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Amsterdam of India
Sitting by the rocks and observing the rumbling current of water, covered all sides by thick and green forests, it is simply enough to help you forget your troublesome thoughts, if not forever, but definitely for some time. Here, by the riverside of Parvati lies the quaint village of Kasol also known as the ‘Amsterdam of India’. In recent years, Kasol has gained quite some popularity among trekkers and nature lovers alike.
The scenic mountains, picture-perfect natural pulchritude and great weather attract many tourists all year round. As Kasol is an important base for trekking towards SarPass, Yanker Pass, Pin Parbati Pass and Kheerganga, trekkers and backpackers come here in large numbers. Kasol also falls on the way to the pilgrimage of Manikaran.
Budding tourism in the area has resulted in an increase in the number of restaurants and cafes. Eating at these restaurants by the forest side with a heavenly view is an experience worth devouring. The cafes also serve Israeli cuisine along with local delicacies due to a high number of Israeli tourists visiting this beautiful hamlet. While Kasol is just perfect for spending lazy afternoons admiring nature’s creativity, there are numerous things to do and places to visit in and around this small Bourg.
If you want to get an inside look at the culture, you must visit Malana Village located in Malana Nala. Usually visited by people who seek spiritual guidance, Malana is also popular for its temples of the local deities that are worshipped by the villagers. If you are someone who seeks adventure, you can also choose to trek to the village as this trekking trail is also very known among thrill-seekers. On your trek, you’ll find thick Deodar vegetation and might also come across the view of Malana Dam that’ll energise your mind, body and soul.
Another nearby destination that has received recognition in the last few years is Tosh. Tosh is particularly popular among hippies and people looking for a tranquil escape from a chaotic life. This is also an ideal destination if you want to get high - on adrenaline. The Tosh - Kasol trek is a go-to expedition if you are seeking an adrenaline rush. Scattered villages across lush green forests juxtaposed against snow-clad peaks is the Tosh that’ll greet you and blow your mind at the same time. People also frequent Tosh to practice Yoga and meditation.
Snow brings out the child in all of us. Meet your inner child at Waichin Valley more commonly known as the Magic Valley among tourists. Magic Valley is a treat for eyes with white washed peaks of Himalayas including Tiger Mouth Peak and Khiksa Thaj Glacier, corniferus forests, gushing waterfalls and streams. While every nook and corner is stark white in the winter, spring season brings out the reds and pinks of rhododendron flowers and summers highlight the lush green meadows.
Amidst slow clad mountain peaks, green valleys and a biting cold climate, how relaxing would it be to immerse yourself in the natural hot water bathtubs created by nature. Manikaran, a pilgrimage closer to Kasol, has natural hot springs and you can see the tourists and devotees losing themselves in the calming effect of its waters. The water here is said to be magical as it is rich in uranium and some other radioactive chemicals that are believed to cure muscle pains, arthiritis and many such diseases.
No trip to Kasol is ever complete with stargazing. Camping by the side of Parvati River, with a bonfire to soothe your skin from the cold climate, with a bottle of Chang; Kasol’s famous Rice Beer, as lie below the starry sky and lose yourself in the patterns created by different clusters of stars is just the ideal way to conclude a trip to Kasol.
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