Kasol – Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
Kasol is a small town, just 4 kms before Manikaran, located in the Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh. This hidden gem of a place is often referred to as the mini Israel due to large number of tourists from Israel who frequent this place. This used to be a small village like other villages of Himachal Pradesh. Over the years it gained popularity among travelers for its natural beauty. Today with more and more hotels and home-stays that has opened up and tourism booming here, it is now becoming a mini Manali. Whether you are looking for a peaceful escape from the city or an adventure activities like camping, trekking or white river rafting, Kasol has something for everyone.
I have been to Kasol a number of times and enjoyed my stay here. I have gone on few trekking expeditions like Kheerganga and Sar Pass Trek. Based on my experience, here is a brief article on how to come to Kasol, modes of transportation available, staying options and must-see attractions and things to do in Kasol.
Delhi to Kasol
It takes approximately 12 hours to drive from Delhi to Kasol to cover a distance of 535 k if you are driving your own vehicle. The route is Delhi to Chandigarh, Roopnagar, Kiratpur Sahib, Swarghat, Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Bhuntar. From Bhuntar instead of going towards Kullu or Manali, you have to turn right towards the source of Parvati river. Distance from Bhuntar to Kasol is only 25 km. Though the driving in Himachal is a bit tiring but passing through picturesque places, stopping at anywhere on the road to enjoy the with beautiful sceneries makes it worthwhile. If you are travelling from Chandigarh the distance from there to Kasol is 330 km approx.
Delhi to Kasol Journey
There are several modes of travel if driving your own vehicle is not your cup of tea. The most popular mode of transportation is travel by bus. There are a few flights as well that connects Delhi to Kullu. Another option is hiring a taxi which for such a long journey I usually don’t prefer.
There are scores of companies operating buses to Kasol. You can take a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate, New Delhi. Most of the buses are for Manali; you can buy a ticket upto Bhuntar and from there take another local bus for Kasol. One easy option is booking through apps like Redbus or Intrcity which is also easy. The journey takes about 12-14 hours but keep in mind that the roads can be winding and the bus journey can be quite tiring.
The quickest way to reach Kasol from Delhi is by taking a flight to Bhuntar airport and from there either take a taxi or bus to reach Kasol. The number of flights are limited and bit costly as well.
Hotels in Kasol
Kasol has a variety of variety of options to choose from as far as finding right place to stay in Kasol is concerned. There are scores of hotels n Kasol besides guest houses and home stays. This can be searched and booked from apps like goibibo or yatra for a suitable hotel room that suits your budget. Kasol also offers you an option of staying in tents, which is quite unique. This way camping on the banks of Parvati river can be enjoyed like never before.
Kasol is known for its pleasant weather, making it a popular destination for visitors all year round. However, Kasol weather can be quite unpredictable, as one moment there is full sunshine and next moment it starts drizzling.
The temperature in Kasol ranges from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius during summers, making it a great time to visit during this period. Summer months last May to September. During winters which last from November to February, the temperature in Kasol drops quite low to sub zero. Regardless of whatever the season is, it is always advisable to pack warm clothing like a jacket or sweater when coming to hill stations like Kasol.
Things to do in Kasol
There are so many things to do in Kasol for travelers of all ages and interests. One can explore the town and the nearby places, trying out the local food, go on a hike or do shoppin buying some souvenirs. Here are a few popular things to do in Kasol and have fun.
Explore the town
Kasol used to be a village but has now turned into a small and charming town. Take a stroll through the streets, cross the Kasol bridge and go to the nearby village Chalal, visit the local market, spend some time in the Kasol park situated right in the middle of town.
Visit the nearby villages
Kasol is surrounded by some beautiful, quaint and picturesque villages like Chalal and Tosh, that are well worth a visit. These villages offer a glimpse into the local way of life of Himachalis and are great places to explore.
Manikaran is located only 4 km from Kasol and is a must visit place. Manikaran is famous for Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib and hot sulphur water springs. There are also some very old temple in Manikaran that can be visited. I have been to Manikaran on several occasions, once or twice on foot from Kasol. How about taking a hot sulphur water bath in Manikaran.
