On June 2013, when Kedarnath floods devastated all what came in its way, a thriving rafting resort at Rishikesh was also devoured by the relentless flood waves. The owners, two young guys hailing from Uttarakhand, had put all they had into the rafting business. The floods may have devastated their business; however, their unflinching will to succeed against all the odds grew even stronger. Together, they came up with the idea of Pahadi House – an eco friendly homestay that has since become a torch-bearer for promoting rural tourism in Uttarakhand.
“After our resort was engulfed by the floods, we returned to our villages and decided we cannot give up now. It’s now or never.“ recalls Abhay Sharma, who hails from the Neelkanth, Pauri Garhwal. Migration has been a major issue in Uttarakhand that left houses empty and villages ghost. “We thought, why not use these abandoned houses and turn it into a homestay, keeping intact the heritage? Thus, Pahadi House came into existence.” adds Yash Bhandari, who has his roots in Akhodi village in Tehri Garhwal.
In search for a perfect destination, the duo zeroed in on Chopdiyal village at Kanatal, just 48 kms from Mussoorie. They leased two abandoned houses in a dilapidated condition and gave it a makeover reviving the Pahadi essence that once lingered all around this forsaken house. They aptly christened their eco friendly homestay as ‘Pahadi House’. The architecture strongly resembles a traditional village house in Uttarakhand. Moreover, the mesmerizing view of the snow clad Himalayan peaks from Pahadi House adds to its charm.
The gamble paid off. With over 4,000 guests including 400 foreign tourists, Pahadi House has become a favorite haunt for people looking for a calm, secluded and peaceful place amidst the verdant hills. The scrumptious Pahadi cuisine as well as the Pahadi lifestyle experienced at the homestay has left many tourists in awe. However, the USP of Pahadi House is its balance between being a hilly homestay yet offering ample convenience and amenities to its guests.
Abhay and Yash not only successfully managed to restart their hospitality venture, they did with giving back to the community they grew up in. “To help few families earn a livelihood and promote eco tourism in our native Uttarakhand with the help of Pahadi House, it’s a dream come true for us.” adds Abhay Sharma. The favorable reviews and reception of Pahadi House at Kanatal has led the duo to expand their venture. “We have circled out couple of locations at Hathi Paon, Mussoorie and Kunao village, Pauri. They will be ready soon.” assures Yash Bhandari.
Over a million tourists travel to Uttarakhand every year. A responsible government should support the ventures like Pahadi House. They not only encourage responsible tourism in the state but also offer employment opportunities to the local population. Only then issues like migration and unemployment that marred Uttarakhand for decades will resolve once and for all. With the help of rural tourism, it maybe our one last shot to revive and rejuvenate Uttarakhand’s culture, heritage, traditions and values which is heading towards obscurity.
superb Aakansha….. keep writing such poems.. i love it.
Woh gaaun ek time machine sa lagta hai
Jab bhi yaad aata hai bachpan lautaata hai
Woh akhrod k perh ka jhoola
Woh pattharo ka khela
Woh paghdandiyo mein uchal kood
Woh perho pe charhke todna kaafal aur shehtoot
Garmiyo ki chuttiyo mein dadaji k saath jaana
Unki retired army jacket ka overcoat banaana
Woh mitti ki seediyo mein sunday monday
Woh khaana perho se nikaalke maalte thande thande
Aaj mera gaaun gehri neend mein so gaya hai
Uski siskiyaa koi nhi sun raha hai
Aaj sapno mein jab bhi woh aata hai
Puraani yaadein dohraata hai
Aaj paharho k beeech woh gaun mera chip gaya hai
Banjar sa, shaant sa humaare lautne ka intezaar kar raha hai
Ab samajh aa raha hai ki train se jo dikhte the khaali khandar
Rahe Honge woh bhi kabhi na kabhi kisi ke pyaare ghar
Jisse banaaya hoga pyaar se
Woh Nayi deewaro pe haath lagaane se bhi katraya hoga
Aaj unn deewaron mein kaai jamm gayi hai
Ek photo jo unmein latki thi woh bhi namee se gal gayi hai
Kuch kanastar kuch bistar dhool mein dabb gaye hai
Dadaji jahaan naariyal ki toffee rakhte the woh bakse jank se deh gaye hai
Woh mitti ka choolaah saalo se thandaa parha hai
Woh lakdi ka aadha jalaa tukdaa usmein bikhra parha hai
Kheto k beech uss nal ka galaa sookha parha hai
Baarish ka intezaar woh saalo se kar raha hai
Ek ghar yahaan kam banaa lete hai
Chalo maa waapis gaun kuch din k liye chalte hai
Uss gaaun ne hum sabko jodaa tha
Pyaar se har rishtaa sanjoyaa tha
Ek baar phir shuru se shuruaat karte hai
Files ko chorh k rishto ki baatein karte hai
Ek baar phir jeeba chaahti hu main woh yaadein
Woh mittu ka ghar woh dadaji ki thakk saansein
Woh angeethi ki mehek
Woh apno ki chehek
Great job being done by these youths. Hope other will follow them.