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Family homestay in India in Himalayas, blog about India

Explore India in a bit different way and spend time at Indian family home-stay 

with the Landlady

If any of you has the opportunity to live or stay for some time with Indian family under the same roof, you will certainly find this experience extremely encouraging and interesting. It is not only a great opportunity to get to know people, the culture of India but also this is a great way to get to know real India along with its outstanding hospitality. During such a stay you have the chance to learn about the customs and traditions  in India, refute stereotypes and spend time in a very interesting and extraordinary way.

During many of my visits in the home of Sharma family in the state of Himachal Pradesh (about 30 km from the town where the Dalai Lama himself lives - Dharamshala) I spent wonderful moments that will remain in my memory for a long time. The family with whom I spent my stay in India certainly had a huge impact on how I now perceive India as a country and people living here. All members of  Sharma family are wonderful modest people with a big heart, extraordinary hospitality and tolerance. The hosts Mr. Prakash with his wife are always cheerful with great energy and willingness to help. The other members of the family - Mithun with his wife Simpi are very hardworking and helpful people who take care of home, children and the atmosphere. I will add here that the house is often visited by brothers and sisters as well as friends who come for Indian tea ,  just to chat or for other higher purposes. You can see how important and strong family relations in India are, mutual help and respect for tradition. There are rules in the house and there is a division of responsibilities, however, everything happens naturally without resistance and opposition. You can see general respect and positive relationships between family members, which also affects the atmosphere of their home. Women's responsibilities are undoubtedly all household responsibilities. Daughter-in-law - Simpi is a very hard-working and ambitious person and, in addition to her responsibilities at home, she goes to work every day; she is an IT teacher at a local private school. Going to work by women and the desire to educate in such a small town is undoubtedly rare, but during my stay in the family home I met many working women, which also opened my eyes to certain matters and directions of thinking that are changing in India especially among people who belong  to so called young generation.
with the Landlady and sister in law


Mr. Prakash

Sharma family home is a  8-room property in the charming village of Jughar near Dharamshala with a large garden amid lush nature with views of the Himalayas that can be seen during local trekking or from the first floor of their house. At the entrance to the house slightly up the hill we pass the small temple of the god Shani Dev - the deity of justice, to whom the temple is dedicated. This temple was  constructed by the head of the family Mr.  Prakash for not only religious purposes, but also as he said "for good karma". Every morning, before sunrise and sunset, the family or sometimes  with other people  gather  in the temple to pray and worship the gods. It is a very important ritual accompanied by mantras, incense sticks, bells and drums music. You can see how important in India is to respect the traditions that are rooted in their consciousness. Each prayer or ritual is performed with commitment and concentration and is aimed at getting rid of bad energy, and recalling the good energy, spiritual cleansing without which it is impossible to start a new day. In order to worship the gods, the family wake up before the sunrise, then, after the shower or washing themselves, they  go to the temple to meet the deity. Saturday is especially important, because on this day that the locals come to the temple to worship the deity, bringing gifts such as rice, lentils, and incense; sometimes they also leave money.

Entrance gate to the house
entrance gate

Shani Dev temple

Next, there is the garden in which fruit such as lychee, mango trees, corn, some well-known herbs are grown which are used in Indian cuisine by the ladies of the house. An addition to everything, there is a small farm in which a cow grazes. Therefore, the farm is 70% fully self-sufficient. They obtain most of their food from crops, and milk, paneer cheese or dahi (fermented milk yogurt) from a grazing cow :)

Cow feeding

It is worth emphasizing that the Sharma family is 100% pure veg, which means that you do not eat meat, fish and eggs in their home. However, if there are guests, the family goes out of their way to welcome them and prepares non-veg dishes with chicken or eggs. In the family home, foreigners who live on the first floor of the building, often spend time in harmony with nature, learning the secrets of the country's life and culture. On the ground floor there is the Sharma family, i.e. the son of Mithun with his wife Simpi and two children, Housewife Shakundle and her husband Mr. Prakash.

All the rooms are very large, nicely furnished and decorated in the Indian style with a spacious terrace. In many rooms there is a large painting with the image of deities. Most of the time, however, we spend exploring the charms and culture of India visiting, eating meals together or talking to family members, because without them and the atmosphere that creates these extraordinary people, a home would be just an empty building.

