Kasol Himachal – Stoners escapade in the mighty Himalayas

Parvati River Kasol Himachal

Have you ever travelled solo? Have you ever experienced backpacking with no fixed itinerary, nor stay bookings? Kasol Himachal can definitely be the place to do this. Located in the district of Kullu, guarded by snow mountains all over, lies this peaceful village. It has become a hub for backpackers from all over the world and is on everybody’s bucket list.

breathtaking view Kasol Himachal

Breathtaking view at Kasol Himachal

You would be anxious to know what brings people from all over the world to this un-famous village!? If you just wanna spend a few days away from the city life, sit amidst the picturesque mountains and hear the flowing river, Kasol is the place to be.

mountains near Kasol Himachal

Mountain view from Kasol Himachal

However, majorly the most classified and undisclosed reason for visiting Kasol is: it happens to be a stoners paradise and is infamous among cannabis smokers. One can find the finest qualities of the hash in the world here.

cannabis plant Kasol Himachal

Cannabis plants at Kasol Himachal

How to reach Kasol Himachal

The cheapest and most preferred way to reach Kasol Himachal is via railway and bus. The nearest railhead is Pathankot which is nearly 150 km from Kasol. Chandigarh railway station (290 km from Kasol) is preferred over Pathankot due to its better connectivity to other Indian cities.

From Chandigarh, catch a bus to Manali, though you don’t have to travel till there. You need to get down at Bhuntar (48 kms before Manali), which is 31 kms away from Kasol. From here, you can catch a local bus to reach your destination.

Note: – Kasol does not have direct connectivity by bus/train from major cities. I  took a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate Delhi to reach Bhuntar.

how to reach Kasol Himachal

For a couple of years now, I had heard a lot about Kasol. It was hard to believe, that a small village as this one, could occupy a significant space in the heads of a whole lot of travellers. It was this curiosity, which compelled me to visit Kasol. As I set foot in this peaceful place, I knew that the next few days were going to be amazing and full of surprises.

parvati river Kasol Himachal

Parvati river Kasol Himachal

Kasol reminded me of the paintings I used to draw in my childhood. It felt as if my drawings came to life. There were mountains in the vicinity, a river flowing across the village and dense forest cover with few huts.

landscape view Kasol Himachal

Awesome view at Kasol Himachal

Kasol is a part of Parvati valley which stretches from Bhuntar to Kullu. The entire valley is covered with a blanket of snow in winters and carpet of green in summers. 

camp fire Kasol Himachal

Time for campfire at Kasol Himachal

Kasol has carved up quite a reputation for itself, as the “Mini Israel“, “Stoners Paradise”, “Amsterdam of India” and so on. About 60 % of travellers to Kasol are folks who have served in the military of Israel. Parvati valley becomes an escape way for them.

awesome view Kasol Himachal

Himalayan range as seen from Kasol Himachal

A lot of youngsters visit Kasol solely to get high as Marijuana and Hash are easily available. Even the air faintly smells of Hash. The livelihood of the locals hugely depends on selling weed.

I am only trying to lay facts here; good or bad depends on readers. If you are someone who enjoys smoking up, I hope you take care of yourself. If you are someone who doesn’t, it isn’t bad either. Moreover, the beauty of this place can easily overshadow other irrelevant things.

amazing Parvati valley Kasol Himachal

Amazing Parvati valley Kasol Himachal

A walk across the river with the Himalayan range in the backdrop is a memory to cherish forever.

green valley Kasol Himachal

Where to stay in Kasol Himachal

With the rapidly increasing number of visitors, numerous stay options have come up of late. You needn’t really book in advance. To enjoy your stay to the fullest, I would suggest you ditch the luxurious hotel and stay in a tent. They are available in the range of 300 INR per person for a night. I opted for Surya camps.

Also, recently many hostels have opened up in Kasol. Hosteller, a backpacking hostel chain has its branch at Kasol. They provide quality accommodation at a budget friendly price and hence would highly recommend them.

dog at Kasol Himachal

Dog at our stay place in Kasol Himachal

You can put up at Manikaran Sahib Gurudwara which is at a distance of about 5 kms from Kasol. For more details check Sarai bookings. Accommodation alternatives are available at Chalal as well. (3 kms from Kasol)

stay tents Kasol Himachal

Our stay place at Kasol Himachal

Carry enough cash

There is only one ATM in Kasol which is either cashless or out of service most of the time. Hence, it’s advisable to carry enough cash, to avoid paying a 5% surcharge for cash withdrawal from any currency exchange booth.

way to Tosh from Kasol Himachal

On way to Tosh from Kasol Himachal

Best time to visit Kasol Himachal

Now, this depends on what you want to experience. To witness the snowfall November to January is the best time. Remember, it is treacherously cold and most of the hotels/camps remain closed. During the monsoon season there are frequent downpours and dangerous landslides due to hilly terrain, hence July to September isn’t the best time to plan your travel.

My take on this would be to visit from April to July as the climate is really pleasant, rarely dropping below 15 °C. Sightseeing and other activities like camping and trekking are most enjoyable during this time.

houses Kasol Himachal

Houses at Kasol Himachal

Food options at Kasol Himachal

Apart from the whiff of the hash in the air, Kasol is a great place to dine. There are many cafes which offer lip-smacking Israeli and Tibetan food, with seating arrangement under the star-lit sky. Pink Floyd, German Bakery, Shiv, Evergreen, Bhoj and Little Italy are few of the popular café.

onacheaptrip Kasol Himachal

On your trip to Kasol Himachal, you could explore the nearby Manikaran, Tosh and Kheerganga trek as well. For Tosh, you can check out my earlier post on Tosh, Himachal – The Last Hippie Village in Parvati valley

Manikaran near Kasol Himachal

Manikaran near Kasol Himachal

Ideally, Kasol is one of the places; you would love to strike off your bucket list before you get married.?
I used the following backpack during this trip and will highly recommend it. (Quechua Forclaz 60 Backpack)

Quechua backpack

Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my blog post on What’s in my Backpack.

Hope you would have enjoyed reading this blog post. To get regular updates on upcoming blog posts from On a Cheap Trip, please subscribe by entering your name and E-mail address in the Newsletter below. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as well as on Twitter.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join 10000+ readers and get exclusive travel tips, giveaways and more.Hope you will enjoy reading the upcoming blogs.Keep travelling!!
I hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

18 thoughts on “Kasol Himachal – Stoners escapade in the mighty Himalayas

  1. Abhishek, thanks for the post. Very good information. What’s the season to find fresh Hash, I mean Haresting time and availability as well. since April is the time to meltdown the snow .

  2. Hi,
    Very nice description of your trip. I am planning a trip in September. Will this be a good time to be here?? Will need your help to plan my trip here 🙂

  3. Stunning pictures and beauty of Himachal…
    Very informative blog…You explained beauty of Kasol in such a fantastic way that I want to visit there….

  4. I was there in 2012 and since then the beauty of the paradise has degraded tremendously. Thanks to our Indian Tourists who show no responsibility towards our mother nature.

    1. Sad to hear that. But what I would say that, things have changed quite a lot now. People are showing more respect towards nature. And things are improving a lot day by day due to growing awareness among our Indian brothers and sisters 🙂

  5. Thanks Abhishek.. very informative blog for those who has Kasol in their Bucket list ☺️ Will disturb you sure shortly make my trip pocket friendly ??

  6. Awesome Abhishek..
    after reading your blog, i eagerly want to go there.
    Will plan my trip for next year between april to may. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *