Sometimes you want to just get away from the city life and lose yourself in a trance. Walk with no destination in mind and chance upon a hidden village. Sit in surroundings so beautiful that you lose yourself and end up watching the sun rise and set from the same spot. Drink from fresh water streams and party with the people from some untouched villages in their style.
Driven by these thoughts, we chanced upon Kasol while going through another blog for the wanderers. Little could we control ourselves, and in a jiffy, 11 of us just packed whatever we could find and headed towards this beautiful and magnificent Parvati Valley (in Himachal Pradesh) in a bid to explore Kasol and the nearby towns.
There are ample buses available from ‘Majnu ka Tila‘ which, in moderate traffic, is 30 minutes away from Kashmere gate (nearest metro station). That’s likely to cost you INR 60-70 in Auto fare. The buses from Majnu ka Tila ply from 4 PM to 9 PM in the evening. These buses go straight to Kullu-Manali. Very comfortable AC and Private Volvo busses are also available. Off-season rates were INR 600 per seat. If you are heading to Kasol, remind the conductor to drop you off at Bhuntar and stay up to make sure you don’t miss your stop.
We took the 6:30 PM bus from Majnu ka Tila and the bus halted twice on the way. A long stop for dinner somewhere in Punjab and another one at Mandi for late night tea. Our bus reached Bhuntar around 6:45 AM. The bus dropped us off right outside the local bus stand.
There is only one ATM in Kasol which is out of cash or dysfunctional many times. There are 2-3 ATMs in Bhuntar, so if you don’t have enough cash for the trip already now is the time to withdraw. If you miss it by chance, you can get cash by swiping your card at the Currency Exchange Booth in Kasol by paying 5% surcharge.
The local bus for Kasol leaves after 7 AM. While we were waiting we decided to withdraw some cash from the ATM and add more layers of woollens since it was freezing outside. Bhuntar onwards you will be travelling in local busses only so equip yourself with enough layers of woollens, socks, cap and gloves. For, if you are doing an off season trip too, you will need all these and more. We saw a small chai and Maggi shop at the local bus stand and had our first meal in the mountains. Once you have boarded the bus, it’s a good idea to sit on the left to be able to see the valley properly.
Bus ticket – INR 45/seat, Taxi also available for INR 900 (accommodates 6).
The bus takes another two hours to reach Kasol and this bus ride gives you your first view of the valley. The chill in the breeze, the sharp turns of the road and the beautiful sight of the river and the snow capped mountains tell you what you are in store for the next few days.
We reached Kasol at 9:30 AM and right where the bus dropped us a beautiful mountain dog greeted us and led us to Cafe Rainbow. It was a homestay with an apt location, right next to the bus stand, the river flowed behind and it was the starting point for treks like Rashol and Manikaran. While we stayed at Cafe Rainbow there are lots of other comfortable guest houses, hotels and homestay options also available.
Also, if you have forgotten your trekking gear, shoes, backpack or woollens you can get all these things from Kasol. Options for both rent and purchase are available.
Places to eat in Kasol: Shiv café, Evergreen Cafe, Bhoj, German Bakery, Little Italy, Maria café
After accepting the traditional welcome of Kasol (if you know what i mean 😉) , hogging on countless numbers of gobhi cheese parathas and bread omelette, and putting on yet another layer of woollens we left for Barshani. Barshani is the base for treks like Kheerganga, Kalga, Pulga and the base from where you can either walk the road or take a taxi to Tosh. It took us 90 minutes to reach there and we found out that it was not possible to go for kheerganga trek due to heavy snow. Hence, we explored Kalga, pulga for couple of hours, walking in the snow with mountain dogs, following trails left by locals and then took the taxi to Tosh which cost us INR 50 per seat.
Tosh was another story altogether. To reach the village we had to cross a stream and walk into the snow clad wonderland of India. A small village, with just 150 – 200 houses but the view from the place was breathtaking.
