RASOL – “A Less Explored Land”
Rasol At A Glance :
Himachal as we all know is land to one of the most beautiful travel destinations in India, & is very popular for its hippy culture and serene habitat.Rasol perched amidst beautiful mountain fences, gives you the most astonishing peeks into the Himalayas. Popular for it’s good food, people & let’s not forget about the famous Rasol Cream, in fact better than Malana Cream to some extent. Rasol can be reached only On Foot following a hike from Kasol .
Now Let’s Talk About HOW You’d Get There…???
> Wait..!! I’ll Tell You How i..
Day 1 :
At 7 am :
Started from Manali,
Looking for a local bus to bhuntar, was an easy-peasy.
Reached Bhuntar after 2 hours at around 9 am.
Ohh….this scorching sun is a trouble though..!!
I saw a bus to Kasol (so happy, didn’t have to wait for long).
But wait..!! What..?? there aren’t any seats (great). The conductor’s response.
Now i don’t have any other option, but to wait for the next bus.
So, taking advantage of that, I lit a Cigarette.
Standing aside While kissing my Cigarette, I see loads of people esp. Punjabis, trying to get on that bus.
Some of them, Talking to conductor. Some looking for a tiny space in the bus to fit themselves in somehow.
I was undisturbed, standing quietly under the shadow of a tree.
Suddenly, the conductor (who was discreetly observing me) came to me and asked politely.
Kaha Jana hai bhai ji..!!
Kasol : I replied humbly.
Khade khade chale jaaoge..!! he asked again.
Haa.. koi dikkat nahi hai : I replied..!!
And there we go..!! Hurray..(inside me) but i pretended, as if nothing of very great sort happened.
I was thankful to the conductor though.
OKAY..!! the bus starts and so starts my journey.
Soon after that, i was regretting my decision of not waiting for the next bus.
This bus wasn’t just crowded (i could’ve managed that) but more than overcrowded.
I was struggling to even breathe & scratching my back was a nightmare (Impatient me).
At 12 am :
I somehow managed to get down at Kasol (Without fainting).
That is when i realised, all the people in this bus were going to Manikaran since none of them got off the bus.
Sigh..!! Finally reached Kasol (never stops to amuse me).
After my lunch at Kasol, I asked for the direction to Rasol (Rashol) from the Dhaba guy (a boy).
He guided me with his hand pointing at the direction of rasol.
Now i was casually standing & watching people from the porch like area of the restaurant.
I see a tambour (dholak) seller, gradually moving towards me (examining me).
Haaalo brother…!!! He said while tapping the tambour (once).
And had stopped in front of me (trying to sell that tambour, under the impression that i am an israeli).
Little did he know what’s coming next..!!
I ignored him.
But he kept on insisting (in his best grammatical english).
Abe Indian hu yar..!!! i reluctantly replied.
STUNNED..!! as he was..!! looked at me again (examining me) and moved forward (embarrassed).
I was dying of laughter (inside me) imagining his facial expressions.
Ahh…!! Geez..!!that was hilarious. Now he’ll double check even an israeli before pitching for anything.
Okay.!! moving forward, I started my walk on the way i was guided.
All downhill till the bridge.
At 1:30 pm :
It’s on the left hand direction from the bridge, you’ve to walk.
I continued my walk just beside the parvati river.
Saw few Cafes & Huts on my way, but none of them were compelling enough.
So i walked on my path.
After hiking 600 to 700 metres, I see three boys (all of them, a bit restless).
Bro..!! Did you score any Hash..!! asked one of them, as i came near.
No…I don’t do Hash..!! I replied.
Okay..!! (Surprised he was)
But Do you know where can we get some..?? asked another one.
I have absolutely no idea… but i saw few Cafes back there (pointed at the direction i came from).
Are you going to Rasol..?? i asked, while taking off my reflectors.
Bhai aap Indian ho..!! (asked the boy with a “Big Eyes & Jaw Dropping expression” on his face).
STUNNED..!! he was, Just like that tambour seller..!!
Haan..!! i replied (pretending a Doubtful expression).
Though i had no doubts (hehehehe).
How good this day could be..?? (felt like a foreigner while walking with them).
Soon after that we came across a Small Cafe, Went inside & with a direct approach, they asked about hashish (Daredevils they were).
Well, that does wonders for them & they got what they wanted.
I get to relax and refill my water bottle from the Cafe.
Sitting i was, relaxing and taking down details (in my head) about rasol.
Watching them – Checking the Quality of the Hash & Rolling a joint later on.
Bro…this your water bottle..?? a voice from behind me confirming.
Yes..!! i said while turning back to catch a glimpse of the face.
A very Lean & Hippie kinda south indian guy, he was..!!
Can i drink some water..?? he asked…!!
Sure man..!! I replied & indulged back in concentrating on how they were rolling the Joint.
Chit-chatting like girls, i started speaking in hindi.
I see two surprised eyes staring at me (it was the south india guy).
