If there’s any place as beautiful as heaven, it has to be Himachal.
Known as the lands of God, it’s truly blessed with beauty. In these times, it’s become way too difficult to survive without a break. The concrete forests that we live in today, have become a complete mess. You know it’s time to take a break when you feel too burdened with the expectations of people, melodrama, and things going around and maybe sometimes inside you. In such times, it’s the best to surround yourself with the beauty of nature for some while, to put your senses back in order and wash your spirit clean. After all, nature is the best healer. It’s okay, whenever you feel too entangled with life, always remember, far, far away from all this mess, there’s a different land with complete solace for you. To not just take you on a trip, but to make you feel the trip – Himachal!
The secrets of Himachal do not lie in the tourist places, but where the journey of discovery begins.. The Parvati Valley.
1. Kasol – The Magical Town
Located in the Parvati Valley, the heart of Himachal. Kasol is known as the baby Israel of India. Not a city, or any big town, Kasol is more like a small village, with great cafes, bakeries, hotels and rave parties. That’s how I describe Kasol. It is not that touched by the tourists, and therefore, more of hippies are found. Of course it is one of the best places in India supplying marijuana and hashish, but not to forget, it’s blessed with the most picturesque views and peace. Spend a night on mountain-top hostel, and enjoy the starlights.
Places to visit: MoonDance Cafe, The German Bakery, and a stall exact outside the bakery offering the tastiest momos.
Malana, the village famous for it’s Malana Cream and religious beliefs. But Malana is so much more than just a village offering hashish and charas. The most beautiful thing about India is, the cultures and beliefs people have. Malana is the untouched, not so famous village of India, having a whole different culture, which people are rarely aware of. People are said to travel from all over the world for the famous “Malana Cream”, but also for the unique culture that they have. Malanese are super proud of their culture and do not really enjoy people disturbing the vibe of their little world. But if you abide by their rules, they’ll be really sweet to you.
Warning: DO NOT TOUCH ANY WALLS.
Kheerganga is a serene meadow situated in the Parvati Valley. It is believed that lord Shiva meditated here for about 3000 years. There’s a hot water spring in Kheerganga, which is believed to have sacred healing properties. As each step you pass here, you feel more connected with your soul. It looks pure, it feels pure. The best thing to do after you reach here is, enjoy the bonfire, with the garam chai and parathas, and enjoy the starlights. Let the sound of streams sing you to dreams, and next morning wake up with the clouds touching your face. Kheerganga is the place where you’ll heal, where you’ll appreciate the beauty of existence. Kheerganga is magical in it’s own way.
About 20 mins drive from Kasol, Manikaran is a Gurudwara located in the laps of flowing river, Parvati. It is one of the most peaceful places you’ll ever visit. You can sit in this Gurudwara for hours, it is that peaceful to your mind. The famous thing about Manikaran is the hot water spring. The hot water spring is said to have curative powers and extremely auspicious. Even the rice offered in Langars can be boiled in it. The water is that hot. This hot water spring bath is said to be holy. It can ever cure diseases. The walk built leading to the doors of Gurudwara is more than beautiful. You can actually hear the waves moving. There’s nothing more peaceful than this.
Tosh – the hidden gem in Parvati Valley. The first thing you’ll experience there as you enter, is the smell of Marijuana. But apart from that, Tosh is full of cafes and scenic views. You’ll stand there with eyes wide open, the views are that gorgeous. People usually visit Tosh after the tiring Kheerganga trek to chill. Greenery, waterfalls, clear skies, Tosh is blessed with all. The cafes in Tosh have got number of varieties to offer. From Indian to Israeli, you’ll get it all. Just blow a blunt, hog and enjoy the view. Best time to visit Tosh, I would prefer December. The snowfall you shouldn’t miss at all!
Every once in a while, from the ordinary life, give yourself a break. It is important to awake that traveler in you. Every once in a while, visit a peaceful place. And Parvati Valley is the heart of Himachal, I say it again! The views once captured here, will live in the heart forever.