Since we went in off-season we didn’t find many tourists but there were a lot of homestay options available. We checked out several options and decided to stay in Sunrise Guesthouse where we paid INR 100/Person/night for a group of 11 people. The attendant there, Rahul, was very helpful and an amazing cook. He served us with some amazing pizzas, pancakes, paranthas and coffee. And later that night he hooked speakers and disco lights for us in a quiet village and we partied under the stars well into the wee hours of the night.
Next day, we left early morning for Barshani from where we took the bus to Manikaran to head to the Gurudwara. There are some beautiful Shiv temples here, natural hot springs and baths made for both men and women where one can take the holy dip. Of course the main attraction is the Gurudwara, and we decided to have lunch in the langar.
We decided to walk back to Kasol that day and walked across the river from the road into the forest and mountains. This trail was extremely beautiful, right by the side of the river, and in the middle of lush green trees and flower beds. We walked down to the river after a while and spent sometime there and then headed back to the room around 6:30 PM.
If you walk from Kasol towards Manikaran, you will see the board of Jim Morrison café on the right. It’s a cozy place built around 800m up trek. This place had a sigri, amazing ambience, great music and 5 cutest puppies. We stayed there until 10 PM and the walk back to our rooms was like a night trek in the wild.
Malana, and its greek descendents
Next day in the morning we took the roadways bus to Jari which was around 30 – 45 minutes away. From there we took a taxi for Malana, the lesser known village of arguably the Greek descendants. The ride is around an hour long and where the jeep drops you off it’s another 2 hours of long trek to the village. This trek is slightly steep, and was slippery because of the snow but the surroundings just made it worthwhile.
Once you reach the village nestled in the middle of mountains you are greeted with the rules of the land. No outsider is supposed to touch the residents or the houses or enter any of the houses. In case one does that, he has to pay a fine of INR 25,000 and the locals are quite serious about this. But this doesn’t mean they are not friendly. There are a couple of guest houses located beyond the village and one right at the beginning. And if you fancy some tea, maggi or paranthas you can find some tasty treats in the village itself. They won’t be handed to you but just put on a chair where you can pick it from, you know because of the no contact thing, but this is an experience in itself.
We started our trek back late afternoon, back to the car and the the driver dropped us back to Bhuntar directly, just in time for our evening bus. We headed back for Delhi at around 8:30 PM and by 6:30 AM we were back to the hustle bustle of the city.
Here are two other contacts which may come useful:
– Taxi, Barshani – 08894494428
– Bus, Vishal – 09882624000 (for bus to-and-fro Delhi to Bhuntar)
We did this trip in January 2015 and the total cost of the trip was approx. INR 3000 per person for 3 days including travel, stay and food. You can cover all the spots as described here if you leave on a Thursday evening and plan to reach back by Monday morning.
Best months to visit : March – June ; October – November
Credits: Thanks Priyanka Agarwal for making this trip happen. And Akshay Maggu and Rupayan Banerjee for these brilliant photos I could use. Have uploaded most of their pictures in this flickr album to give you a thorough idea of how a trip to Parvati Valley may be like.
Planning a trip to Parvati Valley?
For your convenience, we have embedded some useful contact details in QR codes above. Just point your mobile’s camera (after opening a QR code scanner) at the code to save the details. Most mobiles have this application built in.
In an attempt to make the planning process easier for you, we have made a super-handy cheat sheet which you can use as a PDF reference or take a printout for your journey. Download it here.
If you have already been here or to other similar places, share your experiences or engage in a conversation below. (Alternatively, here’s a link to the discussion on our facebook page)
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161 thoughts on “The magic of Parvati Valley and its less explored villages”
Hi akanskha, we planning to visit kasol for new years, would it be a good idea.
The valley is full of parties on New years. Rashol , Chalal and all other areas have a little party going on of their own.
Most of these are rave parties but it will be an experience in itself.
