A Much Needed Work Break Trail In Himachal


It was in the month of October. I had just finished a 6 month long deal with a client and was in for a much-needed break. I needed an escape. That is when I decided to do a bit of research. I stumbled upon a cozy little homestay called Parvati River Cottage in Kasol. At a glance, I was convinced that this place would change my world. Travelling through the ranges in Himachal Pradesh, it isn't very uncommon for one to find themselves immersed in what Kullu has to offer. The Parvati Valley towards the east of Bhuntar in Kullu is a dream of its own. The steep valley climbs past village Baladhi which is accessible by a short 900 meters trek from Jari, which is essentially 8 kilometres before Kasol. It happens to be a hot tourist spot. The village, famous for its apples and plums, has twenty-two houses, one shop, and one home-stay. The village is a silent hum of activities one can ponder upon. Parvati River Cottage is a home-stay located in this hypnotizing location. Walking through two different trails that cover scenic apple orchards and small forest patches, one can reach Parvati River cottage being led by the yellow markings on the trek from Jari. This home-stay is offbeat and is a haven for those who wish to stay away from the roads and the market side. This place is pet-friendly and they house three pets who guide the guests accurately at all times. The pets are fondly called Simba, Panda, and Tiger. The home-stay offers some really tasty Indian-home-cooked food. Parvati River Cottage hosts many activities. The most dominant ones include nature walks. The home-stay, therefore, is the resting base for The Pini Village Trek which spans 5 kilometres in one stretch, which approximately takes about 4 hours of trekking time.

Pini Village is the neighbouring village which boasts of an immensely high altitude of 2300 meters. It houses many beautiful archaic temples along with some fine wooden Himachali architecture. Parvati River Cottage is also close to the famous Malana village, which is just an hour drive far from Jari and the drive passes through the Chowki village from where a trek for an hour is recommended in most cases. The Gurdwara at Manikaran has these hot-springs that are a welcome change for those who want to bathe in the serenity of nature and its formal glory. Closer still is the Shiva temple and hot-springs. This spot can be reached by the scenic Kheerganga Trek. To experience open skies and the never-ending horizon in all amazing with open plains and landscaped lawns, the right place would be the Magic Valley, which is again just an hour drive away from the homestay. Then, of course, there's Kasol where one would witness the hustle and bustle of cafes. It is the closest place for internet money exchange. Parvati River cottage surprises you with its Roof Top Cafes which overlooks the Parvati River.

For more of nature, there are 4 rooms one can choose from to have an absolute view of the river from the balcony. One does not have to think of air-conditioning in the calming atmosphere the place has to offer. Even though the days are warm during summer, it eventually begins to rain and gets cold in the night. One can sight a pair or more of foxes running around during mid-day within safe and close distances. With an excellent view of the forest, beautiful mountains and the Parvati River, this place is ideal for writers, photographers, artists and couples who can relax to the sound and view of nature. They also happen to offer budget rooms and shared baths for bag-packers who are on the run.

The cottage incidentally offers a 20% discount to those in the Indian Army and Air Forces. With all the right amenities, it makes for a perfect stay in case of adventure and peace, in the lap of nature. I spent a week at this place. There is a warm feeling that still lingers in me when I think of the time spent here. If I was to suggest any place for a little soul searching, Parvati River Cottage will be on top of my list.