For a long time, Kasol has been famous more for its trance parties and hippie culture. In fact, when we planned a visit here in 2016, the first thing that people asked us was if we were into weed. Because apparently, you only visited Kasol to get high and party.
However, it is safe to say that it definitely wasn’t our main aim to visit the Parvati Valley. We visited Kasol because we had read about the beautiful mountains and the magnificent river Parvati. Sure, it is a stoner’s paradise but this place is more than just a place to get stoned. It is a place where you can finally unravel your wings and experience the beauty of Mother Nature in all its glory.
Kasol is the ultimate place to witness the charms of the valley and the grandness of the mountains and you don’t need to get high to experience that.
Surrounded by so many beautiful places, one can easily plan a trip from Kasol to Tosh, Malana, Manikaran, etc. So if you want to get lost in the unknowns and witness the overwhelming beauty of the mountains, then Kasol is the place for you.
In this article, we have mentioned all the information that you need to plan a successful visit to this gorgeous location. And it won’t cost you more than 5000 INR for a long weekend. Yes, you heard me right! You can actually enjoy a 4-day trip to this popular Himachal Pradesh destination, read on to know how.
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How to Reach Kasol
Now you might wonder how to reach Kasol and then these other mind-blowing places. Worry not, we are going to cover that too. Ideally, there are multiple ways to reach this popular Himachal destination.
The closest airport to Kasol is the Bhuntar airport at a distance of approximately 32 km. There are regular flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to Bhuntar so you can reach from any of those two cities. If you are planning a Delhi to Kasol trip and don’t want to waste time on the road, then taking a flight is a good option.
From Bhuntar, you will get a bus to Kasol for 80 – 100 INR which will take around 2.5-3 hours to reach. You will also find private taxis here for 700 – 1000 INR which will take around 1.5- 2 hours to reach Kasol.
The nearest railway station to Kasol is the Jogindernagar Railway Station at a distance of 125 km. You will get a passenger train to Jogindernagar from Pathankot Railway station which will take around 10 hours to complete the journey. The train cost is around 50 INR but you should only opt for it if you have a lot of time to spare.
From here, you can take a bus to Kasol which will take around 5-6 hours to reach and can cost around 150-200 INR. You will also get private taxis from here which can cost around 2500 – 3000 INR. For people planning a Delhi to Kasol trip, this is a good and budget-friendly option but it requires a lot of time.
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The route to Kasol, Pandoh Dam It is so saddening that Kasol is only known and famous for its weed. I don't smoke, let alone a pot. But let me be really honest with you, I had equal amount of fun without getting high. I think I might have as well had more fun because I was able to enjoy the nature more rather than drifting away in a land of virtual weirdness. The path to Kasol is so serene, so so serene, so so soooooo serene that you'll partially die, I was, as I tucked my head out the window, constantly looking up the mountains and straining the neck as the mountains are so close and ludicrously green standing tall in a straight, rather slant, position. It is so beautiful! You come across a tunnel which approximately is 3 km in length, so huge It was so unreal. And I have just talked about the route to Kasol, imagine how beautiful the entire trip will be. But, it is saddening that Kasol is famous only for its weed. #traveldiaries2016
If you are starting from nearby cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc. then you can always plan a road trip to Kasol as well. Kasol is located around 522 km from Delhi, 290 km from Chandigarh, 229 km from Shimla, and so on. You can easily leave early around 3-4 a.m. and reach Kasol by the evening.
Another option would be to take buses to reach Kasol. Sadly, there are no direct buses to Kasol so you need to reach Bhuntar/Kullu first. From here, you will get both local buses and private taxis to reach Kasol. This is a good option for people planning a Delhi to Kasol trip as you will find several buses to Bhuntar/Kullu throughout the day.
You can take Private/Volvo buses to Bhuntar or Kullu or you can take the Himachal bus services. You can book a ticket for yourself from the HRTC website which will cost around 680 INR for Bhuntar, 700 INR for Kullu for ordinary buses.
There are also Himsuta and Volvo buses for both the places which range between 1100 – 1500 INR. For private buses, you can check out websites like Redbus, Goibibo, etc for a cheaper Volvo service.