The nights will be cold but that’s what you go to a hill station for right? 🙂
Make sure you pre book your accommodation as most places will be booked already at this time.
Do let us know if you need any assistance in making the bookings.
Have a great trip!
Happy Travelling 🙂
I was planning this trip but not so confident about it as none of the people I am going with know about place. But after reading Your post it seems like a know the place well and can easily go.
I am planning this trip in late October with my 6-8 friends. I have totally same plans as yours. Same number of days and same place( I am totally inspired with your plan). I am going there in weekdays. I have only two questions:
1. What amount of budget is needed at this time?
2. I have to book hotels before hand or I will get them easily
I also need a budget division right up. That how much we will have to spend where per person.
Thankyou for the post anyway 🙂
Glad the post was of help 🙂
As for your questions
Since you are going season time you should atleast keep 5 tO 6 K per person as a minimum budget.
Hotels, you could book in advance but since you are going in weekdays it will not be an issue to book after reaching there as well.
Also, we are also in touch with a couple of hotels there and will be happy to help you with the booking if you like.
Hope you have a great trip.
Happy travelling 🙂
Hi Bharat u can easily get hotels once you reached the place…
Parvinder Thakur’s Alanis Homestay is the best option if you r a hash lover… or pothead like me….For Kasol,Manikaran & Tosh I think 6000 is enough….n yes don’t miss free delicious food offered by Manikaran Gurudware…..
n for other infos u can call me on 9002906640
I know i shouldnt ask this but then also can you let me know that Alcohol i s cheap here in Kasol & Manali just like Gangtok??
Alcohol isn’t exactly the most wanted item in Kasol. There are more easily available methods of getting high on the mountains. 🙂
As for the prices, well, we really didn’t do much purchasing either so maybe you can let us know on this one once you are back from your trip.
Happy Travelling 🙂
One of the best articles on Parvati Valley, that I’ve come across.
You may also want to check the experiences on my blog.
Thanks a ton 🙂
We would love to read your take on the destination as well.
Happy Travelling 🙂
My pleasure. Umm, you can find some articles right here on Travelshoebum.com 🙂 Would love to know your views
Hi I Am Saurav
I m planning to go to parvati valley sometime around December 25
Could u please suggest me if the time is OK or. Not ?
More over I m having 3 days for making the trip . Please let me know if I need any longer
If you are ready to brave the cold, the time will be good.
Some treks like Kheerganga, Kalga, Phulga might be shut because of the snow. But Kasol will be up and about with it’s cafes and Tosh will also be pretty. 3 Days are ok, you can cover Kasol , Manikaran and Tosh.
If you want to spend more time, you could make a longer itinerary as well.
Hope you have a great trip.
Happy Travelling 🙂
I really loved your post keep writing :). I am also planning a trip with 9 others by 2 cars in March 1st week from delhi to shimla and take a halt for 3 days there and then to kasol for 7 days. Can you suggest a proper 7 days plan in kasol with good places to eat and stay. And will I be able to see some snow during that period.
Thanks and regards,
Glad that you liked the post 🙂
7 days is a good time period for Parvati Valley, you can explore Kasol, Chalal , Rashol, Tosh , Manikaran & Malana.
Could also check if Kalga/ Phulga & Kheerganga will be open then. Snow , if at all, you will be able to see in these places only, Kheerganga side.
Places to eat and stay, you must have already found our recommendations on the blog.
Hope you have a great trip and do share your experience with us !!
Feel free to connect with us for bookings or any other assistance on the trip.
Happy Travelling 🙂
Hey, thanks a lot for this, I was wondering if I could go on a solo trip to Parvati Valley. This made me believe I can! As an alternative I am planning to go with a group of backpackers where the total cost for 10 days comes up to INR 12,000/- What I wanted to know is, INR 12,000 is worth it for a 10 day trip? Please help me choose among the alternatives. Thanks in advance!
