Bookmark This Travel Guide To Kasol: Planning, Weather, Adventure And Local Experiences
Situated in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Kasol is a little hamlet in Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Located around 32 km from Bhuntar and 500 km from Delhi, this beautiful village is surrounded by alpine and coniferous forests with the Parvati river flowing right through it! Once regarded as a hideout for just hippie backpackers, Kasol has become one of the most sought-after weekend getaways around Delhi and Chandigarh in recent times. With multiple cafes and boundless serene beauty, it’s not difficult to understand why Kasol is reckoned as every youngster’s favourite destination! If you’re visiting this hippie’s paradise for the first time, make sure you take a look at this detailed travel guide to Kasol curated for first-time travellers.
The answer is really simple and strategically explained in this travel guide to Kasol. All you gotta do is dive in!
From beautiful cafes to bustling markets, from hikes like Kheerganga and Waichin to serene Parvati Valley, and from hippie culture to a spiritual retreat at Manikaran Gurudwara, Kasol has everything to satisfy your wanderlust! Whether you are looking for a simple location to spend some peaceful time with yourself or a space to party till you drop with college friends, whatever your reason, Kasol never fails to impress! So, the real question is, why not Kasol?
Best Time To Visit Kasol
Despite it being a year-round destination, the best time to take a trip to Kasol is March-June, as per every Kasol travel guide. Kasol changes shade every season, giving travellers a new set of breathtaking views to marvel at! During December, January and February, Kasol gets snowfall which turns this place into a white wonderland. As Spring approaches, shades of green start to seep into the picture. By July, Kasol and the whole Parvati Valley are covered in lush green forests bathed in sunlight. October-December witnesses the autumn season, when the same landscape turns to shades of orange and brown. Now it’s up to you to decide which colours of Kasol you wish to explore!
How To Reach Kasol
Kasol is well-connected via road, railway, and air to almost all parts of India. Looking for the most scenic yet budget options on how to travel to Kasol by different mediums? Our special travel guide to Kasol will give you just that.
How To Reach Kasol By Road:
Kasol is easily accessible by road. Take a private Volvo or an HRTC/HRTDC bus from Delhi going to Manali and get down at Bhuntar (60 km before Manali). Now comes the question of how to reach Kasol from Manali. Easy peasy! You’ll find a number of local buses and cabs, both sharing and private, willing to take you to Kasol from there. If you are coming from Chandigarh, you can board a direct bus to Kasol or Manikaran.
How To Reach Kasol By Train:
The nearest railway station to Kasol is Pathankot Railhead (150 km away). Private and sharing cabs, as well as local buses, can be availed near the railway station too. From here, you can reach Kasol in two ways. One, get to Chandigarh, take a bus to Bhuntar, and then another to Kasol. Or take a bus to Dharamshala and a cab or bus from there to Kasol.
How To Reach Kasol By Air:
Kullu Airport located 32 km away from Kasol is its nearest airport. Take a private or shared cab from here to Kasol and you’ll reach in about an hour.
Things To Do In Kasol
With an endless array of activities like trekking and riverside camping, Kasol is a hotpot of adventure! However, despite there being plenty of articles on the internet talking about the major tourist attractions of Kasol, not every travel guide to Kasol among them will let you in on the unconventional and even hidden places to see and things to do there.
1. Trek to Kheerganga
The first thing every Kasol tour guide will suggest you experience is the mighty Kheerganga trek that takes you deep into lush jungles, over steep trails, past blooming apple orchards, and through the stunning Parvati Valley! Kheerganga is probably the most famous place to visit in Kasol. Mounted with surplus beauty, it’s also a place of holy significance. And the best part, after a taxing hike of about 14 km, the Kheerganga valley rewards visitors with a revitalising dip in natural hot water springs that instantly washes away all fatigue! To reach it, all you gotta do is take a bus from Kasol to Barshaini, the starting point of Kasol’s most famous trek.
2. Hike to Tosh Village
Tosh is the last motorable village in Parvati Valley located 20 km away from Kasol. Just like Kheerganga, Barshaini also serves as the starting point for this trek. You can take a local bus or cab till here and then Tosh is just 3 km uphill from Barshaini. While this 3 km route can be covered via car or cab, it is preferred to hike to Tosh if you wish to indulge in the most relaxing hiking experience amidst nature, treat your eyes with alluring views of the valley, and keep this little hamlet as far away from the noise and pollution of vehicles as possible!
From Tosh, you can also go for a trek to Kutla Village, for which you may need a local Kasol guide to show you the way.
3. Watch Sunsets At Chalal Village
Covered with apple trees, the tiny village of Chalal is the laid-back version of Kasol and is among the best weekend getaways from Delhi. A few specific spots in Chalal offer some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever see in the hills! Chalal is a mere 1.5 km from Kasol and can be easily covered on foot. A walk from Kasol to Chalal along the Parvati river and amidst pine woods is truly an enchanting experience!
