Kasol, Himachal Pradesh

kasol in parvati valley

Featured Image Courtesy- Alok Kumar CC BY- SA 4.0

Kasol, also known as the Mini Israel of India due to a large number of Israeli tourists visiting there, is a hill station in Himachal Pradesh. It is a town en route to many popular treks of the Himalayas like Malana and Kheerganga. People from whole over the country visit this place to get rid of their daily monotonous and hectic lives. It is a central base of the Parvati Valley and has River Parvati flowing through its heart and soul. Kasol is a little bit lesser populated and economic than the nearby hill stations of Kullu and Manali, which makes it more soothing and relaxing.

Let’s explore this wonderful gift of nature-

Location of Kasol-

Kasol is located at an approximate height of about 5200 feet from the sea level in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. It is about 216 kilometers away from the state capital Shimla and about 500 kilometers from the national capital Delhi. It is located in the Parvati Valley and on the banks of the River Parvati.

Places to visit In and Nearby Kasol-

Manikaran

It is a place of religious importance to both Hindus and Sikhs as it has temples of Lord Ram Chandra and Lord Shiva and a Gurudwara named Manikaran Sahib having a key feature of hot water ponds capable to cook food. The place is located at a distance of about 4 kilometers from Kasol and can be reached either by taking a bus from Kasol or by walking to the place. Taking a bath in the hot water at Manikaran Sahib is considered of great importance and cures a lot of diseases. Do have langar at the Gurudwara as it is God’s gift in the form of food to us.

Manikaran Sahib– Image Credits- balu BY- CC 2.0 on Flickr

Tosh Valley-

This is another awesome place to visit in the vicinity of Kasol, at a distance of about 20 kilometers from Kasol, it is accessible by bus from Kasol to Barsheni (about 16 kilometers) and further walking for rest 3-4 kilometers. It has plenty of picturesque locations and landscapes as a gift by the Parvati Valley.

Tosh Valley Image By Atulshishodia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Choj Bridge-

This awesome bridge over the Parvati River is located at a distance of about 1.2 kilometers from Kasol on Manikaran Road. It gives a scintillating view of the river flowing below it. A nice place to click pics with river water and lofty mountains. You can reach here either by walking or by bus going to Manikaran.

Choj Bridge

Kheerganga Trek-

It is the best destination for hiking and a little bit riskier and adventurous than the other ones. Trekking to this place requires training and is not everyone’s cup of tea, so go with proper planning and safety measurements. It is about 20 kilometers from Kasol and can be accessed by bus to Barsheni and walking the rest of the distance. The track has very little width along with hindrances of flowing water streams, so be careful. But the difficult way makes the result more enchanting and you get a great scene of nature’s beauty in its purest form.

Kheerganga- Image by-Nikhil.m.sharma BY CC BY-SA 4.0

Chalal-

Another beautiful mountain village in the valley fully covered by mountains. It is a short trek and best suitable for the beginners. It is about 3.4 kilometers from Kasol on the Manikaran Road and can be reached by bus to Manikaran Sahib and then further trekking to reach the destination. Although, more fascinating places exist than this one in the Parvati Valley, so do cover them before this place.

Parvati River Valley-

It is the valley formed by the River Parvati originating from Man Talai Glacier and the nearby mountains covered with tall pine trees. The banks of the river are a great thing of beauty added to this valley. This valley has mythological importance and it is believed that Lord Shiva spent many years with Goddess Parvati in this valley. The river is shallow and fast flowing with pure and clean water and large stones appear outside the water surface. All the mentioned destinations are the courtesy of this valley only.

River Parvati

Some of the other places to visit in this Parvati Valley are Pulga, Malana, Rasol, Rudranag, and Barsheni. All these places are also worth visiting and are en route to the destinations above mentioned.

Things to do in Kasol-

Camping and Bonfire

It is a great and soothing feeling to get the warmth of bonfire on a cold night after tiring excursions and trekking off the whole day. Staying in camps, near the river brings us closer to nature. The morning sunrise and breakfast with tea outside the camps are the best start to a new day for adventure.

For Booking Camps- Nature Touch Camp and Cafe- CONTACT-9805203244.

