Homestay at Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh

By Mridula Dwivedi February 1, 2015 54 Comments , , ,

Sitting by the fire in the kitchen I tell my hosts, I can’t remember when it was last I didn’t eat anything out of a packet for so many days in a row! Kareri is a sleepy little village in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. I was incredibly lucky to do a homestay at Kareri Village. It was cold in January but people in the hills know how to keep warm in these freezing months.

Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh
Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh

The original idea was to trek up to the Kareri Lake but due to a lot of snow on the route, the trek was abandoned immediately. I simply stayed at home and took walks around the village when the weather permitted it. It rained on one day, it snowed on another, on other two days I felt too lazy. So, in reality I did only one day hike around the village.

Mostly I sat by the fire in the kitchen and read Agatha Christie novels on Nook, finishing on an average one in a day! As Seshadri and Chhavi have stayed here before, the matter of my identity was simple. If anyone asked who I was, the standard reply was Chhavi ki Mummy (Chhavi’s mom)!

Kareri Village
The Internet Hill, Kareri Village

The day I arrived due to the avomine induced drowsiness, I went to sleep and refused to go out even for a walk in the evening. Kareri has phone connectivity. My host’s (Kamlesh and Family) home is slightly downhill, But we used to go up to what I christened ‘internet hill’ where I would get high speed internet connection but it was not reliable. But as it is Himachal Pradesh, electricity supply is like dream. Β There is no shortage of water as well! Only schools, roads and hospitals come by with a little more difficulty. There is a kaccha road to the village now. I was able to take a vehicle both ways.

Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh
A Mild Snowfall at Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh

I would wake up leisurely everyday and run to the kitchen to get Β get some hot water to brush my teeth. They do have a gas connection but they cook on wood as well. A big pot of water would almost always be on the wood fire. The chores of the day done, I would sit by the fire and wait for a cup of tea. Soon it would be time for breakfast. After that if it was a sunny day I would sit out and read a book, if not I would do the same by the fire. Thus at slow pace the life would go on.

White Capped Redstart
White Capped Redstart at Kareri Village

There were numerous birds that could vie for my attention along with the book. The mustard flowers were in bloom, painting the village pretty. If the weather was good I would go out for a walk in the evening but the view of the hills eluded me till the last morning. When I was leaving, it was of course blue skies!

The family consists of three brothers- Ravi, Kamlesh and Suresh and one sister Anu. Chhavi is a great fan of Anu. I met Ravi, Kamlesh, Anu and their parents. Both Ravi and Suresh work in the tourism industry with Suresh currently working in Goa. Ravi is living in McLeod Ganj though his wife Vandana lives at Kareri. Kamlesh looks after the home, horses, mules and fields. Their parents also live in the same two storied house which has at least 10 rooms! Auntie can still lift so much load and carry it to the fields! They treated me like a princess! So, the next time you see a person handling mules, remember they live in 10 bedroom homes!

Homestay Kareri Village
The Homestay at Kareri Village

As my holidays drew to an end I realized that I didn’t spend a single rupee (other than paying at the end of my stay) as I could see no shops in the village! I was told there was a shop but as it was winters, the supplies were low! It was an amazing experience where two things stood out, I never ate anything out of a packet and I never went to a shop for six days!

If you wish to do a homestay at Kareri village with Kamlesh and Family you could call Kamlesh at +919736246820Β or Ravi at +919805934718 They usually charge 1200 rupees per person per night which includes food as well.

Girls Going to School
Girls Going to School, Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh

The nearest big town is Dharamshala. I took a taxi from Dharamshala to Kareri which cost me 1500 rupees. I had to walk a bit from the road head to the house. There is public transport up to a village called Gera.

As I was new to the region and as I was thinking of trekking, I went with my long time trekking guide Sohan Singh Bisht (his number is +919410365281). However, if I go to the village again I am confident of going alone now.

 

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54 thoughts on “Homestay at Kareri Village, Himachal Pradesh”

  1. now that is one vacation i would love to take someday… just go there and stay at someones place, and relax. i am sure you have returned rejuvenated, Mridula!

    1. Yes Anu I think you will like it and so will Samhith πŸ˜€ I am back and the city makes you go back to sulking in no time πŸ˜€

  2. This account of your vacation sounds dreamy Mridula! Have included Kareri in my bucket list….already dreaming that I’m sitting by the side of the fire in the kitchen and reading a book…what a bliss!

  3. Quaint houses, mist hanging low on the hills , lush green cover – its a sight to behold! Will be adding Kareri to my places to travel, thank you for introducing me to this wonderful place Mridula πŸ™‚

    Hope you had a good vacation!

  4. internet hill’ interesting. In remote areas we usually dont find network so try to get some particular place so that we can have network there , and this place is known as internet or mobile place. interesting story

  5. This sounds like an ideal holiday. Thanks for the tips. I hope to go there soon. And, on a different note – I hope you are free on friday 13th at 6.30 pm. I’m organising a small blogger meet in Delhi. Details on my blog.

  6. I visited Kareri in October 2013 as part of a trekking group and only walking through. I would love to have spent more time there and reading your story has inspired me to return! I work in a village school in the UK and would love to make a link between our school and Kareri.
    Thank you!

  7. I am planning to go there for three days in August with family. Booked the FRH . The only hitch is transportation, whether the road will be open during rainy season or not. Do you have any contact no of the taxi owner/driver you took from Dharamshala?

  8. Interesting recount! The simplicity of the villages situated in nature’s lap always attracts me. Such places are always refreshing and soothing to the mind- away from the hustle-bustle of the cities. Thanks for sharing the contacts- Those would be helpful if I ever decide to visit :).
    I really love the pictures too!
    Glad I came over πŸ™‚

  9. Thank you for this article! I just returned from 3 days with Ravi and family. Although I found them elsewhere originally, if it weren’t for your article, I probably wouldn’t have gone ahead and booked (nor found Ravi’s phone number!). I had an amazing stay and highly recommend it. The road was blocked so we walked in from Ghera – and back out to a village further. Ravi said I was the first to walk it but I am felt very fortunate as it was beautiful (though hard work up and down those hills).

    1. Hi Elisabeth I am so happy to know that you had a great time at Kareri! I think my husband has walked too but only one way. πŸ˜€ Happy to know that the blog helped you in deciding to go! Happy travels.

  10. Good Read. Wish I had read this blog before my trek to Kareri Lake. Have shared my experiences in my blog, do visit and share your comments!

    Twitter – @truebornomadic

  11. Thanks to your lovely blog post, Mridula, I am in touch with Kamleshji and planning to visit Kareri with my family in the first week of May. We will hire a cab from Dalhousie. I believe good road connectivity is only until Ghera? How did you reach Kareri?

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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