Homestay in Panauti is like a sanctuary, it feels like you are finally there where you belong.
Friday the 2nd of January
On Friday morning we started our trip to Panauti at 9 ´clock. The Royal Mountain Travel kindly provided this opportunity to experience to stay two nights and three days at Home stay in Panauti city, 36km South-East from Kathmandu. This is one of the programs they have started 15 months ago with local house owners to provide possibility for tourists or any other visitors in Nepal to experience local life and take part of their daily routines. That could include various options, from working on the fields, cooking, cleaning side of roads by picking rubbish to keep environment clean, etc.
After 1,5h drive we got there to our new home and were warmly welcomed by Shila, leader of the Home stay community with flower neck-less and tasty cup of local tea.
We got our backs to our room, were we had toilet and shower as well
And this is the view from the roof of our dear host house.
Around noon, we had Nepalese lunch, tasty and a bit spicy for us, but also very healthy. As the time was running, Shila took us to center of Panauti city and showed the city while telling more about its history and present times.
We also had a chance to visit one of the Homestay houses and that is the oldest of them from those 15 houses, which are in this Homestay project. And this family has 3 generation living in the same house sharing their daily routines.
In the heart of Panauti there is a museum where you can find a lots of information, different items from centuries ago.
As the city is old, they also have the oldest Temple in Nepal, next to the museum. Its´ been built in 13th Century and its´ handcraft work is very unique. And till today, Panauti city is well known from handicrafts which go back to time when the city was told to be found, early as 1274-1310 BC.
At our first evening, we took part to cook our dinner with our host Shila. That is one of the interesting things where you can see and learn about their important daily routine. At the same time we experienced power cuts, which happens here in daily basis. But, it did not really effect in our cooking session. We got little led lights to give some supporting light while cooking. After nice dinner, we were offered to taste local “rice brandy”. I could not say any difference between European Brandy made from grapes than this one. It was tasty and worming my body as well.
A night at this time of the year can be very chili as we learnt, but we got nice warm blankets and electric heater to warm the room. Unfortunately as there is power cuts, you can´t be certain to have nice warm room all the time. But, we slept like a baby, enjoying fresh clean air.
Saturday 3rd of January
“It is a beautiful morning and we are having healthy breakfast”. We met also Shila´s husband Ashok and he recommend for us to go and visit the Temple Namo Buddha, which is the second most important Buddisht temple in Nepal. He took us to the bus station a, which is 10 minutes away from their home. Luckily we catch to bus on the run and headed to the temple.
The journey took some 45 minutes, as we past many villages and fields on the way to the Temple.
We had an enjoyable view all the time and even the road was pretty bumpy.
Finally we reached the last village and started to climb to find The Temple of Namo Buddha.
And just below the Temple there is a little village whit few kiosks, restaurants where you can have break before heading to the Temple.
After little break, we continue to the top. It took some 15 minutes to climb steep path, stairs but worth it.
And from the beginning of our final hour, we realized how beautiful place they have found to build such a monumental but still preserve its humbleness for surround area. It is situated on one of the hills of the valley, and the view is fortune for those Monks who serve their gods and goddesses. It is a place where pilgrims are heading to give their respect on them as well. As I heard, there is can be as much as 500 Monks, serving their religion
And here are pictures of the entrance from the Temple with Nepalese people. It is no allowed to pictures inside of the Temple, so then everyone wanted to take pictures in front of the entrance. Could say kind of a rush hour.
There are great stories to tell, how everything took its place in times of history, and how people are truly devoted themselves to share their positive energy as it is greatest power of mankind.
We really enjoyed our visit there and enjoyed the view of the whole valley on the way back to the village below the Temple where we had a nice omelet lunch.
Once we reached the village and bought some mandarins, and we asked from locals is there still any bus connection to Panauti. They kindly informed us with little smile on their faces; no bus, walk walk. That was actually so polite, and we just started to laugh as well.
And because of rain, we could not have more pictures of villagers… And we still had some 7 km to go. But, when we reached next the village, we saw a bus! It was still waiting for some people and we were lucky to get places and were saved us from the rain. We enjoyed bumpy ride with local people next 50 minutes, before we got back to Panauti city.
And once we got back to our “base” we were so hungry and almost could not wait our dinner. But we had some time rest and enjoy local people´s life before, and also could use my time to write down our experience from the day.
Sunday 4th of January
After breakfast, we had a tour around the area and we visited few others nearby Homestay places too.
This bed rooms is from the 4th house we visited close to each other, and after house visits, Ashok, our tour guide and husband of our Host Lady Shila, showed us his hometown and surroundings. We also visited local fabric factory which is suffering of power cuts every day. We got some very good pics, even of the scheduled power cuts for whole week.
Then, our tour went through the fields where they have rice and potato plants. Actually, they use same fields for both and will get two harvest with potato and one with rice. Everything is done by hands with some hoe´s and other tools. And people enjoy doing their tasks together. It is way of their life and how calm and happy their looked and well dressed, amazing.
Planting potatoes with very organic way and here potatoes are so good and tasty.
So, while walking and seen all of this, we just have to respect their values and themselves.
That was, again one enjoyable day there in Panauti and altogether such experience what I really will recommend for all visitors here in Nepal to have.
I hope, our experience with information will help them to have more visitors, clients to continue their valuable work for the community and city of Panauti. I am willing to share my thoughts, experience, pictures what I have, to help them that to happen.
As I see or feel it, how community like Homestay can be developed in itself?
There is already many good things going on, people just need to adapt the idea how that kind of participation can help them in their own lives too. I am happy to say, they are on the right track already.
But everything is, just as we wanted to experience in here, to know and feel how local people, communities are living. This all have given us already many thoughts to understand and respect these beautifully minded and heartwarming people. It seems they are self-contained almost with everything what they need in daily basis, milk, potatoes, eggs, fruits etc.
But is it enough to improve their lives for the future? That might be another thing to think of.
With warmest memories,
Below is the related video