Kasol

Solo Visit to Stoners’ Paradise- Kasol

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I decided to plan a solo trip to Kasol and Tosh. As this was my first solo trip, there was a hesitation. But then after some homework, I found out a Travel consultant, who was taking a group of 20-25 people to the same place, so I finally decided to give it a shot & finally booked my trip. It was the Christmas weekend last year & the winters were quite nippy. For Kasol, if you are opting for public conveyance,

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To 13800 ft and back on foot – Sar Pass – I

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The Sar Pass Trek itself is for 11 days with 3 days at base camp, 4 days climbing and 3 days descending and breaking on the last day. It costs around Rs. 3000/- per head including accommodation in tents at all base camps, Rucksack, Sleeping Bags and food for the entire 11 days (Vegetarian). Participation is very heavy averaging about 55-60 per group at the rate of one group per day for 30 days.

So, I duly made my bookings got the necessary permissions from the Office and patiently waited for D Day. In the mean time preparations were on in full swing – medicines, winter wear, rain wear and most important – Shoes. I did so much research on shoes to wear – Hi Tec, Action, Bata Hunters, Merrel, Woodlands – There were so many brands and so many recommendations on so many websites. I finally zeroed in on Weinbrenner from Bata and I was not disappointed.

Kasol is located about 30 km from Bhunter which incidentally is the airport nearest to Kullu. Any of those numerous Volvo buses from Delhi to Manali will drop you at Bhunter. From there an hours ride to Kasol which is just 5 kms before Manikaran. The camp is located just outside of Kasol with the Parvati river flowing right beside it. The camp is made entirely of tents. There are bout 18-20 tents for the participants, Ladies on one side and gents on the other, A big lounge tent, Reception tent, Kitchen tent and the Camp Directors and other camp staffs tent. The only permanent buildings are the toilets. Each tent is large enough to accommodate 14 individuals – bit of a crush actually but the company is really good.

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K5 Chandigarh to the Hippyland Kasol and Manikaran

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It was a great relief when we crossed Bilaspur. Next big milestone was for Sunder Nagar which is about 43km. It was my first trip on this route. I had heard all the names of the places en route, but never visited one before. I was as excited as a child must be when he gets his first summer vacation. But, I had observed that Bollywood movies do not adopt these hill stations, they only adopt their names. The place called Kasauli in ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ was in no means Kasauli. So I assumed that Sunder Nagar will not be the place called Sunder Nagar in the movie “Main Prem Ki Diwani Hun”. I was absolutely right, it was a different place, and yes it is beautiful. We stopped there for a while. There’s a bridge (I don’t know where it leads to), there were many ‘kulche wallahs’ along that bridge. Arun could not help but to satisfy his pallet. Sunlight had started diminishing by now. Birds can be seen in groups, returning to their nests. We decided to cover one more stretch i.e. Sunder Nagar to Mandi which is about 40km.

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In search of some trance: Kasol

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This very famous hippy quote made me to search more and more about the hippy culture. I watched a documentary ‘Last Hippy Standing’ and finally decided to spend a few days in Kasol. I have been to the place once before, with my friends. But that was on bikes and we spent only a night in Kasol. This time i planned to stay there for atleast 4 days and same number of nights. After going through many blogs, I decided to stay at Alpine Guest House owned by Sanjay Mukherjee. The companion would be none other than Munish Bhya (who accompanied me to ‘Trip to Mussoorie and Landour’. as well).

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