Once I reach into the mountains, my desire to explore and travel just grows. After returning from the Sage Parashar Lake Trek at approx. 9,000 ft, I decided to explore Parvati River Valley. Due to my previous reading of posts, I was imagining it to be a place frequented by Foreign tourists but the Indians tourists clearly outnumber the foreigners here. Since I arrived after the sun-set, I had no idea what was in store and due to Good Friday long weekend, the places was packed. After speaking with a local trader, he suggested me to check out the Forest Rest House. I met with the care-taker and after some efforts, he provided me the much needed shelter. It is advisable that one books the rooms before hand. The FRH is located just adjacent to the Parvati River so it was a treat. Next morning, I woken up to explore and found the absolutely mesmerising view of the snow-capped mountains. Kasol Village is at a cross junction of valleys and nestled between from three sides by the peaks.
I had the amazing experience of bathing along with the local people by the Parvati river in the hot water flowing from one of the mountains. Its a frequented place and used extensively by the local people. Its like a gift of nature to Kasol.
Once can walk for hours along the road or the side treks by the Parvati river.
There are many treks that begin from here all the way up to Kheerganga or the famous Malana village and many others. It has interesting food joints like Evergreen Cafe doing great business. On the other side of the river is the Magic Cafe (earlier known as Maria cafe). Food is expensive but have great view.
Manikaran is at a walking distance from Kasol (4kms). Walking enthusiasts can walk up to the famed Manikaran associated with Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. Kasol overall is a chilled place with good food, quietness and the nature all around it. Nevertheless as usually it happens in India, once can find litter all around :(.
Route Taken: -
From the Village Baggi, I checked with the local people who suggested to take an alternate route that goes from the higher ridges rather than traveling all the way to Mandi and then taking the NH that goes towards Bhuntar.
- Take a local bus upto Village Segli from where a road cuts for the Kullu/Bhuntar side. If not too tired than its a walkable 3-4 kms (local Bus Fare - Rs 5/10).
- From Segli, take local bus to Bajaura (sort of Kashba) by the Bhuntar town (Bus Fare - Rs 41). The ride up to Bajaura/Bhuntar went through the long rickety roads and provided the opportunity to explore another Valley and had interaction with few local fellow travellers. The ride had few glitches as it was raining and we had few landslides on the way with clouds all over but it was enjoyable.
- Board the Bus to Parvati Valley/Kasol/Manikaran from the Bhuntar Bus Stand. Bus ticket up to Village Kasol - Rs 45. Its gets packed quickly and was fortunate enough to grab a front row seat. Roads in the valley are narrow and the both the mountain side are quite close to each other giving a close view to villages and lives around it (Total Travel time - 2 hours from Bhuntar to Kasol).