A view from Tosh village.

Comfortably Tosh, Not

A serene and scenic village that has been discovered by the tourists in the last few years, Tosh is still not completely urbanised and you would be lucky if you could visit it before tall structures are erected. It was in May 2016 that we visited Tosh after completing Sar Pass trek. At a height of 7874ft from the sea level, Tosh is situated in Himachal Pradesh. As you move up scaling its altitude, the view of Parvati valley will begin to serenade you. From the paths that take you to the village, you can see a dam, a part of hydroelectricity project, under construction in Barshaini, a nearby village.

View of Barshaini from Tosh

View of Barshaini from Tosh

To see this, you have to look down from the Tosh village. But when you look up from there, clusters of clouds that are stuck to the Deodar trees growing at the peaks in the Himalayan range sheepishly wave at you while they try to detangle themselves and rush to hide. It won’t be a wonder if an imaginary Santoor starts playing in the background.

A view from Tosh village.

A view from Tosh village.

Heralding the commercialisation, you can find eateries and hotels with wanna-be urban look on the other side of the bridge that you have to cross to get into the village. Once you cross the bridge and the eateries, you walk straight into the village of Tosh where you cannot ignore the sudden serenity compared to the bridge-side of the village. Cut off from the noise of the rambling people and motor vehicles, you can hear the cattle moo. The multicoloured houses are constructed with wood.

Multicoloured houses made of wood

Multicoloured houses made of wood

They have a different kind of thatched roof.

Tried colour pick with blue. Anyway, the house must have been feeling blue.

Tried colour pick with blue. Anyway, the house must have been feeling blue.

Each house owns at least one cow.

Cow maatha....or to be....she looks very young.... Reminds me of Ganga in Sharath Komarraju's retelling of Mahabharata

Cow maatha….or to be….she looks very young…. Reminds me of Ganga in Sharath Komarraju’s retelling of Mahabharata

If you take the two or three deviations of the path from the bridge, you will see the whole of the village. You can choose to go on Kheerganga trek from the village or just hike in the vicinity.

Tosh is a beautiful village that has not yet been inflicted with the pain of becoming a full-fledged hippie place, but I am not writing to tell you only about how unscathed it is in terms of tourism. I am writing to tell you a funny story about how much we ate of that mouth-watering food.

This is a story of eight people who ate brunch, which by no means was light, at 11:00am in Kasol, reached Tosh and planned to eat lunch by 1:30pm. After roaming around the village, we sat near a temple and wondered what to do. To leave Tosh soon meant having too much of time in hand after reaching back Kasol and to wait till we were really hungry meant missing the last bus from Barshaini. Or we had to simply miss eating in Tosh. But that would be unpardonable! The owner of the hotel where we stayed in Kasol insisted that we eat at Hill Top Guest House and Restaurant. Not because he owned it or his friend owned it, but it supposedly served delicious food. And we went there to confirm it. Hill Top Guest House and Restaurant is actually located at almost top of the peak on which Tosh is situated. Even after strolling and hiking, our maida-laden lunch refused to get digested. That didn’t hinder us from finding this arty restaurant.

Making it very evident as soon as we entered the restaurant, a wall art showed us what will happen inside your head after smoking up. It is pretty interesting, I must say.

To know more, smoke up!

To know more, smoke up!

Ogling at the wall art, we started discussing what to order. We tried ordering as small quantity of food as possible since we were still not hungry. Irrespective of that, the food order ballooned to pretty sumptuous for sixteen not-so-hungry people, and not just eight. The waiter who came to take our orders heard us speaking in Kannada and told us that he used to work in a cafe in Hampi, another land of ruins and hippies, before coming to Himachal Pradesh. After the small talk with him, we ordered food thinking we could handle it. Brace yourselves for the insane amount of food that we ordered for lunch after brunch.

To start with, hot and sour veg soup

To start with, hot and sour veg soup

Hash brown potatoes had turned into aloo ki sabji. We ate anyway.

Hash brown potatoes had turned into aloo ki sabji. We ate anyway.

Two of this. Israeli style: Pita bread, hummus, vegetables, potato fries and falafal.

Two of this. Israeli style: Pita bread, hummus, vegetables, potato fries and falafal.

Lasagna. We did behave like Garfield.

Lasagna. We did behave like Garfield.

Chicken Lafa. It is of the length from the tip of middle finger to the elbow of an adult. Stuffed with whatever goes on top of a pizza!

Chicken Lafa. It is of the length from the tip of middle finger to the elbow of an adult. Stuffed with whatever goes on top of a pizza!

A pizza named Parvati

A pizza named Parvati

After eating, we could hardly move. So, we wobbled out of the threshold of Hill Top Guest House and Restaurant and descended to cross the bridge. We hired two cabs to reach Barshaini from where we came back to Kasol.

Tosh is situated 4km away from Barshaini. Now, if you ask me where is Barshaini, I would say about 17km from Kasol. In case you don’t know where Kasol is, this Hippieland is aptly located in Himachal Pradesh, India. You can reach Kasol either from Bhunter or from Manali in the same state. And to reach Bhunter or Manali, it is safe to start from New Delhi or Chandigarh.

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