|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?
Unless 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.
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.
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.
It 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.
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:
As 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:
The only prerequisites for volunteering with R.O.S.E. are:
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.