A solo trip to Parvati Valley will be good fun. But then again, the destination is a lot of fun with like minded people as well.
The cost, I feel is ok, not a bargain though but it’s sky high either. Also, not sure what all is covered in this cost.
But I feel the decision that you need to make here is whether you would like to explore the valley alone or with the company of other fellow travellers.
The cost difference wouldn’t really matter much once you make that decision. This is probably a one time trip, do it in the style you like the most. 🙂
Hope you have a great trip and do let us know in case you need our assistance in booking or anything else.
Happy Travelling 🙂
Hi Akanksha, thanks for the reply. The cost with the team is from Delhi to Delhi, excluding food for all 10 days. Moreover I love travelling to new places alone and make new friends, that thrills me the most, helps me learn about their lives and cultures of countries or places they are from. You can call me a nomad 😛 So, will there be travellers (that’s what I prefer to call the people I meet, not tourists) in the month of October or November? I don’t want to go there when tourism is at it’s peak, like in May. Thanks. 🙂
Yes, October is definitely not Dull in Paravati Valley, so there will be enough people to chill with. Also, if you do travel alone and end up staying in hostel you will probably end up saving some money. But it is still not a bad deal I’d say.
So figure if the co travellers are nice, then take the package and travel hassle free.
If not, you will be fine on your own 🙂
Do remember to share your experience with us.
Hey Akanksha, thanks a lot for this, you’ve been a great help regarding my queries on Parvati Valley. I’ll definitely share my experiences. Safe travels 🙂
Awesome !! Looking forward to the same 🙂
This is the best blog i have read about parvati valley as i am also planning to go on christmas this year.
Can you please tell me what is the price of the homestay you took in kasol?
Glad that you liked our Blog 🙂
Christmas time is high season and I believe the price will be at least double of what we paid.
If you’d like us to help us with your bookings or need assistance with anything else, do let us know.
Happy Travelling 🙂
Any kind of help would be great. How can you help me in the bookings please let me know 🙂
We could get the bookings done for you, please share your exact dates and number of people. And we will share a couple of options with you from which you can choose and book.
Let us know in case you need assistance on this.
Also if you can tell me about the local buses there like from kasol to barsheni and local cab frm kasol to tosh etc. It would be of great help.
Hi Again 🙂
There are local busses that ply from Kasol to Barsheni at hourly interval. From Barshani, tosh is like a 45 min walk or you can take a cab from there which is very easily available.
You could ofcourse take a direct can as well from kasol to Tosh, but the frequency of the busses you do not need to go through the trouble of paying for the direct cab.
Happy Travelling 🙂
I will reach kasol on 24th december. We are 13 people. We would prefer a budget hotel. 🙂
How long is the trip Mukul and how will your itinerary be split ? For how many days are you planning to stay in Kasol ?
Also, to quicken the process you could connect with us on watsapp at 8826454643 so that we can quickly close all your queries.
Happy travelling 🙂
We a couple are planning to make a trip to Kasol.we plan to start frm delhi on 31st dec and return on 4th jan morning.so how shud we plan our trip? What all places can we cover? And are couples welcome there? Also want to know the cost involved?
Lastly, wud like ur suggestion in choosing between MAnali and kasol.is a trip to kasol more ideal for ppl in groups. And we really look forward to witness snowfall. Hence, please advice.
Manali is more of a traditional holiday destination. More families and couples there , though Old manali you will find some backpacker crowd as well.
Kasol area is more for the backpacker, friends, group and solo travellers.
Everyone is welcome in Kasol, you will not raise any eyebrows there if that is what you are worried about.
You would essentially have three days as you will reach on 1st Morning and will have to leave by 3rd evening to reach delhi by 4th.
This is the itinerary I would suggest
1st Jan : Stay in Kasol. Explore Chalal trek & spend some time in the cafe’s there. Our picks already mentioned in the blog.
