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Parvati Valley

This ethereally beautiful valley stretches up through touristy, forest-ringed Kasol and the busy if grubby little pilgrim hot-springs town of Manikaran to a collection of villages around Barshani with glorious views of 5000m Himalayan peaks. Places like Pulga and Kalga here are key stops on the pre-Goa 'hummus trail' for young Israeli travellers, while Kasol and Tosh increasingly draw young Indian travellers and weekenders. The valley has plenty of hippie/backpacker hang-outs, with cheap accommodation, international food and nonstop music. The well-deserved reputation for charas (hashish) is most noted at the very odd village of Malana. Police sometimes make spot checks for drugs.

There are some excellent treks in the area, including the Chandrakani Pass route to/from Naggar, or the far tougher Pin-Parvati Pass to/from Spiti. For safety reasons, solo trekking is not recommended.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Parvati Valley.