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India: The Himalayas

Kasol: Exploring Himachal’s Enchanting Parvati Valley

by Sandeep Meena

Kasol, nestled in Himachal Pradesh’s Parvati Valley, beckons travellers seeking peace and quiet amidst the jagged, icy mountains. In July 2019, my two companions and I embarked on an unforgettable journey, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New Delhi. The 10–12 hour drive offered breathtaking views, exchanging city pollution for fresh mountain air.

Upon arriving in Kasol at dawn, we settled into a charming hostel situated a short distance from the bustling town centre. With the burble of the Parvati river, we felt welcomed by nature. It’s quite easy to get a place to stay here with prices on the cheap side so we stayed in Choj Valley just 3 km above Kasol.

The next morning we were in Manikaran sahib which is a famous Gurudwara (a place of worship for Sikhs) along the same river. It has a beautiul hot spring that was one of the most relaxing things I have ever experienced.

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As dusk descended, we stood before the awe-inspiring mountains, pondering life. We realized that our problems, however significant they may seem, are perhaps mere specks compared to the grandeur of nature. Such moments of solitude during travel may illuminate the path to a clearer and more positive outlook on life.

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Adventures in Himachal: As we are in the Himalayas, stunning treks are in abundance; including the Tosh — Kasol Trek, and Sar Pass Trek but what we chose was the Kheerganga Trek.

Kheer Ganga (3050 meters) lies at the extreme end of Parvati Valley and is the last inhabited village while trekking to pin valley via the Pin-Parvati pass. Kheerganga’s panoramic skies and vast greenery are a delight. It is a holy place with a hot water spring and a small temple of Lord Shiva and a bathing tank.

It’s a rare and special experience for any trekker to bathe in hot spring water when completely surrounded by snow. It took around 6 hours to reach the top but the views from the top made our efforts worthwhile.

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Travel can be the ultimate medicine, healing our souls through encounters with new people and novel experiences. Every expedition unveils a truth that our external experiences are mere reflections of our inner state. By nurturing a contented spirit within, we unlock a profound sense of fulfilment and happiness in the journey of life.

Conclusion: Kasol and its breathtaking surroundings gifted us invaluable life lessons. This sojourn offered profound insights into life’s simplicity and the power of cherishing its smallest joys. As I pen this heartfelt account, I implore all to embrace the transformative potential of travel — a journey of joy, self-discovery, and a celebration of life’s wonders.