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A dreamy state in morning mist, As curls of cloud, recline on earth, The walking feet dare not resist. The pathway fading just ahead, Recoiling into the low clouds, A mystery remains instead. Wandering feet know their own way, Whilst striding on without time to pause, And dwell upon what comes today. Old footsteps echo on the breeze, Through dreams of love that time forgot, Yet still it whispers through the trees. September, 2016 #traveldiaries #kasol#himalayas #g_o_i #discovernh #nomllers
Bhuntar/Kullu to Kasol
Once you have reached Bhuntar, you will find the options for both the buses and cabs. Buses will obviously be cheaper costing you somewhere around 50 INR per person. However, they tend to take 3-4 hours to reach Kasol. So if you are short on time, I would advise against it.
A cab would cost you around 1500-2000 INR for 7 people from Bhuntar which you can share with other travelers. At least, that is what we did. It took us just 2 hours to reach from Bhuntar to Kasol and cost us around 200 INR per person. And hey, we made new friends on the way too! 😀
How to Travel Locally in Parvati Valley
Once you have reached Kasol, you might be wondering how you can head to nearby places in Parvati Valley. Well, we have covered that too. You will find a plethora of options here to suit all kinds of travelers.
Kasol to Malana
If you are planning for a day trip from Kasol to Malana, then you can include the Malana trek in it as well. There is no direct bus from Kasol to Malana so you will need to catch a bus till Jari and get down at the water plant before Jari. This is the path to take for Malana. There is a bus going to Jari in every 15-20 minutes from the Kasol market.
The bus will cost you barely 10 – 20 INR and would take around 20-30 minutes to reach the Malana Hydro Power stop.
Kasol to Manikaran
To reach Manikaran, you can again take a bus from the Kasol market. The frequency is something like 1 bus every 30 minutes. The price of this bus would be around 5 – 10 INR per person, taking 20 minutes to reach.
Kasol to Barshaini
For people interested in going to Tosh or Kheerganga, Barshaini is the last bus stop. You will get a bus to Barshaini from the Kasol Market which will cost around 30 INR and will take around 1-1.5 hours.
This bus passes through Manikaran on the way too so you can get the bus from Manikaran to Barshaini as well. You will find 1 bus for Barshaini in every 30-45 minutes from Kasol/Manikaran.
Buses are obviously a cheaper option bus sometimes, you have to wait for a bus indefinitely. So, you can always go for private taxis as well when traveling in Kasol.
If you don’t wish to wait for buses, then you will find a few cabs in the Kasol Market as well. You can ask them to take you to nearby places but you will need to negotiate the price a little.
Kasol to Malana
You also have an option of taking a cab from Kasol to Malana which will leave you in the Malana Village. The distance from Kasol to Malana village is just 22 km and can be covered in 1.5 hours.
You can easily get a taxi for 500 – 700 INR which can be shared if you are traveling in a group.
Kasol to Manikaran
Although Kasol to Manikaran is just 4.3 km, you can also take a taxi for 100-150 INR to reach here. Although I would suggest that you choose a bus or trek this distance and save yourself some money.
Kasol to Barshaini
You can also get a taxi from Kasol to Barshaini which will again cost around 500-700 INR and will take approximately 1.5 hours to reach.
Kasol to Tosh
From Barshaini, Tosh is another 3.5 – 4 km but the taxi goes only for the first 3 km. After that, you need to walk to reach the village and explore this gorgeous hamlet.
The taxi will take around 100-200 INR to drop you off at Tosh and you can actually bargain to get the taxi from Kasol to Tosh in 700 INR.
Kasol to Tosh
If you want to travel from Kasol to Tosh, then another way is to reach Barshaini first. And then, you can trek for the remaining 3.5-4 km. It will take a total of 4 hours to reach from Kasol to Tosh, including the trek. And after reaching here, you can enjoy the valley view and can actually camp here for the night.
Kasol to Kheerganga
Similarly, if you are planning to go from Kasol to Kheerganga, you can only reach Barshaini by a vehicle. After that, you will need to trek for the remaining 17 km in order to reach the Kheerganga summit. There are two routes for the Kheerganga trek and it can take around 7-8 hours total to complete it.
So, if you are planning a trip from Kasol to Kheerganga, start early in the morning.
