How to plan a super-tight budget trip to Kasol? [under Rs 5000]

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Planning a Budget trip to Kasol - Parvati Valley?
Planning a Budget trip to Kasol – Parvati Valley?

Many people have started to travel to the Parvati Valley in recent years. Every now and then people ask us a common question on visiting Kasol, “How to make a budget trip to Kasol in Parvati Valley?“. Well, we thought, why not write an article to explain this topic of Kasol budget trip in detail.

Kasol, nestled in Parvati Valley, is the dream place to go to for all travelers, young and old alike. However, it is always a concern on how to manage the cost of a Kasol trip. It becomes especially difficult if you’re a college student or even a young working professional without much savings.

Here I want to tell you that it is TOTALLY doable. Yes, you can make a budget trip to Kasol ane enjoy it equally at the same time.

So, how can you plan a cheap trip to Kasol?

Planning a Kasol Budget Trip

There are several factors involved in the cost of Kasol trip or as a matter of fact any trip to the Himalayas. These factors mainly include:

  1. The Itinerary – Number of days you are planning to travel to Parvati Valley and the starting point/place of your trip.
  2. Traveling Costs – What is your mode of transport to travel to Kasol
  3. Accommodation Costs – Which type of hotels you plan to stay
  4. Food Costs – What type of food you eat and especially where you eat that food
  5. Miscellaneous Costs – Shopping & Entertainment Expenses (optional)

So, with this break-up in mind – let’s understand how to budget for a Kasol road trip while also ensuring the maximum bang for your bucks.

I will outline an example which will be a mix and match approach of using public transport in Parvati Valley as well as the shared tourist/public taxis. I will also try to share the other available options in different sections of your Kasol budget trip.

Itinerary for a budget trip to Kasol

As the number of days plays a vital role in the cost of any trip, let us consider a sample itinerary of Kasol trip that I will use as an example. I have already shared the article on the most common travel plan of Parvati Valley. However, for this article, I will consider a 5-day itinerary for Kasol budget trip.

  • Day 1 | Reach Kasol from Delhi / Chandigarh
  • Day 2 | Relax in Kasol – Hike to Chalal Village
  • Day 3 | Kasol – Kheerganga Trek
  • Day 4 | Kheerganga – Tosh
  • Day 5 | Tosh – Kasol – Come back home Delhi / Chandigarh

You should know that the starting point/place of your Kasol trip also impacts your budget.

But, why?

It is because you may need to choose between different modes of transport to reach the base location for the Kasol trip. These locations could be Delhi to Chandigarh or even you may fly to Bhuntar in Himachal. Of course, if you choose to fly to Bhuntar, then it is no longer a budget trip to Kasol or Parvati Valley.

Now, with this itinerary in mind, let us see how you can save costs on your budget trip to Parvati Valley.

That's my car on a trip to Kasol
That’s my car on a trip to Kasol

Traveling Costs for Kasol Trip

As per our example travel for Kasol road trip, let’s assume your starting point as Delhi for the sake of baseline.

Travel to Kasol By Train

The nearest railway station to Kasol is Joginder Nagar railway station. You can preferably choose the sleeper class (Rs 280) or 3-AC at the max (Rs 755). After reaching Joginder Nagar, you can hire a shared cab to reach Kasol. The drop will cost you around Rs 200.

Hence, per person cost for reaching Kasol from Delhi by train comes out around Rs 500 – Rs 1000 including minor miscellaneous expenses.

Traveling to Kasol By Road – Public Transport

Of course, as this article is about a budget trip to Kasol, I will be considering public transport for traveling. I am not considering a self-drive trip to Parvati Valley or riding on your own bike or rented motorcycle.

But, please keep in mind that if you are 4-5 people in a group and have your car, then travel costs may end up at par when making a Kasol trip by using public transport. You will need to pay for fuel, which you can divide among 4-5 people in the group. When I say equivalent, I am also considering the comfort and flexibility of traveling in your own car.

The cost of traveling by car on a 5-day Kasol trip may come out to be Rs 1200-1500 for fuel depending on your car’s mileage.

You may plan a budget trip to Kasol by self-drive car
You may plan a budget trip to Kasol by self-drive car

Parvati Valley by Public Transport

If you are traveling to Kasol by road, you can take a bus from Kashmere Gate ISBT, Delhi to Bhuntar, or Kullu-Manali. Both HRTC and HPTDC buses run between Delhi – Kullu – Manali. You can get down at Bhuntar. You can also find a bus to Manikaran from Delhi too.

