Himachal Pradesh- A smoker’s paradise or a lot more?

Himachal, an Indian state lying in the northern regions has the most picturesque views and is home to beautiful holiday spots. With the internet boom, it has become famous or rather infamous for hashish that is cultivated in different parts of the state due to the tropical conditions and weather. It also happens to have one of the best hashish in the world. Well, this post isn’t about that, it is more about the places you can cover if you are planning a trip to Himachal and have ten days in hand. The following piece of this article will make it easy for you to choose the places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. You could pick few of them if you don’t have that many days at hand. 


COURTESY: https://www.tourmyindia.com/blog/holidays-in-himachal-pradesh-destinations-that-attract-traveller/

1) Tosh Village
Located at a height of 7,874 feet, Tosh village was a very traditional and ancient village with inhabitants who were relatively conservative. However, over time, the village has transformed itself into a hippie colony. Walking by the River Tosh, you can start the 9-kilometre trek to the Tosh Village from Kasol (Parvati Valley). On reaching the village, you will see  peaks covered in snow. You might also get a chance to look at the Himalayan brown and black bears that reside in the region. Just while you are taking in all the beauty, it will start getting dark and the stars will start peeping out. This is one of the best views and we suggest you stay back to see these. A starry night under the night sky is all that it takes to teleport you to heaven. You can take a bus from Bhuntar to Kasol followed by a 45-minute car ride to Marikaran and Barsheni Road to reach Tosh village.


COURTESY: https://www.eventshigh.com/detail/delhi/12adbdf4bc1e873172238a92a2324e22-kasol-tosh-kutla-village-trek

2) Parvati Valley and Parvati River-
The Parvati Valley has long been known for its widespread cultivation of hashish (charas) which gives the valley a hippie vibe laden with lots of reasonable stay options and an increased influx of International travellers. You might also hear the locals spinning stories about God’s arrival and abode in the Valley. A serpent shaped waterfall called the Rudra-Nag was said to be Lord Shiva holy meditation spot. If you are one for wildlife spotting, the Pin Valley National Park is inhabited by a sizeable wildlife population including snow leopards. You will be able to find good stay options at the Valley that are quite pocket-friendly, too. A river in the Parvati Valley, the Parvati River is also known as Parbati River, among the locals. Representing Goddess Parvati, the river gushes down an earthly plane and gives you postcard perfect pictures with green landscapes that cover the sides of the Parvati river. The sound of the rushing river is definitely mesmerising and is something you are going to take back with you.

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COURTESY: https://www.holidify.com/blog/kasol-and-parvati-valley-trek-circuit/  

3) Kheerganga Trek-
The Kheerganga Trek is one of the primary tourist attractions when you are in Himachal, especially for 10 days. While you might see a few warnings and notices on your trek uphill, it is a relatively easy trail at a height of 3000 metres if you workout regularly or have strong leg muscles. People who don’t workout that often, might find it difficult, but it is totally worth it. When you reach the peak, you will be delighted to witness scenic views, quaint cafes and a naturally occurring hot water spring. If all this beauty is not letting you budge, you could choose to stay back and spend the night here, the locals usually help out with accommodation. Stating the obvious but wear appropriate trekking shoes and start your trek early so you don’t have to rush to the top and hurry back down.

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COURTESY: https://www.eventshigh.com/detail/delhi/aa387ae685f150b6a32a1e15e69f0a6c-astrocamping-at-kheerganga-kasol

4) Chalal Village near Parvati river-
Something that a lot of travellers tend to miss out on is Chalal, a neighbouring village near river Parvati. Chalal village is not a very well known place and does not make it to many travel itineraries but that’s what makes it so special. Being a lesser known place, Chalal is relatively untouched and is just about a 30-minute easy-to-moderate walk from Kasol. The village is adorned with pictures and hangings of Bob Marley all over, from graffiti to flags to Bob Marley merchandise. Best known for trance parties, this place also has some resorts, outdoor camps and food stops. The village inhabitants make a living from the money they make through tourist visits and are friendly. All in all, Chalal is a good idea if you’re looking at something that’s scenic but is not very difficult (in terms of trekking).

