Kasol, also known as the “Mini Israel of India” because of the high Israeli tourist population in the hamlet. Kasol has recently become one of the most famous escape among the travellers during summer. Located in Himachal Pradesh, around 7 hours away from the capital, Shimla, it is one of the most relaxing places to visit with your friends if a lifetime memory is what you’re looking for, Pfff, who isn’t, right? With around 7 different treks, villages in the valley, river flowing across the city and one of the most popular Gurudwaras of India, it has truly become a wonderful tour location in Himachal along with Manali, Shimla, Dharmshala etc.
Why to prefer Kasol?
Everything a group of travellers can ask for, is offered by Kasol! The spot certainly consists of the thrill and excitement away from the regular world. For rushing off to a vacation with friends or family, the place promises both the extreme conditions, i.e. from a total insane campaign into the mountains to a quiet and peaceful experience in the laps of nature. The sounds of birds, mountain view and a cold breeze flowing across the hamlet.
Kasol consists of various treks across the village that takes from 2 to 10 hours to reach the peak for different treks with a beautiful river flowing through the whole place that makes the place hard to ignore. Along with the trek, the place also resides one of the most popular Gurudwaras in the country, Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib, that offers hot water bath to cleanse our body in the holy water. Alongside, also exists some famous temples like Jamlu Devta Temple, Naina Bhagvati Mandir etc. Kasol is definitely a place on the checklist with a lot to explore within a tiny location. It is a whole package that fulfils every purpose of the visit and provides an adventure of a lifetime.
Planning an unforgettable trip
Planning any trip gives you anxiety because of the need to plan a perfect schedule to have an unforgettable tour. We tend to build a certain expectations from a trip while planning itself. How often does it happen that we have thoughts about everything we are going to see or do with friends. We start procrastinating months before the trip, shopping for clothes, list of places to visit, transportation, mode of travel, the to-do list! Isn’t it?
Well, but planning can be a bit confusing without a proper research, especially being new place. Here’s everything you need to know when planning a trip to kasol.
Try to book a direct bus –
The place lies in a very closed space, somewhere between the mountains (It wasn’t meant as a temptation, but glad it worked). Being isolated, just like Wakanda there are very few possibilities to reach there, well all of them are buses. Yes, there are no direct trains or flights to Kasol, as of now. So you may opt for any other mode of transportation to get as close as you can to the hamlet. Your ultimate option has to be a bus to reach the location. So book a bus that travels directly to Kasol to avoid carrying around the luggage and ease up the travelling.
Avoid Personal Cars if Possible –
As I mentioned earlier, the place lies between the mountains, so the crooks of the road are just like life. Sometimes it’s too “steepy” and sometimes too narrow. Once you’re stuck in the traffic, it might take hours to get past as the roads have just one lane. Personally, if you’ve good driving experience for quite a few years and have driven at hill stations before, only then the cars are preferable as it comes down to impossible driving at night.
Do not book a morning bus –
The gates of Kasol are more like the gates of Heaven, they only open up when the time is right. Well, there aren’t any literal gates? But the entry to Kasol opens up at 6am and the visitors are permitted to enter up until 9am. After which the buses are not allowed inside Kasol. So, you’d have to walk or hire a taxi from Bhuntar, around 2 hours from Kasol, in case you’re late. Avoid booking a morning or an afternoon bus, basically, try reaching before 9am. Booking a bus at 5pm or after it can help.
Check the Weather Conditions –
Here’s a point worth mentioning for ANY trip you’re planning. Always check the weather conditions for the next few days of stay. Is it raining? Is it sunny? What’s the temperature? Check everything! Re-check the expected temperature and rainfall for the duration of stay and plan the accessories accordingly.
Make sure your Health is 100% –
Another most important aspect of a trip is to make sure you’re feeling okay, well, obviously? But being a hill station, it requires you to be more than just your 100%. Be sure you’re mentally and physically fit for the adventure. As we know the fact that you need to climb, walk, run and descend through a lot of inclined roads. Do make sure you can do it and you’re up for it.
