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Covering one corner of the western Himalaya, Himachal Pradesh is a land of extraordinary diversity and outstanding natural beauty. It’s also the setting for this unique homestay – the ultimate eco-retreat!
Himachal Pradesh – the Region of Snowy Mountains – is one of most unspoilt states in India, a land of orchards, pine forests and tea gardens set amidst the soaring peaks of the western Himalaya. The small mountainous state owes its exceptional natural beauty to its dramatic elevation (from 350m to more than 6,000m), which also makes Himachal the most diverse region of India in terms of both climate and ecology; conditions in the south are near enough tropical, while in the north and east one finds alpine and glacial landscapes. Among the many highlights are the breathtaking valleys of Lahaul and Spiti, mountain deserts dotted with Tibet Buddhist monasteries, and the hill station town of McLeod Ganj, home to the Dalai Lama and the exiled Tibetan government.
Orchard Hut homestay is like nothing else in the Himalaya: an eco-friendly retreat complete with organic farm and spring water plunge pool! Crafted from stone, wood and clay in the traditional style, the homestay sits amongst terraced vegetable gardens and groves of apricot and plum trees with bird’s-eye views of the mighty River Saal below. It’s the perfect springboard from which to explore the surrounding valleys and mountains, but it’s equally ideal for those in search of some serious peace and quiet. With a wide range of activities on offer, from yoga and meditation to village visits and wildlife watching, you’re unlikely to get bored. There’s even the possibility to learn Indian cooking or some basic Hindi, meaning you can take a little bit of paradise home with you!
This homestay experience can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in sustainable living and a love of spectacular scenery. Himalayan Orchard Hut has simple facilities, so those who like their holidays with AC and TVs might not fancy this. It’s also a bit of a hike from the closest town – 30 minutes to be precise – so car-fans be warned! Of course, part of the magic of Himalayan Orchard Hut is that it can be used as launch pad to explore the surrounding valleys and mountains, which is best done on foot. But even if you’re not much of a wanderer, you can still get a lot from this trip; with no fixed itinerary you’re free to try your hand at anything, whether it’s morning meditation or nighttime nature watching. And if you’re feeling really lazy, you can just kick back and lie in a hammock and read a book from the library with the Himalaya for company!
I absolutely loved the Orchard Hut. It was well worth the lovely walk to get there. The air is crisp, the water is fresh and everyone is smiling. The family there is so pleasant and accommodating. The room we stayed in was super clean and so comfortable and though the bathrooms are shared, they are quite clean. I didn't mind it at all. In fact, it adds to the family-share-everything atmosphere. Furthermore, all of the home made, organic food is excellent. I've never had better pickle or eggplant (and I don't usually like eggplant). And yes, the homemade jam is just awesome. Plus, the fresh, clean water is addictive. I couldn't get enough... it just felt so good to drink.
Not to mention the amazing views. Chamba Valley is beautiful and rather untouched by tourists in general. This was definitely a big plus for me. Such a getaway. It was just great reading my book in the hammock, gazing out at the mountains and taking a nap in the breeze and shade.
All in all, you must visit and stay at least 3 days or a week... at the least!
dawnsomebody reviewing Home stay in the Himalayas
I had been traveling in northern india a rather rough way for a little less than a week before I went to Orchard Hut and it felt like heaven by the time I got there. The rooms are cozy and have an amazing view of the valley. The family has a warm and contagious nature that attracted me immediately when I got there making me feel at home. The other truly great thing about Orchard Hut is the food. I think I had some of my most favorite meals while staying there, and you MUST request the home-made (all of the food is grown and cooked on site) plum jam - it is outstanding!
The water was delicious I am still missing the taste of the spring water. In the morning with a refreshing shower(which is kept very clean), full belly and smile on my face my friend and I took a short trek from the home stay and had lots of fun enjoying the views. I absolutely recommend this place ! Thank You orchard hut for such a pleasant experience.
kayleigh_abigail reviewing Home stay in the Himalayas
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