I also must mention about absolutely outstanding nature views and scenery just behind the house. In this place one can not always go trekking and admire the mountain views but also do some yoga or exercises. I love the sunsets and the sunrises here which every day look just different. This special place is called patta due to the fact of growing plenty of curry leave bushes called curry patta. You can also come here for nature, birds and animal observations.

Patta mountain view

Curry leaves

Admiring Patta 

My place of work during the lockdown in the house

View from the house

Herd of goats on patta

Patta sunset

Every day delicious and nutritious meals are prepared by the ladies of the house. It is undoubtedly the duty of women who perform it with  a full commitment. The daily preparation of meals for the whole family is an ongoing process which takes a few hours. All family meals, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner, are freshly prepared without any finished products or semi-finished products. Home guests often participate in the preparation process helping to knead dough for chapati bread or learning to cook in Indian style.
Making puri bread in the village

preparing chapati for the guests

Indian Birthday party in the village

Festival Lohri


festival Holi




Meals are eaten on a large porch overlooking the garden, sometimes at the table. Sharma family eat meals according to Indian tradition sitting on the floor with their legs crossed using fingers of the right hand, sometimes helping themselves with a spoon. Guests from Europe or other countries usually eat at the table sitting at the table on chairs or a sofa and using cutlery. Being a guest at  Sharma family you can also participate in a number of cultural and family events such as the birthday of their sons, weddings of family members or friends' or the celebration of Indian festivals. Many guests of Sharma family have been invited to an Indian wedding or have an opportunity to see other well-known celebrations of India - Diwali festival or the festival of colors Holi. In addition, the attraction is the opportunity to visit other homes in the area; residents of the village or friends of the family are happy to invite foreigners to various family events, refreshments or Indian tea.

During your adventure with an Indian family, you can not forget about the attractions of visiting and exploring the surrounding area. The Landlord  has cars and often take guests around to show amazing Himalayan surroundings. In addition, there are a motorbike and scooter used for local ride around.

The number 1 is, of course, the aforementioned Dharmashala or the city called Little Lassa because of the fact that its territory is inhabited by the Dalai Lama and refugees from Tibet. Every year, the city attracts thousands of tourists, travelers or Buddhists. The village has Buddhist Monasteries, museums, interesting temples, waterfalls, parks and even a cricket stadium. It is also a great place for yoga, massage, trekking or shopping. Despite the large number of locals and tourists, you can feel the atmosphere of peace and spirituality here.

Number 2 is

Visiting nearby and charming situated temples.

There are a temple with a beautiful view of the Jakhani Mata mountains, a temple complex carved out of the rock Masur temples (UNESCO) or the very old Shiva temple situated a bit on a hill next to the wild river - Bejnath temple. The aforementioned place is absolutely non-commercial, not very touristic and you can feel the real spirit of India. In addition, the location among the high Himalayas and lush juicy vegetation gives these places an additional charm.

Number 3 is undoubtedly the only attraction of its kind in the Bir Biling Valley, where you can try paragliding attractions. Emotional fun Guaranteed!

 Number 4 is a stay in an Ayurvedic hospital situated beautifully in nature. Prices of treatment packages are very affordable.

Number 5 is visiting the nearby streams, Buddhist monasteries, rivers, dams, tea plantations. Every day you can go for a long walk with a member of the Sharma family - the best local guide or even  ride a scooter or bicycle.

Number 6 is trekking and countless trekking routes that you can take, for example, in Dharmashala.

Number 7 is further Sightseeing of numerous towns and  exploring of the cities in Himachal Pradesh. I would recommend visiting such cities as: Manali, Shimla, Kasol, Malana village, Kullu, Dalhousie.

You can see that there are many attractions and opportunities to spend time. At the travel agency ( which the Sharma family cooperate with  organizes on request a so-called special package with a stay with  Indian family. During such a trip you can see not only the world-famous Taj Mahal or the golden temple in Amritsar, but also to stay at Indian family home to discover  charms and flavors of India. An example itinerary of the tour  in the link


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