The HRTC ordinary bus costs Rs 750 and it leaves Kashmere Gate ISBT, Delhi at 8:26 PM. However, the Himgaurav 2×2 AC bus costs Rs 1200 and leaves Delhi at 7.00 PM.

There are other private bus tour operators as well that may charge a bit lower prices.

Hence, the per person cost for reaching Kasol from Delhi using public transport is Rs 750 by ordginary HRTC bus.

If you are taking Delhi to Manali bus (Volvo or ordinary) then you need to get down at Bhuntar to reach Kasol. From Bhuntar, you can take a shared taxi to Kasol. This shared taxi will cost anywhere from Rs 100- Rs 250, depending upon the car, your haggling skills, etc. There are pre-paid taxis also available at the Bhuntar Airport going to Kasol.

Alternatively, you can even catch another bus from Bhuntar, which is heading to Manikaran and get off along the way at Kasol. The cost of this bus from Bhuntar to Kasol is Rs 60-90.

Pro Travel Tip – Opt for an overnight bus to Kasol from Delhi to avoid the need for AC buses. Instead of private tour operators, I will recommend traveling to Kasol by HRTC buses.

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Local commute within Parvati Valley

The best way to explore Kasol and the rest of Parvati Valley is on foot. You can take the day hikes or treks around the entire Parvati Valley region.

Enjoy the tranquillity of sitting on the banks of Parvati river. Travel through your imagination while sitting in one place. You do not need any vehicle for exploring Kasol and feel lost in nature.

Unless you plan to take some treks which require a travel guide, you should be able to freely hike most villages around Kasol.

The per person cost for local sightseeing in Kasol is – FREE!

You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂

Choose to hike around in Parvati Valley on your budget trip
Choose to hike around in Parvati Valley on your budget trip

Traveling from Kasol to nearby areas

Yes, it is possible to cover multiple places in Kasol trip, even on a budget. As per our example Kasol budget trip itinerary, the must-visit places in Parvati Valley include Tosh and Kheerganga (at a minimum).

For visiting Tosh and Kheerganga, you’ll need to reach Barshaini, which is an hour away from Kasol. You can travel to these places by a shared tourist cab. Then, either you hike to Kheerganga or in summers some shared cabs take you near Tosh village.

Hence, per person cost for reaching Barshaini from Kasol to visit Kheerganga and Tosh will be around Rs 200 – 300. This cost also includes traveling between Kheerganga trek starting point and Tosh village as per the itinerary.

Then the other places of interest can be Chalal, Rashol, and Pulga villages. These sightseeing places of Parvati Valley are all situated on trails. Hence, free to travel.

The per person cost for trekking without a guide is FREE! You can also hike with a local villager and then tip him at the end.

Parvati Valley Travel Cost Summary

If I sum up all these options together, you will be spending the following costs on traveling to Kasol according to your mode of transport.

  • The minimum cost for traveling to Kasol by train in sleeper class is Rs 1200 – Rs 1300 ((500)+(200-300)+(500)).
  • The minimum cost for traveling to Kasol by private car in a group of 4-5 people is Rs 1200 – Rs 1500 as fuel charges.
  • The minimum cost for traveling to Kasol by HRTC ordinary bus is Rs 1700 – Rs 1800 ((750)+(200-300)+(750)).

Hence, you can see that if you want to make a budget trip to Kasol, then traveling by train in a sleeper class is the cheapest option at Rs 1200 – Rs 1300.

Thus, total amount you would spend on your travel on a budget trip to Parvati Valley will be Rs 1200-1800 depending on your choice for the mode of transport.

Lodging Expenses in Kasol and nearby regions

If you want to save money on your Kasol trip, then stay in hostel dormitories and making new travel friends. The entire Parvati Valley region is full of budget stay options, including the villages of Tosh, Kalga, Pulga, Malana, Chalal, Rasol, and Kasol. These budget stay options include hostels, camping sites, food shacks, and dormitories.

One can get a dorm for as cheap as Rs 200 – Rs 300 per bed per night. This rate will be higher in Tosh and Kheerganga, though not by much. You should be able to fetch a room at around Rs 400 – Rs 500 per person per night at Tosh and Kheerganga.

Hence, for a 5-day Kasol budget trip covering Kheerganga and Tosh, the lodging expenses per person comes out to be Rs 1200 – Rs 1600.

