Kasol is a village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Elevation of Kasol is 1580 meters, making it a scenic beauty. From the past couple of year, the place is more recognized as a tourist hub because of its weather, near treks and hashish! Spots like Chhalal, Rasol, Manikaran, Malana, Tosh, Pulga, Khir Ganga are nearby treks from Kasol. You can keep your base stay (To keep your heavy luggage) at Kasol or Tosh and you can move around with a small bag. There is so much to see in these mountains. In short, if you don’t have an idea about travelling to Himachal or your thinking how would be the mountains there? Watch this Bollywood movie called M cream and they will show how to travel from Delhi to Himachal, finding hash, trying acid there and a lot more.
If you’re thinking about ‘safe’ word. Your safety and action are in your hand. Take care of your belongings, you might find people arranging money to go back home or during night avoid trekking. But more importantly, if you are coming back with a sovereign from mountains. Your vehicle will most probably be stopped for a regular check. It is a quick checking and they basically look for hash and powder or any other suspicious substance. They look out for quantity and lead. But if they want, even a little tola can also make you touch your ears. Anyways most of the people just pass by. They have a little strict attention for other state’s vehicle. Like Volvo to Delhi or Chandigarh. You can also travel on roadways bus and it’s more fun. I have added route details at last.
Distance to Kasol
If you’re traveling from abroad, you are most probably to land in New Delhi, Capital city of India, or Mumbai. New Delhi is located in the center of north India, approx., most tourist places are on similar distances.
New Delhi to Kasol distance is 510 Kilometers. If you travel by flight, Kullu-Manali domestic airport, Bhuntar is the nearest and other two are Kangra airport, Dharamshala and Shimla airport, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. From Kullu-Manali airport to Kasol, it’s 32 km and the bus would take around two hours and taxi cars around one hour.
Travelling from New Delhi
Road distance – 540 Kilometers
Travel time – 10 to 14 hours (By bus)
(Traveling from Delhi is straight and time-saving because from Ambala most buses skip Chandigarh by passing through Kiratpur sahib by-pass.)
Ticket fare – Rs 700 to Rs 2000, depending upon Ac or non- Ac buses.
Boarding point – Phar ganj, Majnu ka tila, Vidhansaba metero station, Karnal bypass.
Dropping point – Bhuntar (30 km from kasol)
(If the bus is to going to Manikaran, drop on the way at Kasol)
Most buses leave in the evening (by 1900 hours) and will stop for dinner and loo break, before reaching bhuntar in the early morning. If you don’t have a car facility. It is recommended to reach bhuntar at least by 7 pm, because after that local buses don’t provide service. And local cab will ask around Rs 1200/-(if in a group, try negotiating from Rs 100 per person), whereas buses take around Rs 55/-.
Volvo and private buses are easy to find but are a little expensive. You can also go for government buses that are not as comfortable as Volvo, but yeah AC is there and you can sleep overnight. (Check the official website of HRTC http://hrtchp.com/hrtc/default.aspx )
If you’re traveling anywhere from India- South, east or west. You’re most likely to go Via New Delhi only.
Travelling from Chandigarh
Distance – 290 Kilometres
Travel Time – 10 Hours (By bus)
Ticket fare – Rs 300 to Rs 1500 depending on Ac or non-Ac buses.
Boarding point – Sector 17, sector 22 and sector 43 bus depot.
(Sector 43 bus depot is where you will find all the buses travelling towards Himachal. If your reservation is not made in advance, directly go at a ticketing counter. Private bus guys will shout & sell tickets like anything, but expensive if you are alone. It’s better to get ticket confirmed before 9 or 10 pm because after that rates of tickets will be more during season time (April to July) and you won’t be able to ask them- Why? For government buses, you can take the ticket from ticketing counters as per destination. Ask for Kullu or bhuntar bus. For non-Ac buses, you can get a spot ticket and at around Rs 150 to Rs 300. But for AC Govt. buses, it’s mandatory to book (online or at ticketing counter) ticket four hours prior to departure. But don’t worry, request politely at the ticketing counter first and stand near the bus want to go in. Speak to the bus conductor, tell him a story, and convince him. Price for online AC bus ticket is Rs 460/-. Give him total Rs 500/- or 50 bucks more, and he will show you a seat. Go and sit on your seat quietly. Their bus seats don’t slide back and the last seat will give you a bumpy ride. But it is cheap as compared to other private buses and more importantly its government. Anyways, the last bus (private) leaves at 11:30 pm from the petrol pump (opposite to bus stand), you can get this in case you missed before).
