Michael (British) and Devanshe (Indian) have a farmstay project going on Devanshe's family farm in the Indian Himalayas (2100 m). The farm produces apples and other fruits, lots of veg, and the cows produce milk, yoghurt and cheese. The farmstay rooms are available either as self-catering units or sharing as part of the family with other guests. There are two families (with seven children) living on the farm. The farm has apple orchards below the house, with great views down the valley below, while there are deodar forests above the house with tracks leading up to the local peak (3400 m), with views of the Great Himalayas. The farm has a library (book and DVD), billiard/games room, woodburning stoves, but is remote from any urban-style facilities - Shimla is 2.5 hours away by car. There are lots of opportunities for trekking, milking cows, reading, making jam or juice and other farm-based activities.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
You will be living as part of an extended Indian family and interact with local village / farm workers.
2019 - 2020 Calendar.
(1.) April & May 2020. Someone with previous house keeping experience ( or someone who won't mind daily house-hold chores) will be appreciated.
(2). Other months: Help with building / carpentry skills / lifting / digging / clearing land/ landscaping. Someone strong & used to physical work.
WHEN WE HAVE GUESTS :
We need someone to help out in the house, in the garden (weeding, watering), interacting with guests (if they want to), see if they need anything and so on. You need to be sociable yet independent, and enjoy rural life.
We have a cook, but some general help around the house is required, especially related to guests - fetching things, moving things around, tidying up, telling us when something needs doing, laying & clearing the dining table etc.
WHEN WE HAVE NO GUESTS:
Help out with other chores such as painting, clearing land, chopping & stacking wood, and so on.
The hours are flexible, but should average five per day. In summer we could start at 7:00am & put in an hour before breakfast with a longer break during the day.
There will be days when very little goes on and others when there's lots to do. Sometimes we might all go off on a shopping excursion, a hike picnic, a wedding, a festival... It depends. Most volunteers do more than five hours but that is their decision. If you feel you are working too much, take a half day off.
Comfortable basic room with separate basic shared bathroom.
Wifi internet is limited. We can help you purchase a sim card & data for your phone if you need to be online everyday.
Directions to get to the farm:
There is a local bus which goes past the house (surprisingly) every day, so you can get to and from Shimla independently, but you'd have to stay there overnight as it takes a few hours. There are local towns with temples etc to visit (Kiari, Hatkoti, Kotgarh, Sarahan...). There is a small ski resort at the top of the valley (Narkanda).
To get to Rukhla by bus from Shimla
Buses to our side leave from the Lakkar Bazar bus stand.
Buses timings (roughly): 7.15, 7.45, 8:30 & 12.40 (direct / goes past our gate but reliably late).
Ticket cost 100 rupees.
Time taken: between 3 and 4 hours.
* 07.15 am government bus- at Lakkar Bazar bus stand office, get a ticket to Bali Dhar (between Kiari and Reoghati: Reoghati is the final stop), and find out which exact bus to get on. They don’t have names or route numbers, so you have to ask, and check with the driver. BALI DHAR
The bus may stop for 30 minutes or so at Kotkhai, but don’t wander off in case it only stops for 10 minutes that day.
Give us a ring and we will pick you up if we're free.
If you feel like walking, three roads meet at Bali Dhar: the one you came up on the bus, the one the bus will continue going up, and one down to the left. Take that one and walk 3 or 4 kms through the deodar forest. We are the first group of buildings you come to after leaving the forest. The first group of buildings anyway. Ask for Rukhla.
* The 7.45 bus is a private bus run by Justa company. Pay for the ticket on the bus. The bus driver will shout Kotkhai! Kiari! Ask to get out at BALI DHAR, as above.
* The 8:30am bus (MEHAK bus) (Solan-Simla-Kotkhai) arrives at Kotkhai at 11:00am. At Kotkhai take the 12:00pm bus to KIARI-BALIDHAR which goes past our farm gate & village RUKHLA.
* The 12.40 bus is a government bus (but could leave any time between 12:30 & 2:00pm) - and goes straight past our gate in Rukhla, and is a shorter journey. The final stop is Reoghati, so ask for the Reoghati bus via Keeth and tell the driver Rukhla.
Note: The last 10 kms or so is rather excitingly narrow.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day average, spread out during the day. (max 25/week)
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