2nd Jan : Travel to Tosh. Stay in Tosh. You should be able to see some snow here. Could also visit Kalga / Phukga on your way.
3rd Jan : Come back to Manikaran and have lunch there. The the late after noon bus to Bhuntar.
Prebook your return bus in advance as sometimes the busses get occupied in Manali only as that is the starting point.
Since you’re travelling at new year’s time I would suggest you to book everything in advance to avoid any issues on ground.
The budget , depends on the properties , cafe’s and the transportation you select. Minimum budget you should keep in hand is INR 5000/- per person since it will be new year’s time and the rates might be running high.
Hope you have a great trip and please feel free to connect with us for any other information you might require.
Happy Travelling 🙂
I’ve already messaged you today. As I mentioned wanted to check if February End is a good time to plan a trip to this patch? What can we expect to do there at that time?
Please help me connect with locals who could give some better insight in this!
Appreciate your promptness. 🙂
Hi Akansha !
Well this the most informative and useful blog that I came across on the web.
We are a group of 4, and we are wondering if we will be able to find some camps to stay near tosh or manikaran.
We would be leaving chandigarh on 7th Jan 2017 Morning for Manali. And we have to be back in Chandigarh on 9th Jan 2017 till aftrenooon. We have a guest house booked in Manali, but then we are hoping for a campsite on the mountains. If you could recommend something, that would be great.
Hi. very useful map and nice Blog!!!
I visited Jari, Kasol and Tosh last month. Reading your trip reminded me my moments there.
Loved your blog. I’m planning a solo trip, in October,to Kasol. I’ll be flying into delhi, from Pune, on the 13th and have a return ticket booked for the 21st. I have nothing but a rudimentary plan which involves four days in and around Kasol and two days in Manali. I’m visiting Parvati valley primarily to do some camping and soak in the atmosphere; I don’t smoke weed. So, I’m thinking that four days in Parvati valley might be too long. This in conjunction with the common notion that Manali is too touristy is making me second guess myself.
All this confusion almost makes me want to wing it. So, I’d appreciate any help that comes my way and helps me build a rough itinerary.
Thanks for your time : D
Glad that you liked our blog 🙂
So if you’re interested in trekking, you could choose to do the Chanderkhani pas.
This is a medium level trek and will require you to book a guide and tent for the same.
You could start from Waichin side do the pas and come down from Bijli Mahadev and head to Manali if you still have time.
Day 1: Kasol and Chalal
Day 2: Bus to Jari, taxi to Malana and trek to Waichin(30 mins)
Day 3: Waichin to Naharguni
Day 4 : Naharguni to CHandrashila and Back to Naharguni
Day 5: Naharguni to Bijli Mahadev
Day 6 : Bijli Mahadev to Kullu and bus from there.
The guide might suggest a different itinerary as. Per current conditions but this trek is doable.
If you want a more relaxed itinerary with easy treks, follow this one
Day 1 : Kasol & Manikaran
Day 2 : Barsheni by bus and stay in Phulga
Day 3 : Hike up Kheerganga, leave early and stay overnight
Day 4 : Hike down to Barsheni and hike / take cab to Tosh
Day 5 : Take bus to Kasol. If in mood for another trek go to Rashol via Chalal. Trek for 5hours.
Else take bus to Bhuntar and then to Manali.
Day 6: start Back from Rashol , can stop in Chalal for lunch. Take bus from Kasol to Delhi.
If in Manali, can go to Rohtang pas today and then head back for evening bus.
In Manali, stay in Old Manali, Born Free hostel is a good one.
Hope this is helpful. Let us know if you’d like us to connect you with some guides / stay options or anything else.
Happy travelling 🙂
Thanks for such an informative blog.one of the best that i found online.
i am planning for kasol trip with a friend this nov , so we will be starting from vadodara to delhi by flight on 15 nov will reach Delhi by 7pm & have return flight from delhi on 19 nov 4 pm , could you please suggest a rough itinerary as we have very less knowledge of the same.