How to Go Back to Kasol/Bhuntar
Tosh to Kasol
Similar to the Kasol to Tosh journey, you will need to first trek back to Barshini village. And from here, take a bus or private taxi back to Kasol. The bus will cost around 30 INR while the taxi will charge you 500-700 INR for the journey.
There is a single bus leaving from Barshaini to Kasol in every 1 hour which and will take around 2-2.5 hours to reach Kasol.
Kasol to Bhuntar/Kullu
Once you have reached Kasol, you can take a bus from Kasol to Bhuntar/Kullu or a private taxi. You can take the same bus in which you left from Barshaini and will reach Bhuntar in another 2 hours while Kullu will 3-3.5 hours.
The cost of the bus from Kasol to Bhuntar/Kullu will range around 50 INR. Another option is to take a private taxi for 1500 – 1800 INR to Bhuntar/Kullu.
Barshaini to Bhuntar/Kullu
If you have all your luggage with you then you can skip stopping at Kasol. Instead, you can take the direct bus from Barshaini to Bhuntar/Kullu which takes around 5 hours to reach. It will cost you approximately 100 INR and is a great option for budget travelers.
You will also get private taxis from here to Bhuntar/Kullu for 2300 – 2500 INR and will reach your destination in just 2-3 hours.
Top Places to Visit in Parvati Valley
Earlier, very few people knew about the Kheerganga trek but nowadays almost everyone does. More so since the ban on camping in Kheerganga which is such a relief. Because I remember, how utterly crowded and dirty Kheerganga was when we trekked here in 2016.
But regardless, you should definitely go for the Kheerganga day trek because the view is completely breathtaking. The trek is a little tiring but once you reach the top, you can actually see the snow-covered mountains in the distance. You can just sit and enjoy the view here while being surrounded by a calm and peaceful feeling.
Another amazing place to visit in Parvati Valley is the Tosh village. This place has several sweet, little colorful homes and provides you with a perfect view of the Pulga River. And you can also walk around a little to admire the various meadows and glacier-covered peaks.
It also offers you the choice of an easy climb or a steep climb and takes around 1 hour to reach the Tosh village.
Here you should camp for one night and experience the intoxicating culture of the Tosh people, then start early the next day for the Kheerganga trek. If you are looking for some offbeat place to explore, then Tosh is the place for you.
Now, you might be familiar with Malana because of the infamous hashish production over here. But trust me, this place is more than that. This isolated village is beautiful, situated on the other side of the Parvati valley and can be only accessed by trekking or personal vehicles.
You don’t find buses traveling to this path and that is just as well since this protects Malana from getting polluted. It is a 2-3 km trek and would take you around 2-3 hours to complete it. But, the mesmerizing view from this side cannot be missed.
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Surrounded by the mountains and gazing at the opposite mountains seems a life good enough to me. I am never in a hurry to come back to my regular life, which is not only monotonous but lacks in all the experiences and adventures which I gain when travelling. This makes me question. Why do we choose a regular life over a life well-lived? What are we so afraid of? September, 2016 #traveldiaries #tbt #nomllers . . . Check out our new post. Link is in the bio or you can go directly to the nomllers.com.
Malana is surrounded by tall, majestic mountains on both sides. And the Parvati River passes in front of it, separating it from the other side of the valley. This place is not really familiar to tourists and that is what makes it even more interesting.
Located along the banks of Parvati River, Manikaran is a small town in Parvati valley and is famous for the Manikaran Gurudwara and its many hot springs. It is also filled with a lot of beautiful temples, if you are a religious person or even if not, this is a place you should definitely visit once.
One of the main attractions here are the hot springs and the beautiful background. Honestly, the view behind the temples and the Gurudwara is really ethereal and indescribable. And if you do happen to stop at this charming place, make sure you do experience the Gurudwara’s langar. The entire langar process is heart touching and the food is just delicious.
There are a lot of fascinating and interesting stories about how this place was built and how the hot springs and the langar came into being. A definitely must-visit place, this place should definitely be visited once you are in Parvati Valley.
Finally, let’s not forget one of the main places to visit in Parvati Valley.
This hill station is just filled with hippies and boasts of a lot of happening parties and music festivals. Here, you will see a lot of travelers get together and will also meet new people and just enjoy. Another reason to visit this place would be to camp along the Parvati River and witness the beautiful full moon at night.
