Spread out along the lovely Parvati River and with mountain views to the northeast, Kasol is the main traveller hang-out in the valley. It’s a small village, but overrun with reggae bars, bakeries, internet cafes and cheap guesthouses catering to a largely hippie/Israeli crowd, You’ll either love it or loathe it. Still, it’s an easy base from which to explore the forested valley or just chill out. The village is divided into Old Kasol on the Bhuntar side of the bridge, and New Kasol on the Manikaran side.
Kasol has plenty of internet cafes charging ₹40 per hour, and several travel agents who will happily change cash and travellers cheques.
From Kasol, it’s a demanding four-hour walk uphill to the mountain village of Rashol, where there are a couple of basic guesthouses. For an easier 90-minute stroll from Kasol, cross the bridge over the Parvati River and walk downstream to Chalal and Katagla villages, both of which offer a laid-back accommodation alternative to Kasol. Recross the river at Katagla to catch a passing bus back to Kasol (₹7). More remote footpaths continue from Katagla to Chowki.