Kasol – A Backpacker Paradise!

Stretched along the lovely Parvati River with mountains rising all around, Kasol is the main traveller hang-out in the valley.  It’s a small village, but almost overrun with reggae bars, bakeries and cheap guesthouses catering to a largely backpacker crowd, quickly becoming one of the preferred travel destinations for Indians.

It’s also a major summertime venue for trance parties transplanted from Goa, and at any time an easy base for exploring the forested valley or just chilling out. The village divides into Old Kasol on the Bhuntar side of its bridge, and New Kasol on the Manikaran side.

The Parvati River enters the Beas just above Bhuntar and its ethereally beautiful valley stretches back up to the hot springs at Manikaran and beyond into the 5000m heights of the Great Himalayan Range.

The valley has a well-deserved reputation for its charas (hashish), and several villages have been transformed into hippie/backpacker hang-outs, offering cheap accommodation, international food and nonstop music to crowds of international travellers.

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Things to do

Treks and treads around include Sar Pass, Yanker Pass, Pin Parbati Pass and Kheerganga.
If tough climbing is not your style, take a walk to Challal, which is just 30 minutes away from Kasol.

Many local cafes(Israeli origin) are set up to check-in for a quick bite through the entire stretch from Kasol to Challal.

For a feel of the rural life in these regions, visit Malana or Tosh(trek to these villages from Kasol for breathtaking views) – An isolated village 21 kms from Kasol.

You can also try the Malana cream – premium hashish which is popular among Israelis, Europeans and Indian youth visiting Kasol.

Where to stay

Hotel rates in Kasol range anywhere between Rs 1000-1200/day and tents start from Rs 800-1000/day. These rates are negotiable with the hotel owner. To truly travel like a backpacker, its recommended to rent tents alongside the banks of river Parvati(Silence
(Silence Camps – Kasol is a good camping site).

Article contributed to Tripdukaan by Sachin Sadhwani

 

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