Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside !

Tripoto
20th Oct 2018
Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Parvati Valley is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. From the confluence of the Parvati River with the River Beas, the Parvati Valley runs eastwards, through a steep-sided valley from the town of Bhuntar, in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in Northern India

On a crowded Dusshera eve we touched down at Delhi airport quite early. Avoiding Delhi traffic thankfully we reached a place called Majnu Ka Tila from where the real journey began. From here we boarded our bus which took us to the mountains we have been craving to see for long. Himalayas here we come.

The overnight bus journey which took almost 12 hours took us to a place called Bhuntar. It was chilly but the sun soon rose casting a mystic light over this region. We took a cab and plugged in our headphones, for a brilliant drive along the winding roads of the mountains to Tosh. The condition of the road was moderate and after around 2 hours we reached Kasol.

Day 2

Kasol, the hippie’s paradise, was not awaken yet, as it was just around 8:30 in the morning, but we managed to find a suitable place for breakfast.

Early morning at Kasol

Photo of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

The temperature further descended as we started our journey. Soon after crossing Manikaran our car crossed a bridge and we drove to the other side of Parvati river.

Crossing the Parvati river

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The Parvati river

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

From here you can actually see that the number of people that you see on road have drastically decreased. Its only after reaching Barsheni that we got to see a proper town. Barsheni is the commercial hub of this place. This is where you will find regular groceries and gadgets. Beyond this point resources become a bit scarce and overpriced. The cab union based of this entire Parvati Valley region is also based on this place. We drove further and finally after 4 hours after starting our journey from Bhuntar, we reached Tosh.

I was simply awestruck by seeing the beauty of this hamlet. A small cluster of hotels, homestays surrounded by the high snowy peaks of the Himalayas. Seemed like a postcard perfect picture.

Photo of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

The beautiful hamlet called Tosh

Photo of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

We got down at the doorsteps of Tosh from where we had to carry our luggage to our hotel. No vehicle is permitted beyond this point. So after crossing a wooden bridge on foot we took a steep climb and reached our hotel. You might feel a bit exhausted as you need to hike a bit at this altitude and you are not acclimatized properly.

Tosh village

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The weather was brilliant. The sun was shining on top of the snow capped mountains and blinded our eyes.

View from homestay at Tosh

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Soon we were overwhelmed as we were handed a mound of freshly rubbed Tosh cream. We smoked up sitting under the sun and couldn’t stop ourselves from appreciating the sheer beauty of this place. If you consider listed sight scenes in this region, let me tell you there isn’t one. This is a place where you just stay, relax and remain transfixed by the beauty of the Himalayas.

Pinky Didi's cafe at Tosh

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We had our lunch at Pink Floyd Café. The food was brilliant. The desserts were even better. After that we took a stroll to the Tosh waterfalls. It’s a small hike for about 20 minutes or so. After reaching the place, we decided to take rest in one of its open cafes.

Tosh waterfalls

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Cafe at Tosh waterfalls

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

It was a sound sleep, with its effect quite late in the morning. Again a brilliant sunny day. We saw that some closer mountains have received its first snow of the season.

Around Tosh

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

These mountains received first snow of the season

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Early morning at Tosh

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy
Day 3

After a mild breakfast we started our venture towards Malana. From Tosh we took a cab which took us to Barsheini. From Barsheini we took a cab that would take us to a point from where we have to trek for the village. Malana being a taboo village has a unique style and aura in the entire atmosphere. We had brief lunch at Malana Gate and started the trek.

Malana Gate

Photo of Malana, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

The trek mostly comprises of stairs.

Malana Trek

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

In the initial part it was mostly descent, after a point we crossed a bridge from where the ascent starts.

Midway cafe at Malana trek

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

It took us nearly one and a half hours to reach there .The villagers mostly survive on money which they get in exchange of the purest form of hash. Yes Malana creame is world’s most potent and famous hash.

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Inside the village we reached pretty late. We couldn’t find any villagers over there.

