If you are looking to experience Kasol is a Non-cliché way, winter is the time to visit. My Winter travel guide for Kasol will help you plan exactly that.
In the last few years, Kasol has emerged as the favourite destination among backpackers, not only from India but from around the world. Therefore, other than a few months, Kasol keeps buzzing with visitors.
While most people plan a visit to Kasol during the peak of summers, I would suggest you visit Kasol during winter. The main reason being, the crowd is less and you get to experience Kasol in an altogether different light.
My Complete Winter Travel Guide for Kasol
Not many years ago, Kasol was just another remote village in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh that not many people had heard about.
Over the years, the popularity of the destination has increased manifold. This has been primarily because of the easy availability of “Malana Cream”, a type of hashish grown locally. (Note: consumption & transportation of Hash is illegal in India. In doing so, you can face a hefty fine and jail time)
Well, that isn’t the only reason to visit Kasol. The natural beauty of the region, the beautiful Parvati river and numerous trekking trails are what I suggest you explore on your Kasol visit.
6 Amazing Reasons to Visit Kasol in Winters
Most people visit Kasol during summers (April – June). However, if you ask me, I always suggest people go to Kasol during winter. Well if you are wondering why should you visit Kasol in the summers instead of winters, I can give you at least 6 distinct reasons to do so:
1. There’s far Less Crowd in Winters
Summer is the time when most people from the neghbouring states visit Himachal to get respite from the heat. As a result of this, the small town becomes extremely crowded at the time, especially during the weekends. Winters are relatively less crowded, except the Christmas-new year time. If you were to ask me, I would suggest January as the best time to visit.
2. You can FInd Accommodation at Low Prices
Since winters are not that crowded in Kasol, the prices of stays are relatively less as compared to the peak season. Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, visit Kasol during the winters and save a lot of money.
3. You can Experience Snowfall
The best part about winters in Kasol is the snowfall. The best time to experience snowfall in Kasol in late December to January end. The snowfall in Kasol is truly magical.
4. The Beauty of Kasol During Winters is Unparalleled- With or Without Snowfall
Winters in Kasol has a hue of its own. The snow-covered ground, the Parvati river and the tall pine trees are breathtakingly beautiful, especially on a sunny day. Even when it’s not snowing, you can witness the splendid golden- brown landscapes.
5. Enjoying Sulphur Spring Baths in Kasol Winters is a Bliss
Kasol is known for Hot Water Springs and winters are the best time to enjoy them. Some of these baths are available in Kasol. You can also visit Manikaran, which is 4 km away from Kasol and enjoy these hot water baths. They are super relaxing and will be one of the best experiences to have on your Kasol winter Trip.
6. You Get to Capture the Winter Landscapes
Another amazing reason to visit Kasol during the winter is that you can capture the winter landscapes with your camera. I especially liked the winter sunsets. They were simply amazing!
Winter Travel Guide for Kasol: Best Things to Do & Places To See
Winters in Kasol is a quite different time than summers, not only in terms of the number of visitors but the entire vibe of the place. Here are some of the best things to include in your winter travel guide for Kasol:
Explore the Town
The very first thing to do in Kasol during winters is to go explore the town. Kasol is a small place that you can see in a couple of hours. When I visited in January, there were not many people in Kasol and a lot of shops and cafes were closed. Despite that, the town looked beautiful and serene.
Trek to Tosh Village
When it snows in Kasol, many villages get cut off. However, it is possible to trek up to Tosh village, the last motorable village in Parvati Valley. Tosh village is one of my favourite places in Himachal and if you are visiting Kasol, this must be a part of your itinerary.
Take a Short Hike to Chalal
If you are not in the mood for a long trek, I would suggest you take a short hike to Chalal village. Chalal is a quiet hamlet that can be reached in less than an hour. The trek takes you through a pine forest adjacent to the gushing Parvati river. This picturesque hike will make your hike worthwhile.
Enjoy Some Delicious Food at the Cafes
Kasol is quite famous for its cafes that serve a range of food from Israeli to Italian and Indian. However, during winters not all cafes are open. Some of the popular cafes that are open are Evergreen cafe, stone garden, namaste, etc.
This is one of the best experiences you can have in Kasol during winters. The best months to visit Kasol for snowfall are December and January. Trust me, this is going to be one of your best memories from Kasol.
Relax and Soak in the Warm Winter Sun
The best way to enjoy the winters in Kasol is to just relax and do absolutely nothing. Soak in the beauty of nature and on a sunny day just enjoy the warmth of the winter sun on your bare skin. It is so relaxing!
Click some Splendid Pictures
Winters is also a great time to click some amazing pictures in Kasol. Whether it is the snow-laden mountains, or the clear blue skies, or just the pine forests, the pictures are bound to turn out amazing.
Take a Hot Sulphur Spring Bath
Yes! Kasol has hot springs too. You don’t even have to go to Manikaran or Kheerganga to enjoy a relaxing hot spring bath, you can do that in Kasol as well. In winters, these baths are even more amazing.
Of the few places that are accessible near Kasol, even in deep winters is Manikaran. You can easily visit Manikaran from Kasol. A number of shared taxis are buses that go on that route. And, yes of course in Manikaran you can enjoy the hot springs as well, that too for FREE!
