Kasol is a village situated on the banks of Parvati River, at a height of 1,640m. It offers good weather almost throughout the year, a scenic view of the valley and untouched hills. It is also a base for many treks nearby and has earned itself the moniker of Himachal Pradesh’s ‘mini-Israel’, as many Israelis come here every year on vacation after their mandatory military training. Proof of this point can be found in the fact that almost all signage in Kasol is in Hindi as well as Hebrew. [caption id="attachment_4452" align="aligncenter" width="710"] A mountain stream flows through the scenic Parvati Valley. Credits: Alamy / Indiapicture[/caption]
Things to See & DoKasol is the laid-back base from which several close-by sites can be visited. What begins as a two-day weekend may just end up being a relaxing long week spent here; such is the charm of this tiny hamlet. Manikaran Located 5km away from Kasol, this lovely village offers a maze of small streets, lined with wooden houses and colourful façades. It is a pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Sikhs and the hot spring inside the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara is considered auspicious. The gurudwara itself is a huge, impressive structure located on the bank of the river, with colourful flags everywhere and a constant crowd. The structure was built to commemmorate Guru Nanak Dev’s visit to Manikaran. The aforementioned hot spring is claimed by residents of the village (with some pride) to have curative powers and is hot enough for one to cook rice in it! Also in town are shrines dedicated to Krishna, Rama and Vishnu. Prayer flags add a splash of colour around the Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara. Credits: Alamy / Indiapicture[/caption] Sar Pass Trek This trek starts from Kasol and goes through six villages: Grahan, Padri, Ratapani, Nagaru, Biskeri and Bhandak Thatch. The path leads through a lush green forest, with beautiful waterfalls on the way. Various birds can also be heard. [caption id="attachment_4454" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credits: Himalaya estination[/caption]
Read More: Trek and Camp in Triund HillKhir Ganga To start this hike, you first need to take a local bus or a motorcycle till Barshaini. From there, it is an 11-km walk till Khir Ganga, a trek that is at once physically challenging and refreshing. After the climb, you are rewarded with the opportunity to bathe in the hot spring, which is accessible from the end of April to the end of October every year. You can also camp here. It is advisable to carry a torch, as there is no electricity in Khir Ganga. [caption id="attachment_4455" align="aligncenter" width="699"] Credits: Trawell[/caption] Tosh Tosh is a village of much scenic beauty, and is ideal for meditation, peace and solitude. The locals are mostly farmers who cultivate apples and hashish, the main source of income here. The temple of Jamdagni Rishi at the centre of the village is on the banks of Tosh Nallah. From Barshaini, you can go through Kalga, a steep uphill climb lasting about 20 minutes, or Pulga (30–40 minutes). It takes 1.5 hours from Pulga to Tosh. [caption id="attachment_4456" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Credits: ixigo[/caption]
Where to Stay & EatIn Kasol
- One of the best hotels here, Hotel Sandhya Kasol (Tel: 01902-273745, Cell: 09218525695, 09418281903; Tariff: ₹3,700–6,200) is a clean, luxurious property with a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and Wi-Fi.
- Parvati Kuteer (Cell: 09654455361; Tariff: ₹3,500) has clean, comfortable cottages. The food is freshly cooked and the views are amazing.
- Hotel Green Valley (Tel: 273869, Cell: 09816078989; Tariff: ₹2,500–5,500) has a nice atmosphere and large bedrooms. The cheapest ones have shared bathrooms.
- Alpine Guest House (Tel: 273710, Cell: 09816271067; Tariff: ₹1,200–2,500) has spacious rooms and serves multicuisine meals.
- Hotel Krishna Palace (Tel: 273011-12, Cell: 09857083001; Tariff: ₹1,200–4,800), near the bus stand, has a restaurant.
- Hotel Devlok International (Tel: 273028, Cell: 08894280028; Tariff: ₹3,100–5,100, tents ₹3,000) has a restaurant. Closeby, in Dhoonkhara village, lies the beautiful
- Himalayan Village (Tel: 276266, Cell: 09805072712; Tariff: ₹7,200–10,400) by the Parvati River with six cottages and two machans. They have a restaurant, bar, spa and organise adventure activities too.
- Located by the Parvati River, Hotel Royal Palace (Cell: 09817373033, 09418135951; Tariff: ₹3,500–7,500) is perhaps the best place to stay. The hotel has clean, spacious rooms, parking and a multi-cuisine restaurant serving delectable Continental, Indian, Chinese and local cusiine.
- Also by the riverside is Hotel Sun ‘N’ Wind (Cell: 09805148303, 09817415303; Tariff: ₹2,000–3,800), with similar facilities.
- Sharma Sadan Guesthouse (Tel: 01902-273703, Cell: 09816073703; Tariff: ₹400–1,000) offers clean rooms and bathrooms with hot water.
- Fateh Paying Guesthouse (Cell: 09816894968; Tariff: ₹300), with five rooms, is more like a family retreat.
- Shivalik Hotel (Tel: 273817, Cell: 09418135951; Tariff: ₹2,400–4,800) is another option.
The InformationWhen to Go: End-April to end-October. In the other months, stay at Kasol is possible, but the snow and temperature will make it tough to trek and camp Tourist Offices
- HPTDC Dhalpur, Kullu Tel: 01902-222349
- Himachal Tourism Tourist Information Centre, Dhalpur, Kullu Tel: 224605 himachaltourism.gov.in, hptdc.nic.in