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Travel Talk

11 Mar 2013


At a time when most of the Nepali Youth contemplate going abroad to make a life for themselves, a majority of which involves unskilled labor work under harsh conditions for a meager salary; NepalSutra™ came across a young man in Ilam, Jaya Rai, who had enthusiastically started an enterprise in his own little village of Sundarpani. 

It certainly is a welcoming change to see such a young man, intent on promoting tourism and organic farming in Nepal. NepalSutra™ is delighted to promote Jaya's business and looks forward to promoting more businesses like this. 
Giving us a glimpse of his hometown, Jaya showed us around his little home stay arrangement. He spoke of the facility and also of Ilam at large. “Ilam is much known for its biodiversity,” Jaya told us. He also spoke of many ways people in Ilam were looking to introduce innovations in organic farming. “It is a brilliant idea to visit our tea plantations, for in addition to everything else, it’s very refreshing!” suggested Jaya.
Watch Jaya's Homestay Video Here:
Jaya recommends a week’s stay in Ilam to experience the food, hospitality and the place itself. 
Ilam has a lot of tourist destinations and most of the popular spots are near to his facility. Very close to his homestay, is a popular hill from where you could enjoy sunrise and sunset. There’s also a beautiful lake which goes by the name of Mai Pokhari, which is home to a variety of rare aquatic life.
From here, the border to India is just 5 km away. Sandakfu is a day’s trek from here if you wish to enjoy the Kanchanjunga mountain range. Also, conveniently for a traveler, the place is just an hour’s drive away from the airport.

Amidst the global issue of rising pollution and environmental degradation, Jaya shared how the people in Ilam are focusing on planting trees. He opined that with all the homestay facilities in the area, in addition to everything else, it would also be a major opportunity to engage in a cultural mix and share experiences with people from different parts of the world.
Jaya’s facility is in Fikkal Village Development Committee, Ward no. 5. of Ilam district. The place is called Sundarpani and it comprises of four houses that can accommodate 8 people at a time for homestay. Inside the house, there is a TV room, sitting room, guest bedroom and the kitchen/dining hall. While he took us around the house, Jaya introduced us to the cooks and showed us how the food is cooked in natural wood fire in the kitchen. “That’s the secret to our tasty meal,” Jaya said with a charming smile. He showed us how the utensils are coated with mud so it becomes easy to wash off the soot.
“We serve our tourist visitors with organic green vegetables. With Iskus, local chicken, fish from our own fish pond and bacon from our reared pigs,” added Jaya. Jaya has 6 cows in the shed. They are reared for milk. The cow dung is used for making compost which is used for organic farming.
Whenever they have guests, they make arrangements from the facility during the day to take them around to visit the many tourist spots.
Jaya said a lot of ethnic people reside in Ilam so the place is culturally rich. In his homestay the guests are welcomed in a very traditional way so they can experience Nepali hospitality in the context of authentic Nepali ethnic culture. Jaya is convinced that anyone who stays a week in Ilam in his homestay facility, would definitely look forward to visiting again! 
Jaya recently got married. He and his wife, are both working together in making this homestay a success, welcoming guests into their facility and showing them around Ilam. 
Should you wish to experience homestay in wonderful Ilam, you can get in touch with Jaya directly at 9842654592 or 9815949693.
Story: Aparajita Acharya; Photos: Sunil C. Sharma; Video Editing: Jeevan Ale