Backpacking to Kasol from Mumbai was my very first backpacking trip in Himachal. And like me, a lot of travelers begin their backpacking sojourn from Kasol and Parvati. Kasol is indeed a backpackers paradise with proper infrastructure amidst insane vistas of Himalayas.
So if you are newbie to backpacking, Kasol can be one of the perfect places to get acquainted with the thrills of backpacking in Himalayas. Beautiful forests, insane hiking trails, splendid river, Kasol has got it all with proper infrastructure.
In this blog, I’ll be running you through all the relevant details you need to make a successful backpacking trip to Kasol from Mumbai. This will include detailed information about how to reach Kasol, where to stay in Kasol, where to eat in Kasol, Place to visit in Kasol etc. So lets dive into this one.
Backpacking to Kasol from Mumbai – An Overview To Epic Journey
Here is a brief overview of what to expect during your backpacking trip to Kasol from Mumbai.
Parvati valley, Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India
Throughout the year. There can be small blockades during monsoon and winters due to landslides. Which get clear within hours.
Pleasant in Summers and Monsoons.
Mild in Autumn.
Very Cold in winters.
Slightly cold in Spring.
|Ideal number of days required
A week is good enough to explore places in and around Kasol.
|Where to stay in Kasol
Plenty of backpackers hostel, hotels, guesthouses in Kasol. So accommodation is not a problem.
|Safety of Travelers
So Kasol is relatively safe for solo travelers, backpackers, women. But Kasol is also infamous for Hash and other drugs. So please stay away from illicit activities and you should be fine.
|Cost of a Backpacking trip to Kasol
Roughly under 10,000 INR for a week including stay, food, commute expenses, and bus journey from Delhi and back.
|Public transport in and around Kasol
Widely available with buses available at regular intervals throughout the valley.
|Places to visit in and around Kasol
Chalal, Katagla, Chojh, Rashol, Grahan, Tosh, Kalga, Manikaran, Malana, Kheerganga
|Trekking in Kasol
Sar Pass, Rashol, Grahan, Kheerganga, Buni Buni Pass, Animal Pass,
|Mobile Network in Kasol
Major telecom companies of India i.e Jio, Vodafone, Airtel work very well in Kasol
How To Reach Kasol From Mumbai ?
Kasol is very easy to reach from the North Indian cities of Delhi and Chandigarh. So if you are from the other parts of the country or an international traveler, you can commence your Journey from Delhi or Chandigarh.
I am considering Delhi as a transit point from Mumbai. You can also choose Chandigarh as well. So the Journey from Mumbai to Kasol will be divided into 3 parts.
- Reaching Delhi from Mumbai to reach Kasol
- Taking a bus to Bhuntar from Delhi to reach Kasol
- Getting to Kasol from Bhuntar
By the way there is flight you can take to reach Bhuntar from Delhi, but its quite expensive and the frequency is also not that great. But if you want you have that option as well just so you know.
Reaching Delhi from Mumbai to reach Kasol
Now this will be entirely your choice. You can reach Delhi either by train or Flight. Depending on what your budget is, you may choose from the same.
Some of the daily trains to Delhi include Paschim express which departs at 11.30 AM from Bandra Terminus. Another daily train is Golden Temple which departs at 9.25 PM from Mumbai central. Apart from these there are daily Rajdhani’s.
As far as the flights are concerned, there are a lot of flights which go to Delhi from Mumbai. By the way you can book your flights from skyscanner for cheaper fairs.
Taking a bus to Bhuntar from Delhi to reach Kasol
Once you reach Delhi you need to take a bus going towards Manali and get down at Bhuntar. There are several buses ordinary and volvo of both private and HRTC which go towards Manali.
These depart in the evening and reach Bhuntar in the morning. You can board these buses from ISBT Kashmere Gate or Majnu ka Tilla. You can book online HRTC bus from here or both private and HRTC from Redbus.
There are buses going directly towards Kasol but there are very limited and not sure about the service and the rating.
Getting to Kasol from Bhuntar
Once you reach Bhuntar, Kasol is just an hour away. You can either hire private cabs to reach Kasol quickly which of course would cost you a bit. But if you are in a group, then its worth it.