Kasol also has a beautiful market from where you can buy amazing souvenirs for home. Also, at night the street just rushes with colors which make this place even more beautiful to explore.
Things to Do In Parvati Valley
Enjoy Short Hikes and Treks in Parvati Valley
One of the best things about Parvati Valley is that it offers so many short and long treks for the trekking enthusiasts. You can go for the Kheerganga trek from Kasol or enjoy a short hike to the Tosh village. The possibilities are endless.
And if you aren’t sure about the difficulty level of these treks, then you can always ask the locals for help.
Camp Under the Stars
You should also try camping out here near the Parvati Valley for a blissful experience. It feels amazing to be surrounded by nature and watch the starry sky at night, away from the hustle bustle. You will find a lot of private establishments here where you can rent a tent for the night.
Or you can always camp in Forest Department tents which offer the most amazing sunrise and sunset views. And the best part of these camps are cheaper than the private establishments as well.
Try Delicious Israeli Food
Another great thing to do in Kasol is to try the amazing Israeli food here. Try Bureka, Shakshouka, and definitely don’t miss the lemon cake here. If you are new to Israeli food then this is the best place to start. And don’t forget to try some delicious desserts at German Bakery – Moon Dance and Evergreen Cafe.
Trust me, you will keep salivating for the rest of your trip once you have the sweets here.
Shop Souvenirs from Kasol Market
Kasol Market is full of vibrant and colorful items like dreamcatchers, bags, clothes, accessories, etc. So, make sure that you spend some time here. And who knows you might end up liking something which you can take home with you.
Attend the Amazing Parties and Music Festivals
Kasol is famous for some really happening trance and rave parties and music festivals. So, if you are a party buff or music lover then you make sure you don’t miss out these events. There is a Psy Music Festival happening in Kasol from 6th to 10th June which you can attend.
Kasol parties and festivals are legendary and have people coming over from around all over India. So, if you would like to experience this blissful experience then start planning your trip soon.
Take a Dip in the Hot Springs
You can also enjoy a dip in the hot water springs that can be found at two places in Parvati Valley – Manikaran and Kheerganga. Kheerganga hot springs are legendary as it offers you a warm feeling while being surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks.
As for the Manikaran hot springs, you won’t have any surrounding views to admire but the feeling will be quite serene and peaceful.
Enjoy Some Quiet Time in Nature
Kasol, Tosh, etc. can be really peaceful and serene. So, if you love spending time in nature while doing absolutely nothing then you can do that here too. You can admire the gorgeous peaks around you and simple relax. Read a book or paint or just pick up any old-forgotten hobby which you don’t have time for anymore.
Best Time to Visit Parvati Valley
Frankly, Parvati Valley can be visited throughout the year. The weather stays cool and there are some new events happening here around the year. But each season brings a new and unique experience that can make your trip to Parvati Valley quite memorable.
Here is a breakdown of what you can expect here in different seasons.
Summer Season (March – June)
For people who want to escape the summer heat, a Delhi to Kasol trip in summers is the best plan. In summers, the weather is pleasant and you can also camp and indulge in water activities here near the Parvati river.
The summer months of March to June also allow you to enjoy the wilderness of Kasol. If you are a party animal, then visit Kasol in the month of May as a lot of rave and trance parties happen during this time. Some really happening festivals like Magica Festival, Shiva Squad Festival, etc. too happen during the summers.
Monsoon Season (July – September)
Personally, my favorite time to visit the mountains is during the monsoon season. This is because there are fewer people during this time and the mountains are covered with lush greenery.
Yes, there are increased chances of landslides and road blockages but the mountains become extremely gorgeous and fresh during this time. Also, this is the cheapest time to visit Kasol but be prepared to be cooped up inside for hours at a time.
Winter Season (October – February)
Winters can be chilly in Parvati Valley but are also a good time to visit. There are chances of snowfall in places like Kheerganga, Tosh, etc. And the temperature is freezing during these months. This is why there are fewer tourists around here at this time.
But if you love winters and quiet then this is definitely a good time to visit Kasol. Also, New Year Party at Kasol is pretty happening and sees a lot of tourists coming here from all over the world.
ATM and Network Availability in Parvati Valley
ATMs in Parvati Valley
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that there are just 2-3 ATMs in Parvati Valley. Yes, you heard me right. There is a single ATM in Kasol and two more in Manikaran.
