HimachalTravelDiaries, New Post, Travel

A perfect getaway by the brook near Dharamshala, HP

As I pen down this post, Himachal Pradesh is experiencing torrential rains which have swept away bridges, buildings and roads in the entire state since the beginning of July 2023. There is massive flooding with the rivers crossing danger marks and wrecking havoc all over the landscape. Travel advisory for the state have been issued with alerts for more rains predicted in the coming days.Β 

Taking advantage of a low work spell, I planned a short getaway to Dharamshala and Mcleodganj in the nearby state of Himachal Pradesh. I opted to drive down since its a five and a half hour drive from Jammu. But the rainy day and the road building activities throughout the journey made me regret doing so πŸ™

Though driving in the rains is generally fun but not when one is being splashed by dirty water from all sides and having to brave huge potholes and under construction stretches of the highway. I was finally glad to arrive at the gorgeous home stay being managed by one of my friends, Sonalini in Khaniyara near Dharamshala.

The accommodation

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We were ushered to this really charming room on the first floor with a huge balcony with a windswept view of snow covered peaks and a gushing brook splashing playfully on rocks and crevices. The first floor comprises of a kitchen, dining area, one bedroom with attached bath and one with a common toilet. The floor has open verandahs on almost all sides, making it an airy and light filled space.

The entire home stay has been planned with great care and detail and made for a very pleasing stay. The huge penthouse suite on the top floor with even more lovely views of the valley all around was the wow factor of this homestay. There is a lovely garden on the ground floor which is accessible to the guests and makes for a beautiful spot to enjoy a cup of tea, listening to the brook gurgle by. We were bowled over by the wi-fi connectivity here and it made our work from home stay absolutely perfect.

Palate seduction

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Daily breakfast was cooked to perfection by Sonalini and I ended up sampling the poha (flattened rice flakes), cheese sandwiches, masala omlette and upma ( semolina dish) along with loads of seasonal fresh fruits. The kitchen utility attached with the unit was replenished with plenty of tea and coffee options plus a host of soft beverages in the fridge. There are also a large number of small eateries around and some great food delivery services. Perfect for a long getaway plan.

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Attractions nearby Dharamshala

The river flowing parallel to the road makes for a calming sight and I enjoyed my daily morning walks a lot. There are plenty of gorgeous spots within easy driving distance from the homestay.

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  • Norbulingka Institute is about 10 mts by car and is a must-visit place to observe the preservation of Tibetan arts and culture
  • Palampur tea gardens are about 2 hours drive away from Dharamshala and can be an incredible experience to take back
  • The Dalai Lama temple in Mcleodganj should not be missed and is about a 45 mts drive from Khaniyara
  • One can take the ropeway from Dharamshala to reach Mcledoganj in the most unique way
  • Some delicious and lip smacking cuisine is available all around in this area and should not be missed
  • Do try visit the Andretta Pottery village which is about a 30 minutes drive from Palampur
  • Kangra Fort is a short drive away and has been converted into a great tourist spot with audio commentary available
  • Do visit The Fat Teapot near the homestay for some amazing cookies and cakes which is our hostess’s baby
  • Another eclectic tourist destination are the Rock cut temples at Masrur / Masroor which is a short drive away from Kangra

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I had an amazing time shopping for stuff during this trip and here is my list of things one should not miss picking up.

  1. Teas from the various local tea estate shops
  2. Loban and other kind of incense
  3. Hand knitted caps, mufflers and other items
  4. Hand painted postcards with Tibetan influences
  5. Uniquely crafted pottery items from Andretta

Contact info:

One can get in touch with Sonalini to make inquiries about a stay. Her number is +91.9818685686

My rating

Location: 5/5 stars

Hospitality: 5/5 stars

Accommodation: 5/5 stars

Food: 5/5 stars

Value for money: 5/5 stars

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A trained Interior designer who loves to travel, photograph and write, I have done some boutique stays in limited budgets and some in extravagant heritage ones too. I specialize in using locally sourced/ made products which would provide support to the local community.

I work as a social media content creator for small businesses and help with brand building with SEO aligned content and posting schedules.Β  You can check out some of my work on Instagram for various brands.

I am also an advocate of using sustainable practices in housekeeping, laundry,etc which lessens the use of harmful chemicals. The water used for such chores is clean enough to be fed into the garden directly.

You could get in touch with me for:

  • Interior design services for your property
  • Training and implementing of green practices at your property
  • Creating and managing a social media profile for your property
  • Doing an honest Travel reviews for a unique stay anywhere in the world. If you liked this review and would like for me to visit your property, please drop in a mail at shalzmojo@gmail.com
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14 thoughts on “A perfect getaway by the brook near Dharamshala, HP

  1. Such a beautiful place. Having grown up in a hill station, I have a soft corner for hills and mountains. But somehow when I have to plan for holidays, it’s the beaches that call on to me. But maybe someday.

    1. It was indeed a gorgeous spot and how I envy you growing up in the hills as they are my most preferred place to go for a holiday. Beaches are my second option πŸ™‚

  2. Gawd!! I want to drop everything (and everyone) and go here. The homestay looks beautiful. Himachal is such a picturesque state. It’s a pity rains have messed it up.

    1. Yeah its a shame with the rain fury and devastation in the state. It is all a direct impact of all this construction and tourism. I wish we would protect our nature and not be in such a trend to go and visit everywhere and find newer places and ruin it all

  3. A solo trip to this heavenly place would be perfect, isn’t it? The accommodation, the food, the privacy, and of course, the place, are all to die for! Lovely! I am glad you could visit there and have such a nice time, Shalz. πŸ™‚

  4. The place seems so beautiful. I have not been to Dharamshala and would love to go there someday. It is so tragic what happened in Himachal recently. Hope that things get better for them soon.

  5. Wow, what a beautiful place! I would love to visit someday! The homestay looks amazing too. You had a wonderful time there. Thank you for sharing all the details and the beautiful photos, Shalini.

    1. Yeah it was indeed just delightful to say the least. I am hoping to go back for a visit soon enough. Glad you enjoyed reading about it.

  6. Oh how do you find these beautiful and peaceful places. I love the aesthetics of the cottage. The bedrooms looks so charming. A lovely drive and break from the routine. One day I would love to visit this place.
    I did see the heartbreaking videos of flood in Himachal Pradesh. I hope situation is better now.

    1. I got lucky Raji. A friend recommended this place and I realized its being run by a common friend. I think that made all the difference in our stay experience. Nature is gorgeous everywhere, just needs to be nurtured and protected. The rains dont seem to be abating this year. We too had a brief lull but now they are back again in full force. Climate change is here to stay and ruin πŸ™

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