Else you can just wait for the local buses which ply between Bhuntar and Kasol quite regularly. And of course the local buses are a lot cheaper than hiring and perfect if you are on a strict budget or traveling solo.
Backpacking to Kasol from Mumbai – Itinerary
Here is a my suggested 7-day backpacking itinerary to Kasol from Mumbai. For this itinerary I have tried to add as many places as possible.
But there are many other places you can explore if you have more time on your hand. So you can accommodate them as per you luxury of days in hand.
By the way, here are 16 beautiful alternatives to Kasol that will blow your mind.
Overnight bus from Delhi.
Reach early to Bhuntar and take a local bus to reach Kasol. Rest and explore. Go café hopping.
Visit the villages of Chalal and Katagla. Overnight stay in Chalal
Hike to the beautiful village of Grahan. Overnight at Grahan.
Come back to Kasol. Visit Manikaran Sahib and proceed towards Barshaini. Stay at Tosh for the night
Today hike to Kheerganga. Overnight stay at Kheerganga
Come back to Barshaini. And board an evening bus to Delhi from Manikaran or Bhunter.
Backpacking to Kasol from Mumbai – Total Cost
So here is a rough estimate of how much a backpacking trip to Kasol will cost you. Mind you this is just an estimate you can easily spend less or even more depending on what you eat and where you stay.
By the way, here is a more detailed post on how much a kasol trip would cost with all the relevant details and some useful tips to cut down on your costs.
|Stay cost in Kasol
The cost of stay in Kasol can be anywhere around Rs 300 to 1000 per night as per your comfort and budget. The hostels in Kasol offers dorm beds from Rs 300 to 500 which can be great for budget travelers.
|Food Cost in Kasol
Now food can be expensive if you only ate at cafes in Kasol. It will cost you around Rs 400-500 for all meals if you only eat at cafes. But if you eat at Dhabas you can easily cut down you food expenses to Rs 150-200 per day.
|Public transport cost in Kasol
If you want to save commuting while visiting places in and around Kasol, then public transport is quite optimal.
|Cost to reach and exit Kasol
The volvo buses to reach Kasol and exit will cost you around Rs 2000 from Delhi and back. HRTC is volvo’s are a bit expensive than private one’s. So do keep that in mind.
|Total Cost of Kasol Trip
So If consider the trip to be week long. You’ll end spending somewhere around Rs 10,000 including stay, food, transport. But this just an estimate.
5 Awesome Things To Do In Kasol For A Complete Experience
There are plenty of things you can in Kasol or you can just relax and do nothing. From Hiking to Cafe hopping, here 5 awesome things to do in Kasol to have complete experience.
By the if you can’t decide between Manali and Kasol, Here is comparison post on Kasol versus Manali which will help you decide where you should head to.
1. Sit Besides The Majestic Parvati River And Relax
Parvati River which rises in Manatalai lake in Upper reaches of Parvati valley is one of the biggest attractions in Kasol. Relaxing and sitting at the bank of River Parvati is one of the best things you can do while in Kasol.
The several places near Kasol where you can sit and chill near the bank of Parvati. Just make sure that you are not venturing too close just to that perfect picture. Venturing too close to River Parvati has turned fatal for a lot of folks. So beware about this.
2. Go Cafe Hopping To Satiate Your Taste Buds In Kasol
If you are foodie, then Kasol will feel like an ultimate paradise to you. There are a lot of good cafes in Kasol which serve lip smacking delicacies.
Some of the famous cafes include Evergreen Cafe, Jim Morisons Cafe, Bhoj Cafe, Little Italy, Moon Dance Cafe, If you are a budget traveler on a strict budge, then you are better off avoiding eating at these cafes because they are pretty expensive.
3. Hike To The Beautiful Nearby Villages In Kasol
There are a lot of pretty villages around Kasol. Some you can easily reach within an hour, while a couple of them take 3-4 hours to reach. So the villages of Chalal and Katagla are quite easy to reach.
