December, 2021July 15, 2022
Snow Line Homestay – A Budget Accommodation in Shangarh
“Hello bhaiya, aap Snow Line Homestay se bol rahe hain?” (Hello brother, are you speaking from Snow Line Homestay?)
“Haan! Main Snow Line Homestay se Rakesh bol raha hoon.” (Yes, I am Rakesh speaking from Snow Line Homestay).
“Bhaiya, main apke homestay me 2019 October me aya tha. Kya abhi room mil jayega or kya price rahega?” (Brother, I stayed at your homestay in October 2019. Is there a room available, and what’s the rent?)
“Haan, room mil jayega apko. Aap to purane guest hain. Aap aa ja, koi dikkat nahi.” (Yes, there is a room available. You are an old guest, so don’t worry. You just come.)
When I decided to revisit Shangarh, the very first thing I did was to call the same homestay where I stayed back in Oct 2019 and ask if I could get a room. And this was the first time I did something like this, I mean I kind of almost booked a room which I don’t remember doing in the past. I usually go to the place and then look around. This trip was a trip down memory lane, so I wanted to retrace the same paths and live the same moments. Though when I visited Shangarh the first time, I first visited one more homestay which was near to the Devta Ground but I skipped it and kept on hiking to the top. And then I lost the way and called Rakesh bhaiya several times. Finally, he had to come and pick me up in his car. So generous. You can read that in my blog here.
After a nearly 14-15 hours journey from Delhi, when I got down from the cab at Shangarh, I took a deep breath. The smell of pine woods was so refreshing, the songs of birds mixed with the melody of water cascades erupting from every corner you see were soul-soothing. I navigated my path to the homestay passing through the meadows and the narrow way covered with lots of shrubs (bicchu buti).
A Tale of Nostalgic but Challenging Experience – Snow Line Homestay
When I reached the homestay, Rakesh bhaiya wasn’t there and his wife, Poonam couldn’t recognize me. Anyways, she handed me over the key to the room. You know the best part of the room that she gave me, it was the same room in which I stayed when I came here for the first time. This wooden cottage is located in front of the host’s home. The only challenge you will face to reach Snow Line Homestay is that there is a long hike to reach this and at places, there is no proper path to walk. If it is monsoon (as it was this time), then this challenge is going to be even worse. The path is all watery, with lots of bugs and thorny shrubs. The muddy terrain is a little risky to walk and hike. At places, you won’t find any trail and you will have to make your own. If you own a vehicle, you will save yourself from all this hassle. There is a motorable path which is a bit lengthier than the other one. But you can take your vehicle straight to the homestay and there is ample parking space.
So, I checked in and crashed into the bed for a while to relax my muscles. Traveling for 14-15 hours actually takes a toll on your mental and physical state. However, your mental state gets relaxed the moment you reach such a place. And all I needed was a shower. After the shower, I sat by the room’s window. Poonam ma’am gave me a hot bowl full of kheer(not the one I usually eat at home). She told me that the village organized some community event or festival and the kheer was a sacred offering to the local deity. Relishing the hot sweet kheer sitting by the window, staring at the view outside with clouds hung in the sky hovering over the mountains, what else you could ask for at such a magical place.
Read Here – Shangchul Mahadev Mandir Shangarh
I opened Google Photos and looked for the photos I clicked on during my previous visit. Everything seemed the same (it was just a year and a half, there wasn’t much to change). Moreover, the views were far more interesting and mesmerizing than I had during my first visit. Since it was monsoon and everything was green, blue clear sky and cotton white clouds. I could see patches of snow over some mountain tops. The first night I spent in the homestay itself. And the next day came with a power cut which was a little concerning situation considering you have your phones, camera, speakers, etc. to charge.
Read – Traveling Unplanned
I stayed at the host’s home
I stayed at this homestay for two days. The next day, there was a major power cut and since it was monsoon and rained continuously, so I wasn’t expecting the power to be back soon. Rakesh bhaiya shifted me to his home. The upper floor of his room had a huge open hall with three of four rooms having attached bathrooms; nothing less than a homestay itself. It kept on raining continuously and I was couldn’t go and explore around. I took a chair and sat in the room. It continued raining outside for a long. And it rained a lot. Though Snow Line Homestay is surrounded by thick forest, the monsoon comes here with some challenges and the riskiest is the path which gets slippery and gets covered with algae and other vegetation.
Read Here – Tips on Easy Traveling
I turned on my speaker and played some really soft and soothing songs to go along with such ambiance and the rain. Though I was supposed to go out but I was enjoying every moment and every drop. When I planned to go in the rain itself, the host warned me not to do this act of stupid bravery. And it was right too. It was risky and not a wise option. If you are a tea lover, you would love the moments I lived, sipping your hot beverage with the rain outside. Since I don’t drink tea, I can’t describe the feeling.
Well after spending a couple of hours sitting in the hall watching the clouds play with each other, I did muster some courage to step out in the rain and come down to the ground. It was just drizzling and I found this opportunity. Having spent more than 24 hours just sitting in the room and staring outside made me a little anxious to go and roam around. I mean how you couldn’t go and roam in such a place. I wasn’t even carrying an umbrella. Make sure that you do if you visit during the monsoon. While I was just roaming around, I came across a signboard of a café, where I went and spent some time. It was Café Stories n More and I reached here randomly though I had this place on my list since the owner of the café contacted me by mail and informed me about this café in Shangarh. The café is nicely located and offers some really amazing food options. You can read the rest in my other blog.
I had my dinner at the homestay itself. Previously too I had my dinner here only. The host Poonam ma’am (she is a Sanskrit teacher) cooked some really yummy local food. You know living with the locals and having a local meal is a bliss which is hard to find. Though the homestay is a basic one, but again do you really need luxurious amenities at such a place? This place itself is a luxury.
How to reach Snow Line Homestay?
So, there are two ways to reach the homestay. One is a hike and the other is a motorable way. If you have a vehicle, you can take that road and reach straight to the homestay. If you don’t have a vehicle and are on your own, you have to take a hike to the top. This is a short hike but if you are carrying too much load, it can be a little tiring. You can call the homestay owner and request if he can arrange a pick up for you.
Things to note
As mentioned above, Snow Line Home Stay is located at the top. You will find lots of other homestays on the ground, and on the way to the homestay. It is located in the middle of a thick forest. So make sure that you are covering yourself fully. Better to carry insect repellent sprays or ointment, whatever suites. Also, carry your toiletry kit (which I am sure you will). There are no shops around. The only shops you will find are in the village. If you love munching in the middle of the night, while watching your favorite movie or snow, buy from there. There is no WiFi, however cellular network works fine (Mine worked well, Airtel and Vodafone).
How to book Snow Line Homestay?
You can directly contact the homestay owner and ask for booking and other things. His phone number is 8894820083. The homestay costs 1000 rupees per person which covers your two meals, i.e. breakfast and dinner. However, kindly do check with the host.
This is the FB page.
When you visit Shangarh, make sure that you practice sustainable activities and don’t harm the nature and sanctity of the place.
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I am a food & travel enthusiast, a music aficionado, poet, artist, and someone who loves to explore unexplored/off-beat places. I started this blog to share my food and travel journey.