When you are in Kasol, you see GRASS (loads of it) and that too GREEN. So this is the land where the GRASS is always GREEN. This small little village in Himachal is bound to enchant you with its luxuriant greens surrounding of pine forest, ferociously flowing Parvati River and some of the most well sought after cafés. This Parvati River accompanies you from Bhuntar (the place where it meets Beas) along the winding roads.
After crossing some 40-odd km later and few sleepy villages and the Malana Hydro-Electric Project you see your destination welcoming you in Hebrew “Welcome to Kasol”. All around one sees these soulfully meandering roads along this UN-touched land of Kasol. A place with nothing much for to do on a vacation is a backpackers heaven.
Kasol, the mecca for pot lover and it’s here-there-everywhere. Being an ideal destination for backpackers, trekkers and nature enthusiasts this place is flanked by mainly Israelis. These Israeli travellers make this place their home for few months before they move to some other destination. Giving you all a Taste of Israel, this place is quite intimidating, as those huge mountains standing seem to call you closer to them.
The melancholy beauty of this place, the gurgling Parvati River, with a frozen view this place is something different. Kasol – an Israeli village is the hash/pot capital as you Cannabis (Hash) growing everywhere. The air only gives you a separate HIGH!!
Kasol also has a Chabad (prayer place), for the Israeli Community at the end of the market. I enter to take sneak peek, but they welcomed me with much warmth and allowed me to talk a walk inside and have a look. The priests stay with their families there. It’s a world of their own and they seem much at ease with that surrounding.
With a sizable Israeli population you should be surprised if you see signboards outside café or the menu written in Hebrew. Each and every Cafes and restaurants serve Israeli cuisine along with local dishes. This Israeli hippie hangout has no death of places where you can simply sit with your book as you watch the river flow and dig into some kio smacking dishes that each of these cafes has to offer.
One serious recommendation is for Jim Morrison Cafe, which is no-where located in the main city, but one has to trek a 500 m to 700 m uphill before one reaches this treasure house. Serving only vegetarian food, non-vegetarians like me were also not disappointed. The options goes endless and everything is different from the usual that one might generally get in the plains.
My next hot favourite was Evergreen Café serving some of the best Israeli food. One dish that caught my attention was “Hello to the King” and “Hello to the queen”; a dessert innovation with some biscuits and vanilla ice cream. The ambiance, food of each of these cafes would leave you wanting for some more.
Places like Stone Garden Café and Art Café also entertains you with some live music. One can walk up pick up the guitar and sing your guys out.. No one to stop. But yes those who are always in a hurry to rush these are not your type as they happily take 30 -40 mins before they serve your order. Something that will catch your attention here are the bright art works done on the walls in most of the cafes. They welcome one and all to pick up a brush and let loose themselves. Most of the places have crayons and colour pencils in each table. So don’t wait just pick one and bring out the artist in you!
Steam momos or freshly-rolled noodles at one of the Tibetan run stalls right in the middle of the market is also one of the must try places. This shop makes its own noodles, the authentic way. So! Be chillax, calm and unruffled, soak in the mood of the place and enjoy the food… At the end we are all here for some time of relaxation and fun.
The markets are quite busy place all through the day as one can see number of tourist landing here in quite sizable number. Keeping the requirements of the travellers most of the general stores stocked with tahini, olives, fresh mozzarella and zatar spice mix to Nutella and more. The market sees various souvenirs which have Bob Marley drawn/ painted or stitched on them. He is like GOD. The more adventures one can pick up the hand-painted stone chillums
Word of caution: Don’t confuse it with Kasoli