A day in Kasol | Travel Story

After a fantastic gastronomical journey in Manali, we took an early morning cab to Kasolthe mini Israel in India. We left Old Manali with a mixed bag of emotions. I was looking forward to exploring Kasol, but was sad to leave Old Manali. And in order to feel better, I decided to stay up during the journey. I wanted to feel the fresh air, look at apple orchards, lush green mountains and soak myself in the balmy sunlight. We stopped briefly, for some spicy and ever comforting Aloo Paranthas. It was around 11 AM that we reached Kasol.

Aloo-Parantha
Aloo-Parantha

Suddenly the fresh air turned trippy, the apple orchards were replaced with German Bakeries and I could no longer feel the balmy sunlight. Situated on the banks of Parvati River, Kasol is abound with Israeli travellers. Such is their presence that locals and restaurateurs have embraced their food, language and culture like their own. You get to see Shakshukas, Zatar naan, msabbha, falafel and tahina, eggplants with mayonnaise practically on every menu.

Since my siblings and I were only there for a day, we wanted to make the most of it. As we wandered around, we saw some people smoking pot with the Sadhus, while others had Sheesha. Trance music was resonating through air, at 3 in the afternoon. It was pretty evident by now that, this was one place where the party goes on non-stop, all day all night long. And if you wish to enjoy Kasol, you better relish the hippie vibe.

However, we were hungry and wanted to relish some good food. During our fairly brief stay, we had the opportunity to eat at a few places. So, here’s my pick:

Moon Dance CaféGerman Bakery

Hot Chocolate - Moon Dance Cafe
Hot Chocolate – Moon Dance Cafe

Going by the hippie vibe of the place, everyone here seemed to be not in the mood to do anything, including the staff. Fortunately, there’s always one guy who is given the responsibility of “looking after the guests”. We managed to order for some juices and coffee. Even though the place wasn’t in a great shape, the Coffee and Watermelon-Papaya juice were really nice. They have an extensive menu with many Italian dishes, besides loads of Israeli delicacies. Just besides their seating, they have a counter for Pancakes/Waffles and a German Bakery, from where you can buy escargots, cinnamon rolls, brownies and many such desserts.

Must Have: Chocolate Brownie, Juices and Macaroni.

Stone Garden Café

Lafa---Stone-Garden-Cafe
Lafa—Stone-Garden-Cafe

It was 3 O’clock in the afternoon, when we went to Stone Garden café. One can hear the trippy trance music from miles away. The psychedelic set up and neon colours, just teleported us to another time. The smoky, trippy air can really get to you, in both good and bad ways. Either you enjoy it or not, you can’t escape it. We ordered a Chicken Lafa and swayed to with the beats of trance music.

Must Have: Chicken Lafa, Sheesha.

Evergreen

Falafel-Evergreen Cafe
Falafel-Evergreen Cafe

Clearly the most popular café in Kasol, Evergreen enjoys the maximum number of Israelis visitors. Comprising of Tahina, Hummus, Shakshuka, Falafel and Grilled Mashed Eggplant, the menu here is huge. The outdoor garden seating, facing the Parvati valley is extremely popular with their customers. Even sadhus visit the café frequently and despite the language barrier, they spend a lot of time with the Israeli travellers.

Must Have: Falafel, Hummus with Zatar Naan, Grilled eggplant and Chocolate Oreo Shake

Shambu momo Corner

Chicken-Momo---Shambhu's-Momo-Corner
Chicken-Momo—Shambhu’s-Momo-Corner

Right opposite to Moon Dance café, there’s a Momo Corner by the name of Shambhu Momo Corner. He sells fried and steamed momos with red chilli and yoghurt based dips. His momos are juicy and spicy. There’s a makeshift arrangement for seating, where you can sit and enjoy digging into the juicy momos. Shambhu’s owner also lets you have your own liquor, while you sit at his joint.

Must Have: Chicken Momos

Kasol is a unique place. It’s like an isle in the middle of mountains, where the mingling of local and alien cultures, has given birth to a new way of living.

Well, this is the list of places, I could visit in a day’s time. If you guys have been to Kasol and if I have missed out on going to some really awesome place, please let me know in the comments.

Till then…Bum Bum bholey!

Read travel stories from Manali here.

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