July 2019 - Mountains!! Always and forever!! No, I haven't gone mad, that's just the answer when people ask me if I love mountains more or beaches. My leaves were piling up and so was the work pressure and the only way I know of relieving stress is Traveling. I desperately needed some mountain time! Hence my love for offbeat paradise helped me narrow down on Parvati valley in Himachal Pradesh. I knew July might not be the best time due to the probability of rain but I also knew this would be an off season and I am so glad I went forward with the plan. A friend of mine readily agreed to accompany me on this backpacking trip.
Situated in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Parvati valley is one of the mystic places, rich with myths and folklore. One such belief is that Lord Shiva meditated in this valley for about 3000 years. One day he looked at this marvellous landscape and named it after his lover, Parvati.
Parvati river rises in the Man Talai glacier below the Pin Parvati Pass and flows across the valley into the Beas river near Bhuntar. The valley is dotted with numerous villages which have become backpacker hangouts offering cheap accommodations and international food.
How to reach?
If you are taking a flight then the closest airport is at Bhuntar. From Bhuntar you can get regular buses to the villages in the valley like Kasol, Barshaini etc.
The easiest way is to take a bus from Delhi to Bhuntar. On Friday night we took a bus from Majnu ka Tila in Delhi and reached Bhuntar the next morning at 7am.
Most places in Parvati valley do not accept cards and you aren't likely to get any ATM after Bhuntar so stack up on cash at Bhuntar.
After reaching Bhuntar, we got on a local bus which was going till Barshaini and got down at Kasol. The 1.5 hours bus journey gave us the first view of the valley. The chill in the breeze, the sharp turns of the road, the mighty Parvati river flowing surrounded by the mountains tell you what is in store for you the next few days. You will get numerous hostels, guest houses and hotels in Kasol but I decided to head to the quieter alternative of Kasol, Chalal. From the main market of Kasol take a left turn and you will see the Chalal bridge, crossing which will take you to the Chalal village. But you are very likely to lose all your senses at the view you get from the bridge. The roar of the Parvati and the lush greenery at all sides made us stand there mesmerized.