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Trippy Tosh and Kaleidoscopic Kasol


Tripoto.com
Duration: 3 Days
Expenditure 7000

Days: 2

Parvati Valley is a quaint, green paradise nestled in the Indian Himalayas. While the valley houses significant historic Hindu temples and landmarks, it has positioned itself on the world map as the producer of the world's best Hashish called Malana Cream. However, what many fail to uncover are layers of rich culture and sense of pride in the natives who, despite interacting with outsiders on a daily basis, succeed in preserving their way of life.

To travel through the Parvati valley in 2 days and ensuring your fair share of trippy experiences can be a tiring business.

DAY 1

My journey started with boarding an HRTC Volvo from Kashemere Gate, Delhi (trust me, you'd only want to board state buses). We were a group of recent graduates looking forward to unwind after a hectic exam season. The bus goes till Bhuntar, post which one needs to board a local bus to Barshaini. There's not much to do in Bhuntar except stop for a good Indian breakfast.

We, however, took the local only till Manikaran as these buses are quite slow. Manikaran is a small, religious town full of Hindu temples​, a major Gurudwara and hot springs where devotees cook rice. From Manikaran we hired a taxi that dropped us to Barshaini, the last village connected via motorable road.

Now this is where one has to be decisive. Tosh lies at a distance of about 4-5 km from Barshaini. There's an option to hire a taxi for the same or hike all the way. Most enthusiasts prefer hiking as the view is as spellbinding as it gets. So did we. Tracks to the Kheerganga can also be spotted on the way.

Over the last 1 km stretch, it started raining quite heavily, drenching us completely. However, freezing to such pure winds also felt like a privilege as against the dusty air of the city. We walked all the way to the end of Tosh to finally find a suitable accommodation in Lord Shiva Cafe. The rooms are dirt cheap and have the prettiest morning views. There's a little cafe overlooking the mighty snow capped mountains. In all, the place was apt for getting baked and enjoying trance music. Do make sure that you have vegetable maggi and chai here. We headed to the German Bakery for dinner only to be moderately impressed by the food and amazed by its glittery ambience.

The day ended in a long session of star gazing, and talking about parallel universes, dark matter and the extra terrestrial.

Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 2/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 3/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 4/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 5/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 6/7 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Tosh, Himachal Pradesh, India 7/7 by Shikhar Lohia
DAY 2


The morning shone brightly in our faces and it was time to see some more of Tosh. The bone chilling shower in cold water was amply compensated by the soothing sunlight. We decided to head to Moonlight Cafe. The decision was certainly the best one so far as we helped ourselves with a really scrumptious Lebanese meal of Lafas and Falafel. This is the place that'll sell you some divine hash brownies. Taking the suggestion of the cafe's manager, we decided to take a detour to a nearby waterfall. The route is quite narrow and steep at some points but what follows is absolutely worth it. After a walk back to the start of the village, we hired a taxi to Kasol.

Kasol is rather commercialised but a stay in the outskirts makes up for it.

When in Kasol, head straight to the cafes and riverside rocks. We were quite amazed by the loud silence (intended) at the bank of Parvati River and ended up spending an hour or two there till the rain drove us out and we found ourselves on the tables of the acclaimed Moondance Cafe. A lot has been said about this place in every blog even remotely related to Parvati Valley and the place is a must visit.

After strolling in the streets for a bit we decided to head to our hotel where the cliché 'what happens in X, stays in X' happens​.

Photos of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/4 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India 2/4 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India 3/4 by Shikhar Lohia
Photos of Kasol, Himachal Pradesh, India 4/4 by Shikhar Lohia


DAY 3

The last day of our trip saw us rushing to the popular Evergreen Cafe to grab breakfast and then heading downwards to Kullu for rafting.

By now we'd accepted the fact that the rain Gods weren't quite content seeing us dry, so they decided to pour another shower, WHILE we were rafting. That, however was a choicest blessing in disguise and made the view of the vast Kullu valley even more picturesque.

Lo and behold the cold currents kept washing us and that was what made for a perfect culmination to this short and beautiful escape to the mountains.

Photos of Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India 1/1 by Shikhar Lohia

The ending of great travels; the hopeful beginning of new explorations and plans.

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