Villages of Parvati Valley near Kasol – Tosh, Malana, Chalal

Lovely Parvati river valley. Mountains rising all around. Scattered camp sites. Fresh, cool, mountain breeze. Synthesis of multinational cultures. Bar, bakeries, cheap stays. Partying, Trekking, Hoping all around.

Kasol – still a small Himachali village with simple and transparent पहाड़ी people. The valley has gradually became a back-packers paradise. Mostly a global tourists’ favorite, steadily now a prized destination for Indians too.

Some of the regular activities everybody does while in Kasol are Kheerganga Trek, Riverside Camping, Hoping between numerous hanging joints, Rafting & Trout Fishing in Parvati. However, here are some further trips you can venture on – Excursion to the villages of Parvati Valley on Foot – Tosh, Malana, Chalal along with Kasol.

Chalal

The picturesque village of Chalal, only a 30-minute easy trek from Kasol.
Cross the Mashairon bridge connecting the Kasol mall to the forests on the other side. As you walk, Parvati rumbles below; while birds chirp continuously as if in a well-orchestrated concert. All along, the beautiful Parvati river accompanies you.
This is one of the reasons this route is one of the favorites of solo hiker – the Parvati never allows you to feel alone even in the dense narrow path towards Chalal.

Enroute to Chalal

Chalal is small secluded and quaint village with nothing to attract a regular tourist. But if you are lucky to have curious eyes and traveler’s heart, there are so much in this small mountain nook. Local cultures are gradually giving way to facilities for tourists. Italian joints are more easily available than a local food outlet. You can however have one of best pizzas you ever had. From a simple Himachali village it has been transformed into a Bob Marley country.

chalal village trek

The nature has not given up yet! The birds, the blossoming cherry trees, pink and white apricots blankets everywhere. Just grab a spot near the river, randomly, and spend sometime with yourself.

Malana

Malana – they say, it is one of India’s best kept secrets. May be its true, may be not. Still the social ecosystem and lifestyle of the people would leave you bemused. For instance as per the local villagers, Malana is the oldest republic of the world!

people of malana

Malana might be infamous for its Malana Cream, but the tiny unique village is much more to offer to you. As a quite exemplary case of guarding and shielding itself from the globalization and infinite influx of multicultural tourist flow, Malana still managed to control its culture and identity.

Visiting Malana is in itself an experience just to witness their strong and still original traditions. They don’t even eat food cooked by a non-native. When in Malana, be sure not to touch the walls or belongings of the natives unless you want a fine imposed. Unlike the rest of India, the village of Malana has its own religious beliefs. The Malanese people believe that they are descendants of Alexander The Great, and don’t you dare to challenge that. The entire village votes for the person chosen by their deity. The deity’s spokesperson is called Gur. The people here believe that the mountains make their own rules. The significance of faith is really important to these people, which is why they still ask their Devta who to vote for. These are just some of the instances that makes Malana a place to visit and discover.

Malana and Chandrakhani

Only 22 kms trek from Kasol, Malana invites and hosts every kind of people. Families to Hippies. Nature lovers to Charas suitors. Adventurers to Peace seekers.

Tosh

Situated at a height of 7874 feet above sea-level, Tosh is the village at the far end of the Parvati Valley. The drive from Kasol to Barshaini, which is the last stop on the bus route to Tosh, is fairly smooth, but from then on, the path is treacherous. The last few kilometres to a destination are often the most exciting as its beauty comes into view.

Tosh Valley

Blessed with unique natural beauties, Tosh is the most ideal place for bachelors, adventure seekers, bikers, solo travelers and for those who want something new and special from traveling.

Tosh

Go to Kasol, and the nearby unexplored areas. Experience a journey like never before, and nowhere else.

Why Dharamsala must to be in your Destination list this Summer

So the Indian Summer is approaching. It’s going to be hot, and days will be long. Fleeing from the scorching heat along with school holidays make these few months the most awaited escape time for northern Indians. Thankfully, the options are plenty. Kashmir, Himachal and Uttarakhand furnish a wide assortment of choices for us all, irrespective of our palates and penchants. Dharamsala, lovingly labeled as the Mini Lhasa, is a small hamlet with every potential.

Whether it’s a fun family vacation, a romantic getaway or simply an escape from your corporate existence, the laid-back little town of offers a world of possibilities for every traveller. Read on, to find why Dharamsala must be in the destination list this summer. Bringing a few rare pursuits that only Dharamsala can bestow.

