Located not too far away from the backpacker town of Kasol in Himachal Pradesh is the tiny village of Chalal. The village of Chalal is located at an altitude of around 5366 feet above sea-level and is located on the banks of the River Parvati.
Chalal can only be approached by foot from the town of Kasol by crossing a cable suspended bridge that has been built over the free-flowing Parvati river. After crossing the bridge take the trail leading to the left and follow the narrow path that takes hikers through the forest of tall pine trees.
The trail is very scenic and not at all difficult to do. Five minutes into the hike travellers will see a few houses which are generally mistaken as the village of Chalal, but those are not a part of the village but guest houses for backpackers. The trail leading to the village of Chalal is very well marked and easy to find.
Just before the entrance to the village, the trail takes backpacker to the banks of the River Parvati. It is highly recommended that one stops there and spends some time just listening to the gushing sound of the river. The banks of the river has plenty of medium and huge rocks where travellers can sit and chill by the river and smoke some pot, if they like.
The village of Chalal is not too big and is also a base village for the hike to magic Rasol. Nearly all the houses in Chalal are old, traditional wooden ones which are made keeping in mind the severe winter and heavy monsoon. That’s why all the houses have their ground floor only for storage and to keep their animals. The families live in the upper section.
Just like the rest of Parvati Valley, the main occupation of the people in Chalal is animal husbandry and Hash (cannabis) farming. Chalal is another village which is well known in the valley for its Hash. The quality of cannabis from Chalal is supposed to be of mid-range quality. It’s important to keep in mind that possession of such stuff is not only banned but can also lead to imprisonment.
Over the last few years, Chalal has become the hub for trance and psychedelic parties that happen deep in the forest near the village. These parties go on for days if not a week. The major crowd puller for these parties are world class DJ’s who come all the way to this beautiful valley just to perform for the music festival. There is an entry fee for these parties which is not too affordable any more.
Accommodation in the village of Chalal is easily available but mainly to suit the needs of those backpackers who intend on making Parvati Valley their home for a month if not longer. The guest houses mostly have shared washrooms and the rooms are very basic with just a bed. Most of the older hippies have made Chalal their home in Parvati Valley.
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Chalal has plenty of cafes which have amazing river side locations and superb food. The food served in these cafes are mostly to cater to the needs of western travellers so pastas, pizzas and salads are served in nearly all the cafes along with parathas, noodles and vegetarian thali.
The best time to visit the village of Chalal is during the summer months from April to mid-June and from September to November since the weather is perfect and ideal for backpacking.
Chalal is an ideal village to visit to just relax and unwind and also is home to some of the best parties in the whole valley if not the whole country and is a must visit place for everyone who visits the valley.
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