You will find more ATMs in Bhuntar or Kullu so make sure you withdraw cash from there. Don’t rely on Card Swiping machines in the Tosh, Manikaran side. Carry sufficient cash for your entire Kasol trip.
Network Availability in Parvati Valley
BSNL will work the best in Parvati Valley and might even be accessible on the Kheerganga trek. Apart from that, Vodafone, JIO, Airtel will work well till Manikaran. You will receive no Airtel or Vodafone signal once you reach Barshaini.
And once you reach the Kheerganga summit, your BSNL sim will stop catching the network as well. On Tosh side, you might get Airtel signal as well but most other mobile networks will have poor or no signal.
Also Read: Tirthan Valley Guide
Where to Stay in Parvati Valley
There are a plethora of accommodations available in Parvati Valley. So, it is easy to find accommodation in your budget in the village that you would like to explore.
One thing to remember is that if you are traveling for a long weekend then book your stay beforehand.
There are numerous camping sites in Kasol, Tosh, Malana, etc. so you can easily enjoy a night under the stars. There are many camps near the Parvati River as well which offer you an amazing experience. These camping packages also include fun activities like fishing, rafting, trekking, etc.
The cost of staying in these camps is usually between 1000 – 5000 INR per night, depending on the facilities and services offered by the camp owner. Honestly, it can be a lot of fun to camp in Parvati Valley and enjoy a stay in nature. So, if you like camping or adventurous activities then this is a good option for you.
Note: Earlier, camping was allowed in Kheerganga but that is not the case anymore. So, you will need to return back from Kheerganga the same day and camp at Tosh or Barshaini.
If you are looking for a relaxed weekend in Parvati Valley, then there are several good hotels and resorts here as well. You will easily find hotels and cottages starting from 1000 INR to 10,000 INR. So, you can compare and choose a hotel/resort which has a good location and offers the most facilities to you.
You will also find budget-friendly hotels here which will charge you around 500 – 1000 INR for a night. So, if you are a group of friends, you can choose a hotel for staying here as well.
For solo and backpackers, there are many hostels here as well. In fact, in the past 3 years, several new hostels have opened up in Kasol side. So, you can simply get a bed in one of these hostels and meet a lot of new people here. Hostels are light on the pocket and a great place to meet other solo and budget travelers as well.
Homestays and Guesthouses
Finally, there are also homestays and guesthouses which charge 150 – 500 INR and offer you a decent accommodation for a night. You will find these options in all the small villages like Tosh, Malana, Barshaini, etc. as well.
You can use this Booking.com search engine to find suitable accommodation for yourself.
Where and What to Eat in Parvati Valley
Food is an important part of any trip, especially if you are planning to trek and hike a lot. And well, Parvati Valley offers you a plethora of good food to enjoy on your trip. So, whether you like Tibetan or Israel or Continental dishes, you will find it all here.
There aren’t many restaurants here except for the ones in the hotels, but there are several food options to consider.
It is no surprise now but Kasol has numerous amazing cafes which offer several cuisines like Israeli, Fast Food, Continental, etc. While these cafes are not on the cheaper side, they do offer an amazing ambiance. And the food is pretty good as well as you get to taste new dishes here.
A few cafes that you should definitely try here are the Evergreen, Jim Morrison Cafe, River View Cafe, Little Italy, Moon Dance Cafe, and so on. A meal in these cafes will cost you around 300 – 500 INR.
Apart from cafes, there are a few small few food joints and dhabas here as well. These food places usually serve Tibetan dishes like Momos, Noodles, etc. and will cost you around 150 – 200 for a meal. You might find a few Indian dhabas here as well but they are far and fewer in Parvati Valley.
Fruits and Vegetables
Finally, you can also enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables here if you are on a tight budget. Green Apples can be found in abundance here and usually cost just 5-10 INR apiece.
You can easily plan a short trip to Kasol, Tosh, Malana, etc. on a small budget. And you can indulge in trekking and other exciting activities here. Just plan your trip a couple of days in advance and do keep a lookout for some exciting festival or event here.
Trust me, you will fall in love with nature here and will have an awesome time enjoying the rave parties here.
We love answering questions. If you are planning a visit here, do let us know in the comments below. 🙂