I rushed to a hardware store one Thursday afternoon looking for a knife. This knife was not meant to cut my morning apples into two but to wipe out the bad men I presumed would hit in my way to Himachal. I do get a little schizophrenic about my life decisions, although I was just trying to be cautious with that move. It is not always advised to travel alone to a female traveler. Even though I had two of my other female friends along with me, I considered our safety to be of utmost importance. In a rush I entered my room to see my roommate pack her stuff. I exclaimed to myself at the unplanned journey we were embarking upon. Himachal Pradesh is a north-Indian state nestled in the lap of Himalayas known for trekking, climbing, and other adventure activities. My plan was to have a vacation in Malana which is a district of Kullu and is nestled in the angelic Parvati Valley. Kasol is called the stoner’s paradise and is a very common getaway for the youth in India. It is one of the most favorable destination for all the stoners. However, I choose to call it a gateway to paradise. I personally felt that Kasol is beautiful for the snow covered mountains and the uninterrupted flow of Parvati River. However, the place is way too commercialized to provide you with that serenity. I would rather say that Kasol is a one-night place, which you can definitely utilize to explore the cafes in its Village Chalal and can also attend some crazy rave parties.
So why do I actually feel that Kasol is a gateway to paradise?
Well, that’s because Kasol actually unfolds the route to various unexplored areas in the valley and around like Malana, Tosh, Kheerganga, Rasol etc. These places are actually being explored by most of the travelers these days. They unfold the real elegance of living in serenity. I haven’t explored Tosh and Kheerganga yet. I will in sometime. I have definitely studied Malana very well during my stay. Malana is a perfect destination for people looking for a ‘do-nothing’ vacation. There are two routes from Kasol to Malana. You will have to first book a cab till the gate of Malana village from where the trek begins. This trek is the shorter one. It will just take an hour or an hour and a half if you get easily tired. The trek is short and pretty.
So I reached Kasol at around 10 in the morning. For my friends and I were dying of hunger, we chose to go to the first restaurant we came across in Kasol – Cafe Rainbow. Cafe Rainbow is right beside the pathway to the bridge which goes to Chalal. We had a French breakfast at Cafe Rainbow and then we finally headed to Malana. After staying in Malana for two days and one night, we came back to Kasol and spent the night in a tent, right in front of the Jim Morrison Cafe. It was a pleasant stay.
The same night, after my friends were asleep in the tent, I left for Chalal. I wanted to witness the night all by my own and also the sunrise by the side of Parvati River. So I left with my torch to spend the night by myself. I actually landed up in an amazing encounter with a German Shepard. I was surprised to see how happy the German Shepard was to see me there while I assumed that he might tear me down to pieces and my friends will never realize where I was. Oh well, lets come out of the fiction. So as I sat by the side of the big dog, I realized how slow everything was around me, as if they were all high. High on life. And I suddenly did not feel the need to stay high on anything else. I only gazed at the exquisiteness of the Universe and wondered if I could spend more time there. I was just so lost in myself that I did not realize how time flowed with the channel of the river. I realized it was time to leave for that spot where I wanted to be before the sunrise. I bid the dog farewell and left.
You may want to read this:
- Don’t have a French breakfast at Cafe Rainbow. You may try something else.
- Try Buddha Cafe but late at night.
- I missed Jim Morrison Cafe even though I stayed right infront of it. But that is like one of the most amazing cafe in Kasol. You may not want to miss it.
- Walk into the market lane. Towards the end, you will find some small dhabas (kind of shops). Try their food too. I really liked them.
- And don’t forget the Israeli food. There are lots of restaurants for the same.
- Also, you may like to walk into the the neon art exhibition. The guy who hold that exhibition also gives rooms for rent in his house in like just 200-300 bucks. If you are low on cash, you may want to go for it.
Disclaimer: Your experiences may be different. Let’s just say, we all have our own opinions. Yours can be different from mine. 🙂