Travel has always been the other side of my fair coin of adventure and fun. Where one side is occupied by books and fantasies, the other side has always been about travel and globe-trotting. Recently, when I heard the calling of the mountains loud and clear to my soul, I realised it was time I packed my bags and went out to answer that calling. So I decided to go on a road trip to Kasol with my friends.
I for one never have been on a road trip before. So this first-ever experience of driving my car all the way to this beautiful destination atop this very massive hill was as much a frenzy as it was thrilling. Driving on the terrain is one thing, but hauling your car up to the hills is another situation altogether. The city roads are nothing compared to the mountain ones and the expertise it takes to drive a car on hills is medal-worthy!
To my concern, I had 3 other driver friends with me so that eased my worries a bit.
And the journey begins…
We started our journey at 5 in the evening on a fine spring Thursday. It was a 4 day trip excluding the travel time which approximately took 18 hours for us to reach the heart of Kasol.
The journey started with a lot of excitement and singing but as the hours passed, I must tell you the energy dimmed to a fair share.
Sitting for prolonged hours in a tight space is no joke. We were 6 people travelling and our car was big enough to carry 8: KIA, to some relief at least.
I must emphasise the fact when they say the journey is much more than the destination, they were not exaggerating! I was astounded by how much I enjoyed my journey on this road trip. The occasional food and washroom breaks, the never-ending chit chat, games and music, the constant struggle of not falling asleep on the front passenger seat, and then the beauty of nature that befalls on any road leading to any hill station. It is simply breathtaking. I can’t help but wonder how intricate this world is and how beautifully God has crafted this very thing we call nature.
On our second day, we woke up to the sound of the Parvati river flowing alongside the road. The view I say I cannot simply put into words. Remember those sceneries we used to make as a child with little huts in front of hills with the sun in between the peaks? It was exactly that! Little huts with cattle roaming around. People busy doing their business in those early hours and the sun, gods the Sun felt like a mighty force I have never felt in any city I have lived in. I could actually feel the warmth of the sun on my face and cheeks as if it were literally kissing me and not burning at the same time.
We reached Kasol at 1 in the afternoon. Checked into our hotels and then after a while went out touring. First, we went to Chalal, which is a small trek 40 minutes from the Kasol market. It’s a charming and peaceful place with many cafes to spend some quality time with friends and family.
After that, we visited the Kasol market and shopped our way out. There are many amazing shops in Kasol where you can buy goods only available in the hills. In the evening we decided to party and got ourselves at a rave party happening just a few blocks from our hotel.
The next day which is the 2nd day of our trip, we visited Manikarna. It is a very popular Gurudwara just a few miles away from Kasol. The place is always jammed packed but is maintained so incredibly by the authorities. The hot showers of Manikarna are famous for their healing properties, so we decided to get in and get healed. It was a wondrous experience.
Trek to Kheerganga
For the next 2 days, we went on trekking to Kheerganga, which is a 12 km trek from Kasol. As easy as it sounds, it was not. Trekking is not a child’s play and one should pay much heed before deciding to go on a trek.
But no matter the gruesome walk and limbs almost falling off experience, I would never regret the decision of going to Kheerganga and more so I actually started liking trek a lot more than 2 days back. Gosh, the experience is so surreal! Walking on the edge of the mountain with the Parvati River flowing hundreds of feet down with such passion. The hilly breeze caressing the skin and the Sun too. The feeling when we finally reached the top and the view from there! The bonfire and drinks, tons and tons of it. It’s just amazing how the mountains bring out the best in people. Kheerganga you will stay with me for a very long time.
After coming back from the trek, we collected our things from the hotel and drove back to the city we call home.
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