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COURTESY: http://diary.born2c.com/villages-parvati-valley-kasol-tosh-malana-chalal/

5) Malana-
Malana is known to grow the best quality of hashish. The famous Malana Cream consists of strained Cannabis which has a smell that you can identify even if you are miles away. A very odd thing about the locals living in Malana is that they steer clear of any kind of physical contact with outsiders meaning, they always keep a safe distance from tourists or outsiders, including shopkeepers, who will ask you to leave the money on the table instead of directly handing it over to them. It is a belief that the locals of Malana are descendants of Alexander the Great and this is also quite debatable with different people giving different reasons for them not believing in having outside physical contact. Malana is known to be one of the most secretive towns and the most well-kept secret of the Himachal region. When in Malana, make sure you go trekking to Chakka, visit Kinnaur Kailash and the Roghi village.

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COURTESY: https://www.tripoto.com/trip/malana-himachal-s-greatest-lie-to-the-world-56a870829193d

6) Kalpa-
Kalpa is about 260 kilometres away from Shimla on the old Hindustan Tiber Road at an altitude of 2759 metres, above mean sea level. When in Kalpa, visit the Narayan-Nagani temple, a classic example of interiors done up by local artists. Next, visit the Hu-Bu-Ian-Car Gompa, a Buddhist Monastery at Kalpa which is said to have been founded and established by Rinchensang-Po. Another very legendary place near Kalpa is the foot of the Kinner Kailash. The 6050 meters tall Kinner Kailash is known to be the winter home of Lord Shiva and has the best views when you visit early in the morning.

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COURTESY: https://hpkinnaur.nic.in/tourist-place/kalpa/

Insider Tips:

1) Be cautious with strangers
There have been a few cases of travellers going missing (mostly solo travellers) without leaving any traces of their being or even their luggage. This shouldn’t stop you from there because those instances are extremely rare, but it always good to be aware of the place and ensure we’ve covered all our bases to avoid bad situations. Do not get over friendly with people claiming to be Godmen or venture into unknown and dark woods. Man is only a minute spec when seen in comparison to the mighty Himalayas.

2) Keep your documents safe
Keep soft copies of your documents and carry your I.D. card wherever you go. This will save you from any unnecessary problems and is also a way that helps people in helping you, in case of any mishap.

3) Eat, Sleep, Rave but don’t repeat
Known as the land of hashish (charas), people tend to get over ambitious about these activities. However, don’t keep large quantities with you as there are police inspectors on duty on the Bhuntar road (Kasol), waiting to check travellers. If you are found with greater quantities, they might take strict action against you, so be careful. Also, don’t give lifts to completely random people as they might be peddlers and could get you into deep trouble.

Keep a sufficient amount of cash with you, as Himachal is not a largely commercialized place. Some of the ATMs here might not work or might not have enough cash. Kasol has only one ATM. If this ATM is out of service, you will be stranded without liquid money.

5) Emergency numbers for travellers
In a span of 10 days, it is possible that you might encounter some problems. While we are all aware of how important this is, we often forget to keep a list of local emergency numbers, handy. So here’s a list for you right here:
Police – 100
Ambulance – 102
District Control Room – 1077
Integrated Police/ Fire Station/ Medical Services – 108

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COURTESY: http://www.himachaltourism.org/how-to-reach.html

Best time to visit Himachal:
The summer months of May and June are usually the most preferred months but a lot of people also love visiting the place in the winter months that is, from November to February as the weather gets chilly and pleasant around these months.

You are going to create a bunch of memories with lots of scenic pictures when you go to the Himachal. Happy and Safe tripping (no puns intended)!

What's your take on this?