Posing for a picture at Rohtang Pass, making snow butterflies at Manali snow point or bathing in hot water sulphur springs at Vashisht and announcing your homecoming from the hills to friends and family isn’t what you dreamt of while travelling to the mountains.
If you’ve been to the awe inspiring state of Himachal Pradesh in the lap of the Himalayas and not ventured in this quaint little town situated in the foot hills of the Himalayas, then my friend your trip to the mountains wasn’t worth the turbulent ride that the state government assures you to take through.
Nestled in the lap of Parvati valley, situated about forty odd kilometers from Kullu and largely inhabited by foreign tourists is the sleepy town of Kasol. The route leading to the picturesque village is breath taking and at the same time nerve-rackingly dangerous, with the vibrant Parvati River flowing fiercely on one hand to the massive mean looking rocks on the other, that time and again threaten to slide down the road.
Contrary to it’s popularity as a backpacker’s paradise, Kasol is also home to a Luxury Resort. Perched on the staggering slopes of majestic mountains in Kasol is the ol-de-worlde boutique resort- The Himalayan Village. Dense cedar trees forming natural canopies crowned with snowy peaks, meandering rivers gushing past one’s feet, birds chirping in the silence of mountains is how one can aptly describe the beauty of the resort. Built according to the ancient Kathkunia style (a contrast between wood and stone), the resort boasts of mystic Himachali traditions. The strategic location of the resort in the woods laced with fluffy cotton balls hovering above the cottages makes the resort a perfect getaway option to un-wind yourself. It houses six cottages and two machaans, named after the districts in the state, lets one enjoy the beauty of entire Himachal at once.
Sip on to a steaming cup of Ginger Lemon Honey Tea relaxing in the hanging balcony of the two machaans; Lahaul and Kullu, perched at a height of sixty feet above the ground. Or get a chance to dance to the rhythmic tune of the serpentine river in the private lawns of cottages named Shimla, Kangra, Spiti, Kinnaur, Mandi and Chamba. The mud plastered inner walls of the cottages and machaans compliment the tastefully done deodar wood work in the rooms. The handmade tussle silk curtains and traditional brass fittings in each rooms equipped with modern amenities are captivating enough. Graced with a beautiful traditional bar, a spa equipped with steam, sauna and a Jacuzzi, and various other wellness packages, the resort boasts of luxury and rejuvenation in the hills.
Activities at the Resort:
The management and staff at the resort highly believe in the idea of “Atithi Devo Bhava” and will be at your disposal all day long. From organizing one-day adventure activities like white water rafting to paragliding or trekking to the nearby villages, the resort offers all the facilities to its guests. For the nature and wild-life lovers, early morning nature walks organized by the resort in the woods are a must where one could spot a wide variety of birds merrily chirping in the apple orchards. Chilly evenings can be spent lazing around bonfire enjoying the traditional Pahari (Himachali) folk dance showcased by the resort staff.
Traditionally served in plates made of leaves, devour the cultural cuisine of Himachal called Dham. Any festivities in the state are considered incomplete without Dham which is a preparation of green lentils, red kidney beans (rajma) and rice served with tamarind and jaggery chutney. Cooked in traditional stone and wood vessels, Dham. The freshly pressed juices at the restaurant taste as good as nectar and are worth a try.
Hop-skip-jump to quaint cafes around Kasol that serve relatively authentic Israeli food – Schnitzel (since Kasol is home to many Israelis) and yummy Nutella pancakes. Stroll across the market area and savor piping hot momos or thukpa (traditionally a noodle soup). Trek to Mozik valley also known as Tapobhoomi of Shivshambhoo offering mesmerizing views of flora and fauna.
The history buffs could rather trek to Malana village. Legend has it that the inhabitants of the village consider themselves as the descendants of Alexander the great and their local court system to this date reflects ancient Greek system. One could also trek to neighboring villages such as Tosh, Chalal, Rasol and Kheer Ganga. The spiritual souls could pay a visit to the Gurudwara in Manikaran.
Such is the beauty of the mountains-finding solace in the music of the gurgling rivers, the cotton candy clouds, gleaming beams of sunshine that glitters the snow-capped mountains in gold and when one finds it- the intimate love affair begins-the one with the mountains.