4. Taste Honey & Adventure At Grahan Village
Many refer to Grahan Village as the ‘magic honey village’ owing to its natural bee-keeping forests and the distinct taste of honey that is collected there. To reach this quaint village, one has to cross a rather picturesque bridge connecting the banks of a gushing stream. The whole setting gives people an idyllic experience of trekking to this place.
Other than this, the village serves as the base camp for the Sar Pass trek. The trek from Kasol to Grahan and then from Grahan to Sar Pass leads trekkers through surreal pine forests, rhododendron meadows, milky waterfalls, and past snowy mountains. The last point of the trek is a frozen lake that is nothing short of a vision!
5. Visit The Quirky Malana Village
Malana is unique in every way! For starters, the locals here believe they are direct descendants of Alexander the Great! They believe that they are not a part of India or any land and they have their own democracy, apparently the oldest democracy in the world!
Malana is about 20 km away from Kasol and is undoubtedly a unique settlement in Parvati Valley. The unique culture, trippy vibes and claims of the locals make it worth adding this little village to your Kasol guide.
6. Trek To Waichin, The Mini Kheerganga
While our travel guide to Kasol urges you to taste the thrill of the Kheerganga trek, we’ll also let you in on the secret Waichin Valley trek for a little tranquillity and unspoiled nature! It’s the perfect alternative to Kheerganga! In order to get here, you’ll first need to get to Malana village, and from there Waichin is only a 4 km further uphill.
Blessed with tall pine and coniferous trees, dazzling views of the snow-covered Himalayas, and minimal commercialization, the beauty of Waichin is unmatched! The charming valley and local village life offer absolute peace and calm that’ll make you want to stay longer and keep coming back!
7. Discover The ‘Magic’ Of Rasol
Known to backpackers and youngsters as ‘Magic Valley’, Rasol is a small farming village in Himachal. Along with wool rearing, the locals grow hemp here, a variant of Cannabis that has multiple medicinal and industrial uses. A visit to Rasol gives you a great opportunity to interact with Himachali farmers and take a peek into their lives in the hills.
In addition to watching friendly village dwellers grow and reap this wonderful plant, you can learn a great deal about the hardships of these farmers in the hills. Discover the peaceful and eco-friendly methods that help them overcome these hurdles with ease without needing technology and the comforts of the cities.
8. Scale The Pin-Parvati Pass
The Pin-Parvati trek is one of the most beautiful and adventurous treks in Himachal. In comparison to various easy treks around Kasol, Pin-Parvati is an advanced level trek that takes around 10-12 days to complete. Along with trekking over uneven terrain and climbing boulders, the Pin Parvati trek demands trekkers to indulge in a bit of mountaineering, making it a favourite site for mountaineering enthusiasts.
This taxing 100-km long trek through the splendid Parvati Valley and the barren landscapes of Pin Valley are recommended only for proficient trekkers who are physically fit to undertake it.
9. Take A Spiritual Journey To Manikaran Sahib
The pearl-white holy sanctum of Shri Manikaran Sahib is located just 3 km from Kasol. You can take a local bus or cab to get here. Better yet, if you’re riding to Kasol from Delhi or Chandigarh, you can stop by this beautiful Gurudwara on the way itself. After all, what better way to start a trip than with the blessings of the Almighty!
Enveloped in mist oozing from the hot water springs surrounding the shrine, this gem of a place is known to embrace visitors in a refreshing and peaceful aura! When here, you can attend the heart-warming prayer, treat yourself to wholesome ‘langar’, enjoy some natural sauna inside the caves, and take a dip in hot water springs.
10. Wander In Pulga’s Apple Orchards
The smiling locals of Pulga lure in travellers with their aromatic tea estates, cute little wooden houses, picture-perfect cherry blossoms, and the crunchy apples of their orchards they happily pluck for visitors themselves! This straight-out-of-a-dream hippie town near Kasol can easily be reached with a mere 3 km hike from Barsaini. Ask a local Kasol travel guide for the way so you don’t get lost. Though it’s a short walk, it takes trekkers through a gorgeous forest, over pretty bridges, and past stunning waterfalls, bestowing them with alluring vistas of the hills along the way!
When here, you can interact with the friendly locals, try Himachali cuisine at Boom Shankar Café, meet a cool sadhu baba at the Pink House, and revel in the utter serenity and peace of this hidden abode!
11. Go Fishing In Naggar
Catching plump trout in the Beas River is just one of the things that bring people to Naggar from far and wide! This beautiful region in the Kullu District is located next to Kasol and is equally worthy of a visit. Whether you are visiting with family, holidaying with your spouse, or road tripping with friends, you must not miss out on the experience of exploring Naggar’s delightful Himachal architecture, unending hospitality of the locals, and spectacular vistas are sure to melt everyone’s hearts!
