Kasol – India’s Amsterdam

Dated – March, 2013

If you know Kasol, you probably know what I mean. You know the phrase grass is greener on the other side? Kasol is the other side. It is greener and happier. Oh well, it is the mother of all happy places.

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Parvati River – Kasol

It was that time of the year. When age and I were at loggerheads. I was supposed to step into a new decade, and I clearly did not want to. S was trying her best to make upbeat plans. I had shot down the idea of a birthday cake. Lest my friends’ sense of humor comes into play and they decide to light a whole lot of candles.

Anyhoo, this post is fast moving away from being a travelogue. So, Kasol.  Not sure how the place came in the picture, since all planning had been handed over to friends. All I know was right before my birthday, Noopy, S and I were headed to Delhi. We met up with the very dear pen friend and husband and the group of five was all set.

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The group

We started from Delhi early in the evening. The plan was to drive as far as we could and stop somewhere midway. Our car’s braking mechanism did not comply with the plan. A good two hours were spent there. Not much of a chink in the armor considering our plans never run on time. Next pit stop was Chandigarh for I kid you not, butter chicken. While I have always written really good things about  Chennai, the one thing they can’t dish out is butter chicken. And how I crave for it! We stopped at Tehal Singh for butter chicken and it was the best I have ever had!

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The broken down car!

Brilliant food and a bit of vodka always gives a false sense of anything-can-be-accomplished. Thus, we decided to drive through the night, so that we reach Kasol early morning. It obviously was a very bad idea. The drive turned out to be absolutely exhausting! The high point of the drive was entering Kasol as the sun rose. Even to the zombie like bleary eyes, it looked surreal.

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Sunrise as we entered Kasol

Now, Kasol is the kind of place where you go to do absolutely nothing. We stayed in one of those quaint cottages next to the Parvati river. Weather was chilly and just perfect to sit in the sun. There isn’t much I can write about where to go and what to do. The small town has quite a few Israeli cafes with eclectic food. One of the cafes served the best hummus and garlic naan I have ever had!

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Where we stayed

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We spent three very hazy and lazy days there. It kept raining one of the days, so that one was spent inside the many cafes there. Rest of the time, we walked around, soaked in the sun, had umpteen cups of coffee and well, just did what folks do in Kasol. 🙂 We wanted to do the trek to Tosh, but ran out of time and good weather.

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My verdict for the place – excellent if you have 2-3 days to spare and you love the mountains. Not much of a crowd. Extremely peaceful aura. And some of the nicest hikes around this place. My birthday was exactly how I had thought it would be. Quiet and in the warmth of good friends. The instruction for no cake was followed so religiously by my friends, that one of them almost ate up the one slice of carrot cake that was around at 12 am. The birthday morning was warm and sunny. Rays lit up the snowy peaks beautifully. Probably it was a hint of the year to come. 🙂

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Well, one of those Kasol pics 🙂

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