Camps in Kasol

Biking

Bikes are available on rent in the main center of Kasol for riding to the nearby tourist spots on an hourly basis. Proper ID and documents are required along with security fees to get these bikes on rent for adventurous rides in the mountains.

Trekking

Trekking in mountains is the exciting thing of such trips to hill stations. One walks with trekking bags and sticks to reach the destination with great difficulties. These treks are sometimes dangerous and risky to go as they have river valley on one side and path is only for single person added with water streams from the mountains on the side. Kheerganga is one such difficult trekking path.

Sightseeing

The best thing to do in Kasol is just gazing at the lofty mountains with ice caps and enjoying the pleasant river sounds round the clock. Do click pictures with these spell bounding and lush green scenes.

Shopping

The main center of the town has a market that has plenty of options for you to buy from. Some of the things to buy are the traditional Himachali Caps, bangles, handbags made of jute, keychains, Hookahs, dresses of Himachal and what not.


Shopping in Kasol

How to Reach Kasol?

The nearest bus stand is the Manikaran Bus Stand, but only buses from nearby areas like Manali, Kullu, Bhunter, and Chandigarh reach here. Else you can reach the Bhunter Bus Stand, about 40 kilometers from Kasol and then change the bus to Kasol. Volvo Buses are available only to and from Bhunter from various cities like Delhi, Amritsar, and Chandigarh.

To reach by air you must reach the nearest airport, Kullu Manali Airport in Bhunter, about 30 kilometers from Kasol and then, hire taxis or bus to reach Kasol. The next nearest and major airport is the Chandigarh International Airport, about 270 kilometers away.

Kasol has no railway connectivity of its own due to undulating terrain. So, for reaching Kasol by trains you must reach the nearest Pathankot railway station at a distance of about 150 kilometers.

What is the Best Time to Visit Kasol?

If you want to visit there for snowfall and snowman experiences, you should visit the place during the months of November to January end, when the area is fully covered with fresh snow.

Snow-covered Kasol

Else, in other months people from other parts of the country visit there to avoid summers in their regions and get some time off from their hectic schedules of work and offices.

Where to Stay in Kasol?

There are plenty of options to stay in Kasol like guest houses, Oyo Rooms, Hotels, Homestays, Camps or tents. Most of the people favor staying in camps near the Parvati River banks to have an experience that they could never get in their daily hectic lives.

Some Hotels there are-

  • Hotel Royal Palace
  • Hotel Kasol Holiday Paradise
  • Hotel Blue Diamond
  • Hotel Green Valley
  • Hotel Deep Forest

What and Where to Eat in Kasol?

Do eat the best street food of Kasol, the Momos with the red chili sauce. This is the best and the most affordable food available in Kasol. Shambhu Momos near the city bridge is one such famous stall for having them.

The other special thing to eat in Kasol is the Israeli Food in Restaurants. Kasol is famous as the Mini Israel of India, so do have Israeli dishes like Hummus, Falafel, Chicken Shipudim, Borek and Laffa. It would surely be a new and great experience.

Other than this dish, there are plenty of options to eat in various other restaurants present there-

The Evergreen-

The best café of Kasol in my opinion and serves sizzling dishes with other facilities like the bonfire, open-air dining with picturesque mountains, aroma and melodious music. Do try this café to change your taste preferences.

Moon Dance Café-

Another great café in Kasol to dine in and have dishes of various varieties like Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Israeli. It is located near the City Bridge from where the Parvati River flows and dining with the sounds of flowing water is a next-level excitement.

Some other cafes and restaurants are Bhoj Café, Stone Garden Café, Buddha Place, Jim Morrison Café and Café Sunshine.

Travel Tip-

  • Proper medical kit should be carried throughout the journey including general medicines of head and stomach aches and vomiting. It’s common to have health issues due to higher altitudes.
  • Secondly, carry all the necessary and relevant ID Cards which may be required during transit for security purposes.
  • Have proper clothing arrangements with you if you visit there during winters. These include proper ice jackets, shoes, socks, glasses, and woolens.
  • Don’t forget to take cameras and other gears with you to take awesome photos and videos that are going to be a memory forever.

Location on Map-

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