Alex in Kasol, India, July 18–Aug 3, 2011

This is what a young tourist said about Kasol:    “…Kasol is a small village in parvati valley, himanchal pradesh.You wont find kasol in lonely planet travel guides or discovery channel . The village is too modest for them. Inspite of being a tourist place kasol lacks attractions of a typical indian destinations. No horde of people walking on the streets. Bollywood tracks are whacked by jimmy hendrix and for the first time in india you will find dosa, matar paneer or butter chicken absent or struggling behind lasagnas, pastas, hummus and cinnamon rolls…  Anyoneone who has visited kasol has an interesting story to tell and that is how I first came to know about the place.Its about 300km from the city of chandigarh.The road is motor-able and good with some bad patches.But once you cross the plains it is pure joy. Most of tourist are polarized by more popular manali, shimla, mcleodganj and dalhousie.So what are left are mostly backpackers, bikers, mountaineers and potheads.This is himanchal but apples are a rare sight here.This is cannabis country.The smell of cannabis leaves is unmistakeable in the whole parvati valley.You will find why “weed” is called weed, its on the both side of road,mountain and your hotel…  Among the native indian population you will find lots of Israelis and germans.The local bookshop has more hebrew than english. If you are a person who likes to mix with the locals you will have a great time here.Native and foreigners both are very eager to share stories.But a meaningful conversation is little hard to find because half of the village is high on weed.The village thrives on drug trade and because of a remote location the business is booming… The prices for things are cheap, restaurants with chill-out music and things are surprisingly hassle free. The police, for the most part, are nowhere to be found. Tourists happily toke away on joints in the restaurants and cafes, dreadlocked holy men (sadhus) puff away at clay chillum pipes while waiting at the bus-stop, and in the evenings, Israelis approximate the sadhu smoking ceremonies with the shouts of “Boom Shiva”, albeit with strongly un-Indian accent. All in all kasol is a laid back place where time loses its pace and it brings out the subliminal thoughts which get lost in a mad crazy city life…”

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