Malana Temple

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Malana village

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

So in search of some café, we ventured a bit. After crossing the entire stretch of the village we reached at a café at the end of the village.

Zombie cafe at edge of Malana village

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

There were tents which were put up. We enjoyed a blissful sunset overlooking the beautiful Malana village.

Sunset at Malana

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Post sunset we hiked back to our car and drove back to Tosh. We had our dinner pretty quickly as tomorrow our big trek starts.

Mountains around Tosh under moonlight

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Star tripping at Tosh

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy
Day 4

We woke up early in the morning, as the trek would be long and tiring. We took a cab from Tosh which took us to a bridge near Barsheini. This is the starting point of the Kheerganga trek.

Bridge from where Kheerganga trek starts

Photo of Kheer Ganga Hot Water Spring, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

There is a shop near to the starting point from where we took walking poles and started our trek at around 10:30 in the morning. We didn’t take any guide as the 13k ft Kheerganga top has a pretty well defined trail. We crossed the bridge and started our trek with high spirits. The initial part of the trek was quite easy with dusty roads and gradual ascent.

The initial ascent, enroute Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The scene on the right was pretty beautiful as we were able to see the entire valley along with the Parvati river.

Picturesque Parvati valley

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

There are occasional shops where you would get some refreshments, but the cost is pretty much on the higher side. After walking for about two hours we reached a small village called the Nakthan village.

Nakthan village

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Lunch spot at Nakthan

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We were very tired by this point and took rest at this place. After having our lunch we proceeded our journey. The sun was vertically above us and even in this altitude we were literally sweating. After nearly 1 hour trekking from Nakthan village we reached a point from where the road is divided.

Ascent through forest

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The road divides at this point

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

One road leads to the Kheerganga top while the other leads to a village called Kalga. From here we were really pleased to see canopy of trees above our heads as we have entered a thick forest.

Towards Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

From here the road became muddy and the ascent became steep.

Muddy patches during the trek

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Nearly around 2:30 in the afternoon we reached the forest department checkpoint. We bought tickets costing Rs. 50 per person. Suddenly the sun hid behind a cluster of thick clouds and the temperature dropped considerably. At some places there are no proper roads. Logs and tree trunks have been used to make the trail.

Kheerganga trekking trail

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

At this point of time, we were completely exhausted as we have gained considerable amount of altitude and we have now been trekking for nearly 5 hours. We crossed a waterfall on foot and continued our ascent.

Waterfall crossing

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Finally at around 4:40 in the evening we reached the Kheerganga top. What a relief it was. We found our shelter in a place called Om Shiva café. Around the Kheerganga top there are tents which you will get at 500-600 bucks. We dropped our luggage and almost didn’t feel our legs. We asked our tent owner whether any sort of food is available or not, and to our surprise, even at this altitude, we were provided with a menu card having a list of brilliant veg delicacies. After satisfying our taste buds, we decided to take a dip at the Kheerganga hotspring. Oh what a thrill it was, taking a dip overlooking the brilliant sunset. Soon after even the dusk lights faded away, leaving us in complete tranquil. We were still inside the hot spring waters, and we were awestruck to see millions of stars forming a canopy above us. Trust me the hot spring water does have healing powers as all our fatigue It was around -6 degree Celsius, and as soon as we got out of the hot spring we realized how cold it was. Soon we covered ourselves up with the maximum number of apparels that we were carrying and ran towards our tents. We had our dinner in the kitchen tent. Thankfully it was warm inside the kitchen tent. At around 9 p.m after a brilliant round of star gazing we slept.

Snow capped mountains on full moon night from Kheerganga top

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Night sky from Kheerganga top

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Star gazing at Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Next morning was clear and sunny as expected.

Camping grounds at Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

From topmost point on Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We woke up feeling rejuvenated and decided to take a final bath in the hot spring before our descent.

