Parvati Valley is the most important remnant of the Hippie trail in India. Himachal Pradesh is infamous for its reputation in mild narcotics and no other place is more famous than Parvati Valley and its shining star Malana. Starting or rather ending at the confluence of the Parvati River and the River Beas, Parvati Valley is a steep, narrow valley dotted with villages.
Malana, Kasol, the Sikh and Hindu pilgrimage town of Manikaran, Kalga, Pulga, a waterfall called Rudra-Nag and stunning Kheerganga, with a temple and sulphurous hot springs to relax those aching bones are some of them.
- The Parvati River enters the Beas just above Bhuntar and its ethereally beautiful valley stretches back up to the hot springs at Manikaran and beyond into the 5000m heights of the Great Himalayan Range.
- Distance: Delhi to Bhunter 490 Kms
Bhunter to Jari 23 Kms
Jari to Kasol 8 Kms
Kasol to Manikaran 3 Kms
Manikaran to Barshaini 14 Kms
2-3 Kms from Barshaini. Shared cars available. Can be expensive if you take the car alone.
Pulga and Kalga brief hike from Barshaini
- The valley is accessible throughout the year. The big, multi-day, treks will not be possible in the winter but the rest of the valley should not be a problem. Views and colours change according to season. Suggested to travel in spring (March-April) when the apricots bloom.
- The valley has a well-deserved reputation for its charas (hashish), and several villages have been transformed into hippie or backpacker hangouts, offering cheap accommodation, international food and non-stop music to crowds of international travellers. Like Manali, Parvati is a favourite destination along the ‘hummus trail’ followed by post-military service Israeli travellers. It’s also increasingly popular among young Indians. Police sometimes set up checkpoints along the roads to search for hash.
is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. From the confluence of the Parvati River with the River Beas, the Parvati Valley runs eastwards, through a steep-sided valley from the town of Bhuntar, in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in Northern India.
It is believed that Shiva, the destroyer, meditated in the mystical Parvati Valley for about 3,000 years. He sat here in the form of a naked ash-smeared sanyasi or naga sadhu. Seasons would come and go, and one day he looked out at this untouched, perfectly sculpted landscape and named it after his consort, Parvati.
- Parvati Valley is pretty easy to reach. Take the Manali bound bus but get down at Bhuntar, which is around 10 kms before Kullu and it also has the airport that serves this region. From there you get local connecting buses to Kasol which is around 30 kms away.
- Throughout the Parvati Valley mobile networks are not stable and you can get it at some places and some places you don’t get at all. But we suggest to use Airtel network compared to others.
- Kasol is soon becoming a party hot spot owning to the trance and psychedelic parties which go on for days to a couple of weeks all day and night. These parties have international DJs and are held deep into the woods away from the main town. Generally, the parties are a short hike from the village of Chalal. Mid-May to the end of June is the peak party season in Kasol.
- Eons ago, Kartikeya, the younger son of Shiv and Parvati, meditated here for a thousand years. Legends say that when he was here, Shiv and Parvati occasionally came to see him and Parvati used to make kheer for them (rice pudding) and hence the greyish colour of the Parvati River is because of this.
- Kheerganga, with a temple and sulphurous hot springs to relax those aching bones. Be careful not to spend too much time in the water as the smell of sulphur can be nauseating.
- In popular belief, the villagers of Malana are supposed to be the descendants of some deported Greek soldiers of Alexander – The Great, yet some traces of their existence are rooted deep in Hindu mythology. They believe in their Devta, Jamlu Rishi. It is said that the sage from the Puranas once inhabited the land and laid the foundation of democracy, which still works as a fully-functional parliamentary system.
- Chalal is a small village that you reach just by crossing the hanging bridge from Kasol. It is a straight walk rather than a trek but the views are delightful. Scores of hotels, homestays, and sites for those rave parties are located in this area.
- Tosh is another small village that has benefitted from the tourism boom. It is 2-3 kms after Barshaini, the last road head. There are shared cars that can take you to the village for a few hundred rupees. The best way here is to share with other people and save money. There are many restaurants and homestays. From Tosh, you can hike for an hour to reach Kutla, a more peaceful place apparently but I have not visited it.
- Grahan is another small village trek from Kasol and another place where you can stay. It is around 10 kms from Kasol. A moderate trek and you can find accommodation in the village at INR 200-400. Phone network doesn’t work in the village except for BSNL.
- The pine forest of Pulga has been renamed as fairy 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.
- The Great Himalayan Trek only gets bigger and better. If you have a stomach for heavy adventure, you can trek up to Tirthan Valley and experience the wonderful transitions between the Sainj and Tirthan Valley. Accommodation can be arranged in the park’s accommodation. The Pin Parvati Pass is a wonder to behold with its snowy crevices.
- Sitting in the lap of nature, is your ultimate two-day retreat in beauty and peacefulness. You can sit back in your hotel room and do absolutely nothing, or you can get in your sneakers and explore the pretty Himachal town. Adventure enthusiasts have the option to go river rafting on the Beas. There are also beautiful little temples like Raghunath Temple and the Hadimba Temple.
- Eating restaurants serving traveller-oriented Indian, Italian and Israeli food exist in the main backpacker destinations. Some guesthouses serve meals.
- The Israeli habitat which is turning into a wonderland for cannabis users and traders alike, also sees many rave parties being conducted throughout the year. If you’re in the valley during the best months of the year, you’ll witness parties that turn wilder with the passing of days, and an assortment of nationals from various countries, all intent on having another crazy experience in a trance-like state.
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