Be Ready to lose communication –
We are not unaware of the fact that how bad our phone network gets when travelling. Nonetheless, you have to be ready to have really bad signals throughout the trip no matter where you go. It is very rare to find a signal for your phone across the valley. Make sure to contact whoever you need to whenever you get a signal. However, it is impossible to connect with someone after you’ve started the trek, so inform the ones who are needed to be informed beforehand.
Things you need to carry
Suitcases start getting filled a month prior to the trip, Right? Can we just agree to the fact that we cannot decide our “good” clothes and throw everything inside our backpack. Our luggage consists of everything we’re confident about that we’ll be needing them. 3 of the most important factors that will help us decide what we need are Health, Safety and Photographs, the last one is the most important, however (Just kidding). You’re free to carry whatever you wish to as long as you can carry it.
Some of the most important things you NEED to carry are :
Handy Backpack –
You need to have a handy backpack with you for the trek as you cannot carry heavy luggage, the handy backpack will help you store the essentials for above.
Sweaters & Jackets –
The weather throughout the year follows as cold, colder, coldest. A chilled breeze is always flowing through the valley. Sweaters and Jackets become almost necessary after June.
It is very important to carry a medicine box along with you for basic medication such as for cold, cough, vomiting and acidity and also prescribed medicine (if any). We never know what can go wrong, so, better safe than sorry, right?
Trekking Shoes –
Trekking shoes are very important part of the adventure, and “very” can’t be stretched enough. You need to have a pair of trekking shoes along with you on the trip. Normal sport shoes will not be enough for the trek. If at all the shoes get spoiled in the middle of the trek, there is no alternative. You can’t go back, you can’t buy/borrow shoes in between, you can’t go forward and you certainly can’t walk barefoot. So remember to bring a good pair of shoes in which you trust.
Torch Light –
Torch light is also one of the most important accessories to be carried as it becomes very risky to even walk at night and pro tip: the flashlight on your phone won’t do much good.
Well, it never hurts to carry a pair of Sunglasses, does it? Protects from the sunrays and add a charm to the face for the photographs.
Energy Drinks –
Definitely not the kind of energy drinks that came to your mind on your first thought. Carrying a glucon-d, ORS is beneficial for the trek as it is highly energy consuming.
Protein Bars –
Along with the energy drinks, protein bars or any other food item is much necessary to minimize any sort of risk. There are food stalls along the way but make sure you carry your own too.
Credit Cards –
This becomes an optional part for most of the members in a group, but carrying a credit card helps a lot as there are risks of running out of money. However, it might not be a very big issue in a group.
Last but not the least, to capture every moment along the way and to store the photographs in the memory box forever. You’ll need a camera. Yes, It did not need a special mention, but if I wouldn’t have mentioned it, I would’ve regretted it.
Places to Visit
The first place associated with Kasol is Kheerganga, the 12km trek is one of the most exciting and yet spine-chilling adventure and everyone who plans to visit Kasol definitely need to visit Kheerganga. The journey of 12km embarks through the mountains with narrow roads and waterfalls along the way. Being there at the moment, will definitely make you feel like having a walk in the heart of nature, as above you are from the ground level, so below you are from the peak and being at the centre of a mountain feels magical.
2. Hot Spring Bath
As the name makes it obvious, Hot spring bath is one of the main attraction of Kheerganga, it is just a naturally occurring hot tub until you step inside feeling the stress draining out, the bath is definitely worth the 12km trek and you cannot forget it, ever.
3. Gurudwara Shri Manikaran Sahib
One of the most popular Gurudwaras in the country is located in Kasol, it has a flowing river across the gurudwara and also offers hot bath. No doubt, that it is one of the most beautiful places in Kasol and Gurudwaras in the country.
4. Chalal Trek Trail
The trek trail is the path that leads to the Chalal trek, you can find the flowing river and pebbles along the path of the trial. It will surely be one of the most memorable walks of your life.
Tosh is one of the most peaceful and glamorous valley in the hamlet. It is located 11 km ahead of Kasol and has greenery spread all over the place. It is highly recommended if peace is what you’re seeking.
6. Several Other Treks
Kheerganga is the main trek one visits Kasol for. But apart from this long trek, there are few other treks in Kasol that consists of gorgeous vantage points, they are Sar Pass Trek, Pin Parvati Pass, Tosh, Malana, Rasol, Chalal,
Hope you have an amazing trip!