Kheerganga hot spring

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

At around 11 a.m we started off from Kheerganga top. The initial phase was quite steep and muddy. With slow steps and caution we kept walking our way along the trail. Our next destination was Kalga. So for that, we had to take a deviation from the path that we followed while coming up. The road towards Kalga was more or less easy.

Initial descent from Kheerganga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Canopy of trees

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Towards Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

With a canopy of trees above us, it took us nearly 4 hours to reach Kalga. On the way we came across some waterfalls.

Waterfall enroute Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Trekking towards Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

There are no settlements on the way towards Kalga excepting a few tea shops. When we reached Kalga it was almost dusk.

Around Kalga village

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Sunset at Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy
Day 5

We took shelter in a homestay called Peace Café. The homestay owner was amazing. He gave a warm welcoming smile, bowls full of warm soup and told us that he would arrange for bonfire. We checked into our rooms and felt each muscle cry for some rest. After one our Raveen bhayia (Homestay owner) called us for the bonfire. The entire setup was brilliant. Fire, Mountains and Lucky Ali songs.

Photo of Kalgha, Sosan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

Bonfire at Kalga

Photo of Kalgha, Sosan, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

What more do you want on a trip ? The small village of Tosh was shining like diamonds on the foothills of the mountains in front of us.

Tosh glowing at night

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We flew in the aura of the small village of Kalga, which gave us enough memories of a lifetime. Finally we had our dinner and went for some much needed sleep under the comfortable quilts.

Night at Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We didn’t have a hectic schedule today, so we woke up pretty late. After having lunch, we decided to take a stroll along the winding trails of Kalga. It is a small village nestled among apple orchards.

Nestled among apple orchards

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Since we went there in the month of October, there were just a few apples in the trees.

Apple tree at Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The villagers are quite friendly and showed us path along the village and were always ready with a smile for a conversation.

Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Snow capped mountains around Kalga

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

We had our lunch at our homestay and started our descent. We started at around 3 p.m in the afternoon. A 20 minutes steep descent led us to the Barsheini dam.

View from Barsheini dam

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy
Day 6

We crossed it on foot and reached the cab booking center at Barsheini. The cab took us to Kasol. When we got down, we honestly found Kasol to be very congested. As we were fanatically searching the internet for an alternate place to spend the night, that’s when the localities told us that there is a place called Chalal which is about 20 minutes walking distance from Kasol. We picked up our rucksacks and took a right before the main bridge in Kasol. A picturesque trail awaited. We crossed a foot bridge across the Parvati river and followed the trail.

Foot bridge towards Chalal

Photo of Chalal Trek Trail, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India by Souvik Roy

It was almost 6 p.m when we reached Chalal. We stayed at the Om Namo Café. Here in Chalal there are no hotels as such. Mostly there are tents on camping grounds along the shores of Parvati river. Since today was the last night of our trip we decided to stay up for a while as the tent owners put up a bonfire. We had a gala time beside the fire. With numerous stars above us and the thunderous sound of the Parvati river, we indeed had a memorable night. Dinner was served at around 10 p.m and we dozed off after that.

We woke up late in the morning as our bus was scheduled to depart in the evening from Kasol. After having breakfast we took a walk along the shores of Parvati river.

Camp site at Chalal

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

Along the shores of Parvati river

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy

The water was crystal clear with colorful pebbles all around.

Parvati river from Chalal

Photo of Parvati Valley - Where Gods reside ! by Souvik Roy
Day 7

After a while we took our rucksacks and followed the same trail to reach Kasol. It was around 2 p.m. We had a brilliant supper at Little Italy restaurant at Kasol. Post that we did indulge ourselves in some shopping. At dusk, we witnessed a brilliant sunset as we bid goodbye to the Parvati Valley. We boarded our bus from Kasol at around 6 p.m, which was scheduled to reach Delhi at early morning, the next day.

Day 8

Parvati valley was very special to me. The people, the nature, the food and the ambiance was simply magnetic. With the promise of returning to this place soon, we all headed home with memories that would last a lifetime. After an overnight journey, we reached Delhi at around 7a.m in the morning.

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