Parvati Valley in India’s Himachal Pradesh region was a total surprise. I had heard much about this area, mainly from pleasant Israeli travellers who spoke very fondly of the region. Indeed the positive sentiments were not misplaced and further still the region was much more diverse then I first realised. Essentially the Parvati valley is a series of small villages near the main town of Kasol encapsulating a mystical never ending valley thick in forest. Travellers rock up to Kasol find a guess house bunker down for a bit before venturing of to explore the abounding villages. Leaving the bulk of your luggage at a trusty guest house and taking a well packed day pack is a good plan of attack before walking, trekking or busing it to which ever village takes your fancy . Each village has its own charm and unique views of the valley as you meander your way through beautiful scenic wondrous mountain side.
A 30 minute public bus from Kasol started your journey to Pulga. The bus travelling such narrow roadways there was a second driver advising the main driver at the front of the bus, not by steering wheel but by loud whistle. His various amounts of room to operate were sounded by loud piercing whistles from the assistant at the back. The small town of Pulga nestled itself in and around a large pine tree forest and was reverently referred to as the ‘Fairy Forest’. I did not see any fairies there but there was certainly the remains of many a ‘pshy trance party’ which I’m sure would have evoked fairy like visuals amongst most patrons. Easy enough mistake to make.
Then there was Kalga up there with the most tranquil, relaxing places to find in the region/country. Only six or so eloquent spread out guest houses nestles themselves through fertile farm land notable rich in apple trees and herbs. The guest house owner would wack wood to the brim in the tandoori oven and set you up with a never ending cup of piping hot chi. If it got too comfortable for you inside you could always retreat to a hammock overlooking the valley and immerse your self in a nice book.
The cherry on the cake undoubtedly was the unforgettable village of Kheer Ghanga. Its not often I cant speak. Sure I might be lost for words but ill ramble nonsense in a indecipherable languages if I have to until sense is made of it all. But once here even manic dribble was unavhievable. It took a four hour walk from Kasol through lush forest to finally reach a small mountain climb to reach this magical place. What made this place so special, apart from the truly breathtaking walk to get there, was the massive hot spring at the top being serviced by piping hot water straight from the Himalayan Mountains. The view of the valley and mountains sitting strongly rooted opposite whilst relaxing in super-hot mountain water was enough to make one reconsider the positives of showering on a regular basis.
Returning to Kasol after a trip to a village was nice also evoking feelings of returning to somewhere familiar and homely. Our guest house owner, a former army man called Neggy, would always welcome you back with a beaming smile and take genuine interest in your travels. Then there was the puppy Parvati!
Early on it became finitely clear that the Parvati Valley is not a place you can travel to but just one time. India on the whole, has this effect on me to but the PArvati valley is an absolute must see for anyone travelling the country.I implore you dear reader come to Parvati Valley and see paradise first hand.