During the long Dussehra weekend, we materialized the idea of going on a couples bike trip. The kids were safely handed over to grandparents. This was our second trip on the bike; the first was a very short one-night trip from Chandigarh to Kasauli. That was totally an unplanned one and during that time the elder daughter was tucked between the two of us. This time we wanted to do it all alone sans kids and hubby wanted to travel through the villages of ‘Parvati Valley’.
According to Wikipedia, Parvati Valley is situated in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. From the confluence of the Parvati River with the River Beas, the Parvati Valley runs eastwards, through a steep-sided valley from the town of Bhuntar, in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in Northern India. They say it is one of the safest valleys of Himachal Pradesh. This valley has many small villages and each village is unique in its own way.
An unplanned journey is the most adventurous ~ #DigiMother
During the 4 days trip, we covered these destinations: Kullu, Kasol, and Tosh. And this travel itinerary was not at all planned. We reached Bhuntar from Delhi by Volvo. I booked Volvo tickets through redBus.in, my booking experience was good with them. But the problem was with the bus service. I wanted to book an HRTC bus but there was some technical issue in booking it so as suggested by the customer care executive of redBus, I booked a private Volvo and they took more than the usual time to reach the destination. So in future, one thing I am sure is — not booking a private bus and do all the bookings at least two days before. The adventure began the moment we stepped out of home and headed to board the Delhi metro to catch the bus from the boarding point. That was a Friday evening so the rush was expected and had we waited for our turn to enter the metro, we could have missed the bus. So, we booked a cab and we are truly thankful to sardaarji for dropping us on the pick-up point on time. He was a pro with the routes. He drove through the less crowded roads so that we could catch the bus.
During our bus journey, our driver took only two breaks; one for the dinner and the other for morning tea around 9 o’clock. We did not have anything in the dinner because we ate aloo parathas before leaving home. We just sipped on the ‘kullad wali chai’ and clicked some pics there and enjoyed the chilly breeze of the night. Likewise, in the morning also, we did not have any solid breakfast because we wanted to have a good meal after reaching our first destination. We just munched on some chips and had our respective drinks. During our bus travel, we played some games and searched for some good eating points in Kullu. The plan which we made in the bus was to reach Bhuntar, hire a bike, reach Kullu for lunch, cover some spots there and after 3-4 hours head to Kasol.
Day 1 at Bhuntar and Kullu during our Parvati valley trip
On 5th Oct.’19, we reached Bhuntar at around 1.30 PM. We looked for some point from where we can hire a bike. So we looked around and saw many travel and tourist shops around the bus stand. We reached one of them; talked and booked the bike for 3 days. We gave him the money and hubby’s original id as security of the vehicle. Bhuntar is one small town of Himachal Pradesh under district Kullu. It basically is the connecting point of travel destinations like Kullu, Kasol, Manikaran, Barshaini. It also has Kullu-Manali airport.
From Bhuntar, Kullu is almost 15 km away and the bike trip from Bhuntar to Kullu was very beautiful for us. We both filled the tank from the nearby petrol pump and began our journey. One fellow at the petrol pump was kind enough to grant our wish of clicking our couple pic on the bike.
We saw the scenic beauty of Kullu with our naked eyes. I saw many plant nurseries and some rafting and camping places on the way. Kullu seemed quite developed to me. We wanted to have a good lunch at some nice place. One of the locals suggested that visit ‘Akhara Bazaar’ in Kullu. There you will find many food options. So, I set this as our destination in my google maps. Google also suggested ‘Sapna Bakery’ as one of the most popular eating joints in that bazaar. But it turned out to be a small snack shop, the sitting space was quite small. So we moved 2.5 km further and found this awesome restaurant: ‘Dev Dham’ — its location and the food were awesome. It’s situated on the riverside and you can sit and relax with some mouth-licking wholesome meal. We ordered rajma-rice and roti-mix veg. The quantity and taste of the food were value for money. And the service was also quick. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who plans to visit Kullu in future.
After having lunch, we headed to Kasol via Bhuntar. We followed the same route through which we reached Kullu; what we should have done was to open the maps and chose the shortest route suggested by the google maps. Kullu to Kasol is almost 1.5 hrs drive and both the places are almost 40 km distant to each other. We reached Kasol at around 6 PM in the evening. It was overcrowded with the young age tourist as it was a long Dussehra weekend. So, we did not find any accommodation in the popular hotels located in the centre point of Kasol. So, we chose one family guest house which was a little away from the centre but I was more than happy with it. Nice clean couple room with a good bathroom. On the ground lived the owners and they have some guest rooms on the ground floor and first floor for the tourists. The ambience of the place was positive and overall the place was quite open. From the terrace, one could see the river Beas and enjoy the picturesque landscapes and pristine beauty of Parvati valley. Kasol is quite popular among youngsters for its hippie culture, cafes and bakeries. As it was already night, so we ate vegetable thukpa, momos in dinner and post that we relished the hot chocolate cake with hot coffee. That was a perfect night for both of us!