But the villages of Grahan and Rashol are quite far away and take at least 3-4 hours of hiking to reach from Kasol. But they are at relatively higher altitude than Kasol, and hence you’ll get some insane views of the valley from here.
4. Take A Walk Enchanting Forests In Kasol
Kasol is located amidst towering deodar forest which makes absolutely mesmerizing. And hiking in such enchanting forests is one of the best things you can do when your backpakcing to Kasol.
For me perosnally this is one of the best parts of visiting Kasol. A beautiful hike in the forest is just a couple of minutes away when you are Kasol. So leave all worries behind and definitely take a saunter in the woods when in Kasol.
5. Go Adventurous Treks Around Kasol For An Experience Of a Lifetime
Kasol acts as a base to one of the most popular treks which is Sar pass trek. While there plenty of other treks you can embark on which start from Tosh or Barshaini which include Pin Parvati Pass, Sara Umga La, Animal pass trek.
Another trek which you can do is quite rarely treaded on these days. You can trek to Malana from Kasol via Rashol Pass. The hike takes from Kasol to Rashol and then finally to Malana via Rashol Pass. But make sure you know the way or hire somebody to guide you.
Kheerganga is the most popular hike in Himachal which starts from Barshaini which is just 25 odd km away from Kasol.
7 Splendid Places to Visit In And Around Kasol
There are plenty of picturesque places that you can visit when taking a trip to Kasol. So here is a list of x beautiful places you should visit when in Kasol.
Of course, you can cover all the places only if you have more than a week. So in case you are short time you select accordingly. By the way if you were thinking of visiting Kasol with Family, Here are 8 reasons why you should NOT
1. Chalal – Visit This Lesser Crowded Village Through A beautiful Forest Trail
Chalal is one of the most popular and beautiful places you can visit on your trip to Kasol. It is located right at bank of river away from the hustle and bustle of Kasol.
You have to hike for around 30 minutes to reach here. So please keep this in mind when visiting Chalal. You can make a short half day trip here. Else you can also stay here. There are plenty of guesthouses, hotels in Chalal.
2. Katagla – One Of The Best Lesser Crowded Places In Kasol
Katagla is another of those places which is away from the hustle and bustle. Off late a lot of people prefer to stay here instead of Kasol due to less crowd.
You can do the same or hike here spend a good couple of hours and head back to Kasol. In case you wish to stay, there are plenty of options available for Katagla
3. Manikaran – Visit Here for Its Ancient Temples And Guru Dwara Sahib
Manikaran is one of the most popular and important places of pilgrimage around Kasol. Guru Dwara Sahib at Manikaran is important among sikhs and there are several ancient temples as well.
The other attraction of Manikaran is the famous hot water springs. Hot water springs here is said to have sulphur which drives away a lot of skin ailments. Therefore a lot of people make sure to take a dip in the hot sulphur water springs in Manikaran.
Manikaran is just 4 km from Kasol. But is kind of pilgrimage center rather than a tourist resort. So please keep this mind. But overall you’ll get spectacular views from here.
4. Rashol – Experience The Magic Of Parvati Valley Here
In the travel world it is said that the best view comes after the hardest climb. Well this is very true in case of Rashol. Of course, Kasol is picturesque, but if you want to see even more insane vistas, then Rashol is the place to be.
Rashol is good 4 hour uphill climb from Kasol. But the views from Rashol are just spectacular. Also, if you are adventurous you can try crossing over to Malana from Rashol by now forgotten Rashol pass.
So you can either make it as a day hike. Or you can stay at Rashol which has a lot of options in terms of stay.
Malana – One Of The Most Famous Places Near Kasol
Malana is probably one of the most famous places when it comes to popular places around Kasol. While it is actually infamous for Malana cream (Hash). But there are plenty of other things you can do in Malana.
Malana is bit away from Kasol. And you have to first reach Malana gate by road which is good 20 km away from Kasol. From Malana you need to hike for 4 km to reach the village.
5. Grahan – One of Most Prettiest Villages Near Kasol
Grahan is one of the most prettiest villages near Kasol. Off late it has become very popular amongst travelers due to its insane natural beauty. It also acts as a base village to Sar pass trek.
