At an elevation of roughly 2300 meters, Grahan is a little town in the Parvati valley. The town, which is known for its picturesque scenery and neighboring waterfalls, also serves as a first halt or camping for hikers heading to Sar Pass or Khauli Pass. The hike is easy, with a total distance of 8 kilometers between Kasol and Graham hamlet. The villagers, like other Pahadi residents, have a tranquil demeanor. In those homestays, one can have a very pleasant stay while also having a unique experience. A black-colored tiny insect has been discovered there, and the residents revere it as their local deity. Grahan Village is a secret hamlet that can only be reached after an 8-kilometer journey from Kasol.
Grahan Village is tucked away in the Parvati Hills in Northern India, and it is home to a way of life that most people have lost touch with. There is no cell coverage in the small hamlet, and no car or motorcycle trundles along its streets. Many claim that Grahan is what Kasol was before mass tourism came to town, far away from the harsh horns and dizzying traffic down below.
Grahan is a small, rural village located around 5-6 hours from Kasol, with a trek elevation of roughly 2300 meters (or 7,700 feet). The residents of Grahan Village are the only other group considered equals by the mythical Malanese. According to legend, Grahan was once located near Malana (approximately an hour’s drive from Kasol) until it was relocated around 500 years ago. And, unlike the more popular trek to Kheerganga, the trail to Grahan was little traveled in early July, with only a few other hikers passing through.
Though the trek from Kasol to Grahan takes about 5 hours on average, don’t be shocked if you find yourself stopping every few minutes for photos, waterfalls, or just to take in the landscape. The Kasol to Grahan trip is roughly 8 kilometers long, and it splits near the end, with one alternative being shorter (but steeper) than the other. Keep in mind that while Grahan Village lacks cell phone service, it does have a number of guesthouses, so packing a tent isn’t necessary. A low-key restaurant selling Israeli specialties may be found in the hamlet’s center, as the village is extremely popular with Israeli tourists.
Grahan, like the rest of Parvati Valley, has four seasons, with the winters being particularly severe and icy. The walk would be significantly more difficult and less fun if done between December and March, yet it is conceivable. The greatest time to visit Grahan (think plenty of sunshine and low humidity) is between May and June (or perhaps April), albeit this also happens to be peak tourist season. Come September-October, you can also expect great weather and less tourists. The weather may be a little cooler, but the rains will have passed, and most tourists will have left.
Day 1- Kasol
After an overnight journey, board your Volvo or Taxi in Delhi and arrive at Kasol. After settling into our Kasol cottages/camps and getting some much-needed rest, go on a brief excursion to Katagla and Challal village, a gorgeous hike that begins at basecamp and leads to the delightful village of Katagla after crossing a rickety but sturdy wooden bridge over the Parvati River.
As you stroll alongside the Parvati River, take in the scenery and the forest route. Along the way, you’ll pass by various traditional village houses, guest rooms, and campers. To reduce exertion and appreciate natural beauty, choose the downward walk by the river rather than the uphill track once you enter Challal. After several twists and turns through the jungle, the lovely trail will lead you to Kasol, where you will stroll alongside the flowing Parvati River and cross another much more stable iron bridge over the Parvati River to reach Kasol market.
Once you’ve arrived at Kasol market, go shopping at the many upscale stores and have lunch at one of the many cafes and eateries that serve a wide range of Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Israeli, and Italian cuisines to keep you occupied for days in this small natural paradise.
Souvenirs, handwoven garments and woolen wear in traditional Himachali style, Funky T-shirts, and smoking apparatus of all kinds for tobacco and cannabis aficionados can be found in the shops. You can also continue on to Manikaran Gurudwara (a well-known temple for both Sikhs and Hindus, valued for its remarkable hot springs and historical significance). You can have a hot bath in the Manikaran and Challal pools, and if time allows, travel down to Tosh Village before returning to our campgrounds for dinner, a bonfire, and some music.
Day 2 – Trek to Grahan
We’ll arrive in Kasol and begin our journey to Grahan. The road between Grahan and Kasol is now being built, however it may take a few years. Enjoy the great hike along the river and the vast visual splendor until then. The trip to Grahan village may take 4-6 hours.
After a hard hike, enjoy snapping pictures and resting till you reach the village. Check into your guest home, enjoy a welcome drink, and get some much-needed rest while chatting with your fellow travelers over tea in front of a toasty traditional room heater called a “Tandoor,” which heats the room with wood and coal. After some time has passed, eat your dinner and wish the night farewell while snuggled up in your warm comforters and blankets.
Day 3- Return back to Kasol
After breakfast on the third day, you will have the option of staying in Grahan for another day and going on a climb to the Grahan waterfall, or returning to Kasol with a plethora of lovely memories and photographs.