The Hash-tag Trail-Kasol
It is difficult to presume that tranquillity and peace can waft through the air. But the aura of Parvati Valley can change the very belief of you that life is not a cake walk. Parvati Valley is a perfect home to a wandering soul. The smell of burning herbs brewed with the crisp mountain air coursing through the otherwise unpolluted air makes the so called “Amsterdam of India”. The small, quintessential Himachal villages are no less than a wonder to behold. And “Kasol” is one such wonderland.
The last few days I spent exploring the infamous organic land of India, Kasol, which has now become a safe haven for lakhs of Jews who migrate here to India. Kasol is often referred to as 'Mini Israel'. A quaint village situated at the bank of river Parvati witnesses huge inflow of Israeli migrants who finish their compulsory 3-year military service in Israel and then escape to the Parvati Valley for peace and solace.
Such is their presence that locals have embraced their food, language, and culture like their own. You get to see shakshuka, falafel, lafa, pita, hummus etc. practically on every menu. The natives somehow have accepted them as locals and us as tourists. Almost all signages in Kasol are in Hindi and Hebrew.
The migrants fleeing to the valley may be different in their own stead, have one thing in common – the fondness for cannabis that is heavily cultivated here. Malana Cream, a kind of hashish, is one of the most sought after drugs here, and the reason for half the hippies who flock to the valley. This Israeli habitat is turning into a wonderland for cannabis users and traders alike; also sees many rave parties being conducted throughout the year. If you happen to experience one, you’ll witness them turn wilder with the passing of hours.
But once you are there before you make any presumptions about the hippie paradise, you ought to slow down and enjoy the slow pace of life in the valley. The beauty of this place lies beyond the hash-tag that it carries. The picturesque hills and mesmerising Parvati River are remarkable and will make you fall hopelessly and irretrievably in love with mountains!!