Delhi to kasol trip budget backpacking
As the first light of dawn fell upon my face I realized , that the time has come, the time for which I have been waiting for almost 3 years. Though to be completely honest I had slept a little bit the previous night for I was excited , a trip with my friends after ages , I started my day with packing my rucksack with the all the necessary items I needed for my trip. The destination is the serene and beautiful Kasol.
Although it is somewhat necessary for humans to take vacation once in a while to refresh their minds, in my case what happened that I didn't take a trip for almost 3 years and three years worth of no vacation was taking a toll on my mental health . I was craving for a trip , it was like take me anywhere , just take me away from New Delhi and its problems all I want is to sit and relax and rejuvenate my soul.
So a few days before our departure to Kasol, all the friends were sitting and gossiping about how one of mutual friend , recently went to Kasol and how awesome it was. On hearing this, at the back of my head it felt like someone just flipped a switch and I was feeling that somehow I could have been in place of our mutual friends.
So as this conversation affected me, I can be safe to say it affected everyone else also, because it became a topic of debate every time we used to meet. So one day out of the blue while again sitting in the park (by sitting in the park what I mean is that we were having an "Adda"- it's a Bengali term which means: informal conversation among a group of people, often for hours at an end, and usually accompanied by food) , one of our friends suggested that instead of talking about it, why don't we all go to Kasol. An eerie silence fell over everyone , for all us began to ponder that what our friend was saying was not amateurish at all , if we tried we can really make the trip.
So began the process of telling our parents about the trip and asking them to consider about it, in all we all were waiting for an explicit yes from all our parents, by all I mean everyone , no man left behind, for if anyone of our parents refused to let their son go for the trip, then the whole trip would have to shelved. By the grace of God, on the third day everyone got the go ahead sign from their respective parents and the planning of trip was in full swing.
Delhit to kasol backpacking
Since we are all college students , we had a budget of Rs.5000 and the whole trip had to be concluded in that amount only, which included the bus fare, the room rent, our day to day expenses like food , water, everything that we can think of we had to cover it all in the budget.
The hunt began to find the cheapest bus fare with a little bit comfort, but in doing so we faced a hurdle , the cheapest bus fare were offered by the Himachal Pradesh Transport Corp., but as we are privy to it, we know that the buses are not comfortable, the buses which were comfortable were expensive as they were all Volvo's. After a few hours of debate among us we decided that we would travel to Kasol through the roadways bus, as it is commonly referred to as. So the fare cost us around Rs.650, and we booked it through an popular online portal. The date of departure was 5th July.
Before the departure date all of us gathered and were brainstorming about what we will need for the trip, so that if someone forgot something , then we could remind him that he may need it if the situation arrives.
Delhi to Kasol Trip Budget Backpacking Tips
Since our trip fell around the time it rains in the hills, so I had to pack according to the season and weather , so before packing I checked the weather forecast of next week of Kasol and its neighboring areas. The data showed moderate cold along with sporadic rainfall around 8th July, with the probability of rainfall very low.
- 6 T-shirts.
- 2 pairs of jeans.
- A pair of shorts.
- A track pant.
- Lots of socks and underclothes.
- A first aid box.
- Flip flops, sneakers and trekking shoes.
- A rain coat.
- A jacket and some sweaters and a sweatshirt.
- Sunglasses( A trip is incomplete without a sunglass).
- A Bluetooth speaker ( The life the trip).
- A camera.
- D- Day:
The day arrives when we have to leave for Kasol. All of us gathered in one place and we booked a cab through an taxi aggregator app. Our destination was the Kashmiri Gate ISBT. You also have the option boarding the bus either from the Himachal Bhavan or at Majnu Ka Tila.
The bus to my expectations was much better than what I had anticipated it to be, as we make general assumption that roadways buses are all broken and rickety, but it was just the opposite. They were somewhat spacious and comfortable and hey you cannot complain either because that is what you get for 650 bucks. So our departure time was 6 pm and to my utter surprise it departed on time, exactly at 6
Delhi to Kasol Trip Bus
After around 2 hours of travel and a bumpy ride later , the comes to halt, in front of "Dhaba"( it is the equivalent of a Diner), we deboarded the bus and start stretching our bodies as there was no leg space as it was all occupied by our luggage, and the backrest is at almost 90 degrees angle. After a 30 minute break we began our journey. Then around 10:30 pm we reached Chandigarh ISBT, were some passengers de boarded and some new faces got on.
On the way I got aquatinted with another passenger and came to know that he too was going to Kasol and I thought what a coincidence, another person just like me going to the same destination. So as we were waiting for the bus to go move again towards Kasol, I lit a cigarette and puffed away, the air was little chilly and I could smell the petrichor in the air. A shout from the conductor was I realized it was time to get back in the bus.
