What to Expect


At R.O.S.E. Kanda Homestay you can expect a comfortable home away from home. This is a family operation with 4-6 people running about daily performing their chores as well as trying to please you. For the most part everything you need is here – but there are a few amenities lacking.

What should I bring?

travel_advisory_3Unless you are planning to do some serious mountaineering a basic travel kit is all you need. A few changes of clothes, toiletries, personal entertainment items – the lighter you pack – the better. Kanda can get chilly Nov.-Jan. so some warmer gear should be included. Read on for more details.

In summer:

As the temperatures rise during the summer it is recommended to bring loose fitting clothing along with a light jacket or fleece for the evenings, as there can be a chill in the air. Consider  pajamas for your night clothes. Shorts are uncommon and could be offensive even in summer so pants are suggested along with one or two long sleeve shirts, T-shirts or tops to protect from insects and the Sun. For, ladies Punjabi salwar suits and/or trousers will be suitable in moving around and taking part in most activities.

In winter:

We would suggest the summer ensemble plus an extra layer for the chillier night and mornings. A wool cap is a good idea too and light gloves might be useful. There isn’t any heating so your clothing should be warm enough for the possibility of a zero degree day. Please note that the residence is made of concrete and is inherently cave-like.


travel_advisory_1It would be wise to bring whatever medicines or prescriptions you need  from your home country. While there are pharmacies in India they may not have your preferred remedies. A small first aid kit is a good idea as well.


A pair of shoes suitable for walking in the hilly terrain is advisable along with slippers or sandals for mornings and evenings around the compound.


Toilet paper, skin moisturizer, lip balm, sunblock and mosquito repellant should be brought with you. Shampoo is available locally as is laundry detergent.

Other accessories:

  • A flashlight or headlamp is mandatory as power goes off randomly.
  • Carry a small notebook & a pen to jot down your experiences.
  • There are beautifully naturally composed photos awaiting you at every turn here. To augment your memories bring a camera and spare set of batteries.
  • A good book, deck of cards, Scrabble are some examples of things to bring when you are in the mood for some personal time.

What amenities are here?


Toilets here are of the squat variety and are actually quite practical once you gain experience. Unless you plan to adopt the Indian method of cleaning your behind it is a good idea to bring some toilet paper. Kanda does not sell any but it is easily obtained in Bageshwar or any of the other larger cities enroute. Shower are taken via bucket. Hot water is available every morning and shuttled to a cubicle in which you clean yourself. Towels provided.


There is no Wifi at R.O.S.E. or any where in Kanda.  Jeevan’s office computer connects to the internet though it may not be widely available for a guest’s personal use.  There is a wireless network if you have a Smartphone with internet capabilities.  An Indian Smartphone can be purchased starting at 5,000 rupees and 1 GB of data costs around 200 rupees.


Mornings typically begin with a steaming cup of chai brought directly to you while you enjoy the fresh air. Breakfast follows at 9 and is usually some mix of rice and dhal. At 2pm there is a light lunch served with chapatis. Dinner happens around 7pm in winter and a bit later in summer and consists of one or two vegetable dishes with chapatis. All meals are vegetarian in nature (and tasty!). Accessory foods such as cookies, Cadbury chocolate, fruit and chips can be purchased at any of the countless shops in the region.


It comes directly from a spring and is clean, cold and delicious.  Guests are able to drink the water without getting sick so there is no need to purify although bottled water is available nearby.


Note: There was a financial crises in India in late 2016 and this has affected the availability of money. Kanda has an ATM but don’t depend on it for dispensing money. There is a bank but they cannot change currency. To change money one needs to do so in nearby Bageshwar. The best wisdom we can offer is to come prepared with rupees that are more easily obtained in Delhi or other larger cities.

Services in Kanda:

It’s a small town but some things can be had. Dozens of shops sell basic needs such as groceries, drinks, hygienic items, clothes, toys and shoes. The quality varies. There are a few tiny restaurants, chai sellers, confectionary shops, a phone store and a copy machine. Kanda is famous for its goldsmiths and there are several makers of gold jewelry in town.

Do’s & Dont’s:

travel_advisory_2As we transition from Western values into a more conservative society it becomes important for us to respect their way of living. After discussions with our past guests we would like to share some points to ponder to help make a more pleasant stay:

  • Please respect the values, beliefs, culture and religion of your hosts and the people of the locality.
  • Avoid public displays of affection with your companions or with the local people.
  • Men typically wear long sleeve button shirts and long pants.
  • For ladies, it is advisable that they wear non-revealing clothing & avoid things like shorts, short skirts or low cut blouses. Please do not feel offended. Following the national dress code will help you to blend into society. Incorrect clothing can make you feel ostracized.
  • Do not defecate or urinate near water source.
  • Please feel free to ask your host questions about their customs, culture etc as this will not only enhance your awareness but also help in enhancing your relationship.
  • In planning your trip refer to the information provided in the ‘what to bring’ section.

The only prerequisites for volunteering with R.O.S.E. are:

  • Patience and willingness to learn but also the ability to share with the people of Kanda whatever expertise you are equipped with.
  • Flexibility and adaptability; you are entering a different culture with different values so take the time to respect what you see happening around you. Quite likely there will not be any other Westerners in the area so take time to learn and study the local values.
  • Don’t excessively drink alcohol nor smoke illegal substances. Again, exercise modesty in dress.

Quiet time is to be respected. Your host family rises early to get breakfast ready and care for their property and they earn an early nights rest. They are usually asleep by 9pm.

  • What should I expect?

    R.O.S.E. offers an array of opportunities to self motivated volunteers. This is the real deal when it comes to dipping into foreign culture. Authentic opportunities  include:

    • Living with a family, as part of a local community and having a genuine experience of a rural Indian lifestyle.
    • Being involved in teaching school children, organic farming and learning about bio diversity and cottage industries, including construction and protection of the local Environment.
    • Enjoying the tranquility and beautiful scenery of an organic agricultural village in the foothills of the Himalayas, or taking time out to explore the Himalayas on one of the many treks in the Kanda area. Learning Hindi or Kumaoni and enjoying unique Kumaoni cuisine.
    • Developing self confidence social awareness, and having fun!


Rural Organization for Social Elevation