Stretched along the mighty Parvati River, Kasol is contoured by mountains and lush green patches. A quaint village in Himachal Pradesh, this countryside hamlet is filled with reggae bars, bakeries, and small guesthouses catering to backpackers across the globe.
Approximately, 517 km away from Delhi, Kasol has become a popular weekend getaway destination in North India. A perfect place for trance music lovers, this village has some kick-ass trance parties happening during summer months. Not to forget, the rejuvenating experience one has amidst the wilderness, greenery and fresh air. The village is divided into parts – Old Kasol on the Bhuntar side of the bridge and New Kasol on the Manikaran side.
Your trip to Kasol from Delhi has to be a road trip. It takes about 14 hours approximately if you take a bus or drive down. For buses, go to ISBT Kashmere Gate in Delhi. Over here, you will find a varied range of tickets available; pick what suits your wallet best. The local Himachal Parivahan bus fares range between Rs. 500 to Rs. 600. The prices increase with the quality of buses. If you opt for a Volvo, your ticket will cost around Rs. 1200.
Now, there are no direct buses from Delhi to Kasol. You need to get off at Bhuntar. From here, take a local bus that will cost you around Rs. 35, or get a taxi for Rs. 500, and you will reach Kasol in an hour!
P.S – if you are planning to rent a cab from Delhi to Kasol, and back – it will cost you around Rs. 12,000.
Kasol has plenty of options for guesthouses, hotels, and hostels. Ranging from Rs. 500 per night to Rs. 1500 per night, you will easily find a resting place once you reach Kasol. You can also look at homestay options. They are very pocket-friendly; you will get to devour home cooked local food, and the hosts are super sweet!
Kasol is often called as the ‘Mini Israel’ due to increasing numbers of Israeli tourists every year. They come here, make memories of a lifetime, and sometimes, they even settle here. So, Kasol has gorgeous cafés serving scrumptious Israeli cuisine. Apart from this, you will find an array of continental dishes, amongst other local food. The food is quite pocket-friendly.
The cafés are quaint and serene. You will not find high-end décor or fine-dining aesthetics; but, when you savor upon each bite sitting at a picturesque spot, surrounded by the abundance of nature – you will feel overwhelmed.
Now, Café Evergreen and Bhoj Café are amongst the most beloved eateries of Kasol. At Evergreen, try the Falafel, Banana and Nutella pancakes, Chicken Schnitzel (a schnitzel is meat, usually thinned by pounding with a meat tenderizer that is fried in oil) and the Shakshuka (Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin). They often play rock classics or Shiva music; the ambiance is friendly, hassle-free and relaxed. Décor is minimal, casting very chilled-out vibes. The staff is generous and attentive. And, you will find a lot of foreigners chilling with you at Evergreen Café.
At Bhoj Café, try their variety of sandwiches with fries. You can also indulge in fresh veggies and fruits. Apart from these, you can try Jim Morrison Café, Shiva Mama Café, Moon Dance Café, German Bakery, and Maria Café.
Best time to visit:
Winters are rather quiet and gloomy. So, the best months to visit Kasol fall between May to October. Now, Kasol usually has very pleasant temperature throughout the year. If you visit during March to May, the temperature would vary between 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. However, if you are a lover of chilly winds, frosty nights and star-gazing, visit the village between October to February; during this time, the temperature falls to 2 degrees Celsius.
There is no dearth of scenic spots in Kasol. It gives you many options for treks and hikes. For instance, the Kasol-Malana trek and the Kasol-Kheerganga trek. These treks may take a couple of days to complete; also, these are usually done with Sherpas or local guides.
To soak up in the glory of rural life, visit Malana – a secluded village, about 21 kms from Kasol. Malana is known to be one of the oldest democracies in the world; people here claim to be descendants of Alexander’s army. The village is still untouched by contemporary lifestyle and tech innovations. This is quite a gem, not to be missed!
Kasol is perfect for weekend getaways. Thus, plan a trip for 2 to 3 days. This mini vacation will not cost you beyond Rs. 6000 (unless you want to spend on luxury).