How did we end up in Rasol? It was a rainy day in Kasol and the weather forecast predicted rains for the next two days. We stayed at Kasol the previous night and woke up to heavy rains. It seemed like it had rained all night and the snow cover had doubled on the surrounding mountains.
We were in a dilemma to choose a place as the actual plan was to trek to Grahan. Since, Grahan was a 14 kms trek from Kasol, we abruptly last-minute decision to head to Rasol. In my trips to Parvati Valley, I had heard a lot about Rasol and wanted to check if it was worth the praise. We purchased rain cover ponchos from Kasol, thankfully the shops in the Kasol market open early. The raincoat was priced at Rs.100 and was good for a one time use as the poncho material was pretty thin.
starts from Chalal and takes up to a minimum of 3-4 hours. It is a steep climb and will test your patience and endurance. We trekked to the village of Chalal and stopped at a cafe for breakfast. We had a quick coffee and sandwich by the Parvati River, soaking in nature’s peace. We started trekking at 10.30 a.m and reached the temple of Chalal. It is prohibited to touch or enter the temple. It is an important checkpoint as one needs to take the left turn from the Chalal temple.
There are sign marks painted on the rocks for Rasol and Magic Meera, which happens to be the first homestay at Rasol. We trekked for two hours through some amazing views. Mountains covered with thick pine forests and clouds circling them at the tip and around. The surrounding mountains were also surrounded by clouds. Although the rains made the trek a bit slippery, it added to the charm of nature.
Around 12.30 p.m, we reached halfway through Rasol and decided to take a break. This is the point, where we could see the village of Rasol and it was an assurance that we were on the right trail. The supposedly short break turned out to be an hour-long break as the rains got worse. The first cafe which serves only Maggi and three types of tea was such a saviour. The Maggi was soupy and yummy and was priced at Rs.80. Lemon chai was worth the try and provided much-needed warmth in the cold rainy Himalayan weather.
We started our trek back at 1.30 p.m and the trek got even more steeper. There were tall marijuana plants growing wildly. This is where the trek tests your patience. You can see the village and it seems like it’s only about 10-15 minutes away. But one still has about an hour to trek. We decided to take a short break and stopped at Magic Meera for a small halt.
This place is the first stop at Rasol and the views are mesmerising. Their cafe can remind one of the interiors of a Kashmiri house. The menu is pretty cheap compared to Kasol and other places in Parvati Valley. We ordered a cheese toast, a chai and a coffee and our bill was Rs.150. The service was quick.
Our final ascend tested our endurance as it started to rain and it was already 3.20 p.m. As we started to trek, we realised that the clouds have started to move in the same direction. That was a different experience. To trek within the clouds in the rains. After about 30 minutes, we reached the village of Rasol. There was no network coverage. The villagers smiled and were quite friendly. There were massive marijuana plants growing in the village and no one seemed to bother. That’s when I came to know about Rasol cream. The locals start to ask if you want to buy Rasol cream.
We decided to stay overnight as the weather got bad. There were thunderstorms in the evening and Rasol was covered with a thick blanket of clouds. It got really chilly in the night and we stayed at Hill Top, which is the last guesthouse in Rasol. The view no doubt was spectacular, also the food was priced decently and tasted good. There were barely 10 travellers that made it to the village of Rasol that particular day. We had a feel of being in a remote place in the lap of the Himalayas.
Located at 10,000 feet ASL, Rasol is now one of my favourite places in Parvati Valley. One should definitely visit Rasol when backpacking around Kasol as it is a place that is still unexplored and unspoiled.
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