This small little hamlet in the state of Himachal Pradesh which was a hidden gem until yesterday had become a hot tourist spot today, attracting nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers from around the globe. Rich flora and fauna of Kasol is an added bonus for the exceptionally beautiful climate. Despite beaches, Kasol is also known as ”GOA OF NORTH” for its culture resembling goa. Cannabis which grows naturally in this region attracts stoners from different places becoming a paradise for stoners. Kasol is not only famous for its beauty but it also gained popularity worldwide for the availability of the best Hash/ Marijuana.
Kasol, which is located in the Parvati valley on the banks of the river Parvati is the most tranquil yet serene territory. The villages of Parvati valley are distinct and have a story of their own. With the snow-capped peaks kissing the blue sky in the background, pine trees guarding the paths, and a rippling river flowing across the smooth boulders make the place more picturesque.
Kasol is also a foodie’s paradise. The different cuisines available in this small hamlet not only will satisfy your hunger cramps but also keeps you reminded of the place forever. This “Mini Israel '' serves the most authentic and delightful dishes native to Israel, one shouldnt miss upon. Plethora of cafes with magical views serves you the best dishes to taste from different cuisines which undoubtedly soothes your foodie soul. Nature in Kasol is ever-changing and the colors of surroundings change seasonally, mesmerizing and attracting tourists year round. There are plenty of activities to do and places to visit in and around Kasol that keep you engaged and entertained. This tiny village is the nest of the most heartwarming people you will ever come across. Still unaltered by modernity, Kasol is a place to relieve and refresh from the hustle and bustle of city life.
KASOL AT A GLANCE
Pronounced as: Kuh-soul
State: Himachal Pradesh
Language spoken: Hindi
Climatic condition: Cool and pleasant almost all the year and receives a fair amount of snowfall from late Dec to Feb
Temperature: Avg temperature is about 16.8 degree Celsius
Best time to visit: Oct to June
Min required days for the trip: 2days
Min budget: 2K to 4K INR per person
Nearest towns: Chandigarh(150.8kms) Jalandhar (181.4kms) Ludhiana (186kms)
Nearest airport: Kullu Manali airport / Bhuntar airport (30kms from Kasol )
Nearest rail station: Joginder Nagar railway station (144kms from Kasol)
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT KASOL
* Marijuana/ kush/ bhang/ Ganja grows naturally in many parts of the state. For Himachali, it's like any other wild shrub.
* Malana cream is extracted by rubbing live cannabis flower between the palms repeatedly to pull out the resin which is the sticky and purest form of hash.
* Touching the walls/people in Malana is considered impure and can be compensated for doing so on various grounds.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KASOL
In recent times Kasol has been in the rage for backpackers and nature enthusiasts across the country. The number of tourists visiting this hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh has gradually increased. Different people come here for different reasons and to enjoy different climates. Kasol has a mild and pleasant temperature all year round. Surroundings change the color according to the season and reveal different colors at different seasons. People So, this place doesn't disappoint you at any given time of the year except monsoon. The rains make the tracks slippery and Kasol being a hill station, makes it very difficult to traverse across from one place to another. Being said that, few months are very versatile to backpack to Kasol.
KASOL IN SUMMER (MAR to JUNE) :
* Summers in Kasol are gorgeous and people flock here in the highest numbers during this season. The comfortable weather and wonderful nature are the main reasons for the attraction.
* The summer breeze, clear skies with occasionally occurring clouds, the green-lit-up surroundings, and starry nights are how summers in Kasol are described.
* Even in summer, the weather stays a bit cold which requires lighter woolens to keep you warm.
* The temperature ranges from 15 to 35 degrees Celsius.
* Summers are the best time to explore the surroundings of Kasol and take part in adventures like trekking.
KASOL IN MONSOON (JUL to SEP) :
* Monsoons aren't the best time to visit Kasol due to heavy rainfalls occurring uninformed at times.
* The rainfall makes the road slippery making it more dangerous to traverse across the places. The irregular mountain terrains might turn fatal at places due to landslides.
* The temperature ranges from 18 to 27 degrees Celsius which might sound pleasant but aren't advisable to take the risks adhered due to rainfall into account.
* Since it’s off-season, there will be huge discounts on hotels but what’s the point of discounts when all you can do is sit like an idol at one place.
* But, if that’s all you want to do, you can opt for this season.
KASOL IN WINTER (OCT to JAN) :
* If you want to experience snowfall and wish to dance along with the snow-capped mountains, winter is the right season.
* In winters the complete landscape of Kasol resembles a white carpet revealing the winter wonderland.
* The winters here are harsh with temperatures dropping up to 3 degrees during nights and ranges from 5 to 10 degrees during the day.
* Kheerganga trek and trek to the little-known Buni-Buni pass is famous during winters.
* A dip in the natural hot springs at Kheerganga when the winter sun obliges is an instant re-energizer in the cold surroundings.
* Carry more wooden clothes to keep you snug and warm in the snow-filled land to enjoy the surreal beauty of the landscapes without any interruption.
Weather conditions in Kasol
Apr-Jun. 25 degrees Celsius
Feb-Mar. 10 degrees Celsius
Jul-Sep. 15 degrees Celsius
BACKPACKING TIPS TO KASOL
* A rucksack(small/large) depending on the number of days you want to visit. Usually, a small one would be easy to carry around.
