There are many things that are synonymous with Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh. We tell you 21 must do offbeat things while in this Himalayan haven.
A trip to Parvati Valley is not complete without being accompanied by one if not a pack of friendly mountain dogs who will hike the trails with you and become your guardian angel till you reach your destination.
- Enjoy the beauty, forget the selfie:
The selfie rage has become so huge that many of us travel only to take selfies and forget to enjoy the beauty of nature. So before you take a selfie next time take a few seconds and soak in the various elements that Mother Nature has to offer. Parvati Valley offers a lot of beautiful spectacles.
- Pizza at Tosh
Enter any cafe in Tosh and you’ll be baffled to see a pizza category on their menu card. What’s even more astonishing is that the pizzas served in Tosh are not only good but will rival some of the top pizza houses in most metro cities. The tuna pizza is a must try.
- Smoke a chillum with locals:
There is no secret why backpackers from all over the country and world flock to Parvati Valley. It’s the Hashish, which is the main pull factor for many if not everyone. The locals smoke all day and most of them only smoke through a chillum (pipe) and will always offer fellow travellers a boom from the same. Many of the locals consider it an insult if you decline to smoke a chillum when offered. It’s important to keep in mind that possession of such stuff is not only banned but can also lead to imprisonment.
- Fairy forest:
Deep inside the village of Pulga is a pine forest area which has been renamed as ferry forest by some hippies many years ago, after they claim to have spotted fairies in the forest after a couple of days of hard partying.
- Attend a psy party:
Over the last few years, Parvati Valley has become synonymous with trance and psy parties which are held deep inside the woods near Kasol, Chalal, Tosh and Pulga. The parties are usually held during the summer months from mid-May to end of September and the length of the parties range from three to seven days.
- Chill by the Parvati:
If your looking to unwind, relax and become one with the universe then take a book or just your shades and find a spot on the banks of the Parvati River which flows all along the valley and sit on the rocks and do noting but just chill.
- Hike to a hot spring bath:
If you like hiking, then you’ll love the hike to Kheerganga in Parvati Valley. The hike takes backpackers through tiny Himalayan villages, pine forest with huge oak trees and endless greenery and after 13 km of hiking (4-6 hours) one will reach the top i.e. Kheerganga which holds the ultimate reward a natural sulphur hot bath. A dip in the hot bath with a 360 degree view of the snow-capped mighty Himalayas, this is something one will remember for the rest of their life time.
- Night stay in a wooden house:
One of the first few things that come to our mind when we think of the Himalayan villages is the tiny villages with wooden houses. For many it’s a dream to stay in such houses and backpacking to Parvati Valley can fulfil this wish of yours with nearly all the villages offering home stays in traditional wooden Himachali houses. The villages of Tosh, Pulga, Rasol still have plenty of wooden guest houses.
- Meet new travellers:
While backpacking around Parvati Valley, it’s impossible to not bump into fellow travellers from Indian and around the world. The valley is a thriving hub for travellers and is the perfect place to meet new people and make new friends. The cafes are an ideal place to meet people.
- Maggie at Naktan:
On the hike to Kheerganga around 5 km from the town of Barshani is the village of Naktan where travellers stop both ways while ascending and descending to grab some quick refreshment the Maggie served at Sahil Cafe is a must have. Their vegetable, egg and even the plain Maggie is simply lip smashing.
12: Junkie shopping:
The Hippie vibe in Parvati Valley is so much that even regular office going corporates end up turning into hippies during their tenure there and this vibe is aided by the various shops in Kasol selling junkie t-shirts, pants, sweatshirts, patches, binnes, etc. Bargaining is a skill which will come very handy while shopping in the flea market of Kasol.
13: Night in Magic Rasol:
At 10,000 feet above sea level (3000 metres) is a tiny village of Rasol which is well known for its Hasish and breath taking view of the snow capped Himalayas.
- Visit the village of Taboos:
The mysterious village of Malana, till date remains a settlement very much lost in time and one which will never allow outsiders to influence their way of life. Known as the village of Taboos since no non-Malana person can enter the temples in the village or the homes of the villagers. If anyone touches or enters the temple they are slapped with a fine of ₹5000.
15: Pancake at Malana:
Dragon cafe in Malana is a small wooden guest house which serves arguably the best pancakes in the entire valley, if not the entire state of Himachal. Nutella pancake and banana nutella pancake are surely worth trying.
16: Star gazing:
If star gazing is something you like doing then Parvati Valley has plenty to offer. The night sky at the higher villages of Malana, Rasol, Pulga, Kalga, Tosh are ideal places to just sit out in the open and look at the stars on a clear night one will surely see at least two to four shooting stars without much difficulty. Keerganga is by far the best place to star gaze.
17: Funky hairdos:
While in Parvati Valley you don’t only have to dress like a hippie you can even style your hair as one. With the saloon in Kasol offering travellers a chance to get dread locks, lulus, breads and even the mohawk is doable at a very affordable cost.
18: Experience the harvest in September:
Always wanted to see the Hasish crop being harvested, then September is the time to visit the valley. While hiking to the villages of Tosh, Rasol, Pulga one will see numbers locals of all ages sitting and rubbing the crop all day to extract around 10-15 grams of Hasish a day. Apples are also harvested during September and are a good snack to carry while travelling around the valley.
19: Snow fight with the local kids:
During the winter months from January to March, one will get a chance to experience snow fall and also have snow ball fights with the local village kids and make a snow man, too.
20: Momos at Kasol:
The momos in Kasol are something that everyone should try. Shambu momo stall near the bridge serves the best momos in the entire valley. They serve both chicken and vegetarian momos and also make fried momos on demand. The stall is open from noon to sun down every day of the week.
- Camping at Kheerganga:
One of the best ways to experience a night at Kheerganga is by camping. There are camps set up at Kheerganga and one can either rent a tent for the night or the other option is to carry your own tent. The latter is an option not worth taking since hiking with a tent is hard.
These are some things that we suggest one must do while in Parvati Valley.