There are a few places in the world which are meant for relaxation and just enjoying the beauty of the nature. One such laid back place is in the northern part of the country. Kasol, in Himachal Pradesh. Kasol is one such place which lures people from farfetched lands to come and be a part of the mosaic of the cultures. Let us see why this place is one of the must go places on an Indian trip.
The Himalayas are not only a source of mighty rivers but also charming poems and delightful portraits. The views of Himalayas from Kasol are simply breath-taking. The huge snow clad peaks in front, the tall coniferous trees, the Parvati river in the valley, all just add to the beauty of Kasol. Trek a little and there are many waterfalls to enjoy as well.
There are very places in the world where it is not surprising that a foreigner is giving directions to the locals. Kasol, indeed is one. With a thriving Israeli population around, it is very common to find their footprints everywhere. They have been coming here for years now and have blend well with the modus operandi of Kasol. Tibetan settlement is also here in abundance together with the nearby Nepalis. All these nationals bring along with them, their culture and the interesting traditions that make this place a big basket of world communities.
It is said that God is everywhere. Why would Kasol be left alone then. A 5 km drive from Kasol and one finds himself in Manikaran, a holy shrine of the Sikh community. There is a huge bridge crossing over Parvati river to reach the place. Devotional songs and chants of the pilgrims are a norm at all times of the day. There are many solo Sikh bikers too who come all the way from the plains to visit this place. There is a ‘langar’ in the Gurudwara in Manikaran which offers free food to all the travellers and devotees. Even the devotees take some time off to serve in the ‘langar’ and they can be seen serving the food or helping out with the dishes. To add to the mystic, there is a natural hot water geyser in the shrine premise. Many visitors take a bath in the pond. Due to high sulphur content, it is advised not to spend too much time inside the geyser.
Be it the famous Tibetan momo or the Nepali thupka, Kasol has it all. Numerous Israeli bistro line the thriving market in Kasol. They serve amazing Israeli cuisine together with lovely music on the house. Hippy culture is always welcomed here and one ought to make a friend or two in these cafes. Small outlets of Tibetan dishes are also in abundance due to huge popularity among the locals and tourists alike. Interestingly, these cafes outnumber even the Indian restaurants over here.
There is a huge base camp of Youth Hostel Association of India (YHAI) in Kasol. The summer months are jam packed with the incoming trekkers from all over the place. Owing to the natural beauty in and around Kasol, there
are many treks that originate from here. Kasol is perfect place to acclimatize before proceeding to the higher camps. There are many jungle trails that are used by YHAI to offer health walks and stamina building. These trails are lined up with small rivulets and hamlets. One can also taste Indian berries on the way. Due to an in demand trekking market, there are many shops which offers various kinds of trekking and mountaineering equipment and gears. Make sure you get your stuff thoroughly checked before going on higher grounds.
Apart from the trekkers, Kasol is a hot spot for adventure enthusiasts as well. The rocky terrain facilitate rappelling and rock climbing sites which are ideal training grounds for the beginners. Bhuntar, a half an hour drive from Kasol, is on the confluence of the River Beas and Parvati. These rivers offer great white water rafting opportunity to the ones interested. There are many rafting companies to help one out. They provide the guides, trainers as well the rafting and safety equipment for the tourists.
Sit back and relax
Not only for adventure sports and trekking, a number of tourists swarm this place just to sit back and relax. Kasol is an overnight journey from New Delhi, which makes this a coveted place for all. One who wants to take some time out of the office or his daily routine can turn to Kasol to just take a step back and do nothing but absorb what Kasol has to offer. One can cycle in the forests, or simply sit beside the river and go fishing in this place. It is a perfect place to implore oneself.
Kasol, all the way !!
Being pretty famous with the tourists already, Kasol is not very difficult to reach from the major destinations of India. It provides a beautiful blend of different cultures at a single place and a hub to enjoy the various things the nature has to offer. Kasol is also an ideal place for ornithologists, yoga lovers and a paradise for photographers. Apple orchards are not far, nor are the best cuisines to satiate your palate. From adventure sports to natural springs, from jungle treks to rafting, from devotional surroundings to hippy culture, Kasol is simply a place to be, always and everytime.