of clothing to cover your head. With a heartful lunch at Manikaran we headed to TOSH village for trekking.
Tosh is the last village in the parvati valley at height of 7487 feet. It is mesmerizing and breathtaking. The drive from kasol to Barshaini , which is the last stop on the bus route to tosh , is fairly smooth , but from then on the path is treacherous. The last few kilometers to the destination are often most exciting as beauty comes into the way . You can drive to the check post and preferably take a cab or private taxi usually run between tosh and check point or trek for 2km to reach tosh . Once you reach tosh , you will realize it is where the heart of Himachal is , the real beauty. It has not been developed there are many small café. We decided to trek little and reach Blue Diamond café which was an end of Tosh village and on a bit high level. Blue diamond is a hotel to many Israeli back backers. We ordered some must have momos , paneer tikka , coffee & Nutella pancakes and rejuvenated ourselves with the most peaceful and heavenly view. The village, however, offers an unforgettable experience for those who love to unwind in the lap of nature; what’s better than a lazy evening spent gazing at the majestic Himalayas. Do not miss the spectacular sunset and sunrise here.
We reached Kasol for dinner and decided to dine in at a fine dine restaurant – bar ; Little Italy . Little Italy is on the main road of Kasol that serves amazing wood-fired pizzas and pasta. When the sound of Parvati river hits your ears and you can look her passing by from a distance Little Italy is a good place to spend an evening enjoy some music, pizzas along with a pint of beer.
These 2 days in Kasol could be an eternity for a lifetime.
What did we miss that you shouldn’t miss?
- We did miss the famous Kheerganga trek due to monsoon . But if you are in Kasol and up for some adventure take kheer Ganga trek for 6km that takes 3 hrs approx. It’s a full day trek.
- Do not miss out on Moon Dance Café , Moon Dance Café & . Bhoj Café.
- River Rafting , one thing you should not miss here. ( Unfortunately, it remains closed during monsoons and opens around 15th September )
Take along :
- Good camera phone , bring out the hidden photographer in you . This is your chance.
- Jackets & Pull Over . Nights are chilly.
- A good song playlist & headphones.
- A stroll for Manikaran temple.
- Hiking shoes / Spots shoes.
- Power Bank