Rasol is one of the lesser-known villages of Parvati Valley and it is situated 3 hours away from the hippie town of Kasol. Rasol village is a quaint paradise that has about 40-50 houses and the only way to reach Rasol is by hiking. It is situated at a height of 8200 feet above sea level, that is about the same height as the mystical village of Malana.
Usually, the habitants of Rasol are engaged in animal husbandry or hash/cannabis agriculture, like most villages of the Parvati Valley. Most of the time people are busy weaving wool for themselves and for supply the purpose to the markets below. Due to the extreme terrain of the village, few people have seen the world outside of Kullu district.
However, as the times are changing, the youth in villages of Himanchal Pradesh have started to move away from the village in search of work in the cities.
How to reach Rasol
Bhuntar to Rasol Bus
There are a lot of buses between Bhuntar and Kasol but none of them go till Rasol. The buses charge up to 80 INR till the Kasol bus stand and after that, you have to hike till the village. Nowadays, the service of HPTC is also pretty good in the valley. The road conditions are subjected to constant landslides and tree falls, so bring some music to kill boredom if stuck.
Taxis are also available between Bhuntar to Kasol for the most of the time, and they charge 800 INR for Bhuntar to Kasol.
Katagla to Rasol
Katagla is situated around 3 km away from Kasol towards the direction of Bhuntar. Once you are in Katagla, start following the river in the direction opposite to river flow. Then, you will find the trail to the village and it ascends to the top of the mountain. The distance between Katagla to Rasol is similar to, if not less, the Kasol to Rasol route.
Kasol to Rasol
To reach from Kasol to Rasol, one has to cross the metal truss bridge near the Kasol bus stand that connects Kasol to Chalal, over the gushing Parvati river. After this point, it takes 30 minutes(oddly) to reach Chalal, then another 3 hour trek to reach the high altitude village.
The trail is clearly marked throughout, and there are a few steep sections on this trail, but otherwise, it’s not very straining on the ankles. At the end point of the trek, you can refill some supplies at the shops in Chalal village. Through the rest of the trail, there are no shops or pop-up eateries.
Chalal to Rasol
The trek from Chalal to Rasol is a 3 hour long trek for a person by maintaining an average hiking speed. The trail bifurcates into two from here: one follows the river and goes towards Katagla, the other follows a stream that goes up the mountain till Rasol.
Homestays in Rasol
Rasol is a sleepy splendor situated in the Parvati Valley with no roads connecting to it. So the people coming to visit Rasol are very few. Accordingly, there are only homestays available that charge anywhere between 500-700 per room. The availability of accommodation is not a problem here.
The homeowners are very friendly and they offer a comfortable accommodation. The kids in the village spend most of their time playing or helping their families with daily chores.
The food menu is very basic in the village as the supplies are brought up to the village by mules. This is also the reason for food being on a relatively expensive side. However, if you ask the homeowner to cook whatever they are having, you will get a good sumptuous meal for a very little price.
Culture of Rasol
People of Rasol grow cannabis as the primary cash crop due to the low incentives provided by the state government on other crops. Also, because they’ve been growing it for a very long time. While people living in the cities might use it as a recreational drug, it is a part of life for the people living in the mountains. Cannabis or hash has been used by locals living in the mountains to cure ailments for a very long time. It serves as a semi-anesthetic, and for many, it is the only way to sustain economically.
Regulations and Policing
Due to the native nature of the plant, the police can’t form an effective strategy to stop its production. However, distribution can be disrupted (limited intervention). The Rasol cream is considered as good as the Malana cream, as both villages grow their crops away from the village on the same mountain slope. The produce is purchased by foreign nationals and the Indian nationals from big cities visiting the nearby villages (cannabis continues to be a Class 1 Drug under the NDPS Act of IPC).
FAQs on Rasol
Q1. Is Rasol trek possible in winters?
Ans. Yes, trekking is possible in winters. However, when it snows, the trek to Rasol becomes difficult and slippery.
Q2. Is Rasol trek difficult?
Ans. Rasol is a easy-moderate trek that has steep sections in some parts. The trail is pretty turbulent but in just 3 hours from Chalal or Kasol, you can reach the village.
Q3. How can I reach Rasol?
Ans. If you are coming from any other state than Himachal Pradesh, first reach Kasol via bus/taxi. After reaching Kasol, cross the metal truss bridge and continue till Chalal. From there, Rasol is just about a 3 hour trek.
Q4. Is Rasol worth visiting?
Ans. Yes, Rasol is worth visiting and for travelers looking to do their trek debut, trek to Rasol is a good option. You can find peace, Hashish, and serene views of the Parvati Valley during the stay at the village.
Q5. How long is Rasol trek?
Ans. With captivating view of the mountains and lush green trees, Rasol is just 7 km from the Kasol-Chalal metal truss bridge. It takes around 3-4 hours to reach the village.