Tea Gardens Picnic amidst the Clouds

dharamsala tea garden
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the cleanly manicured tea gardens dotted with silvery oaks on the way to Kunal Pathri Temple. Breathe in the delicious aroma of fresh tea and set up your little corner amidst the picturesque gardens. Pack your picnic basket in advance, you’ll regret if you don’t plan a picnic here in your itinerary.
Remember to pick up some fresh Kangra tea, Oolong and Jasmine Tea to take home with you.

Whoop it up at the Bhagsu Waterfalls

Bhagsu Waterfall McLeod-Ganj
Nestled in a valley covered in pristine forests, strewn rocks and fluttering prayer flags. The Bhagsu waterfall cascades into a plunge pool where you can, frolic in the cool mountain water, after a visit to the medieval Bhagsu Shiva Temple. Or you can simply munch on some deliciously steamed Tingmo (Tibetan bread), while your feet skim the water!

Rewind your youth in the Shiva Cafe

shiva cafe dharamsala
What works best after a long seemingly tiring trail than a place like a Cafe to unwind? Coming from the Bhagsu waterfall, settle yourself at the Shiva Cafe. Let the cafe’s laidback atmosphere and magnificent location work its magic on you. Let the cool rustic look adorned by hand made paints of Bob Marley, Shiva and Buddha take you to a different level of amusement. Have a cup of coffee, read some books, spend time with fellow strangers, visit locals. Asking for more?

 

Norbulingka Institute – be part of the Tibetan revolution

norbulingka institute dharamsala
Watch local artisans work on woodcarving, metal statue making, thangka painting and embroidery at the Institute before wandering through the lushly canopied gardens. Gape at the gilded Sakyamuni statue and the beautiful hand crafted puppet dioramas at the unique Losel Doll Museum, before picking up some traditional Tibetan chubas at the souvenir shop.
Engage yourself in live demonstration, hands-on workshops, theaters, Tibetan culture, Dalai Lama handprints. Gurgling streams run through immaculately maintained Japanese styled gardens, while birds of all different species can be seen flittering among the treetops. The architecture, built in traditional Tibetan style gives a feeling of returning to old Tibet. Truly a place to experience Tibet while in India.

Experience History at the Kangra Fort

kangra fort
Considered as one of the most beautiful forts in India, this fort was built by the Royal Rajput family of the state of Kangra in the 15th Century. Adjoining the Fort is the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum run by the Royal Family of Kangra.Take an excursion to the fort, and experience the history and rich tradition.

Try your hands in Tibetan Cuisine at Sangyes Kitchen

sangyes kitchen mcleodganj
Learn the art of Tibetan cuisine from a friendly Tibetan chef at Llhamo’s Kitchen – Tibetan treats, focusing on momos, including chocolate momos! Sangye claims “Use only your fingertips to mix and to make, no need to mess up your entire hand”.

The place’s motto “Ask me anything about Tibet, let’s enjoy conversation” really works. Rarely any tibetan dish you could find that is not available here, or you cannot learn to cook!

The Church in the Wilderness

st johns church dharamsala
Dating back to the colonial era, St Johns Church is a beautiful gothic church set amidst verdant deodar forests threaded with the golden sun rays. The church with its greying stone walls, beautiful Belgian stained glass windows and dreamy surroundings, is the perfect place to spend some quiet leisurely moments.

Stroll with Lamas in the Mcleodganj market

mcloedganj market
A truly global village, Mcleodganj’s streets bustle with an interesting fusion of people, from red-robed monks and modern hippies to globetrotting tourists. Bargain for snuggly woollens, silver trinkets, statuettes and Tibetan uniques like thangkas, meditation bowls, prayer wheels and yak cheese at the main market. Don’t miss to pick up some unusual finds at Nowrojee’s.

 

And there you go.
For the adrenaline pump geeks, we have few excitements in store!

Reach to the sky at Indrunag

paragliding in indrunag
Feel the pumping in your veins and the wind gurgling in your ears as you paraglide amidst the snow-clad peaks of Dhauladhar at Indrunag, treating your senses to a glorious bird’s eye view of Dharamshala. For those who want more, there is free rock climbing at the Dharamshala – Nayagroeon trail too.

Tranquility at Triund

Triund Trek
For the secret trekker and hiker inside you. Feel the crisp mountain air swirl around you as you trek on sun kissed forest trails towards the Triund Peak for panoramic views of the majestic Dhauladhar range and the vast valley of Kangra. Savour the piping hot tea and steaming maggi served by the tiny makeshift shops on the way.
The trek is easy enough for beginners and the views are definitely worth all the huffing and puffing.