One of the reasons why Grahan is still less crowded is due to the fact that you have to hike for around 10 km to reach. But once you reach there you should have no problems as there are plenty of Guesthouses in Grahan.
6. Tosh – Scenic Beauty Of Tosh Will Mesmerize You
Tosh is probably the 2nd most popular place in Parvati valley after Kasol. And why not, the landscapes are just insane with high peaks visible from all around Kasol.
So Tosh is a must visit place when you are around Kasol. With plenty of stay options and cafes, Tosh is one of the favourites amongst travelers.
7. Kheergana – Perfect For People Looking To Get Into Trekking
Khherganga is another one of the most famous places in Parvati valley and around. In fact, for a lot of people it is actually their first hike. The distance from Barshaini to Kheerganga is around 12 km.
While it is accessible throughout the year, except for a 3-4 peak winter months, where the difficulty of the hike increases drastically. And you should not venture during winters without a guide. Apart from that Summer and Autumn are when you can easily do it independently.
Where to Stay in Kasol ?
Kasol is one of the major tourist spots in Kullu and Himachal in general. So obviously there is no dearth of accommodation options in Kasol. From Backpackers hostel to guesthouses Kasol has got a variety of accommodations.
Some of the famous backpackers hostel include The hosteller, Nomads Hostel, Whoopers hostel. Here you can get a bed in a dorm room for under 500 INR. There are private rooms as well in these hostels if that’s what you are looking for.
Apart from hostels, there are plethora of hotels and guesthouses which you can choose from. Some of which include Green valley hotel, greenhouse cottages, Star view hotel.
Personally, I feel Greenhouse cottages is one of best places to stay in Kasol. A lot of hotels near main Kasol market feel like clusters of concrete to be honest. But Green house cottages is away from the hustle and bustle towards Manikaran.
I have written a more detailed blog on where to stay in Kasol under 1000 INR. This will be surely of a huge help budget travelers looking for a budget place to stay in Kasol during their backpacking trip.
Where To Eat In Kasol ?
Kasol is kind of a foodies paradise. Being one of the major tourist spot in Himachal, Kasol houses a good number of cafes serving lip smacking delicacies to satiate your taste buds.
Italian, Israeli and Indian of course are some of the primary cuisines that the cafes serve. But mind you these cafes are a bit expensive. So if you are budget traveler you are better off eating at the Dhabas (Road Side eatery) in Kasol.
Some of the famous cafes in Kasol include Evergreen Cafe, Jim Morisons Cafe, Bhoj Cafe, Little Italy, Freedom Cafe and many more. But as I earlier eating all the time at cafes will be quite expensive.
By the way, if you are wanting to know the availability of drinks in Kasol, Here is a detailed blog about the same. But please drink in a responsible manner without disturbing others.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Kasol ?
So Kasol experiences five seasons Summer, Moonson, Autumn, Winter, Spring. Each season has its own charm and the landscapes appear different in each season.
Experience The Pleasant Weather in Summers
So Summers is one of the best times to visit and is also the peak tourist season in Kasol. The temperatures are quite pleasant and the days are pleasant. And nights are cool and comfortable.
Summer starts from Mid-May and lasts till Mid-July. Summers is also one of the best times to visit Kasol if you want to trek to the upper reaches of the valley. But mind summers are also the time when it is very crowded and everything becomes a tad bit expensive in Kasol.
So if you are one those you doesn’t like too much crowd, then you should probably avoid Summers in Kasol. Occasional summer storms cannot be ruled out.
Witness Kasol Engulfed in Mist During Monsoons
Kasol experience good monsoon rains which commence from Mid July and last till early September. Monsoon is one of the least crowded seasons as cloudy skies and perils of landslides keeps the travelers away.
But monsoons has its own charm to be honest. The vibrant colors will mesmerize you as everything appears beautiful with fresh rainfall. Also, if you are someone who travels on a budget, monsoon is the perfect time to be in Kasol.
Marvel At the Beautiful Colors During Autumn in Kasol
So Autumn commences from early to mid September and lasts till the November. Autumn in Himachal is known to be crisp with clear skies on most of the days. And Kasol is no exception.
