A Chalet by the River
Passu, Dharamshala, Himanchal Pradesh
Imagine this. You’re sitting by the window in a bucolic room made of a century-old wood, watching as the sun pierces through the sky. Under it, a string of green hills is complemented with a river that gushes down swiftly, merely a few feet away. That’s life here at ZostelX Dharamshala in Passu, a small village lodged on the periphery of Dharamshala. The house is made sustainably with the help of bamboos, clay tiles and wood, slates from local slate mines and a natural water filtering system. Conveniently located away from the tourist crowds and yet near to the scenic attractions, this home offers a balanced getaway between solitude and experiences. The common area is more like a wooden cabin with glass windows, offering mesmerizing views of the greenery. With litchi orchards and an in-house polytunnel in the backyard, a feet-dipping pool, and a garden springing with peculiar plants and flowers, the home is nothing short of organic magic. A small garden behind the house with all the fruit and flower bearing trees is a frequent haunt for birds such as the Russet sparrows, Sibias, Rose Finches, Magpies, Bulbuls, Asian barbets, Tyrant flycatchers, Redstarts and many more. You may also spot Himalayan Griffons, Lammergeiers and Kites catching warmth on the terrace in the cold winters.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
Stream dipping: Right by our chalet flows a stream, and you can go dipping to your heart’s content in its pleasantly chilly waters!
Norbulingka Monastery Just 5km from our cosy home, the Norbulingka Monastery works on preserving the art and literature of the Tibetan culture. Hence, travellers from all over the world come here for advanced studies.
Birdwatching & boating Head to the Pong Dam to have a look at migratory birds or boat to an island on the dam and explore a hidden temple (seasonal). The best time to visit is January-March.
A tour around Dharamshala and Mcleodganj Our local caretaker can help you organize day trips to the popular towns of Mcleodganj and Dharamshala. Here’s all you can see (charges extra as per half day or full day) The first tour is to the Bhagsu Temple & waterfall, the Dalai Lama temple, St John’s Church, the Dal Lake and the sunset point of Naddi. You can also add a visit to Gallu Temple, from where hikes to Triund and Guna Devi Temple start. This tour is designed to show you around the Mcleodganj area. You can also take a tour to Kangra Art Museum, Tea estates, Kunal Patri temple, the War Memorial, and the Cricket Stadium. A third trip takes you to the Norbulingka Monastery, Karmapa temple, Aghanzar Mahadev, Indrunag viewpoint, and Tapovan. You can see the local slate mines from here and even Paraglide over the beautiful city of Dharamshala.
OSHO Nisarga Nestled amidst a lush green natural environment and streams flowing majestically, Osho Nisarga is built near Dharamshala with a scenic backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhar mountain range. Ecological in its concept and design and already functioning as a new model of Osho's holistic vision of life, Osho Nisarga is being established as a true 21st-century oasis. In response to growing demand from seekers from all over the world, it is being developed independently as a non-profit center and is built on a solid foundation of many years of experience in international commune management.
Learn the traditions Love exploring a new culture? You can learn how to cook Himachali food comprising of curries, chutneys, and pickles with us! If you want to go back in ancestral time, you can explore the art of making Himachali bedsheets and sweaters on man-powered machines from the local artisans. You can also head out for village walks and take necessary recommendations from us.
Organic Farm If you’re an animal lover who loves to contribute in any which way, you can definitely check out the organic farm & animal center, Peepal farm. You can volunteer and be a helping hand to the animals around here. Make sure you also tour around the property to see the seasonal crops being grown here!
In-house Activities If you’re here to just lay low and relax, you'll find a bunch of books which are a mix of poems, travel, birds, and gardening. We also have ample board games like Sequence, Catan, Carrom Board, and Chess to keep you entertained. We believe that travel should be experienced with authentic food and real experiences. (Please be mindful that this is a live-in house and all the belongings are host's personal- We request you to treat all belongings with care and caution as many of the items in the house are irreplaceable and of heritage and sentimental value.)
Kitchen and Meals - The kitchen is equipped with cooking utensils, a gas stove, a refrigerator and a water purifier. - We ONLY serve home-cooked meals which are prepared fresh every day. The cook prepares set meals for all the guests in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The timings of which are: 8:30-10 am - Breakfast 1:30-3 pm - Lunch 7:30- 9 pm - Dinner - In case of any special meal demand, you have to make a prior notice. - Guests do not have access to the kitchen. However, if you wish to self cook then you need to make prior requests. If you wish to cook, you can shop for groceries and other supplies. All basic groceries are available close to the house itself. If you are using the kitchen, we expect you to clean up after use. If you would prefer to not clean while on holiday, then please let us know in advance and we can have this arranged at a small extra fee. Crockery is available for 12 people.
