How Tosh mystified me.

24th Sep 2016

I study in Delhi University, pursuing a course in English Literature and when you are in college, you do get those frequent time windows during the weekends.

It was a similar window during the last week of September that I thought that I needed a break from the daily head bumping routine and hence I decided to travel alone to Parvati valley. Though it was the first time I was heading to Himachal, I gathered the courage to go solo and the destination was intriguing enough to convince me for the same. Hence,I boarded a bus for Bhuntar from 'Majnu ka Tilla' at around 7 pm. (No bus goes directly to Kasol or Tosh from Delhi, you have to deboard at Bhuntar from the buses that generally go to Manali).

Day 1

The bus reached Bhuntar at around 7 am in the morning, where I was was welcomed by the morning breeze(something you die for in the scorching heat of Delhi). You have to catch the 'Himachal Roadways' bus from Bhuntar, which goes to Kasol, Mannikaran(sacred place for Sikhs) and then Barshaini(from where you trek your way or take a cab for the 6 km ride to Tosh)

I remember while getting to the Himachal roadways bus , I was stopped by a peddler who offered me LSD which I obviously refused to take, since a first solo trip is not what you'd like to forget. Then after an hour's bus ride which was one of the best rides that I had ever had, I reached Kasol, where the hippie culture was inevitable since the smell of hash and weed hits your nostrils along with the wind.

I got a hotel for a small price of Rs 400, and kept my luggage there had some amazing breakfast at Vaishno Dhaba, and then toured the small village. From the taxi stand, you can have a good view of the Parvati river flowing with all its might. Also, every where you look around, you get to see high and beautiful mountain peaks. Since my itch for a better landscape increased, I figured out that it was Tosh where I was willing to spend my night and not Kasol. I thereby took a bus to Barshaini from the main market in the evening, the bus has a 30 min halt at Mannikaran, where I interacted with a few Israelis over a smoke.

There I also made friends with a group of guys from Punjab but eventually I was the only one heading to Tosh. It was quite dark by the time I reached Barshaini, but the ride was blissful, and with all the dangerous curves that we encountered, I owed a 'thanks' and a 'handshake' with the driver bhaiya who was very nice and booked me a cab of Rs 200 to Tosh.( Well that's the thing about going solo, not every fare can be split)

I reached Tosh, where the essence of hashish more than anything else nails your nose. I figured out then why Tosh was the perfect getaway from all the ruckus of the city and better than Kasol when there was dead silence around me (except for a few locals having their conversations) , and the network of my phone completely disappearing.

I knew that Ashwin Guest house was the perfect place to grab a dinner and have a sleep, since it had a beautiful lawn at the back, and was often filled with solo travelers who got along well with the owner and the families around.

I encountered a guy from Mumbai who was 30 and one from Chennai who was in his mid-20s. I got along with them very well, along with Reema aunty who got us amazing tea, and talked with us about us and her own family and their routines.

Day 2

They also got me food and a room to sleep at an extremely low price and also offered me a joint of hash, which was great smoking and talking with them about their amazing experiences over the years. I was anyway quite proud that I had chosen the correct destination since they had been here for months and were in love with the place and the surroundings (and obviously the people).

Tosh is a place I would definetely recommend every traveler if you like peace , serenity and having that gaze at those phenomenal landscapes. But you should be ready to remain devoid of the western amenities , since it a place to sit back and feel the nature and nothing else.

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