If you want to visit Himachal Pradesh’s Parvati Valley and make the most of your trip to one of Himachal Pradesh’s most happening destinations, go through this article.
The Himachal Pradesh’s Parvati Valley is situated in the Northern state of India. Until the late 2000s, the valley was relatively unexplored, and most of the people visiting it came from far away lands such as Italy and Israel. However, since then, tourism has exploded in the valley, and during the summer and autumn seasons, hundreds of tourists visit Parvati Valley every day.
The valley has a lot to offer the curious traveler, with plenty of places to explore. However, you’ve got to get certain things right if you want to experience the valley at its glorious best. To know what those things are, read on.
1. Visit Himachal Pradesh’s Parvati Valley in the summer
Many people would tell you to avoid the valley in the summer as it gets pretty crowded. However, if you want to visit all the places worth visiting in the valley, summer’s the best time to do it. To access the Parvati Valley, you must travel through some treacherous sections, which become prone to landslides in the monsoon and winter. But there typically aren’t any landslides in the summer, making the experience much safer.
Also, there are several quaint villages in the valley without motorable roads. Hiking is the only way to access these villages. During the summers, the trails stay dry, but during the monsoons and the winters, they become muddy and slippery.
Summers tend to have pleasant weather as well, both during the day and the night. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the autumn and winter months, when the temperatures can drop to sub-zero levels at night.
2. Make Kasol your base
Kasol is the most popular destination in the Parvati Valley, and for a good reason. Once a small village, the town has numerous accommodations catering to all budgets. It’s also home to some of the valley’s most famous restaurants, such as The Evergreen and The Moon Dance Cafe.
Most people who visit Parvati Valley make Kasol their base, and you should too. This is because you’ll find transportation options to most places within the valley from Kasol. For instance, buses and taxis are readily available from Kasol to visit popular destinations such as Manikaran and Tosh.
Additionally, there are several small villages located close to Kasol. For example, the villages of Chhalal and Katagla, which offer a more peaceful experience than Kasol, are just a stone’s throw away.
3. Trek to Kheerganga
Kheerganga is one of the holiest places in the Parvati Valley. According to local folklore, Lord Shiva’s son, Kartikeya, meditated at Kheerganga for 1,000 years. The place also has a Shiva temple, but what makes it special are the hot springs, which are rejuvenating after a tiring trek. Both men and women have separate bathing areas, and once you dip in hot water, you won’t feel like coming out.
The Kheerganga trek certainly isn’t the most difficult trek in the world. It’s a day trek, and it takes around 4 – 5 hours to reach it from the village of Barshaini, which serves as the starting point of the trek. There are two routes to Kheerganga – one goes via the village of Kalga, while the other goes via the village of Nakthan. Both routes eventually meet in the pine forest.
You don’t need to hire a guide to reach Kheerganga, as the routes are well-marked. However, if you want to have a guide’s insurance, you can find one in Barshaini. Once you reach Kheerganga, you can stay in one of the numerous camps that dot the place or in wooden dhabas armed with tandoors for heating.
4. Stay with local families
Since the explosion of tourism in the Parvati Valley, many modern-day hotels and guest houses have been established. Many of these hotels and guest houses are owned by people from other parts of India. While staying in these accommodations will give you everything you could need and want in terms of facilities, they lack the charm of the locals.
So, instead of choosing these accommodations, you should stay in homestays that are owned and run by locals of the valley. Doing this will give you more insight into how the locals live and rely on the mountains for their needs.
For instance, if you’re visiting the village of Tosh at the far end of the valley, you should consider staying at Pinki Didi’s Cafe 360 and The Last Resort. The place offers stunning views, great rooms, and food cooked with love by a local family.