Hiking in search of Magic Cream :Rasol, Himachal Pradesh
Hidden deep within the foothills of the Himalayas lies a small village by the name of Rasol which is at an altitude of around 10,000 feet above sea level (3048 m) and has not more than 75 houses. Rasol is located in the Parvati Valley which is in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
The only option to reach the village of Rasol is to hike from the town of Kasol. The hike takes around three to four hours to reach with a hand full of steep climbs which are very much doable for even a rookie hiker. While hiking backpackers will reach the village of Chalal which is around 20 minutes from Kasol.
Chalal is a good place to stop and have some breakfast or brunch since provisions for anything else to eat along the hike is very less. Chalal is also a good option to make base before the hike to Rasol.
While on the hike, one thing that everyone will spot is plenty of magic Rasol signboards on rocks and tree barks pointing in the correct direction of the village. Magic Rasol is in reference to the hasish that is sold in this village. The hasish from Rasol is supposed to be one of the finest and many consider it to be on power with the stuff from Malana. It’s important to keep in mind that possession of such stuff is not only banned but can also lead to imprisonment.
Rasol can be spotted from around 70% of the hike and the first thing one will notice is the village temple signboard. Which states that entering the temple premises will lead to a heavy fine of Rs 2000. The temple is of Jamdagni Rishi a form of Lord Shiva. Inside the temple compound is a small stadium kind of a arrangement which has steps for villagers to sit on.
During the day time, men from the village can be seen playing a very unique game called Panjee which is only played here in Rasol and in the village of Malana. This game Punjee is supposed to be similar to chess but upto four can play the game at a time and players have to throw a bunch of half cut bamboo sticks to determine how many places their coins move. The game attracts a lot of local crowd.
Wandering through the lanes of the village and you will see nearly every second person from the village spinning wool or asking you to buy hasish. The kids are always busy playing among themselves. Most of the villagers from Rasol have never ventured outside the valley with the town of Bhuntur being their furthest.
Accommodation at Rasol is limited to backpacker guest houses which have common washrooms and rooms with nothing more than just a bed. The rooms in Rasol are spacious and can easily accommodate around four to five people in a room. Eating options in Rasol are not too bad either with all guest houses having a restaurant attached which serve really tasty food. The food is priced a bit steep since porters have to physically carry all the supplies from Kasol.
Rasol is a good place to visit all year round. The weather is generally always good other than during the winter months from the end of November to mid-February. Good hiking shoes and a bottle of water along with a wooden stick to aid you in the hiking is a must for all.
The village is a must-visit for all those backpackers who want to experience the magic from the Rasol cream or super cream. For others, the hike and the guest house view make this village worth visiting while in Parvati Valley.
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