Trance, Weed and Alcohol – Kasol, HP 175105 (India)

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt and he wears it every day – read this when I was 13 and I have ardently believed in it since then.

I still remember the first time I visited Kasol; I loved Kasol and it loved me back! It so loved me back that my comradeship with the murky mountains started getting profound.

We Three - YES!
We Three – YES!

Kasol needs no opening – a place where Marijuana is in the air and the proportion is probably higher than that of oxygen; where even the waterway is stoned; where you smoke pot generously; where Hash and trance abound; where you are spirited and alive; where there is enthrallment everywhere – there are places and then there are places!

streets of Kasol
streets of Kasol

Of all the times I have visited Kasol, this time I had an agenda! To attend the Electric Mahadev Festival (EMF) “Full Power” as they call it – began my research and found that one of my artist friends was playing in this festival. With butterflies in my stomach I called him and within 180 seconds we closed on how and when we want to leave for Kasol.

And the road trip began. Four of us started our journey at 10 in the night and reached the magic valley at exact 10 in the morning – Nostalgia – I see Kasol and I am home.

how could we miss clicking the bridge that connects Chhalal to Kasol
how could we miss clicking the bridge that connects Chhalal to Kasol

I could feel the music everywhere and was restless to trek to the event place. Swiftly we checked into our hotel and had breakfast. Around 2 pm came the moment we were all waiting for. We started walking to Chhalal (small village in the vicinity where the magic was being created). On my way met old friends, not so old friends, new friends and stranger friends (mostly Israelis). They say music brings everyone together – so true. Everyone walking up to Chhalal was either attending the festival or was playing at the festival. After about 30 minutes of walk with so many friends we reached the venue – and I was ready to rock the world.

Parvati - the river
Parvati – the river

About this festival it is said that “when humans take abundant time in creating something then one of the most beautiful creation comes into existence. One of such creation is MUSIC”.

happiness leading us to Chhalal
happiness leading us to Chhalal

We entered the venue after getting our hands stamped, smiled, greeted and hugged – all happy trippy faces. The amateur photographer in me couldn’t resist and I started clicking – clicked colors, grass, joints, marijuana, smoke, beat, people, emotions, expressions, happiness and life of the festival, the stage.

EMF is a 3 day open air festival where the psytrance extravaganza is a mix of psychedelic music, art & culture amidst the beautiful hills. Apart from the massive line up this festival also features trippy flea market, yoga, meditation, free camping and a chill out zone Apart from big names in the genre this festival brings mystical vibes and community spirit in the valley. You hear power music and you dance like nobody’s business – for the love of the rhythm.

the fest is calling us
the fest is calling us
I will capture everything your camera can't
I will capture everything your camera can’t
partners in crime
partners in crime

Around 6 I felt music getting louder and people getting happier. Some of my personal favorite artists started after 5.30 so for me the party actually started at 6. You hear Psy Trance, Progressive, Full On and Twilight everywhere. Being a non smoker I was stunned looking at people trying anything and everything they were being offered but was able to maintain tranquility. Slowly it all felt normal, like a customary life and I enjoyed what I was there for – the music (that’s when I understood the adage “adventure without risk is Disneyland”).

By far the best - 6:30 pm
By far the best – 6:30 pm
yes i won't stop
yes i won’t stop

The night came closer and the festival ended with a bang at 10.15 pm. And guess what, after 15 minutes it started raining at Chhalal – I felt another trip in the ambiance. People were enjoying and loving the downpours while I was struggling to find a place to hide my camera and myself. Rains stopped around 12 and the gang of my new and old friends started trekking back to Kasol. After about an hour’s trekking we reached Kasol with hands up in the air. We found a place to eat and then headed back to our hotel. The night finally came to an end.

At 10 pm
At 10 pm
My Fav artist - @audiogramme
My Fav artist – @audiogramme
Full Power 8 pm
Full Power 8 pm
the console
the console

Next morning was no different in Kasol. Same faces, same expressions, even the clothes and shoes were the same but the sky, the air, the tone was different I spent the day with my girlies exploring some new cafes and trying some food. We spent some time with the gurgling Parvati too.

the thought
the thought

And then the moment came – we greeted everyone and took the local bus to Bhuntar from where we had to board our Volvo to Delhi. We bid our goodbye to the town of the hippies.

That's what the name plate on the bus reads
That’s what the name plate on the bus reads

En-route Bhuntar, the crazy, inquisitive kid in me interacted with the locals and some Israelis discussing life at Kasol, survival, traveling, treks, and love. And my favorite discussion was why do Israelis come to Kasol and never go back. But yes, I am not going to talk about everything right here – that will be one of my upcoming posts.

Oh Kasol – you never cease to amaze me – and I am stoned

Random - I was obsessed with these for a while
Random – I was obsessed with these for a while

30 thoughts on “Trance, Weed and Alcohol – Kasol, HP 175105 (India)

  1. its a coincidence that i experienced everything from going to kasol for the 1st time and even i lnded up loving and following audiogramme(shalom’15).could really connect with music and the dj.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cutely written…btw i ask the same question about Israelis,whenever I travel to some places like these..always curios to know. Will wait for ur post on the same 😀

    Keep writing..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You took me back to Kasol, where I first landed way back in1990 and it has been numerous times since then. It never stops amazing me everytime. Always special, always mysterious!! Lovely writeup!!!


    1. wow. you were there in 1990? super! do you have any pictures of how the place looked in 1990. i would love to see.
      and yes, Kasol never cease to surprise. i have been there more than 10 times and always have had a new experience – good, bad, both.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Shilpi, very nicely articulated and framed. I have also heard about this festival from a friend of mine which is like the Indian version of ‘Woodstock’. Glad that you liked my posts. Keep in touch. Tw me @up_avi.
    take care \w/


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