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We are two friends settled in the Naggar town of Himachal. Well, not exactly in the town, but on a hilltop with hardly any people nearby. It was a bit overwhelming at first. The terrain, the people, their culture, ancient beliefs, local herbal knowledge, farming practices, their traditional Kat-Kunis that stood the test of time and all. They say their Devi-devta and these mountains provide for all their needs. And it's true to an extent. Fresh air to breathe, glacier water to drink, fertile ground, Shanthi Samadhaanam...what more someone could wish for! But the sudden boom in tourism during the past few years has made a weird impact on the pahaadi people's mindset. Even the remotest of villages haven't been spared.
In short, what we are trying to do is to preserve what needs to be preserved for the generations yet to come. For example, the place that we leased out is a 150 yr old Kat-Kuni house made of geographically abundant natural resources like stone, wood, and mud. A home that has a soul of her own and breathes through her walls and tiny windows. It's an indigenous building practice suitable for this terrain. Known to withstand high magnitude earthquakes and the test of time and harsh weather.
But over the years, people have slowly abandoned this sustainable building practice. Centuries-old houses are being demolished every day just to be replaced by cement boxes. We are slowly learning how to restore an old house as such or completely rebuild it elsewhere using reclaimed wood and stone from demolished Kat-Kunis. This is just one among many things that keep us awake at night, Taking one step at a time.
Gradually we'll start growing our food, generate enough solar power to run the whole place while finding sustainable solutions on our own for all those daily challenges that off-beat living hast to offer. We want this place to be as self-sustainable and beautiful as it once was.
Like their traditional food grain farming system which used to be rich in rajma, millets, buckwheat, barley, and veggies which are now replaced by unsustainable cash crops like apple and apricot. This terrain is native to rare medicinal herbs and shrooms. Sadly people here don't make the most out of it.
There are a lot of centenarians here. But their wisdom is not being passed down to younger generations. All they dream about is life outside Himachal, either abroad or in some metro cities. Handlooms and knitting needles are getting rusted, farms are gone, sowing songs and harvest songs forgotten, ages-old pahaadi songs are being replaced by Bollywood songs.
We are trying to bring back the good old days where people used to gather around the fire on a starry night, singing pahaadi songs and dancing for hours, talking, laughing and telling stories, gazing at the sky, spotting shooting stars.
Roohi - as we call our home would be more like a community co-living space where like-minded people could come, live a completely off-beat life associating with the local community, learn more about their indigenous culture and practices and do whatever we could to preserve it. It would be more like a symbiosis where the local community and people like us live, learn, and grow together.
After winter, we'll be hosting residential 7 days dedicated beginners workshops for Woodworking, Macrame, Pottery, Ashtanga yoga, and Basic mountaineering, lead by experts in those respective fields. All these workshops will be limited to 7 people. They'll have a taste of an off-beat mountain life while developing their life skills.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
You'll learn the ways of the old Himachali traditions, be with nature, learn about the ancient technique of Kathkunis and live a life that's far more satisfying than being in the city.
We are looking for a friend who can understand this life and the changes that come with it. It will be a proper mountain life here where you will have to walk to town for stocking food for the coming month. You should be accustomed to cooking, cleaning, and the entire maintenance of this old wooden home. Obviously, you wouldn't be doing it all by yourself. We want someone who feels at home here and takes care of Roohi just like she's yours. It's a friend we need with whom we can share our days, have conversations with and be a part of our home.
This host offers a language exchange
Italian and Spanish has always been of interest.
Our cozy little attic room is all yours. Food and stay will be on us.
There is a one-day trek through the forest to Malana village. You can also visit the not-so-touristy Jana Waterfalls. You can also rent a bike or take a bus to visit tourist destinations like Manali, Attal Tunnel, etc.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week