Don’t forget to visit the majestic Naggar Castle and take Lord Shiva’s blessings at the ancient Shiva Temple, two charming aspects of Naggar that put it on every travel guide to Kasol.
12. Taste The Thrill Of Riverside Camping
Set up camp near the gushing Parvati river and catch up with old friends over a bonfire, music, and roasted marshmallows! Add a zest of fun to your holiday in Kasol with a night (or two) or riverside camping that will leave you and your gang with memories for life. It is anyway the best way to wear down your fatigue after all those tiring sessions of trekking or to intoxicate your mind, body, and soul of those long hours at the office!
Give yourself and your amigos a relaxing night in the lap of nature and the canopy of a thousand stars, another privilege our bustling metros don’t grant us!
13. Chill At The Peppy Cafes In Kasol
Kasol has some of the most iconic Israeli cafes in India! Each one is more chic and classy than the last! They serve everything from exquisite food, vibrant ambiance, to magnificent views of the Parvati Valley! Jim Morrison, Little Italy, Pink Floyd, Shiva Shanti, Ashwin’s, Olive Garden, Moon Dance, Mountain Goat, Stone Garden, Freedom, The Evergreen, Bhoj, Buddha Place, and The Art Café are some renowned names here for some lip-smacking Israeli and continental food and refreshing views of the valley!
What’s more, Kasol is now home to India’s first ever hemp cafe – Off Limits! It serves a wide range of food and beverages, including pasta, burgers, breakfast platters, and the best hot chocolate you’ll ever have, all infused with the goodness of hemp! That sure gives us a great reason to visit, doesn’t it?
Places To Stay In Kasol
There are ample accommodation options in Kasol for all types of travellers. Our travel guide to Kasol gives you the best ones right here!
Hotels: Blue Diamond, Hotel Sandhya, Hill Crest Kasol
Riverside camps: Kasol Sanjh, Kasol Camps, Moksha Riverside Cottage
Resorts: The Himalayan Village, Echor Palm Bliss
Homestays: Backpacker’s Nest, Moksha Riverside Cottage
Hostels: The Hosteller, GoStops
Kasol Travel Guidelines
Let us conclude this travel guide to Kasol with some tips that might help you plan your vacation better and let you have a great time in this charming hill town.
- Plan your holiday a month or two in advance. Kasol is a pretty popular among tourists, so chances of getting a good stay are really thin if you delay your booking procedure.
- Carry sufficient amount of cash. Don’t waste time hunting ATMs in the valley.
- Carry a water bottle and fill it up whenever you get a chance. Don’t keep purchasing and discarding numerous plastic bottles.
- Do not litter! Discard waste only in designated waste bins and keep the surroundings clean.
- Respect local customs and laws of villages or towns that you visit or trek to. Not all local settlements allow strangers in their midst.
- Do not take pictures or shoot videos of locals without prior permission.
- Make sure to hire an experienced Kasol guide for offbeat treks and hikes.
- Wear comfortable clothes and a good pair of hiking shoes without embarking on a trek.
- Many villages in and around Kasol produce Hashish as Cannabis grows naturally in these parts owing to favourable climate. Do not, however, carry it home with you as Hash is illegal in other parts of India.
Kasol Guide Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many days is enough for Kasol?
3 to 4 days are enough for a trip to Kasol unless you wish to embark on a hardcore trek like the Pin Parvati or Sar Pass. Consult our travel guide to Kasol to know the best treks in the region and plan accordingly. Also, make sure you leave room for leisure activities and shopping.
2. How much will it cost for a trip to Kasol?
A Kasol trip will cost you around INR 3,500 to INR 7,000 depending on your mode of transport, choice of accommodation, and duration of the trip.
3. Is it safe to travel to Kasol now?
While Kasol is generally safe to travel in all seasons, monsoon is not considered an ideal time to visit as the roads and hiking trails of Kasol turn muddy and slippery.
4. How do you travel around Kasol?
Local HRTC buses ply at several tourist spots in Kasol along with many private and shared cabs. Other than this, you can simply choose to get around on foot as many of the main tourist hubs in Kasol are within walking distance and nothing beats the joy of hiking amidst towering pine trees, green hills, and chirping birds!
5. How to reach Kasol from Delhi by bus?
Travellers mostly opt for an overnight journey to Kasol in either a private Volvo or an economical HRTC bus bound for Kullu Manali. Get down at Bhuntar and take another bus or a private cab to Kasol. You can book a seat on Volvo or state-run buses online or directly at the ISBT-Kashmere Gate bus stand in Delhi from where these buses normally ply. A bus journey from Delhi to Kasol typically costs around INR 1,000-1,500. You can also hire a private cab or rent a vehicle to drive there yourself.