The bus renewed its journey towards the hills. As I was sat beside the window seat and listening to my playlist I could see hordes of cars zooming past the bus towards the hills, and I cannot describe what I was feeling at that time, the buses, cars in front of mustard fields and were the eyes can see, fields and fields of crops , and to be honest I became a bit philosophical and started to contemplate about our purpose in life , in this world and as to why we are so hell bent on money, power, fame, recognition, etc, and then I remembered a quote from one movie I had watched and it goes something like this
“You’re not your job, you’re not the car you drive, you’re not the contents of your wallet…” you are what you are the real you, the Japanese have a saying that there are three faces to a person:
- The First which you show to the whole world at large , the face on which the world forms an impression about you,
- The Second is which you show to your parents and your close and dear ones,
- The Third , well it is the most important, because only and only you are privy, to that face. It is the real deal, the raw and pure character of you.
Delhi to Kasol Bus Driver called it Night
As I became lost in all these thoughts I didn't realize when I fell asleep. I suddenly woke to the abrupt stop of the bus or so I thought and saw that we had began our ascent to the hills , we were just at the start of Himachal Pradesh, the bus was parked at the side of the road and I could see people relieving them self at the side of road towards the gorge, it had been almost 9 hours since we had left New Delhi. The bus driver and conductor called it night and were replaced with a new driver and conductor .
After a break of almost 20 minutes and a cigarette later we were again moving , and I could see through the windshield that it was drizzling and I could feel the temperature drop. At around 5 am we stopped again to refuel our bus and dawn had just broken and what I saw was indescribable, I almost felt like crying but somehow I gathered all my emotions and was looking at the flawless beauty of the nature, and the clean mountain air, which was a much needed break from the highly polluted air of Delhi. We were moving again before I could even comprehend as to what just happened. At almost 7 am we reached Bhunter. It also home to an airfield where commercial planes land from a few select states in India. Air travel to Bhunter is remarkably expensive as it is not that frequented.
It was the second day of our trip and after a cup of refreshing tea at Bhunter we started our journey towards Kasol. The roadways bus goes till Bhunter and from there onwards you have to take a local bus to Kasol. The distance between Bhunter and Kasol is mere 30 kms, but due the mountainous terrain it takes almost 3 hrs to reach Kasol. The bus fare 50 rupees and I suggest that you grab onto a seat quickly because a ticket is not a surety that you will get a seat.
So after another 3 hours we finally reached Kasol , the journey took us total of 17 hours from New Delhi to Kasol. The first impression Kasol gives you is that that it looks more like Sarojini Market than a quiet and quaint town. There are lots all people and it is bustling. Not lived up to what I thought it would be.
Delhi to Kasol Trip budget to Chalal Trek
So the bus from Bhunter drops you at the bridge in Kasol and when you get down you can see shops selling from clothes to day to day use items. We had a tea at one of the shacks along with some veg maggi, then began the hunt for accommodation, we searched everywhere but to our despair we found none , so we all decided that we will try to find a room in Chalal. Chalal is around 30 minutes away from Kasol, it was tiresome because after such a long journey we had to walk with all our baggage for 30 minutes more through a unleveled dirt road.
So before we could reach the dirt road we had to cross the mighty Paravati River, the only way to cross it was a old , rickety suspension bridge, such was the state that it is advisable to cross it one person a time. Anyhow we crossed the bridge and began our way towards Chalal. After trekking for 30 mins we reached a lodge which goes by the name of "Nirvana Cafe", and to our luck there were rooms available there. The manager was asking for Rs.1000 , but after some talk and little bit of bargaining he reduced the rent to Rs. 800 per night to which we agreed. 15 minutes later we were in our room.
The room were spacious along with carpeted floor , big airy windows , curtains , a ceiling fan and a good spacious bathroom with a geyser. The linens were okay. But we had not the energy nor could take the risk to ask for better linen, so around 1 pm we all took a rest, and my God it was so relaxing such that I had not felt like this about sleep in a long time. My eyes opened around late evening and I had some food as I was famished ,we ate at the restaurant run by the same lodge manager, the food was good albeit it was little expensive, but I didn't paid any heed to the price as I had my hunger to be satisfied.
As the day progressed from evening to night, and such that I lost track of time as I was smitten by the beauty, and quietness of the area. Believe me the calmness of the area was a much needed diversion from all the noises we are used to in the city life. All of us gathered in a single room and started to party, some of us had some booze with us , so I had some of it and then after a few hours of gossiping and conversation we all retired to our rooms as we were really tired from the previous night journey.
