Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why!

Photo of Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why! by Purvi Jain

Planning a trip to Kasol? Trust me DON'T.

With the incessant stories and reels of people visiting Kasol, it is no longer a destination which has been left unexplored and has become as commercialized as a Manali or a Shimla. Kasol also called the "Amsterdam of India" which was once upon a time considered a Paradise for nature lovers is left with very little nature and a lot more chaos. So if you're planning a trip to Kasol, add this detination to your trio to make your trip worthwhile.

Explore the calm at Kalga

Situated 20km above Kasol, Kalgha is a little hippie hamlet that lies in the middle of the Parvati Valley. This relatively unexplored village gives you a calm picturesque landscape so that you truly enjoy a vacation away from people.

Homestay structures at Kalga

Photo of Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why! by Purvi Jain

How to get there

Getting to Kalga involves a bus/cab ride to Barshaini ride and a short trek to get to the village.

TIP: Do not carry heavy suitcases or handbags, try to travel light a rucksack is ideal.

Kasol to Barshaini

The nearest bus stand to get to Kalga is at Barshaini. Buses run frequently from Kasol to Barshaini and Manikaran every 30 minutes. Shared taxis are also available from Manikaran to Barshaini and cost 100 INR per person. If you do get a direct bus to Barshaini, it will stop for 15 minutes at Manikaran Sahib before continuing, so reaching Manikaran provides you with more options.

Barshaini to Kalga

Upon arrival at the Barshaini bus stand, you can find food at nearby stalls that are much cheaper and have more diverse options compared to Kalga Village, located across the Parvati River. The village is visible from this point, with snow-capped peaks in the background. A short 300-meter walk from the bus stand will take you to the dam, where a person often sells wooden walking poles. Walking poles are not needed for visiting Kalga, but they are relevant if you plan to go on the Kheerganga trek. They are not required for a trip to Tosh either. To reach Kalga, you need to cross the dam crest, which is the top part of the dam. Once you cross, there is a well-defined trail leading to the village.

TIP: If you're traveling during winters its highly recommended to get a walking pole to help you trek down amidst snow.

Stay in Kalga

The stay in Kalga is typically in homestays since it is a smaller village it does not have hotels or apartments. There are many cheap homestays available, the cost vary from 150INR per person for bunk beds to 300INR for room of 3 people. Food is further chargeable at 100INR per person for dinner. Booking these homestays in advance is not recommended as a lot of them are not listed but many options are available when you reach there. Some of the good homestays are listed here:

Brahma Homestay, Kalga

Jingle Jungle

Karma Guest House, Kalga

Evergreen Guest House, Kalga

Gypsy House, Kalga

View from the homestays

Photo of Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why! by Purvi Jain

Weather in Kalga

Winter in the valley begins in November and brings with it a cold and dry landscape. Snowfall typically arrives in the last week of December and continues with periodic snow showers that blanket the surrounding areas. Winter also brings some challenges, such as inconsistent power supply and difficulties navigating in the snow. However, these are all part of the winter experience, which cannot be found in the summer months which starts from March onwards.

Lanes in Kalga

Photo of Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why! by Purvi Jain

Packing from Kalga

It's very important to pack right for a trip to Kalga, especially during winters. First of all, the stays are as basic as a room with a bed so don't expect a lavish setting. They provide blankets but can't say anything about the hygiene so CARRY A SHEET that you can cover yourself with under the blankets. Don't expect laundry or geysers so be prepared with enough underwears to change and survive unless you want to freeze in the freezing cold waters. Carry light weight but warm jackets and fleece to enjoy the cold.

Must Try

Magic Brownies

Kalga has a few cafes that offer hash brownies, which are infused with the byproduct of the cannabis plant and are available at a reasonable price (around 250 INR). Because they are ingested and quickly enter the bloodstream, it is advised to be mindful when consuming them. In addition to brownies, the cafes also offer a variety of other food items. The brownies are known as Magic Brownies in the area. The process of making them is similar throughout the valley, resulting in a product that is not like traditional brownies, but instead is an unbaked ball of sweetness with a gooey texture.


Fairy Forest: The Fairy Forest is located in the less well-known village of Pulga, about a 15-minute walk from Kalga. It is popular among visitors to Kalga and Pulga and is a dense coniferous forest filled with tall pine trees. The forest floor is not visible from above due to the dense canopy cover, and it is a thrilling experience to watch as clouds pass through the forest and visibility decreases. It is a peaceful and quiet place, suitable for meditation and yoga. The forest got its name because people believe that fairies and elves live inside the tree trunks and come out to play in the mist. Despite being likely based on a hallucination of someone tripping in the forest, the Fairy Forest is still a wonderful place to visit. There is also a waterfall near the Fairy Forest that is definitely worth visiting.

Kheerganga: One of the very famous treks near Kasol, is also accessible from Kalga. You can start for Kheerganga in the morning and reach by evening stay the night and come down the next day.

Buddhaban: Buddhaban is a high-altitude grassland that can be reached within 5 hours from Kalga, located on the Saraumga La trek in the Tosh Valley via the Tosh Glacier. Visitors can bring camping gear to spend a night there or make a day trip from Kalga to and from Buddhaban.

Maggi amidst mountains

Photo of Don't plan a trip to Kasol, here's why! by Purvi Jain