If you are in a group, you can also hire a car. It would cost you around seven to sixteen thousand depending upon the car you choose.
Buses reach bhunter in the morning around 5:30 am (depends upon bus you take, but it better to reach after 7 am as by time buses service are already started)
From bhuntar bus stand, take a bus to kasol. Its 30 kilometres and take about two hours. From here you would require to take out your cameras.
Temperature and weather
During summer temperature can go up to 28-degree celsius in day and 12-degree celsius at night. Always carry some warm clothes you may need at night. You may notice drizzling at day, making it even lovable stay. It’s better to always carry an umbrella or raincoat, weather in the mountains changes quickly.
Temperature in Chandigarh and Delhi going to be around 40 degree celsius. Chandigarh has less temperature than Delhi.
Going to Khir Ganga
Khir Ganga or Kheer Ganga is located at height of 3978 Meters or 13000 feets above sea level. If you coming from kasol, bus goes till Manikaran bus stand. If you need to use ATM use here, go in the market after crossing walk bridge.
Manikaran to Tosh
Easy and quick is get a taxi from manikaran. There are private traveller vans that stand in Manikaran bus stand but you have to wait till the van get full passengers. Stand on the road opposite to bus stand, you’ll find some taxi or ride.
Tosh or Kalga to Khir Ganga
Vehicles don’t go beyond Pulga, they go till the dam. From Tosh, you have to walk. If you already staying in Tosh it’s better. Kalga is a village on opposite hill from Tosh. There is a walk bridge in between if you’re coming from Tosh you have to cross and then the route is same. It takes around three hours to reach Khir Ganga, depending on your fitness.
It’s recommended to leave in the morning so that you have time for breaks, spend time in Khir Ganga and come back before sunset.
Wear shoe with good grip, carry a water bottle and a strong stick for support.
Carry less weight. There is no need to carry 70 litre rucksack bag unless you’re advancing from Khir Ganga. This will increase your speed and feel less exhausted.
Carry essential items or food with you. Although there are 2-3 stall at Khir Ganga but that’s very expensive. Use bin for disposal or carry disposal bag.
You can avoid buying water bottles by drink stream water running down from the hill. That water is clean and drinkable. Carry a bottle and refill. Although I won’t recommend to all, take your call if your immunity and digestion are strong.
Water at Khir Ganga is elixir and it eliminate stomach related diseases. It’s a belief and you’re welcome to skip this point if you’re not such a believer.
Descending down a mountain is tough because you need more control.
Coming back is a bit tough
You won’t have a feel of saying goodbye to kasol. Stays tend to extend. The second thing is the bus tickets. Yes, there are local travel shops at kasol and they can book a Volvo for you. Govt. AC buses are required to book in advance and need to be boarded from bhuntar. Private Volvos and non-Ac you can find from kasol only.
You can also go on roadway buses. Not much comfortable and you travel with local people. So buses stop at small distances while dropping passengers through the way.
Take a bus from kasol to bhuntar ( start at around 2 pm). Fare: Rs 55/-
Take another bus from bhuntar to Mandi. Fare: Rs 85/-
Take another bus from Mandi to Chandigarh. Fare: Rs 215/-
From Chandigarh, you can go anywhere, Delhi, Amritsar, or Rishikesh.
( This post is related if you’re travelling via Delhi or Chandigarh. Direct routes from Punjab, Jammu, and North Uttaranchal are available. These bus ticket prices are old now but you can take a reference)
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