Trek to Kheerganga
The trek to Kheerganga from Kasol is possible only till December. Once the snowfall begins, it is not advisable to go on the trek. This is because the trail to Kheerganga becomes extremely slippery and dangerous. The trail becomes covered with snow and ice, therefore I would strongly advise against such misadventures.
An Ideal Kasol Itinerary for Winters
If you are travelling to Kasol for the first time and that too in winter, I would suggest that you plan for at least 4 days. Below I have shared with you a 4-day Kasol winter itinerary.
Depending on your starting point, I assume that you reach Kasol in the morning. In order to reach Kasol, you can take any bus that goes towards Manali and then get down at Bhuntar in Kullu.
Reach Bhuntar in the morning and board a local bus or taxi to Kasol
Check into a hostel/hotel/guesthouse in Kasol
After getting some rest, head to the main town and explore the town. You can explore some cafes in Kasol.
After Breakfast, go on a short hike to Chalal. It is merely 30-45 minutes walk from Kasol bus stop.
The hike takes you through a beautiful pine forest and the Parvati River flowing alongside.
Return from Chalal and spend your evening having a warm coffee in a cafe in Kasol
After an early breakfast, head to Barshaini. You can either take a taxi or take a bus to this stop
From Barshaini, start the trek towards Tosh village. It is a moderate trek of about 3 kms.
Explore the village and spend a night here.
After spending the morning exploring Tosh, head back to Barshaini before the afternoon.
From Barshaini, go to Manikaran. Spend some time exploring the temple and Gurudwara in Manikaran.
If you are going to Delhi, an HRTC bus leaves Manikaran at 6.30 and reaches Kashmere Gate in Delhi in the morning, If you are heading to some other place, get back to Kasol and go to your next destination.
NOTE: I haven’t included the Kheerganga trek in the itinerary. This is because after snowfall it is not advisable to go on the trek. However, if you are visiting during November or early December, you can surely undertake the trek with some professionals from the region.
Winter Travel Guide for Kasol: Where to Eat & Stay?
While summer in Kasol is buzzing with tourists, winter is a relatively quieter time in Kasol. Owing to the decline in visitors, a lot of places in Kasol shut down during winters, especially after a snowfall. However, there are still plenty of options when it comes to finding eateries and accommodations.
Where to Stay in Kasol in Winters?
Although most hotels are open in Kasol even during winters, I would suggest that you stay in a homestay for a more authentic experience. There are many homestays in Kasol, that offer accommodation even during snowfall.
The best part about visiting during winters is that you don’t have to pay the surge prices during winters. However, I would suggest the Christmas- New year time, which can be really crowded.
Where to Eat in Kasol During Winters?
Although most cafes remain open during winters, after the snowfall, many of them shut down. Some famous cafes that are open even during the peak winters are Evergreen cafe, stone garden, namaste, etc.
Other than these you can also get food in the local dhabas and guesthouses.
9 Super Important Tips for Your Kasol Trip During Winters
A Winter Travel Guide for Kasol is incomplete without some handy tips. I have shared below some very important tips for all travellers visiting Kasol during winters. Make sure you follow these:
1. Good & Comfortable Footwear
I cannot emphasise on having a good pair of footwear enough. The first thing you must get if you wish to truly explore Kasol in winter is some good footwear. They should be warm and have a good grip so that you don’t slip on the ice formation.
2. Pack Adequate Warm Clothes
By warm clothes, I mean everything, right from pullovers to socks and from gloves to innerwear. You also must carry a very warm jacket and a muffler to keep yourself warm.
3. Stick to the Known Routes, Do Not Experiment
DO NOT venture out on a trail that is not known. During the winter season, there is a constant danger of wild animals. So, don’t go around exploring unknown trails on your own.
4. Power Bank is a Must Carry
At times of heavy snowfall in the region, power cuts are fairly common. Therefore, I insist that you carry a power bank with you. Charge it whenever you get the time.
5. Carry enough Cash
Don’t rely on ATMs and other card-to-cash services in Kasol for cash during winters. While the ATM can quickly run out of cash during winters, some of the card to cash services at the local travel agents offices may be closed during after snowfall. Therefore, carry adequate cash with you on your Kasol winter trip.
6. Take along your Toiletries & Essentials
If you are visiting Kasol during winters, I would recommend you carry your essentials and toiletries along. This is especially true for women travellers who must carry along with their menstrual hygiene products, just to be on the safer side.
7. You need Trekking Gear if you Wish to Trek
The easy and moderate treks including Kheerganga become challenging during winters. This is especially true for treks post snowfall. Because of the ice formation, the treks can become difficult and very slippery due to ice formation.
Therefore, if you wish to go on a trek, you must carry along proper trekking gear as you may not find many providers that provide such facilities during winters. Also, make sure if you are pursuing a trek during winters, go in a group rather than going alone.
8. Be Careful Near the Parvati River
Although this is true for all the seasons, this point becomes even more relevant during winters. The stones near the river bed can be slippery and dangerous, so try to stay as far away from the river bed as possible.
9. Do Not Venture Out in the Night Alone
Another safety tip I would like to include is that you must try not to venture out alone after sunset. If you have to go, go out in a group. A torch always comes in handy during such times.
I hope my winter travel guide for Kasol helps you plan your trip to Kasol. If you have any further questions, feel free to drop them down below in the comment section and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.