Experience traditional Nepalese hospitality at Nuwakot & Samari the eco-friendly way.
Homestays at traditional Nepalese Villages of Nuwakot & Samari
The villages of Samari and Nuwakot both lie in Nuwakot district of Nepal. Although these villages lie just a few hours drive from Kathmandu, life over here moves at a much slower pace than in the city. Filled with old traditional Nepali houses and farms these villages are no different from the many mid-hill villages in Nepal . Explore Himalaya with its partner Kipling Travel, Denmark have renovated and opened the doors of two very old houses in these villages for tourists desirous of experiencing traditional Nepalese lifestyle. Run on the principles of sustainable tourism both these properties have been renovated using local materials and man power (the mud-finishing on the walls and floors of these houses were done by the local Mother’s Association (Ama Samuha). The kitchen at both these properties use organic vegetables grown at the kitchen garden or purchased from nearby farms.
Visiting Samari & Nuwakot villages offers a unique opportunity to experience Nepal outside the classic tourist areas. Devoid of tourist groups, you enjoy a leisurely stay at these villages, interacting with the villagers and exploring the village on your own. Options for volunteering services are also open for those wishing to help in the development of the village. Samari (1250m/4101ft) Homestay – A Retreat in the Midst of Nature
Located about 35 km from Kathmandu, Samari Bhanjyang under Nuwakot district is a traditional Nepalese village, situated in one of the last mountain passes on the caravan route to Kathmandu. Though the village has a mixed population comprising of Chettris, Newars ,Tamangs and Magars, the latter two communities are in majority.
Our retreat at Samari is a traditional Magar-house, built in the early 19th century. The house has been renovated, trying to keep intact as far as possible its original design. Additions to the house include a kitchen & dining area and a bathroom. A window has been inserted in the rooms and the ceiling height increased by just under 10 centimeters. While mud has been used to build the wall of the house, roofing has been done using clay tiles. The lower storey of the house has a dining area and kitchen and the upper storey the sleeping quarters. As in all Nepalese traditional houses, the upper storey of the house is entered via a small wooden staircase which connects the lower storey of the house to the upper storey.
Dining, Cooking area & restroom
The building’s upper storey, which was traditionally used as a storage for crops, is supported by very strong wooden beams. The upper storey has been partitioned into two rooms (with three beds each).
We have a beautiful garden overlooking the village and terrace fields. There are showers and toilets in a separate building – and other facilities are simple but amazing. Food is prepared using fresh and organic produce from the kitchen garden or bought from the villagers.
Retreat at Nuwakot Village
Nuwakot is a small thriving village situated on the way to Langtang Valley. King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who unified Nepal in 1767, started his unification campaign from Nuwakot , when he merged the two kingdoms of Gorkha and Nuwakot.
Nuwakot has a nice, clean main street that leads up to Saat Taale Durbar, the beautiful old castle, which in its historical importance is equal to the Hanuman Dhoka Palace in Kathmandu. A stone throw away from the durbar is the area’s main temple, Nuwakot Bhairabee Temple and Jalpadevi Mandir.
Our home stay in Nuwakot, a traditional Nepali house is at Chettri Bhanjyang, located near the royal palace in Nuwakot. The old house which had fallen into disrepair has been renovated and given a new lease of life. While the, lower storey has a verandah/ lobby and kitchen, the upper storey has three rooms. The rooms are cosy with comfortable beds. You can enjoy views of the mountains and the village from the windows.
(Photos Courtesy: Samari- Lars Gundersen, Nuwakot: Valeri Yerkal)
I am not the type of person that would usually take a trip from Beijing to Kathmandu by land. I had no idea what international travel was like or how difficult it can be gaining entry into Tibet. In fact I still don’t because Explore Himalaya made it easy for me.