Tired of the overcrowded hill stations of the Himalayas? Shimla, Manali, and Kullu too mainstream for you? Then it’s time for you to explore the treasures of the Karsog Valley. While it’s peppered with temples that all link their histories back to the Mahabharata, the valley’s beauty lies in its pristine nature which has not been disturbed by rampant tourism.
Here the village economy is still governed by the fertile farms of the valley and the rich fruit orchards. You can visit an idyllic village and go back to a time where the incessant buzzing of social media notifications and honking tourist buses didn’t exist!
History Of Karsog Valley
The story of Karsog is as old as time, the name itself comes from the words ‘kar’ and ‘shok’ meaning ‘daily mourning’. The myth from the Mahabharata goes that the village was terrorized by a rakshasa who ate a villager every day causing for daily mourning. But during the exile of the Pandavas, Bhima saved the village from the rakshasa by offering himself.
Why You Should Visit Karsog Valley
- To escape the perils of organised tourism at a hidden gem
- To explore untouched emerald green farm terraces, towering peaks of Himalayas, and organic orchards of apples and other fruits
- To get a peek into the Himachali way of life and experience the unique culture and cuisine
Best Time To Visit Karsog Valley
Karsog Valley in Himachal Pradesh is a paradise throughout the year, but it especially blooms during the monsoons when the clouds play hide and seek. June and July is also the time for apple harvest and you can see the shiny red fruits hanging off the branches during this season.
March to June and September to November are cool and dry months which are suitable for trekking and hiking as well.
How To Reach Karsog Valley
Karsog Valley is about 109 KM from Shimla and you can take the SH13 from Shimla towards Mashobra and Naldehra. The village of Karsog is about 85 KM away from Naldehra. Even getting around in Karsog is fairly easy. The Chindi Karsog Valley is well connected by the road that is maintained fairly well throughout the year. There are local buses that run through the main town and villages; however, the best option is to have your own car or motorcycle. If you are short on budget or are a solo traveler, you can choose to hitchhike as well since the people are quite friendly and can give you a ride to the next village.
Top Things To Do In Karsog Valley
1. Trekking and Hiking
Suggested Read: 20 Best Hill Stations In Himachal To Experience Pure Bliss
The entire Himachal region is perfectly suited for trekking and hiking. Karsog itself is the base for many treks including the treks to Shikari Devi, Kamru Naag, Mahu Naag, and Dhamoon Naag. Apart from these major treks, the hills are full of deodar and pine trees which make trekking all the more enjoyable. The trails open at many points offering picturesque views of the entire valley.
2. Temple Hopping
The Karsog Valley has special religious and mythological significance. Every tiny settlement has a temple near it and right from the architecture of the temples to the traditions and rituals, everything is unique. Some of the popular temples in the region are Chandika Devi Temple, Mamleshwar Temple, Mahunag Temple, and Kamaksha Devi Temple.
3. Village Walks
If you see the Karsog Valley Map, you can spot several small hamlets as well as major villages like Karsog and Chindi. These villages are built in traditional Himachali style and have families that have been residing there for generations. You can strike up a conversation with the locals and just explore the lanes of the village and the Karsog market. You will find the laidback rhythm of the village appealing, far away from the bustle of the city.
4. Apple Picking
The Karsog Valley is famous for its fertile lands which grow a wide variety of crops including wheat and corn. But its specialty is the apple orchards which fruit between June and July. It is the perfect season to come with the entire family and indulge in some fun. Many farms offer apple picking experiences. One of the popular farms is the Kalasan Nursery where for Rs. 1,000 you can pick organic fruits like apples, plums, pears, prunes and even kiwis!
One of the best things to do in Karsog Valley – Nothing!! The Karsog region is one of breathtaking beauty, it is blessed with the abundance of nature and one cannot help but just awed by the destination. You can easily just sit for hours together at a cliff face and see the day changing every hour! Pick a book or plug in your earphone with your favourite tunes to just laze in this offbeat destination.
Places To Stay In Karsog Valley
1. OMS Hotel and Restaurant – For a convenient location
The OMS Hotel is right in the middle of the Karsog market and extremely convenient if you are exploring the Karsog Valley. They also have parking facility and modern amenities like WiFi which is a boon if you have to stay connected to the outside world. The rooms are new and basic and the front rooms offer a good view of the village and the nearby terrace farms.
2. Hotel Mamleshwar – For a sojourn amidst apple and deodar trees
The Himachal Pradesh Tourism runs several comfortable guest houses and hotels in the state and one of the best Karsog Valley hotel is one of their properties, the Hotel Mamleshwar. The well-maintained property is surrounded by apple orchards and deodar trees. The apple season (June-July) is when you should visit the valley. It also has a good restaurant and comfortable rooms at affordable prices, which makes it one of the best hotels in Karsog Valley.
Tips For Visiting Karsog Valley
- You may not find fancy 5-star restaurants and cafes like in the popular hill towns, but you’re sure to find small scale eateries and food stalls selling fresh fruits and local cuisine. Keep packaged food handy in case you are particular about your food.
- Karsog is the perfect place for mountain biking. You can bring your own mountain bike or arrange for one at the market or your hotel.
- Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes while trekking.
- It is best to carry cash for a trip to Karsog as there aren’t many ATMs and most places do not have proper facilities to accept card payments.
- Make sure you call ahead and make bookings at a hotel or guest house, instead of doing it after getting here.
- Internet connectivity is very low, so forget about the world and work when you’re here!
Dreaming of lying down on a hammock and plucking juicy apples straight off a tree? Plan a road trip to Karsog right now and indulge in a tranquil vacation you truly deserve!