Kasol- The Warm Hug Of Solace

7th Dec 2015

The old, decrepit bus form Bhuntar advanced slowly as the road became narrower every meter. I was scared that it may topple over any minute. “Himachal Pradesh has the toughest terrain in the world”, this thought lingered in my head as the bus struggled to stay on the road. A landslide on the way had already kept me on road for the night. I was literally hoping not to face any more adventures on the same day. The window overlooked gigantic mountains as the river Parvati gushed through them. After crossing a few villages, sign boards in Hebrew welcomed me to Kasol.

The road from Bhuntar to Kasol © Lenscape

Photo of Bhuntar, Himachal Pradesh, India by BObo Shambo

Parvathi River just flows down the valley © Lenscape

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by BObo Shambo

On the road from Chaal to Kasol, Its a small and beautiful village around a km from kasol © Lenscape

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by BObo Shambo

The road leads to Kasol. The orange horizon overlooked the road © Lenscape

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by BObo Shambo

Kasol is surrounded by forest on all its side. it does have a different connection © Lenscape

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by BObo Shambo

The last rays of sunlight peeped through the pine forest as the bus came to a standstill. The roads were empty, half the shops were closed. A few faces lit up expecting to see new customers as I came down struggling with my luggage. Kasol can get really cold during winters so travellers avoid Himachal during this time. Most of the Israelis also migrate south not being able to bear the chill. I however chose this time not only but because it is cheap but also because spending winters is Kasol in completely a different experience. I looked around for some time trying to find some cheap accommodation for the night. The boom of commercialization hasn’t spared Kasol. I picked up my bag and stared walking along the Parvathi Valley.

Have you heard of the phrase “Grass is always greener on the other side”? Kasol is exactly that green place. A small village that grew up along Parvati valley, Kasol is now a traveller’s hub. Backpackers from all around the globe travel here to get the taste of the best hasish in the world. Located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, this place has a life of its own. A small Israeli community has developed in the place. I saw a number of Hebrew banners on the way. The shopkeepers here also speak Hebrew for better communication. It’s like a whole new world here.

I was stopped by a number of passers-by asking if I was willing to score some hash. Their tone and bodylanguage clearly reflected raging hash industry that grew up along the valley.

The sun had almost set. The golden light fell upon my shoulder. I had lost track of time sitting on the banks of river. The fresh water of the river somehow took out all the tiredness that I had. With rejuvenated spirit I continued my search.

Soon enough I found a place which matched almost all my needs. The place was just on the banks of the river and quite affordable; so I got a cottage for the stay. I was the only person living there at the time and so they refused to cook only for me. The caretaker, Rajesh, offered me a smoke and advised me to walk down to Kasol and finish my dinner. He added that it would be dark soon and I better try to make it back before it’s too late.

I shared the joint with him and thanked him for the advice. Rolling another joint I started walking towards Kasol.

Mouthwatering food is another specialty of Kasol. Cafés selling authentic Israeli delicacy lined up on the way. German bakery sold fresh creamy apple pie along with other deserts that will linger on to the tongue for a long time. The fancy Indian food had no match for these road side stalls. The dark green forest that surrounds the place made the eating experience way better.

As darkness fell I could feel the drop in temperature. I could feel my body shivering every now and then. I regretted of not wearing something warmer. I couldn’t anticipate how cold it could get, so I made my way to the liquor shop. The market though small, was beautifully decorated. Caps and pullovers hung from a few. Others had posters of Bob Marley and Lord Shiva hung up together. Water pipe bongs and chillam were sold in a few shops. I decided to buy some souvenirs the day I go back. I stocked up for the night and again walked back to the hotel. The road was pitching dark. I couldn’t see anything. All I could hear were the cries of cricket and the river flowing. Thankfully I got my torch which helped me do the impossible.

Being a solo traveller has its pros and cons. You may feel alone while travelling but the amount of things you learn about yourself is off the charts. In my head the pros are way more than the cons. I discovered a whole new approach to life. I couldn’t wait to travel all over the world. A sense of peace fell upon me. I continued day dreaming until I reached my room. The inside felt much better and cozy than outside.

I settled myself, poured a drink and rolled a joint. The silence, the dim light, the chilly wind and the sound of the gushing water made the place magical. I always saw the world as shades of black and white and now there was so much of color. I shivered again when I took the last puff and thought to myself, “Malana Cream, the best hash in the world, one puff and Nirvana!”

All the images are copyrighted to Lenscape .

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