Places to stay near Chhalal
Reviews of Chhalal • 5
Chalal is 30 minutes away from Kasol market, and a trail leads from behind one of the shops which you need to follow.
We took a night Volvo from Chandigarh and reached Bhunter at 6 a.m. from where we took a local for Kasol. We had a little idea that Kasol is crowded and there is a place Chalal that comes on the way and is a much better option for a stay. So we enquired from the local people and got off four kilometres before Kasol at a temple from where a way leads into the valley. We crossed a bridge which gave us those ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Me’ movie feels (For those who haven’t seen the movie, a reference is being made to a swinging scary bridge, in fact most bridges in rural areas that dwindle and swing as you walk, so much that you keep saying to the sky, *Bhagwaan aaj bacha lo*). We crossed the bridge and found a trail next to the majestic Parvati river that had cafés and guest houses by its sides. We chose a nice little guest house that looked more like a hostel and it cost us just 500 bucks for a room per night. The manager Siddharth shared his name with my brother and was very hospitable (And I can’t resist mentioning that he had a brilliant American accent that depicted his experience in job and with travellers).
Probably his longings were so pure that the universe conspired for a grand reunion. So when he saw the extended weekend coming, he readily arranged a journey to the mountains, which, by that time, perhaps out of love, were all dressed up in dazzling white snow! It was Friday night when he along with some of his friends, boarded a bus from Chandigarh. His excitation knew no bounds. For the entire night, as he tried to sleep inside the bus, the power and the purity of their love made the sky pouring tear drops as rain. He thought, when he would get down from the bus at Bhunter, he would see Shanti waiting for him there, as she always did. But this time she was not there. He thought she would be waiting for him in Chalal. Shanti somehoe always knew where is he headed! So instead of waiting at Bhunter for the morning bus, they booked a cab which drove them to Kasol. It was still dark when they reached Kasol but he could not wait longer and started walking towards Chalal.
Kasol is infamous or rather famous for it's drug culture. If you have heard and are excited about the term "rave party" and night woods drug party, this is the place to hit in Kasol. For the peace lovers, this might seem as a distraction as I opted not to buy the tickets for the Trance Festival going on at that time (one of the biggest musical festivals in the valley, mind you the crowd was immense). But for the cultural explores among us, you can observe the mighty drug culture of Kasol first hand here. Isarealis, Italians, Russians and ofcourse Indians, all high on all kinds of drugs you can imagine. Nestled safely away after a 30 minute trek following the majestic walk through the river and forests, you will find people having good times in and around the woods. Many would even invite you to join them, many will talk to you, many will behave erratically, but one thing for sure, it will give you a great experience on the local Kasol culture exploration.
Trail from Kasol. 20-30 Minute walk. Climb down to the river for the Hot spring right after crossing the bridge from Kasol. 11th October: Getting around Kasol Next morning we woke up at 7 and with packaged food and some fruits in our bags decided to take the trails around Kasol. The first one led us from back of the German Bakery (oh, the truffles!), by the stream that flows through Kasol and into an open field. This is where the much talked about Trance festivals happen, though when we walked past through it was completely clear with hardly one or two people strolling down the little field, as we moved further in, the greens got greener as the it started to drizzle, completely unprepared we put our caps on and kept walking down the trail the banks of the stream, lush with mosses and algae. After taking a quick dip (and almost freezing) we moved further in, finding it hard to take in so much of nature all at once, we halted further upstream and stared at the mountains (typical, we know.) as we kept moving further away from the village, the variety and colors of birds went on increasing. Unfortunately, lacking a telephoto and the know-how of bord watching, we merely awed at their beauty and after around 11:00 decided to turn back and after lunch at Kasol took the trail towards the Chhalal. Meeting a Sadhu by a hot water spring on our way to Chhalal we decided to accompany him into his cave which was surprisingly warm (courtesy: hot water spring). We reached Chhalal around 20-30minutes later and walked down to Kasol through the main road after pit-stopping for Chai. We stayed up late into the night following Dinner and Bon Fire by the River at the hotel.