Where Hash and Trance abound: Tosh, Himachal Pradesh
A village at the far end of the Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, the village of Tosh is situated at a height of 7874 feet above sea-level (2400 m). A four-hour bumpy ride from Bhuntar in a local bus leads one to Bharsheni which is the last stop on the bus route to the Parvati Valley. Tosh is located a further three kilometers uphill from Bharsheni.
To reach Tosh there is an option of taking a taxi which is a half an hour journey or to walk to the village via steps located opposite a Shiva temple. The walk takes 90 minutes along a winding road that is easy to walk along. To enter the village one has to walk over a wooden bridge.
There are guest houses near the entrance and the far end of the village. A reason for this is the fact that tourism is a new factor in Tosh. There is budget accommodation in the village with each room having a tandoor to keep visitors warm. The guest houses have a common washroom.
There are cafes in the village with pizza and sandwich available; as the food caters to foreign tourist who visit the village the cost of food is very high and limited in choice. The visitors who come to Tosh are mostly backpacker from Israel, UK and Italy.
The houses in the village are mostly made of wood and have slate roofs; there are also a few modern houses with tar roofs that are coming up. In Tosh, there are home stays available but they are few in number.
The people of Tosh in Himachal Pradesh are mostly farmers and practitioners of animal husbandry, most people cultivate apples and hashish in the village. The drug is the main source of income for the people, and it is common for locals to offer hashish (hash) to visitors. There are a couple of shops in the village but they close before sundown.
There is a temple of Jamdagni Rishi at the centre of the village which is opened only once a year during either the month of January or February. There is a long verandah in the temple building from which the snow-capped Himalayas can be seen.
In the compound of the temple, children play cricket in the evenings. There is a primary school in the village. The older children, however, have to go to school in Bharsheni. The snow-fall in winter is very heavy due to which people stay indoors for three to four months.
A walk through the village is a pleasant trail through apple fields and green pastures. Since Tosh is fast becoming a hub for backpackers many trance and psychedelic parties are organised there by the foreigners there deep in the woods.
Tosh is a village with scenic beauty and ideal for meditation, peace, and calm. However, Tosh is not a great place for families to visit.
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