So here i’m sharing my first Himalyan trek expedition. I was total newbie for Himalayan expedition. I went on a trek with YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India). They have good and well-planned trekking programs with good facilities.
Duration of our trek was 11 days. Kasol was our Base camp. So basically I had to reach Kasol and after that YHAI guides and instructors will guide us through.
How to Reach Kasol:
By Train: Nearest railway stations are Chandigarh and Ambala. From Chandigarh, Kasol is about 270kms, that is approx 8 hours of journey. From Chandigarh you will get HRTC bus and Volvo buses as well, which will direct drop you at Kasol.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Bhuntar, Kullu. Kasol is just 30 kms from Bhuntar. Many HRTC buses run on this route, so you’ll get plenty options. Note: Airfare for Bhuntar, Kullu is very high.
By Road: You can book cabs from Delhi or Chandigarh to Kasol, or plenty of bus option on this route, buses like HRTC buses, Volvo buses, Sleeper, Non-sleeper, Semi-Sleeper buses, etc. Distance from Delhi to Kasol is 520 kms, approx time will take 12 hours to reach, And distance from Chandigarh to Kasol is 270 kms, approx time 8 hours to reach. I would suggest if you can start from Chandigarh it would be much more preferable, because if you start from Delhi, Chandigarh will come on the way though.
Best time to Visit Kasol:
March to June: Pleasant weather at this duration of the year which makes the hill place more serene and the liveliness just being perfect for a tour. Temperature of Kasol is also pleasant during this period around 8 degree to 32 degree.
Places to Visit / Things to do at Kasol:
1. Take a refreshing bath in Hot spring at Manikaran: Manikaran is the home to the natural hot springs which are sacred to the Sikh and Hindu Belief. A bath and a visit here are surely some of the best things to do.
2. Camping beside Parvati River: There are many options available for camping besides gushing Parvati River, if you are nature lover it will be wonderful experience for you.
3. Trekking in Kasol: There are many options for trekking available in and around Kasol. Major trekking routes: Bhuntar village Trek, Saar Pass Trek, Kheer Ganga Trek, etc.
4. Try Israeli Cuisine: Kasol is known as the mini Israel of India. You can try delicious Israel cuisine at many cafes in Kasol.
My Journey till Base Camp: Kasol
I flew Delhi from Mumbai. I had booked late night flight as they are cheap ( my pocket loves it ) and I didn’t had any time bound issues. Landed in Delhi early morning at 4:30 am. My bus for Bhuntar was at 7:30 am, so I laid over at the Airport for few hours and than book a cab for ISBT Kashmiri Gate Bus Stand, It took hardly 30 mins to reach Bus Stand as early morning Delhi roads were empty, loved it.
After reaching Kashmiri Gate Bus Stand, I came to know that Bus which I booked, that was semi-sleeper A/c HRTC bus from Delhi to Kullu has been cancelled- oh God. I got scared what to do now ? because I had booking for OYO rooms in Bhuntar for the night stay and the next day I had to report to the base camp, so I went to Bus Operator asked him for any other bus or alternative option, He suggested me that “Sir, you go to Chandigarh in HRTC bus and from there you’ll get plenty of buses for Kullu and Bhuntar”- could not got the booked bus but got the right advise. So I decided to go to Chandigarh. Boarded the bus at 8 am from Delhi, it was about 5 hours of journey from Delhi to Chandigarh. Bus dropped me out side the ISBT Bus Stand sector 43, Chandigarh, from where I got the bus for Buntar. and the journey of 9 hours begins….
I boarded the bus for Bhuntar around 2 pm in the afternoon in non A/c HRTC bus, and I knew this journey was going to be hectic. I prepared my self mentally and physically with the luck of getting the window seat. So window seat, Headphones on and scenic roads of the Himachal Pradesh is bliss.
Himachal Pradesh roads are average, Road construction is all along the valley and plus it’s so dusty in the valley at most places because of the it, so you’ll end up inhaling loads of dust. but besides the road conditions the views are awesome and can do photography enroute.
Note: Better to have a anti-vomit medicine if you feel mountain sickness or travelling sickness.