Mrs. Smita Sahay
Buransh Village Homestay A chance search on the internet by a friend resulted in our spending the days immediately following Diwali 2020 in this beautiful, understated, warm and cosy homestay run by Virender and Monica. It is a beautiful farm tucked away in the hillside, accessible by a country road, just 15 kms from Shimla, but one that gives you the feeling of being in a remote, serene place. Even before our trip began, Virender kept up a constant communication, easing our arrival to his home. The place was sparkling clean, the bedclothes were spotless white (these are the little things that are important to me), the bathroom fitted with high quality fittings, and our room was warmed by an oil radiator. The first day that we arrived I was feeling a bit queasy after the twists and turns of the mountain roads, and Virender immediately offered assistance, that included special light food. However, after a good snooze on the lovely and cosy bed and pillows, I was good to go, and arrived at the dining table for a superb pahadi meal. This was a great decision, as in all our 6 days and 5 nights there, not once was a dish repeated. We were offered the choicest of Himachali cuisine, from the "kult" dal, the special saag, vadis, sesame and mint chutneys etc to the amazing "siddoo": local bread made from fermented and steamed flour stuffed with poppy seeds, served with piping hot "ghee" and gravy!! The desserts were also unique and scrumptious! From the wheat-milk sweet to the pumpkin ka meetha, everything was just the right proportion and extremely tasty. Monica and her mother in law spared no effort in spoiling us with this fare. Incidentally, my birthday happened to fall during our stay there, and the hosts matched our friends' efforts to put up a celebration that I will cherish for years to come. We didn't just eat and sleep at the #buranshvillagehomestay, but also embarked on walks on "pagdandis" (small pathways in the mountains), suggested by Virender, everyday taking a new route, and enjoyed the blissful mix of clear skies, clean air and zero people.... that's right! Not a soul in sight except the four of us, trudging along, spotting exotic Himalayan birds and marvelling at the delightful jungle plants, flowers and berries. I would recommend this great experience to everyone. Virender and Monica team up to be just the right hosts, always there for assistance should you need it, but never imposing. We went as tourists, but came away feeling we had stayed with close friends/ relatives.