A small village nestled into the lap of Parvati valley, surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, guarded by the river Parvati and blessed by Lord Shiva. Known by various names like, land of hippies, trekkers' paradise, hash capital of India or simply Kasol!
A place that falls on the way to the famous holy shrine, Manikaran, an Indian village where there are more Israelis than Indians, a place where smoking up in a cafe is legal but smoking on the road attracts a fine of 500 bucks. Kasol is a place full of mysteries. Looking at the billboards in Hebrew, the first thought that crossed my mind was that, in a tiny Himalayan village, who understands this language. But as I explored this hamlet, I discovered the answer to my question.
In this blog, I’ll contrast between my two different and equally beautiful experiences of this land of hippies. I took my first trip to Kasol in the month of January when the winters were at their peak where I had to literally wear 4 layers of warm clothes since the temperature had dropped to -12 degree centigrade and even my smartphone had lost its smartness and had stopped working for two days. The roads were empty, the cafes weren’t crowded, there was no waiting for getting a table in the cafes, most of the shops and cafes were closed. The place was so calm that when sitting in silence, all we could hear was the sound of flowing water of Parvati river.
My second trip happened in the month of October. This was altogether a different face of this beautiful valley. The weather was sunny and roads, shops and cafes were all crowded. Even the famous German Bakery was open this time.
Loaded with lots of packets of wafers, biscuits, and what not, our road trip to Kasol started at 4:00 pm on a sunny afternoon from Rewari. We decided to take NH44 which passes through Rohtak, Panipat, Chandigarh and enters the land of Gods, Himachal Pradesh. As we all had met after almost a year, there was a lot of catching up to do. We didn’t realise that the sun had set long back and our stomachs were shrinking of hunger. So finally, we decided to take a pit-stop at a food plaza somewhere in Punjab (I don’t remember the name of the place). The best part of being on a highway in Punjab is that you get lip-smacking food and ultra hygienic washrooms in the food plazas. After having dinner, without wasting time we resumed our journey. Taking few chai breaks on the way and driving for whole night on ghats, our bumpy ride to Kasol ended at 6:00 am.