If you’re feeling bogged down by endless meetings, looming deadlines and are aching to leave the city, Kasol is the perfect summer Himalayan escape. A tiny village situated 40kms from Kullu, Kasol lies in the picturesque Parvati Valley and is known for its splendid views, pleasant weather, quaint cafes, delectable food, and Israeli culture. Stretched along the magnificent Parvati River, the tiny hamlet offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks and is the base point for a number of treks, including Sar Pass, Yanker Pass, Pin Parbati Pass and Kheerganga.
The summer months from April to October are the best time to visit Kasol owing to the agreeable weather. However, plenty of tourists also enjoy the sub-zero temperatures here during the winter months.
It’s fairly easy to reach Kasol and you’ll have plenty of options, whether you prefer to travel by road, air or train.
The closest airport to Kasol is Bhuntar, which is 38km away from Kasol. From Bhuntar, you can take a local bus or a cab.
Buses are easily available from any major north Indian city, but your best bet would be to take one from Delhi or Chandigarh. The closest bus stop is Bhuntar, after which you can take a cab or a local bus. You can also drive up to Kasol, the roads are fairly safe and quite picturesque.
The closest railway station to Kasol is Jogindernagar, which is 168km away from the village. From Jogindernagar, you can take a cab or a bus to Kasol.
Whether you want to chill by the Parvati river all day or party it up at the trance music festivals, there’s something for everyone here in this hippie Himalayan paradise!
While we do enjoy a luxury hotel with bubble baths and rooms service as much as the next person, when you’re in Kasol we suggest you ditch the fancy hotels for a local cottage or a home-stay. This will not only make your stay in the hills more authentic, but you will also experience the lovely pahadi hospitality--complete with dal bhaat and chai. Interacting with the locals will also give you some insight into life at the valley and the best trekking spots close by. We recommend you pick one close to the Parvati river.
Kasol might be a tiny village, but you can find pretty much any kind of food here--Italian, Israeli, Indian--you name it! And is there anything more blissful than admiring the snow-capped peaks while sitting inside a quaint Israeli cafe munching on Chicken Schnitzel? You can’t miss the trout served with salad a fries at Little Italy, head to Jim Morrison Cafe for some good music and try hummus and pita. When you’re in the mood for dessert, drop by at Moon Dance Cafe for the best chocolate chip cookies.
A trip to Himachal Pradesh isn’t really complete till you take a trek up a majestic mountain. Fortunately, Kasol is the base for some of the most picturesque treks in the state. If you want to do a short and easy trek, we suggest the scenic village of Chalal, which is just 30 minutes away. For the more adventurous souls, head to the gorgeous village of Kheerganga, which is around 14kms from Kasol, and should take you 4-6 hours on an average. Start the trek early in the morning so that you reach on time, and don’t forget to enjoy the Maggi and chai at the Rudranaag, the last stop before Kheerganga.
If you’re someone who enjoys psychedelic trance music and are a sucker for loud, energetic parties, you’ve come to paradise. Most cafes will be playing trance music but if you want to be in the know about a party or a festival, check with the cafe staff--they usually keep track of what’s going on in the valley. So put on your harem pants and get ready to dance the night away under the moonlight!
Besides the food, music and the people, the best thing you can do in Kasol is just find a spot by the Parvati river, grab your kindle and spend an entire day listening to the crashing sounds of the mighty river. You can even pack some sandwiches from your hotel/guesthouse and plan a picnic by the meadows.
Kasol is not a ‘touristy’ place with lots of sights to see--it’s a beautiful little slice of heaven and you should breathe in every last bit of that crisp mountain air while you’re there--you’ll miss it when you head back to the city!
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