I started my trip to Kasol from Delhi by Volvo bus, taking 12-13 hrs to reach Kasol. I took a bus in the evening at around 7 PM. Since it was a rainy day in Delhi, the bus got 1 hr delayed to leaving the borders of Delhi. So we reached Kasol at around 9:30 AM.
It was a sunny day at Kasol and the sound of the Parvati river was soothing my mind.
I booked a Hotel room before only a so gave a phone call to the guy at the hotel, the hotel (Devlok hotel) was in the main market and 2 minutes walking distance from where I was dropped off by the bus.
I checked into the hotel and the view from the hotel room was amazing.
I took some rest and was curious to explore the market and plan for the things I want to explore there. So I went to roam around the market and also took lunch. The Kasol market was so small that can be explored in 1 hr. I did 3-4 rounds and purchased handloom items by asking the price of the same thing at multiple shops but it was almost the same at every shop. As I purchased 3-4 Items, the shopkeeper gave me Rs 50 discount on each item which was enough to make me happy as I am not very good at bargaining.
I also asked about going to Manikarnan and Kheerganga from the hotel guy. Manikarnan was 10 minutes away from Kasol and can be reached by bus so it can be done in half day only. The Kheerganga trek starts from Barsheni which is 40 minutes away from Kasol and can be reached by bus or taxi.
Kasol is well known for its food and foreign travellers. The market is small but there is so much to explore when it comes to food. I went to one of the most famous restaurants there which is The evergreen cafe and took a Lasagne loaded with paneer, mushroom, capsicum, corn and olive. It was one of the best I had. Then I went to my hotel room and sleep for the day.
It was my first proper morning at Kasol and again the view from my hotel room was awesome. It was like a laptop live wallpaper which was showing different colours after every hour. I took bath and after that sat for some time in the sunlight which was directly coming to the balcony attached to my room.
Then I went to another famous restaurant- Little Italy. There were fewer options for vegetarians on their menu but the waiter suggested me Crepes with Spinach and mushroom filling in it. I was trying it for the first time but when I tasted it, I really liked it and was different from the normal pancakes I had eaten before.
After that, I came back to my hotel room and booked my tent at Kheerganga from my Hotel itself and started my Journey to Kheerganga but for which I need to reach Barsheni first.
I reached Barsheni by a shared cab which took Rs 100 per person.
The trek to Kheerganga is 12 Km distance. I started my Kheerganga trek at around 12:30 PM. There were different groups starting at the same time at the starting point of the trek, some of them were working professionals, college students, Foreign travellers etc.
While trekking I was alone at some of the places and was having some fear also, but was suppressing it and going ahead. But I was also talking to different groups who were enjoying trekking with friends. They were happy to meet me as I was the only one who was trekking solo whom they met. I got famous in some of the groups there and they were also asking me to join them in camps at Kheerganga. It was a great experience talking to so many strangers and enjoying a brief talk with them.
It started raining in between the trek but we need to complete the trek so kept moving ahead with caution as it was muddy at some places.
I reached Kheerganga at around 6:30 PM. It took around 6 hrs to reach there which was more than the usual 4—5 hrs but it was ok as I was trekking for the first time and it was raining so we were more careful.
After reaching Kheerganga I searched for my trekking camp which I booked from my Hotel at Kasol. On reaching my camp I was shocked to see that there was no one at the camp. The camp guy told me that there were some bookings which got cancelled. It was not a good feeling at all as I was Imaging a bonfire and people around it but it was all blank. I was tired and feeling cold. The camp guy gave me hot Maggi with Tea and I was sitting in a common room with a room heater. I was talking to the camp guy, he told me about Kheerganga, Tosh, route to reach Tosh. He told me that there are 2 routes between Barsheni and Kheerganga. One is from which I came up and the other is a Village route.
I got relaxed for some time and enjoyed my loneliness and felt better after some time as I was sitting near to heater and sitting on a blanket. I took food at around 9 PM. It was nice and like home food.
Then I went to sleep after sitting some more time near the heater. I was allocated a tent and took 8 blankets, 3 under me, 3 on me and 2 extras. I was in good sleep till 2 AM until a cow hit my tent at 2 AM. She was grazing near my tent. I can hear the sound of grazing. After that, my sleep was not constant.
I woke up at around 6 AM and went out of my tent. The view was amazing and the breathing air was so pure dipped in the silence all around.
At around 7:30 went to take bath in the hot water spring of Kheerganga. The water was so hot that most people can’t even stand under it for more than 30 seconds at once. So I was going back and forth into the water and after taking bath went to the Shiva temple located at the top.
Then came back to my camp and took breakfast which was also good. After that, I started my return journey to Bherseni at around 10:30 AM. This time I took the second route i.e village route which gets cut after 3 km. I enjoyed that route as well as interacting with different people again was keeping me motivated.
The trek ended at 4:00 PM but there was no energy left to explore anything else so I came back to Kasol in a shared cab with some of the friends whom I met while trekking.
I was feeling proud that I successfully completed the first trek of my life and that too solo but was really feeling tired and went straight to my hotel room and ordered bread butter and tea and took some rest.
At around 8 PM went to a nearby restaurant for dinner and took normal food and slept in my hotel room.
I woke up at around 7:00 AM in the morning and got ready to go to another destination which is Manikarnan gurudwara and Shiva temple. So I took a bus from Kasol at around 8:30 AM and reached Manikarnan in 10-15 minutes.
Went to the hot water pool which is located outside the gate of gurudwara and took bath in hot water. Again the water was too hot but I felt better while bathing. Then I went to gurudwara and also took Prasada. The route to the Shiva temple is from gurudwara only.
I entered the shiva temple and was surprised to see the natural water boiling under the earth. The food there was also prepared by dipping mud utensils in natural boiling water. Steam of the hot water was all around inside the temple.
I came back to Kasol and did my packing as it was my last day of the trip at Kasol. I was searching for something different to eat for Lunch so went to the evergreen cafe again and ordered an Israeli platter containing falafel, hummus, spinach balls, cheese balls, salad, mushrooms, paneer, French fries etc in it. I really enjoyed it and my stomach got full after that.
Then I went to the Nature park located in the main market to relax for some time and sit at different places in the park at different times. Also interacted with some people met at the park. I was there for 3-4 hours. Then I came back to my hotel around 6:30 PM, took some rest and checked out of the hotel and went to the bus stand which was 5 minute walk away from my hotel. At around 8:30 PM my bus started from Kasol and was in Delhi at 8:30 AM the next morning.
It was a different experience altogether when I trek solo for the first time, had some of the best food, and met some amazing people. So to sum up it was a trip which was an adventure and at the same time spiritual. It is a place with scenic beauty and great cafes/restaurants to have food, what more anyone needs to have.
During my trip, I also wanted to visit Tosh but I think it is not a place to visit for 2-3 hours so will plan a separate trip to enjoy the beauty of the place.