A paradise where the nature’s touch goes straight to the soul, with a picturesque view and ever-welcoming locals, Kasol is a breath of fresh air for anyone who has ever went to say hello to the hills. There’s a certain voodoo effect that Kasol has on someone who witnesses it for the first time. Kasol is not just about its Marijuana, the trekking experience or the hippie culture, it’s a chronicle in itself. It is all about its steep hilly ways, the smiles that people exchange on their way up to Kheerganga or on their way back to Tosh and the aroma of all worries getting released in the air, reciprocated with just peace and positivity. No, Kasol is not the place where ‘hooligans like to get intoxicated and misbehave’, that’s you perceiving a beautiful place wrong.
But I have a few things about this journey that I would love to share with every first timer and with the aspiring travellers who are looking forward to a journey to this breathtaking destination.
Moving The Road
The best way to reach your destination is via the road, and the experience is going to be worth it. The best part about the road journey is that you come across a wide variety of flora, alongwith the magnificent view of the faraway hills and deep valleys that the journey has to offer. The road to Kasol witnesses bikers from all clans, cars with people fond of road trips, traveller buses and of course, locals. Don’t miss the Bhutiya dogs; they’re travel guides in disguise!
Kasol offered me an experience that is definitely going to last a lifetime. From the heavily flowing Manikaran Sahib river, which gives a divine feel to the temple-cum-Gurudwara and the adventurous trek to Kheerganga amidst the lush greens and rainy terrains, to the gorgeous view from the tents at the base of Kheerganga and the incredible markets of Tosh, every moment is a lifetime at Kasol and every lifetime too short to live it again.
What’s In The Menu?
After the travel on the road and a strenuous trek, all we need is food! The local shops that fall in every traveller’s way offer a variety of comfort foods like Bun maska, French toasts, impeccable hot chai, and Maggi, the staple food of mountains. The local food joints in Kasol are a whole new world in themselves. The best thing about the whole journey is the exposure that it offers to the travellers for exploring the locals and their way of living. For me, this part of the experience is and will be the most memorable one, for I got a chance to interact with the locals who worked at these food joints and learn how they make their special Masala chai. Though I couldn’t get a hold of their secret ingredient, but it was totally worth it.
Ask me if there’s a single word to describe the people of this heaven on earth, and I would straight away go with ‘warm’. The kind of people one can meet here can change one’s way of looking at life. Not just the locals, but bonding with the co-travellers is also a great experience when we head to a hilly paradise like this. People bond over tea, long trekking distances, the impromptu rains and the plants on the way. Yes, the plants. The ones who choose to trek in their shorts or any kind of lowers that DO NOT cover their legs completely, can narrate the experience better.
PS. My experience has been sort of delusional. Walking in a comfortable pair of shorts that reached my knees, I was just focussing on my trek, when I suddenly brushed against a bush and it started itching bad. The guide had a look at it, and declared that it was a brush from one of the most poisonous plants in the area. How I am still alive, you say? The remedy was to rub some leaves of Marijuana that grew amongst many other plants that were in sight. Marijuana against poison, who could have imagined that?
All in all, Kasol was a mixed bag of experiences for a first timer like me. I met some awesome people on the way, treated my soul to an unforgettable experience and still look forward to more of what the mountains there have in store for me.