Eat at local dhabhas to save cost on Kasol budget trip
Eat at local dhabhas to save cost on Kasol budget trip

Food Costs on Kasol Trip

Eat cheap doesn’t mean the food won’t be delicious. However, it depends on your tastes and appetite how much you spend on this. There is no limit on what you can spend on food. It all comes down to the fact that what, where, and how much you eat.

However, for an average person eating three sets of meals with some snacks in between, I will consider Rs 400 – Rs 500 per day per person for food cost. This cost range will give you a balance of what and where you will end up eating.

Of course, if you can eat all the meals at roadside dhabhas and carrying snack-bars with you, the food cost range Kasol trip can easily be Rs 250 – Rs 300 per day.

Hence, for our 5-day itinerary of the Parvati Valley budget trip, you can consider about Rs 2000-2500 as food expenses.

Miscellaneous expenses when in Kasol

  • If you want to visit a rave – it is advisable to search for a less mainstream party where you might be able to save up on entry fee expenses.
  • Also, it is advisable to avoid indulgences such as alcohol if you want to adhere to a strict budget. But, that is your call.
  • I would also suggest not to shop to keep your costs low. But, you should soak in the culture and explore the many spots of Parvati Valley.

You may consider about Rs 100 per day for any miscellaneous expenses. These expenses are excluding any special event or things you plan to attend when in Kasol.

Hence, consider an optional Rs 500 budget for miscellaneous expenses of a budget trip to Kasol.

You can still eat delicious food on Kasol Budget Trip
You can still eat delicious food on Kasol Budget Trip

Summary – Total cost of Kasol trip

After considering all the factors that contribute to the cost of Parvati Valley trip, we can easily summarize them together.

  • Travel / Transport Cost = Rs 1200 – Rs 1300
  • Accommodation Cost = Rs 1200 – Rs 1600
  • Food Cost = Rs 2000 – 2500
  • Miscellaneous Expenses = Rs 500

Hence, you can easily plan a budget trip to Kasol and Parvati Valley for Rs 4500 – Rs 5500.

Things to keep in mind on your Kasol trip

  • When you’re budget vacationing, certain comforts go out for a toss. Learn to cherish the memories instead of material things.
  • Travel in off-peak seasons – Just before the seasons starts and when there is a lull in tourist activity, you’ll get cheaper rates. But, the trade-off is that certain must-visit places (read: restaurants/ cafes, parties) might not be happening during the time you choose to visit.
  • Stay in Hostels – a win-win situation as you get to stay cheaper and also make new travel buddies! Also, hostel buddies will tell you of the cool off-beat places they’ve visited in Himachal or other regions. So, a bonus!
  • Always choose the off-beat things to do – Often major attractions in any place tend to be expensive, have entry fees and also is not the most soul-satisfying experience.
  • Book in advance – prices tend to go up the closer you book to your traveling dates
  • Be flexible – this is the most important quality to have as a budget traveler.
  • Bring Food with you – you can even purchase food at local grocery stores and make sandwiches for yourself to carry on your treks etc.
  • Learn to Haggle – this is the MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS as a budget traveler in the Himalayas! Whether it is taxis or anything else – it is important to bargain your way out!
  • You do not have many days in hand, you can always check our itinerary for Kasol weekend trip.
Plan to stay in hostels in Parvati Valley to save costs
Plan to stay in hostels in Parvati Valley to save costs

Conclusion

Enjoy your time, even if money might be a constraint. In the hills, especially in small hamlets- it is easy to immerse yourself in the beauty and aura of the hills, and doing other activities is not that much of a priority.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

So while the initial hesitation of visiting a new place and not having enough cash in line might be a concern – you’ll soon discover that having experience of nature is what matters the most. Happy Traveling.

Are there any hacks you use to save money on your trips? Share Below!

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About Author

Shefali spends most of her time day dreaming about her next big vacation. A happy-go-lucky personality, she is an amalgamation of all the places she’s lived in and experienced! She is always confused as to where to call home, having lived in Chandigarh, Shimla, Dehradun, Mumbai, Hyderabad in India and Vancouver, Abbotsford in Canada. Her love for travel is only challenged by her love for reading and eating delicious food! In order to sustain her dreams, she brought out her inner geek, got an MBA and has a job in the corporate world crunching numbers. Do follow @notravelplans on Instagram for updates on her next great adventure.

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