Travel

Little things you need to know about Kasol

Imagine this.  A tranquil and lush Himalayan valley, the gush of a ferocious river floating in the air.  Then add to that a bohemian hippie vibe.  All of this and more is tantamount to the little village of Kasol, which is on the hippie radar of India and undoubtedly, on the list of travelers who are a little bit adrift and proudly so, if you know what I mean.  Kasol is the perfect haven for the wanderer in you and yet it is a place where you would want to stay longer.

Let me show the Kasol that’s in my camera and memory.

A quirky vibe lingers in the air along with the smell of pot and the sound of reggae.  You’ll spot more Israelis here than you will Indians, and this adds to the peculiar air of this village.   The smallish market has shops with all kinds of colorful hippy-ish clothes, shoes and accessories.  Almost every cafe and restaurant serves Israeli fare which of course, is made with Indian ingredients, but gives an insight into the Israeli cuisine nevertheless.  MANY Royal Enfields adorn the streets and appear to be THE mode of commute for the quirky inhabitants.  We sold for the swag and hired one to drive around the town and up to the quieter and offbeat village of Tosh.  The lunch of langar at Manikaran, en route Tosh was in order and was relished to the last morsel.

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Perpetually flowing Parvati River in Kasol

 

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Right before “the free lunch” at Manikaran

 

Speaking of food, we found the best thupka in Kasol was at this tiny shop at the round-about.  It was so steamy and comforting, I could have married it.  The weather had been playing us all through our Himachal tour.  It kept raining on our day plan every now and then.  On one such rainy evening, we decided to warm ourselves to some scotch and rum and landed at Panjtara Restaurant.  The place is cozily done with a fireplace and rustic interior and the food is just as good.  We would have loved to try their pizzas too, but already had food parceled from a smallish Indian restaurant.  Another evening found us at Cafe Sunshine where we stuffed our faces with chicken something and our bellies with beer.  Being lovers of outdoor seating restaurants with view, we spent one whole evening at River View Cafe in Soni Cottages.  This place does not serve alcohol but you can BYOB (bring your own bottle).  The food turned out pretty decent and the backdrop of flowing river was a bonus.  Our riverside cottage, though small and crummy, gave us the advantage of spending a whole night next to a personal bonfire by the bank, dunking our face in bowls of maggi, conversing with the owner Rahul and bossing around his Alexa.  The mornings were spent at the same bank sipping coffee and basking in sun on days the weather showed some empathy.

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Overly sweetened coffee.  This view though.

 

The aforementioned drive to Tosh was pretty scenic, though roads are not in the best condition.  Fresh snowcapped mountains keep playing peek-a-boo as you drive up and it’s every bit worth stopping for pictures.  The facade of Tosh was very Indo-rural, yet the vibe very Israeli-hip.  Tiny lanes took us to a gorgeous valley view and it was the perfect setting to sit and distract from all the ruckus of your mind.  For that matter, all of Himachal will offer you the calming backdrop.  Whether you focus on the ruckus of your mind, or the peace is for you to decide.

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Tosh Village

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How to reach Kasol:  If you’re coming from Delhi, there are plenty buses that ply till Bhuntar in Kullu.  From Kullu you can either choose to hire a cab or a bus.  Same goes from Shimla to Kasol.  From Chandigarh though, there is decent service of buses directly to Kasol.  We extensively used makemytrip’s taxi service for transfers.  We got a pretty decent pricing both from Dharamshala to Kasol and from Kasol to Shimla.

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So tell me, what did you think of Kasol?

And then, follow me on instagram

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