Day 2 at Tosh – a village situated in Parvati valley in Himachal Pradesh
The next day, we headed for Tosh after having breakfast. Tosh village is located at about 2,400 metres (7,900 ft) in elevation on a hill near Kasol in the Parvati Valley. It’s about 20 km from Kasol and we reached there in almost 2 hrs as we took 2-3 breaks during our travel. First, we stopped at Manikaran for 10-15 minutes only; we did not enter the gurdwara, we just spent some time outside looking at the massive Beas river. We had visited Manikaran before also with the kiddo and a friend’s family. The second stop we took here:
Mesmerised by the green view in the background, we kept looking at it and clicked some pictures here.
The last stop we took was at Barshaini. From Barshaini, there are two small roads – one towards Kheerganga trek and the other towards Tosh village. We had one bowl of Maggi noodles and drank on a soft drink and clicked some pics with Parvati Hydel Project in the background. The river water looked green and so clean from above.
Tosh village is just 3 km from this point but the road condition is not good. Some people trek to the village from Barshaini. Our plan was to travel back to Kasol on the same day only. So we did not carry our whole luggage along. We just packed some essentials. But as soon as we reached the place I asked hubby to spend one night here. Not because I fell in love with Tosh at first sight. It’s coz my thighs were paining.
At the starting point where all the vehicles are parked, it looked like a cluster of houses and hotels. You cannot take any vehicle in as there is no road further. You walk and hike in the mountains to reach from one point to the other in the village. It was a first-time experience for me. Tosh is comparatively economical than Kasol and there you will find some hotels and cheap guest houses both at the entrance and far end of the village.
We moved into the village and looked for some accommodation. There is one temple at the beginning where some locals were performing some ritual when we were crossing the temple.
We figured out one hotel in the centre of the village but the husband wanted to explore further and choose something from where we could see the Parvati river. We went in and moved further. We were exploring and going farther from the crowded area; we reached a place where it seemed like a good camping sight but when we reached the place we saw no one was there. Vacant camps and an apple tree with a chair under it was the best part about that place. We were only two and no one else was around. For some time, we feared and rushed immediately after plucking two apples from the tree. That was an experience to remember! There you will find many apple orchards; it is a big source of income for the people here. Apple trees look very near to you but when you actually reach near the tree, you can hardly pick any fruit from the tree because of the distance.
It was almost 6 PM in the evening and it started drizzling. So we decided to finalize the accommodation asap and we zeroed in on one decent looking guest house to spend the night and it was approximately 10 minutes away from the crowded area of the village. This is only when the darkness took over the village that the owner smilingly asked us please tell me what would you like to have for dinner so that I can do the preparations now as light is not available in this area. You will have to spend the night by lighting the candles. Hubby and I both looked at each other in surprise and laughed for an adventurous night ahead!
Day 3: Tosh to Kasol day trip in the Parvati valley
We woke up the next day, got fresh and went out to roam around in the village. We met a group of 3 boys who were plucking the apples from an apple tree. They politely asked us if we need apples for breakfast and we nodded yes and took 4 apples from them. We went on further and then returned back and met them again. One of the boys stopped when we were crossing each other. He tried offering me one more apple but I refused but he was insisting so husband had to interrupt. Somehow we managed to skip that situation gracefully. Then I realized and thanked God for overcoming any unwanted unpleasant experience. You see mountains are beautiful and mesmerizing but it’s our duty to stay protected and vigilant all the time to stay safe. We had parathas, sandwich and coffee in one of the cafes; checked out from the guest house and drove back to Kasol. Driving down the mountains is always easy and faster in comparison to climbing up at it. While coming back to Kasol, we just took one break at Manikaran. There we ate bun-chole and chole-tikki which one won’t find it in Kasol. That’s the speciality of Manikaran!
Though we had reached around 1 PM and we could have reached Bhuntar to catch the night’s Volvo to Delhi. But we wanted to just chillax the whole day in Kasol so we stayed back and extended our trip by one more day. On the next day was Dussehra so we thought of reaching Kullu again to witness its Dussehra celebration.
Day 4: Kasol to Bhuntar via Kullu
We had to board the Volvo at 8 PM from Bhuntar. So, we left the guest house at around 12 PM and as planned reached Kullu to see the Dussehra celebration. Per Wiki, Kullu Dussehra is the renowned International Mega Dussehra festival observed in the month of October in Himachal Pradesh state in northern India. Wherein more than 4-5 lac people visit the fair from all across the globe. It is celebrated in the Dhalpur maidan in the Kullu valley.
Here’s a glimpse of Kullu Dussehra:
We wanted to get down from the bike and become part of the celebration but we had bike and luggage. Getting parking was not easy; the traffic was diverted so we just passed through the roads of Kullu and caught a glimpse of the Dussehra celebration there. It was 4 PM already and we were hungry so we stopped at Valentino Cafe in Kullu. It’s a popular cafe and they serve good quality food and drinks. We ate baked vegetables and pizza and drank cold coffee. We were full and ready for the journey ahead. We reached Bhuntar at 6 PM and handed over the bike. We still had 2 hours to travel around. So, we travelled through the Bhuntar town. Its main market is quite big and developed. In its fruit market, you will find an amazing variety of fruits. We bought Japanese fruit from there. My biggest achievement during the trip was that I did not shop anything during the whole trip.
It was an experience to remember and soon we will be going back to Parvati valley to cover its villages like Malana and for Kheerganga trek.
Have you been to Parvati valley?
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