A forgotten valley in Himachal Pradesh, at a short distance from Kullu-Manali and close to the religiously significant destination of Manikaran, Kasol has gained popularity in recent years due to its remote location, simple lifestyle and most importantly, breathtaking and untouched natural beauty. Set to the backdrop of the snow-clad Himalayan ranges, Kasol is a settlement that has grown around the Parvati River, with its clear and fast flowing water, and rocky surface that makes for a wonderful picnic with family and friends. Narrow bridges run across the river, connecting either side of Kasol.
With its pleasant weather and cool winds, Kasol can be visited almost all year round. However, it ought to be avoided during the peak winter months when the temperatures run low and the otherwise smooth mountainous drive to Kasol becomes rather treacherous.
Kasol is mainly accessible by road, and well connected by bus services to Delhi, Chandigarh and other cities. The roadways are well constructed and safe. The closest airport is in Kullu; however, this is not very well connected with Kasol and thus not advised for travel.
Malana is another remote village located at a higher level than Kasol and having even more breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. The trek is a relatively easy one, more so because of the pleasant weather and should take about four hours. One can meet and befriend fellow trekkers as well as interact with the locals who are friendly and more than willing to help anyone out. A popular attraction on these treks, are the guide dogs that will make your trek unforgettable. These dogs, friendly mountain strays, will follow groups of trekkers faithfully, helping any tourist or trekker up the slope and have been known to risk their own lives to help them, all in exchange for a few leftovers of food that can tourists can give them. Indeed, locals will advise you to carry food in a bag for these hardworking dogs, which have been known to even save lives on the steep Himalayan slopes.
Manikaran, which is a greatly significant religious destination for both the Hindu and Sikh religions, is located at an exhilarating trek away from Kasol. Not only is the journey an experience itself, with the strain of physical exercise through the clear air of the Himalayas, but the destination becomes worth it due to the famous natural hot springs that are present here, all along the Parvati River. The water from these springs flows out at such a high pressure that it is hot enough to cook food in. As is tradition, the food served at the langar in the famous Sikh temple is cooked in these springs. Other than this, the lesser hot springs have also been turned into public baths and as they are high in minerals, they are said to have healing powers as well.
The Hindu temple at Manikaran is dedicated to Shiva and it said to be the area where Manu had reinstated life, after the Great Deluge. For the Sikh religion, Manikaran and its hot springs were a major part of the tale of the founder of their religion, Guru Nanak.
3. Tosh Village
Accessible only by road, after crossing a wooden bridge, the Tosh Village is one of the highest points one can reach from Kasol. The scenery of lush green grasses and forests, apple fields, snow covered peaks and fast flowing rivers is sure to take ones breath away. The village, which is just recently opening up to the idea of tourism and is thus friendly and clean, has simple, charming buildings made up of stone and wood, with a stove inside each room to keep visitors warm and comfortable. There are also many cafes and an environment of friendly tourists and locals. This place is perfect for people travelling alone who are looking for a little peace and tranquillity.
Kasol is the perfect haven for lone travellers, trekkers and backpackers looking for an adventure amongst nature, looking to meet strangers and locals and try something new or simply looking to relax amidst the peaceful mountains.