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.
Stretched along the lovely Parvati River with forested mountains rising all around, Kasol is the main traveller hub in the valley. Although nominally it's divided into Old (west) and New (east) sections by the central bridge, it’s really just one small village, almost overrun with chillum-shops, trinket-sellers and ever-expanding guesthouses. In summertime trance parties are transplanted to the Kasol area from Goa, though things are steadily changing as ultra-budget guesthouses transform themselves into more mainstream hotels. Increasingly the dreadlock crowd is migrating to more offbeat villages, notably around Barshani.
Steam continually billows from beneath the otherwise forgettable main Sikh and Hindu temples in Manikaran, 4km east of Kasol. According to legend, a giant snake stole goddess Parvati's earrings while she was bathing (during an 11,000-year meditation session with Shiva), then snorted them out from underground, along with various other jewels. This released the holy hot springs which, along with inexpensive accommodation, are now the minor attractions of this rather glum little pilgrim town straddling filth-strewn riverbanks.
Part-way up the steep Parvati Valley-side, Barshani has attractive views but is principally the hub from which travellers start the day hike to Khir Ganga hot springs or much shorter strolls to cult hang-out villages Tosh, Kalga and Pulga. All three have mesmerisingly beautiful panoramic views of craggy peaks in all directions, but each has its own specific character. Popular with Indian tourists, Tosh is the highest (2430m) and the most developed, with lots of new view-guesthouses. Much more architecturally traditional, Pulga has a fine old temple tower and a tightly knit village core of houses roofed in stone slabs, where locals sit at handlooms on old wooden balconies. Yet it's also a major chill-out spot for long-stay travellers, especially Israelis, with party spots nestled into the thick forest behind.
Popular for its cannabis plantations, the tranquil village of Tosh is just another example of the unparalleled natural beauty that Himachal Pradesh holds within its bounds. Located at the far end of Parvati Valley, Tosh is untouched by modernisation and fast-paced life. With its gradual terrain and the waters of river Parvati flowing through its bosom, the Tosh Kasol trek is the go-to expedition for all adrenaline junkies. The hippie culture and otherworldly vibe of this village will surely transport you to another world.
Let us start with the best kept secrets of Malana. We know it’s more like an open secret and the village is actually famous for this very feature. The place grow the finest weed in the India. Malana is famous for ‘Malana cream’, a strain of Cannabis hashish, which has high oil content and an intensely fragrant aroma. But did you know that the Malana cream is also the most expensive hashish in the Amsterdam menu?
A 30-minutes casual awe-inspiring walk away from the crowd of Kasol through the trails covered with pine trees will lead you to this tiny beautiful village of Chalal, located at an altitude of 1566m. It truly retains its old world mountain village rustic charm also serving as a base for hike to Rasol. The backpackers and trekkers who come here to trek, chill under the mystical sky full of stars or have some hot Chai to cherish the sheer splendor of this scenic place have majorly contributed to the fan following of this place.
Nestled deep within the mystical Parvati Valley of the Himalayas is the magical village of Rasol. An elusive and largely disconnected village situated approximately 10,000 feet above sea level, Rasol is an enchanting location where one is privy to breathtaking views of the snow-capped Himalayas, which turn lush green as they flow down deep into the valley. Close to the famous Malana village, Rasol is not so different to outsiders, with its rustic charm and well-protected community and culture.
If you are planning to visit offbeat places of Parvati valley, a 10km hike to Grahan village, situated deep inside the forest to the north of Kasol, at an altitude of 2298m in Parvati Valley, is a must on the list. It is a small village with a population of only 350 people living 50 houses along with some beautiful architecture.
A handful of travellers visiting Kalga is perhaps the prime reason why it remains a top-notch destination for those seeking a taste of the unconventional. With the sky almost kissing the snow- covered peaks and plentiful of alpine beauty the place offers most alluring getaway from the usual hustle and bustle of a village. The old houses present here are abandoned. Most of the houses here have turned into cheap comfy home stays allowing the travellers to sink in the beauty of the place completely.
If you’re a backpacker interested in exploring offbeat places, the Pulga Village awaits you. Located around 16 km from Kasol, this Kasol tourist place has plenty of tea gardens of the Himalayan side blessing the place with tranquility to entice. Situated at a height of 2,895 m above sea level the small village has astounding temples that you must visit. You can enjoy a day here amidst the natural beauty, undisturbed and away from the hustle and bustle of the digital world.
Step into an abode miles away from the noises of modern day life and travel almost back in time to a heavenly place.
IT is a two-hour hike up from the town of Manikaran, nestled in the higher reaches of the Parvati Valley's Gargi village.
Amongst the best places to visit in Kasol, Kheer Ganga showcases the panoramic beauty of the lush green hills and clear skies. A holy place, it lies at the extreme end of the Parvati Valley, transfixing you with the skies that are bluer and the hills that are greener than usual. A striking opportunity for beginners, the Kheer Ganga trek is counted as one of the easiest treks of Kasol. You sure don’t want to miss this chance.
Known as the land of Shiva, Kheer Ganga has mythological beliefs weaved around it which you can hear out while your visit to Lord Shiva Temple. This trek has more surprises for you enveloped - hot water dip! You can ease down and enjoy the hot water spring amidst the snow and relax your weary muscles. Can it get any better?