10 Benefits of Staying in a Homestay

Indulge in the sensation of vacationing in a charming abode, complete with top-tier amenities that surpass those found in typical hotels or resorts. This is precisely what we offer in our homestay. While it is our personal residence, it is also a space we happily share with select guests seeking a unique and luxurious vacation experience.

Cottages in Spring
Cottages in Spring
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Aedi Devta Temple

Located about 20 KM from our place is a temple dedicated to Aedi Raja Barsi Gaja (ऐड़ी राजा बरसी गाजा), a demigod who appears in local folk tales. Villagers name the temple simply ‘Aedi Devta Temple’ (also spelled Ari, Aeri, Aidi). The temple is on a hilltop with valleys all around.

Ari Devta Temple
Aedi Devta Temple
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Fruit Orchard at Maini’s Hill Cottages

From late spring to autumn, our region is blessed with a bounty of fruits. Wild Fruits can be found all around. From road-sides to deep inside forests. Apart from these delicious wild fruits, we maintain a fruit orchard too. Every day, we harvest these fruits. Fresh from the farm to the plate!

Apricots, wild or hybrid… all of them are a delicacy to enjoy.
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ReWilding the Garden

Our unwavering belief in preserving nature in its true form is at the heart of our rewilding philosophy. By allowing nature to take the reins, we have successfully transformed a small patch of land into a thriving mini-forest. This sanctuary is now a haven for a diverse range of plants, insects, birds, and animals.

We take pride in our efforts to promote biodiversity and restore the natural ecosystem. Through rewilding, we have created an environment that supports and sustains various forms of life, while also providing a serene and beautiful space for us to enjoy.

Wild Flowers and Apple
Wild Flowers and an Apple Tree
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Jageshwar Dham

Just about 50 KM from our cottages are the famous temples of Jageshwar Dham. These temples were built between the 7th and 12th centuries, by the Katyuri dynasty and later Chand dynasty kings. These temples therefore show different architectural styles. The temples are clustered in two large groups.

Jageshwar Temple
Jageshwar Temple in the background with some small temples in front.
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Ancient Vishnu Temple

Nestled among the picturesque Kumaon Hills lies an ancient temple that pays homage to Lord Vishnu. Revered by the locals as the “Pracheen Vishnu Mandir,” this sacred site holds deep-rooted connections to Kumaon folklores and finds mentions in ancient Hindu scriptures such as the “Skandpuran.” The temple’s rich mythological heritage adds an enchanting dimension to its historical significance.

The ancient temple of Lord Vishnu, renovated in a modern style though.
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White Clovers and Ladybirds

White Dutch Clover is a wonderful cover crop that we use in our orchard. Apart from making the ground look green and beautiful, it has its benefits. Ladybirds, which are also some of the most beautiful insects in nature also love to make these clover patches their homes. Various other insects also love these patches of white clover.

Ladybird trying to avoid a fall from a clover leaf

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Glimpse of the Peaks

The Himalayas consist of various ranges. Students of geography divide them into three major ranges. The lowest range is the one that is present in the Kumaon region. For many others, Himalayas is synonymous with snow-covered peaks of the other two ranges in the north. On a clear day, these snow-covered peaks can be viewed from our cottages itself.

Himalayan Peaks
Uncropped view from a 135mm lens on a full frame camera. The far left is Trishul and the peak on the right side is Nanda-Devi

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Saim Devta Temple

A short walk away from the cottages, there is a small temple. Nested on a hilltop, the temple is dedicated to Saim Devta. Worshiped as one of the guardians of the village, Saim Devta provides prosperity. Some of the local folk consider Saim to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The temple is highly revered and is said to have been initially established by Saim Devta himself.

Early morning view of the hills from the temple
Early morning view of the hills from the temple

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Lichens in our Orchard

Lichens, nature’s wonders, stand as a testament to the resilience of life. Among the oldest living organisms, they offer a unique perspective on the quality of the air enveloping our tranquil cottages. Amidst the serene hills, we contemplate whether the air is truly as pure as our hopeful hearts desire. And it is through the lichens that we gain insight into this vital question.

Lichens growing on apple trees near the cottages
Stags Horn Lichens (Evernia prunastri) growing on apple trees near the cottages. These are quite common on oaks and are used in making perfumes.
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