This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur

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Photo of This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur by Japleen Kaur

Anyone who has been to Kinnaur can vouch for how breathtaking the place is. But it’s the tiny villages in the valley that all have my heart. Still untouched by the tourists and heavy commercialisation, one such village was Seringche.

Located near Batseri in Sangla valley, this village gives some regional experiences to travellers. I stayed at Bhandhari homestay, and it’s the best one in the area, without a doubt.

Bhandari homestay dressed in white. (C) Abhinav Chandel

Photo of Bhandari Homestay, Sangla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Japleen Kaur

Ideal for

Families who are up for a little adventure, couples looking for some peace and solo travellers longing for a comfortable budget space.

About the property

A humble two bedroom home-stay with the family living in the upper rooms – this is what a genuine home-stay experience truly is. Abhay handles the queries and manages the business side of the property while Ajay, hosts you in his home. His mother cooks warm meals for the guests, while educating us about the region she’s spent her life in. Her elder sister is an IS officer by profession but now helps out with the daily chores and adds her tales to the venture. Her little daughter, Aiyona is a delight to be with and enthrals everyone with her funny antics. Together they make you a part of their adorable family.

King size basic bed to sleep on. (C) Airbnb

Photo of This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur by Japleen Kaur

The wooden architecture keeps the interiors warm as winters here are harsh. The washroom is outside in the compound for guests. Pink walls of the rooms and the floral decor overdose might make you frown but trust me, they are neat and clean at all times.

Orchards turned into a snow wonderland right outside the homestay. (C) Bhandari Homestay

Photo of This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur by Japleen Kaur

But you know why this property is worth a visit? The mountain ranges surrounding it that will leave you spellbound. Every morning that you open your eyes there, you will feel blessed. Snow capped Kinner Kailash peaks standing tall, while the Baspa River flows nearby. Bhandhari Homestay has its own apple orchards that are in full bloom during August – September. Ajay will take you on walk through these orchards and give you a basket full to devour.

Let there be snow! (C) Bhandari Homestay

Photo of This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur by Japleen Kaur

Both rooms have heaters, fluffy blankets, and a table as basic necessities there. All meals are served in the tiny kitchen which is kept cosy with the tandoor, which is much, much needed!

The home-stay is located beyond Sangla and on the opposite side of Batseri. You’ll need to walk for about 10 minutes if you go there in winter since the road gets blocked with piles of snow.

Food

Guests bonding in the verandah. (C) Airbnb

Photo of This Little Homestay in the Village of Batseri Will Be Your off Beat Experience in Kinnaur by Japleen Kaur

Staying in such remote conditions means a limited menu. In this case, there isn’t any. You get eggs and roti for breakfast along with hot piping tea. Lunch and dinner if you opt to have are vegetables with roti or rice. They cook mutton occasionally or if you request in advance. A simple meal, sitting around with the family and sharing life stories – nothing gets better than this.

Cost

Though it’s a basic place to stay at, it reeks of warmth and happiness, even in extreme conditions. The price of around Rs 1200 for two is for that. If you’re going solo, it’ll cost you around Rs 800 per night. Meals are prices and minimal rates.

Best time to go

Summers bring in the red, juicy apples and fairy tales walks in the orchard. But winters give you a chance to experience snowfall that is just magical. The whole region transforms into this set straight from a Christmas movie. So it’s going to be difficult to travel in January-February but hey, it’s going to be worth it!

Things to do 

In the property

• Live like a local

• Play with Aiyona

• Pluck some apples and eat them too

• Listen to tales of past guests from Ajay

• Click a lot of pictures

• Take a walk in the village

• Sit by the riverside or stroll on the wooden bridge

Around the property

7 km away, it is the nearest Himachali town where you’ll get all the supplies that you need. Go here to have dinner, explore the Bering Nag temple, and to chat with the locals. They are really friendly, if you lend an ear. The whole town comes alive during festivals, and that’s probably the best time to visit this place.

This tiny village is 2 km away from Sangla, and requires you to walk certain number of stairs to reach it. They have a fort and a temple there that can be visited to get a glimpse of their culture and history. This place is a vibrant treat during Fag mela, in the time of Holi.


The mighty Baspa river flowing through the jungles and village of Chitkul. (C) Wikimedia

Photo of Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh, India by Japleen Kaur

The last village on the India-China border from Himachal's side, this is probably the most well known part of the valley. There are ample guest houses and hostels here for you to get a nice stay. Sip on ginger lemon honey tea while looking at some jaw dropping views. There are short hikes through the cobbled village trails that are quite easy to embark on.

My favourite village of the valley is a dream to look at. Pink buckwheat flowers bloom here till September that are later replaced by cotton balls of snow. Buckwheat is used to make traditional rotis there, that are a delight to taste. With the sweetest of people who have great mythological tales to share, this village even has 4G internet. What!

Getting there

The most accessible metro city for Batseri, Seringche is New Delhi.

By air: Fly down to Shimla, and take the bus to Reckong Peo which is the central hub for Kinnaur-Spiti region. Take another bus to Sangla or a cab that can take you ahead to Seringche too.

By road: Drive down or take a bus from Delhi to Shimla and follow the route mentioned above post that.

By train: A train till Kalka, and then take the toy train till Shimla.

The cheapest, most comfortable way is definitely by road.

Ever experienced snowfall in the lap of Himalayas? Share your stories here!

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