Kasol is a village in Himachal Pradesh, northern India. It is situated in Parvati Valley, on the banks of the Parvati River, on the way between Bhuntar to Manikaran. It is located 42 km east of Kullu at the height of 1640 meters. Kasol is partitioned into Old Kasol and New Kasol on the either side of the bridge. Kasol is at distance of 5 kilometre from holy place Manikaran..
Kasol has recently transformed into a hub for backpackers, who are attracted to the scenic valley, untouched hills, low population, and good climate throughout the year. Kasol is also a base for Himalayan trekking, to SarPass, Yanker Pass, Pin Parbati Pass and Khiriganga. Most of the trekking is organized by the Youth Hostel of India and the base camp for the Sarpass Trek is at Kasol. Visitors from Israel are common in Kasol and one can see the Hebrew language banners throughout the valley.
Kasol is also Know as Mini Israel in Himachal Pradesh. The shops in the village of Kasol have western food and clothes. There is only one school which has classes up to 7th grade. The nearest college is in Kullu. The recent inflow of Israeli tourists has triggered mushrooming of restaurants, hotels and shops catering to their needs. Kasol is inhabited mostly by tourists from Israel which is why most of the hoardings are in Hebrew and the Israeli Shakshouka, a dish of poached eggs in tangy tomato gravy along with hummus and pita bread will definitely drown you in its’ rich flavours. The Israelis in India move from Kasol to Paharganj in Delhi to Goa with an elan as if each is in their neighbourhood.
Kasol is ideal for a vacation if you want to chill in the lap of nature. The village is an open space by the banks of the Parvati River where one can spend lazy afternoons. The river abounds with trout and is the perfect place for angling. However, permission from forest department is required for trout fishing in the river. Parvati river at Kasol is ideal for white water rafting.
It isn’t clear if the name Parvati valley has anything to do with the manufacture of Hashish or marijuana that is grown in this part of India but the melancholy beauty of the place will leave you wanting for more. Visitors are attracted to the town because of its hospitality, beautiful environs, and wild charas, a hand-made hashish made from the cannabis that is plentiful to the area.
With Parvati river gurgling and the formidable snow-capped mountain lurking from a corner, reading a book in a café by the river would be an interesting thing to do but while in Kasol and not indulging in trekking would reckon the getaway incomplete.
By : Neeraj Dhiman