As the autumn advances you get to see insane colors in the valley as it prepares for a deep slumber during the harsh winters. Autumn is also one of the best window to hike in the upper reaches of Kasol due to clear skies throughout.
Days are quite pleasant, while the nights are cold. As Autumn advances and the winter approaches you can feel the nip in the air in Kasol.
Experience A White Wonderland During Winters
Snow makes everything look an infintie times more beautiful. So if you have never experience snow before and want to experience a white wonderland make sure to visit Kasol during the winters.
Winters are harsh in Kasol and start from the November end until Early March. The temperatures plummet at least a couple notches below zero during peak winter days. And yes you will get to experience snowfall in Kasol in December and January if the weather is conducive.
Except for Christmas and New year period, the crowd in Kasol is very less. Mind you landscapes will be brown if the weather remains dry for too long during winters. By the way, here is a detailed guide if you want to visit Kasol in winters.
Watch the valley crawl back to Life in Spring
Spring is when things slowly start crawling back to life. Mid March is when the spring season starts in Kasol. Although the weather can be still cold with occasional storms, temperatures slowly start to rise.
So spring can also be wonderful time to visit if you want to see valley back to life with flowering visible all across the orchards.
Is Kasol Safe for Travelers ?
Yes, Kasol is relatively safe for travelers. But you have to be careful and always keep your eyes open when traveling to Kasol.
As you might know, Kasol is also known as smokers hub. A lot of people throng to Kasol in search of good quality Hash which by the way is illegal in India. So due to this you’ll find a lot of peddlers trying to sell Hash.
And yes Kasol being in news for wrong reasons is not uncommon. So stay away from the illegal activities and you should be good to go. But most people are here to enjoy and mind their own business.
Personally I did not feel Kasol to be unsafe and one can easily move around and explore Kasol without any issues. By the way, I have written a detailed blog on safety related aspects in Kasol. It will surely be of a great help to you.
6 Awesome Travel Tips To Have A Hassle Free Backpacking Trip To Kasol
Here are some practical tips you can follow to have a hassle free trip to Kasol. By the way, here is detailed blog about mobile network availability in Kasol.
|Pack Light on your Backpacking Trip to Kasol from Mumbai
If you are backpacking to Kasol, then do not carry unnecessary things. Owing to the relatively higher altitude packing light will be quite beneficial and save your energy
|Use robust public transport for a budget trip
Public transport is quite good in and around Kasol. Therefore, you can use it to your benefit and make a budget trip to Kasol
|Have at least week in your Itinerary
While there may be not many things to see in Kasol town itself, but there are a lot of awesome places which in the vicintiy of Kasol. So to have complete expereince I think you should have at least week in your itinerary.
The more days you have the better its to be honest.
|If hiking please return back before dark
If you are going on a day hikes in and around Kasol make sure you return back before dark. Cause a lot of wild animals roam especially in the dense forests.
So if you are hiking make sure return before dark or reach your destination before dark. Do not venture around in the forests during the night.
|Pack Warm Clothes on your Kasol Trip
So irrespective of the season you are visiting Kasol, you need to have warm clothes packed. Even if its summers, the nights can get cold and in case if its rains, then you need warm clothes.
So you should have a light woolens in Summers and Autumn and you should pack a good winter jacket and more layering if you are visiting Kasol in winter.
|Stay away from Illegal activities in Kasol
So Kasol is known for its Hash and most of the people who come to Kasol are looking to smoke hash and consume other drugs. But possession and consumption of hash and other narcotic drugs is illegal in India.
So you should stay from all illegal activites which happen around Kasol to ensure for a smooth and hassle free trip. This is my humble opinion.
To conclude, I hope that you now have all the relevant details you need for your backpacking trip to Kasol from Mumbai. I am my opinion if you have never ever backpacked, Kasol is one of the best places to start from as it has the relevant infrastructure.
Plus the beautiful vistas all around Kasol, will definitely leave you awestruck. Let me know in case you have any questions on backpacking to Kasol from Mumbai and I’ll definitely help you guys out.