Glad that you liked it.
So as per your flight schedule, you can take a late night bus on 15th for Manali.
16th morning, switch bus at Bhuntar and take the one going towards Barsheni.
Get down at Kasol and you could stay either in Kasol or walk up to Chalal and stay there if you want to be closer to nature.
You could do the trail from Kasol to Manikaran on 16th or walk in the Himalayan National park.
For 17th , If you’re into trekking, there are two options for you. Either start your trek from Chalal and go up to Rashol. It’s a 5 hour lesser trodden trek. Not many tourists on this route. You could spend the night in Rashol.
Or you could take the bus from Kasol to Barsheni and go up to Kheerganga and spend 17th night there.
If you’re not into trekking then you could choose to stay in Tosh, do a couple of trails ahead of Tosh. Or spend 17th night in Phulga or Kalga.
For either of these villages, take the bus from Kasol to Barsheni and from there walk to Kalga / Phulga / Tosh.
Could alternatively take a cab till Tosh.
18th morning (by 1-2 max), you need to start back for Kasol since you will have to take the bus back for Delhi tonight.
So ideally, if you had a little more time, it would have been better.
But in this time frame , you can either do tosh + kheerganga or Kalga/Phulga + kheerganga or Chalal / Kasol + kheerganga
Or you can do Chalal / Kasol + Rashol or Chalal / Kasol + Malana
Let me know what you decide and in case you need any other information.
Hope you have a great trip .
Happy travelling 🙂
its quite late but i lost access to the data and system , came through this link after a while– thanks for the amazing advise and suggestions , it was raining but we had wonderful time thanks alot
Hie Akanksha !
I found your blog very useful and informative.
I just wanted to ask few questions as i have my own doubts. Since i am going to kasol with my friends.
We are 11 people in this trip and our journey will start from Ranchi, we will leave from Ranchi on 27th Dec and will reach Delhi the next day i.e 28th by 11 am. We are planning to stay in Kasol for 4 nights 5 days i.e from 29th dec -2nd jan .Can you please suggest a nice and affordable guesthouse, homestay or hotel for our stay and also give me some information about the trekking packages and the transportation cost from Kasol.
According to you what should be the money requirement per head for this trip?
It would be a great help, please answer urgently.
Your blog was quite informative..Thank you so much for making it easier for us to know the best places.
I need your help planning out an upcoming trip to Kasol.
Me and 3 of my friends, we have decided to go in the first week of March.. that is.. 3rd to 12th of March. (Including the flight travel + bus travel time)
And we want to cover these places: Kasol-Manikaran-Tosh-Kheerganga(trek)-Malana-Rasol primarily.
All of us have different opinions of whether these number of days are enough or not..
Could you please help us with a tentative itinerary so that we get an idea about this?
P.S. We don’t just want to be touristy and hop from one place to another. We plan to chill and relax there in between.
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Hi Akansha !!🙂
Your blog was quite insightful for a weekend trip. I have been to kasol-tosh-kutla-kheerganga couple of time. We are a group of six people and this time we are planning to explore more of malana- weichin valley – magic valley. We are planning our trip in first week of April.
If you can give some insights to plan our trip better.
– availability of accommodation in weichin valley / magic valley ( as staying in malana is prohibited now a day, I guess )
– will 02 days be enough to complete the trek?
– How will be the weather up there during Aril ?
I am planning for trip of Spiti and parvati valley with other places nearby in a group of 4 adult or 2 couple.
Days : 10 days
Can you suggest or share plan from your side in your free time??
Thanks in advance.
wanna travel to kasol and nearby for 5 days .
we will be 8 persons with four of them more than 45 years.
canyou suggest some good places to stay and provide travel assistance
i live in manali and go to kasol at regular interval. kasol and tosh are really beautiful places. I am in love with tosh