As I became comfortable under the warm blanket that they provided, I happened to look out of the windows and saw the night sky, and for a moment I stopped thinking and soaked in the view that I was observing, the sky was clear as glass, and I could see the stars , the clearest that I have ever seen them. The night sky looked like a black canvas dotted with millions of white shinning spots, it was like a perfect spot for person who is interested in star gazing.
So after having a good night's sleep, the third day was upon us. I woke up around 6 am ,and was loitering in the courtyard of the lodge , the scene was such that the sun had yet not struck the hill in front of our lodge, but gradually over time the sun rays were coming from the left from the side of another hill , and gradually light up the hill front of me.
Delhi to Kasol for a little Walk among the Woods
Anyhow after all of this had transpired , I left for Kasol for a little walk among the woods, and also give my situation report to my mother as my cell phone was getting weak reception in Chalal. The walk through the woods towards Kasol was so different, bleaks of sunlight entering the forest through the tree canopy and hitting the forest floor, making it seem like there some jewel embedded in the forest floor. So I reach Kasol and enter an eatery, there was not much on the menu as it early morning and the food was being prepared, so I had a wholesome plate of french toast along with a piping hot cup of tea.
Then after giving information about me to my mother I left for Chalal, by the time I had reached the lodge most of the group was awake and were having breakfast . So while this all was going on ,we were discussing as to how to spend the day and all of us agreed to go to Rasol( Rasol is another village much up and further than Chalal)
By noon we left for Rasol, the road was unpaved and unleveled, it was steep dirt road with boulders sticking out of the road, the distance between Chalal and Rasol is not more than 5 kms, but it took us around 4 hours to traverse the distance, on the way we stopped near a area where there was an accumulation of fast flowing water, we took some pictures and continued further, as I reached the midway point of the trek to Rasol and looked back I could see Chalal, not the like big imposing area but more like a small dot or area as we mostly see in the maps.
Delhi to Kasol trip to Rasol Trek
After 4 hours of walking ,we finally reached Rasol, the village has nothing great to offer instead of the breathtaking view it offers of the valley and mountains. The village to me seemed more like a community dependent on farm animals and their products. What I saw that most of the population was smoking Charas, and you really need to bear all the cold and seclusion of the area. We all enter an eatery and order our respective food, we felt like making a stopover at Rasol, but alas we couldn't as we had already paid two days rent in advance to the lodge manager in Chalal.
After we had our food we left for Chalal, it was getting dark and we had to reach our destination before it got dark. But we couldn't do it, by the time we covered the 3/4th road it was already dark , so we switched on our torches and started to make way to our rooms, all the insects were attracted to the bright white light and were circling and flying in front of the torches.
But nevertheless we reached our rooms, we all took a few hours of sleep and also stretched our legs, we all had our dinner and then sat in the courtyard and soak in all that we had felt and observed in our trek Rasol and back.
On our fourth day we all decided that we will explore Kasol, so in around 11 am we all left for Kasol, after a little bit of window shopping we came upon a place, it was a forest area at the base of a hill with a river inlet flowing beside it with goes and joins the Parvati river further down. We did not partake in any strenuous activity but were relaxing and listening to music, we saw some people in the area, we exchanged our pleasantries and moved on ahead. We all were so busy in relaxing that we could not understand how 6 hours of time flew by.
Kasol Cafe Stone Garden Inn Dinner
So we had our dinner in Kasol itself, Stone Garden Inn to be more precise, the food was good , the ambiance was also good and the food was worth its price. After having the dinner we made our way towards our rooms and to be honest it was different kind of feels to walk the road towards Chalal in night. We were telling ghost stories and were trying to scare the life out of our friends. We reached our room and retired for the night.
So before we could breathe it in the final day of trip was upon us, so with a heavy heart we started packing our backs and everything, and around 12 pm we left our lodge, on the way to Kasol we stopped by the river bed and rested for a few minutes before continuing our journey to Kasol. On reaching Kasol we had our lunch and I took some photos of Kasol and also bought a Kurta from one of the shops.
We got onto to a bus to Bhunter and after bumpy 3 hour ride later we all reached Bhunter. Our bus was to arrive 6 pm , fortunately, we all had enough money to book a Volvo, at around 6:15 the bus arrived , and after settling on our seats I came to realize that the trip to Kasol has come to an end and it is time to me to go back to my usual routine, I was thankful to God for such an amazing trip and wished that I could visit again. Lost in these thoughts I fell asleep and by the 10th of July I was home to my city New Delhi.