Common Hangout Area
HOW TO REACH
◘ By car: The shortest way to reach from Chandigarh to Passu is to come via Chandigarh-Una-Kangra highway. If you’re coming from Delhi, take the road to Dharamshala and take a diversion from Chetru Chowk towards Passu. ◘ By Bus: All the outstation buses come via Chetru Chowk to Dharamshala from Delhi and Chandigarh. Drop off there as the home is just 2km from there. If you’re coming from Shimla or Manali, get down at Sheela Chowk, from where the chalet is 4-5km. You’ll find taxis easily. ◘ By Air: The nearest airport is the Gagal Airport in Kangra, which is 11km from ZostelX Passu. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi. The approximate fare for a taxi would be INR 800. By Train: The nearest railway station is in Pathankot which is 85km from the property. From there, take a taxi (INR 2000 or so) or a bus (regular buses available) and you should reach in 2-3 hours! ◘ Note: -For further detailed directions, please call the property prior to your arrival. Their contact details will be shared with you in the booking confirmation email itself. -If you’re coming from Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, or Dharamkot, you will easily get a taxi that drops you to the home.
AREA - Passu, Dharamshala
Passu is a small town at the periphery of Dharamshala but it hides away from the popular and touristy areas. With umpteen hikes and Buddhist influence in culture, the town is full of things to explore.
LOCATION - ZostelX Dharamshala (Passu)
ZostelX Dharamshala is located right by a stream, at the very beginning of Dharamshala. Located near the famous cricket stadium, it is accessible by road and easy to spot, as it sits right by a bridge that you need to cross to get there.
Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.
- The property is a wooden chalet. Smoking inside is strictly prohibited.
- Secured parking space for 3-4 cars is available.
- Rest your feet and get rid of your shoes before entering the property.
- There is one dog present at the house and there is a separate space for her.
- A medical kit with basic first aid is available.
- ID proof is mandatory for each guest.
- Due to limited occupancy, we are not able to provide accommodation for drivers or any staff members. We can, however, suggest nearby hotels for them.
- While we are sure you will love your stay in these magical surroundings, please be aware that the villa is located not very far from a large stream. For your safety, taking a dip in the dark may not be such a great idea. Similarly making big fires, playing loud music, causing disturbance and inconveniencing neighbours are a big no-no.
- While we have taken every effort to make the villa warm, welcoming, and comfortable, please remember that it is by no means a hotel or resort. It is a family home in the truest sense - so while the house is completely self-contained, please don’t expect hotel-like facilities such as room service, food and drink on demand and generator. The caretaker can accommodate most reasonable requests, with adequate prior notice. The villa will be cleaned every day.
- The property is a live house and has a large garden around it - so, ‘creepy crawlers’ or bugs and insects, are an integral part of the ecosystem here. If you spot them inside the house or out in the garden, please do not be alarmed. Virtually none of them or harmful or poisonous. Please do not attempt to kill or squash them and request the host for help. The best way to avoid them from coming inside the room is to keep all the windows closed.
- Phone signals here are very good and most networks work well here.
- We have free internet access, the speed of which is usually good on most days but then there are also days when the storm kicks in. We request you to use it responsibly and not use it for streaming and large downloads.
- The drinking water comes from a nearby mountain spring and we have an RO filter installed in the kitchen. In case you need bottled water, it can be arranged for an extra price. Dharamshala has water shortage so we request you to be sparse and use it wisely.
HOSTED By Kshitiz Bansal
A traveller at heart, Kshitiz left his city-life three years back and moved to the mountains. A young, free-spirited, fun-loving entrepreneur, he successfully runs Zostel along with a café in Dharamkot, 15km North of Passu. Our caretaker would look after all your requirements such as laundry (charged upon actuals), daily meals, taxi arrangements, village walks. The host would be your personal concierge available over the phone to take care of any out of the box needs. We believe in giving our guests space and privacy, hence the interaction will be minimum. However, a trained and responsible caretaker is present at the property to resolve any concerns and help you have a perfect stay. Ravinder, along with his family, is the caretaker of the place and will personally meet you upon your arrival and show you around the house. He will be available during all times of the day to help you around. He will also be able to help you with any suggestions you may need in regards to places to visit, taxi, village walk, and so on.