STUNNED..!! he was too, Just like that tambour seller & those three boys..!!
I am not joking or fooling around…!! This really happened.
The same question with the same expression. (shooted at me by the south india guy).
Same answer, But only this time, we were all laughing about my experiences from that tambour seller till the south indian guy.
Felt HALO on my head..!!
Okay Jokes apart, but it was time to leave & continue my journey to Rasol.
After the gratitude, I left and continued on my way to rasol.
Oh Boy..!! (this was the happy part)
Now let’s talk reality.
At 3 pm :
After walking 100 metres, i came across more Cafes occupied by israelis (Real Israelis).
How far is Rasol from here(chalal outskirts)..??. I asked a local.
2½ hours..!! he replied…!!
It was 3:15 pm by then, i gave a Second thought to going to rasol, Since it was another 3 hours (according to my stamina).
I looked around, but chalal was not that compelling to me. So i decided to trek to Rasol.
Started vibrantly (as i knew i’ve to trek for another 3 hours).
Let me tell you, till Chalal it’s a Cake walk.
It’s after Chalal, when you start to realize that you’re walking on a very tough trail (but it’s too late then).
You have come more than half way to Rasol, and going back would not be wise now (wrong again).
I thought the same thing, & continued on my path (hoping that rasol is coming nearer with every passing step).
It is then, when i realised that the climb is becoming more & more steeper.
And, now i was taking breaks more frequently.
With the heavy load on my shoulder, it was becoming more difficult for me to continue.
So, i stopped & threw my bag (since i couldn’t take the load anymore).
I sat there for 10 min. and saw a local coming up the trail.
My eyes sparkling, as i haven’t noticed even a single trekker on my way after Chalal.
So now i ask him, How far is chahal..??
Abhi toh aadha rasta bhi par nhi kara hai aapne..!! (His reply shook me to the core).
I shot another question at him, Where are you headed..??
Rasol..!! He Replied..!!
Though i was exhausted already, But I still gathered all my strength & picked up my bag.
Started walking with him.
Very slowly, he was walking.
I overtook him (thinking he is a sloth).
But the trail was very steep, (so i couldn’t continue trekking longer)
Running out of breath very quickly.
But as he’d come nearer, I somehow put myself together & start trekking again.
This continued for a while.
But then, I couldn’t continue this & sat on a stone.
Bhai ji Bahut dheere dheere chalo..!! he said, while he overtook me.
I saw him walking slowly & steadily.
Soon he disappeared from my sight..!!
Cursing myself & mocking my decision to trek to rasol, I continued on my way.
I was walking very slowly & steadily now.
But to my surprise, i was taking breaks less frequently now.
I learned this technique of trekking in hills from that Unknown passer-by.
And it works..!! Plus i’ve now added few more of my tricks to it & it does wonders for me.
Okay..!! The trail really was challenging & steep (But i am a stubborn).
I continued on my path slowly, & it starts to rain mildly.
What..?? No..!! I yelled, while looking at the sky.
Ohh…great..!! Now the mild rain is not that mild (as i trek further).
Geez..!! all drenched i am.
I had no option, but to trek, trek & trek.
I was more worried about the light (as it felt like it’s going to be dark).
So many dreadful thoughts passed my mind (while i was still trekking).
I was just praying, that i reach Rasol while there was still light.
And after trekking further 300 metres, i see a temple kinda building.
Super Relaxed i was..!! (as i saw a building after so long).
How far is Rasol..?? I asked as i came near to that temple.
This is rasol..!! He replied.
At 5:30 pm :
That is the first thing you’ll catch a glimpse of..!! ( it’s a temple dedicated to Jamdagni Rishi)
Do not touch the railings or sit on the stairs (as its forbidden to every visitor).
I couldn’t believe, i made it to Rasol.
I reserved a room for myself.
Ordered tea & Lit a Cigarette (Looking at the Himalayan Peaks while sipping tea, was the best thing i’ve done in a while).
The guy in the hotel was very helpful & pleasant.
I dozed off early after dining (as i was very tired).
Day 2 :
At 7 am :
Woke up early, and got ready (as i had to travel back to delhi the very same day).
What will you have for breakfast..?? asked politely the guy from the hotel (my BFF till now).
Aloo Paratha..!! I replied.
With no time being wasted, the aloo paratha was ready..!!
After my Farewell ceremony, I started my descent to Kasol.
Now while on my way down to Kasol, I see people trekking UP for Rasol (Panting, Cribbing & Crying, Some of them going back).
I am being asked by many fellow trekkers, How far is Rasol..??
Guiding them, Motivating them, And Scaring them…!! (Enjoyed it though).
I finally landed in Kasol.
And that was the end of my Rasol Expedition, But will always cherish this trip (esp. that foreigner feel).
So, My suggestion to you is don’t sit around the corner watching your computer and being skeptical about it. Rather take your chances and Go EXPLORE yourself.
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