* Trekking/hiking shoes, Quechua shoes would be the best suitable for this trek.
* Reusable water bottle ( avoid plastic bottles as much as possible), you can refill the water anywhere since the place is pristine.
* Woolen clothes to keep you warm like jackets, thermals, gloves, and beanies. Pack lighter wools for summer and heavier ones if you are visiting in winters. Winters are very harsh.
* Sunblock regardless of the season.
* Snickers/ chocolates and dry fruits to munch on the way or to keep you energetic during treks.
* Power bank to keep you connected.
* A torch is the handiest thing you should carry when traveling to a hill station.
* Tent if you are willing to camp on your own in an isolated spot for solace.
* The signal connectivity is very poor in the hill stations and BSNL is compatible in this place.
* Carry the basic first aid kit.
* Always carry ID proofs and write down the emergency number on your backpack as a safety measure.
* Spot room bookings at night should be avoided since the rates triple up. Try to pre-book to the maximum extent.
DO’s & DONTs IN KASOL
DON'T DON IN KASOL
* Kasol is a nature's paradise and a very pristine place, be accountable for your actions and do not litter in the open.
* Do not carry plastic bottles.
* Do not humiliate any religious beliefs or culture of people living there.
* Do not enter/touch any place/ thing without seeking permission.
* Do not indulge in any illegal activities like smoking hash. Such activities are prohibited and are punishable.
* Do not disturb the serenity of the wild by playing loud music.
* If you are new to the place, do not wander without any guide or companion.
DOs IN KASOL
* Do follow the rules and regulations of the place.
* Be polite to the people.
* Do respect the traditions of the place.
* As a responsible tourist, pick up any wrapper lying on the path and drop it in the trash bins. Nature will thank you.
* Be responsible for all the valuables you carry.
* Always ask permission before clicking pictures.
* Surroundings are so beautiful that one should meditate to attain peace.
MUST-TRY FOODS IN KASOL
1. Momos: Steaming hot momos served with freshly made chutney is a must to try when in Kasol. The cold weather around makes the dish even more delicious.
2. Trout Fish: A trout fish is native to cold waters and is available at fewer places in India. Do not miss the chance to eat a well-cooked Trout fish fry that tastes amazing.
3. Shakshuka: This dish which is native to Israel is an affordable, filling, and undemanding meal. It’s a dish of poached eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and olive oil with a pinch of spices to it making it tangible.
4. Bourekas: Another dish of Israel origin is Burek. It is made up of Phyllo pastry which is filled with spiced meat or cheese. It comes in different shapes and sizes with a wide selection of fillings and is topped with sesame or poppy seeds. This is yet again a must-try dish that is super yummy and filling.
5. Lemon cake: You get the best Lemon cakes in the eateries here. A hot cup of chai/coffee with a lemon cake is a must in the chilly evenings to soothe your buds and cravings.
6. Hash Brownies: Taste these brownies which are infused with a little quantity of Hash in them. Finding them might be quite a daunting task but surely worth it. After all, a bit of hash in some form in the world's famous Hash spot isn’t a sin( wink). Also, these tend to have medicinal properties.
7. Rice beer: The locally prepared rice beer/ Chang with little to zero alcohol content is a specialty here and almost every guest house serves it on demand.
8. Thukpa: A Tibetan noodle dish that is soupy and is available both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties. This is another must-try comfort food in the weather.
9. Hummus with pita bread: Hummus with pita bread is a classic middle eastern snack that you must try when in Kasol. This is a very healthy option and keeps you full and helps you maintain your energy levels. This complete snack can be eaten dipped with naan/ sandwiches or burgers.
10. Falafel: Your trip to Kasol isn’t complete without tasting these mouth-watering falafels. It's a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Perfectly fried and served most authentically.
FLORA AND FAUNA OF KASOL
This majestic place has rich flora and fauna scattered throughout. Due to variations in altitude, it is home to an enormous number of species.
Flora in Kasol
*Common trees found in this region are Deodar, Pine, Spruce, and Fir which belong to conifer species.
*Several species of medicinal plants like Hath Panja and Brahmakamal grow luxuriously in a few valleys here.
*Cannabis/Marijuana is a wild plant that grows almost everywhere in the region.
*People here cultivate apples for their living.
*Himalayan blue poppies, irises, marsh marigolds, buttercups, and Himalayan balsam flowers are found most commonly around the valleys of Kasol.
Fauna in Kasol
*Birds in the area include Lamagiers, Bullfinches, Rosefinches, and Himalayan griffons.
*Brown dipper which is an aquatic songbird is found here.
*Himalayan brown and black bears can also be spotted occasionally.
*Snow leopards are found in fewer numbers in this region.
HOW TO REACH KASOL?
Though there are no direct flights or trains to Kasol, you can easily reach the place connecting through buses from the nearest airport or railway stations.
BY AIR: Bhuntar domestic airport is the nearest one to Kasol which is 31km away.
BY RAIL: Joginder Nagar railway station is the nearest rail station which is 144km away.
BY BUS: HRTC runs regular busses from Delhi, Punjab, and other Himachal cities.