Enjoying solitude at Karsog Valley

Photo of Enjoying solitude at Karsog Valley by Amrita

I always like to visit offbeat and hidden destinations where there is not much tourist rush. My search often led me to some very beautiful places. When I was in Shimla after ticking off my list to visit the famous hill station, I was looking for some lesser known destination where I could spend my time peacefully amidst nature. That is when I chanced upon Karsog Valley. Karsog is situated around 100 km from Shimla at an altitude of 1407 metres. It has all the beauty of the lower Himalayas and the pace of life is refreshingly slow here. Once at Karsog, I was mesmerized by the simple, yet spellbinding beauty of the place.

Photo of Karsog, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita

The name Karsog is derived from ‘Kar Shok’ which means mourning. It is believed by the locals of the area that the Pandavas had spent a part of their exile at this place. There are numerous temples in the region dedicated to the Gods and Goddesses that also points out to the folklores of Pandavas.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Enjoying solitude at Karsog Valley by Amrita

The greenery all around

The Karsog valley appeared to have a lush green carpet with the mountains surrounding it. The greenery, I found out, was because of the stretches of wheat and corn farms. Wheat, corn and apples are the primary produces of Karsog Valley. There is not much to do at Karsog Valley. Life is slow here and this attracted me the most. People seem to enjoy each and every moment of their life here and with them I too started living carefree, even if it was for a couple of days.

I spent my days lazing around, basking in the occasional sun and listening to the chirping of birds. The busiest part of the valley was the Karsog town having quite a lively and colourful marketplace.

Photo of Enjoying solitude at Karsog Valley by Amrita

The land of Temples

The place where I was staying informed me about a number of things I could do at Karsog. For a moment I was tempted to give in to the urge of seeing it all. But then I decided to take it slow. There are several temples at Karsog Valley and most of these temples have stories associated with Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Mahunag Temple is dedicated to Karn of Mahabharata. The temple is around 25 km from here towards Shimla. You have to trek for the last 5 km.

The Shikari Devi temple was around 25 km away. The temple of the Hunting Goddess intrigued me. I decided to visit the temple. As I reached the base of the temple, there were around 1000 steps to climb through the misty forest of deodars and pines. The shrine of Shikari Devi is an ancient and is believed to be from the time of the Pandavas who came in this region during their exile. The temple is roofless and is situated at a height of 10,768 ft above sea level. It is considered to be the highest peak in the entire Mandi district and offers amazing views of the valley on a clear day. The priest told me that the Goddess was worshipped by the hunters so that she provides them protection or any attacks during the hunting trips. The priest also believes that the Goddess loves hunting and asks for sacrifice.

Courtesy : Wikimedia

Photo of Shikari Devi Temple, Shikari Devi, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita

The next famous temple was the Chandika Devi Temple which is near the Chindi village. The temple remains opened only in the morning, but the complex is opened throughout the day.

Another interesting place was the Mamleswar Temple. It is said that the temple was constructed by the Pandavas and the temple has a grain of wheat that weighs 200 gm and dates back to the Mahabharata era. This grain is not on public display and I am also not sure about the authencity of the fact. I was not able to meet the priest, but have heard that with a little persuasion, the priest can show you the grain. May be, better luck next time.

The Kamaksha Devi Temple is near the village of Kau. According to the legend, Lord Parashuram meditated here before seeking the Goddess’s blessings. The temple is a beautiful structure made of wood. Some people say that the original deity is kept underground and not everyone is allowed to see the deity.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Kamaksha Devi Temple, Kao, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita

My trip to Karsog Valley was small and beautiful. I did not rush into things. Enjoying my solitude was my primary goal and I definitely achieved that here. I roamed around the village, walked through the lush green fields and simply enjoyed the serenity of the place.

Photo of Enjoying solitude at Karsog Valley by Amrita

How to reach Karsog Valley

The nearest airport is at Shimla. The nearest Railhead is also Shimla.

From Shimla, you will get buses to Karsog Valley. Shimla is only 100 km away, but the bus journey will take a lot of time.

Stay at

There are budget hotels available in Karsog town. Chindi is a village 15 km before Karsog town where you will find HPTDC hotels and other resorts.

Best Time to visit

Best time to visit Karsog Valley is between February and July.

Things to do at Karsog

As I have already said, the place is not yet developed in terms of tourism. You can simply enjoy the beauty of the place. You can also visit the nearby temples.