Try the local cuisine
Kasol is famous for local, continental and Israeli dishes. There are scores of restaurants and dhabas. One can also try Tibetan food like thukpa and momos besides chowmein. I have tried these tibetan foods here and they were most delivious, one you cannot find in Delhi.
Go on a trek
Kasol is one of the most famous trekking destinations offering offers trails for all levels of expertise and fitness. The treks can be planned anytime of the year. There are several trekking trails to choose from, however the most popular is the Kheerganga Trek. I would recommend this trek to the first timers. This trek can be booked from any of the trekking companies in Kasol and should not cost more than Rs 2000 for a two day trek which includes food, stay and guide. I did this trek in April 2022 and was simply amazing. My next trek would be Kasol to Mantalai trek which I will do as soon as opportunity comes.
Kasol is a small town and doesn’t have big shops or malls. However, one can do a little shopping in Kasol as there are a variety of souvenirs and handmade goods, jewelry and clothing to textiles.
To know the culture and traditions of the people living in and around Kasol, one can visit the villages and see first hand for yourself. In fact many people prefer living in villages as there are lot of homestay optins available.
Music and parties
If you are interested in enjoying music and parties Kasol has lots of surprises for you.
Psychedelic trance. Psychedelic trance is a genre of electronic dance music (EDM) that originated in Goa, India and is also quite popular in Kasol. You can ask any locals or the information can be obtained from your hotel as to when and where this is held.
Music festivals. Kasol is also popular for music festivals and the Annual Parvati Peaking Festival is quite popular.
Party scene. Kasol also has a nightlife and party culture and there are popular party destinations and events held on regular basis.
Off limits Kasol
Though Kasol is a popular destination for travelers, there are a few off limits areas one should avoid. These places can be dangerous and are best avoided, even if traveling with a group. Solo travel is a strict no no.
One such area is the village of Malana, known for its cannabis cultivation and is considered a “no-go” zone by many locals and tourists. This place used to be strictly out of bounds for outsiders but today many people go there.
One of the best ways to experience Kasol and for that matter anywhere in Himachal Pradesh is taking a trip to the surrounding area. This will allow you to see the best of what the region or the place has to offer. Here are a few popular Kasol trips.
Kasol to Manikaran
Manikaran is located just 4 km away from Kasol and is a must visit place. Manikaran is famous pilgrimage town for the Sikhs as the Gurudwara Manikaran Sahib is located here. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims from far and wide come to visit the Gurudwara. Another major attractin in Manikaran is the hot sulphur water springs. There are also some very old temples in Manikaran that can be visited. I have been to Manikaran on several occasions. How about taking a hot sulphur water bath in Manikaran.
Kasol to Tosh
Tosh is a beautiful small village beyond Manikaran. People go to visit the Tosh village, known for its stunning views and laid-back atmosphere. It is really a great option for those looking for a relaxing and peaceful experience.
Kasol to Malana
Though Malana is considered an off-limits area, many travelers still choose to go there. Though Manal is notorious for cannabis cultivation, one unique thing in this village is the village own customs and traditions.
Distances from Kasol to nearby towns and cities
Delhi to Kasol distance
The Delhi to Kasol distance is approximately 515 km which takes anywhere from 9 to 11 hours, depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Travel options are car, bus, taxi or yur own vehicle. Regular bus service is available from Kasol and the tickets can be purchased from any of the booking offices located in Kasol. Bus tickets can also be purchased online by using using apps like RedBus.
Manali to Kasol distance
Manali to Kasol distance is only 60 km. This journey can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, and regular local bus service is also available between the two places.
Chandigarh to Kasol distance
If you are traveling from Chandigarh to Kasol, the two is approximately 220 km. The Chandigarh to Kasol distance can be covered from anywhere from 8 to 10 hours., depending on the mode of transportation you choose.
Finally both locals and tourists should not forget ecotourism and environmental conservation are important not only in the region around Kasol but other places as well. Many efforts are being made to promote sustainability and conserve the natural environment. However when it comes to issues like deforestation and pollution the responsibility falls on everyone’s shoulders.