Despite my extensive travels I’d never stayed in a real homestay. I think the thought of it worried me a little, do you live with the family? What if it’s awkward and the communication is not good? What if I don’t like the food but can’t get food from anywhere else?
However this changed when India Someday booked me a 3 night stay at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay 30 minutes from Jodhpur in rural Rajasthan. (There are more details below on India Someday and how you can receive a discount on your India booking!).
Not only did my view on Homestay’s completely change but I got to experience the India that I had hoped to see- an insight into Village life, watching and helping cook authentic Indian food and being able to see the stars from my bedroom door, and I managed to do it after being in India for just 2 weeks!
Related Post: My First Impressions of India!
If you’re looking for a homestay in India and the best homestay in Rajasthan, I hope my experience at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay helps convince you that you need to visit and stay there when you are in India and near Jodhpur.
To SEE my time at the Homestay, watch my YouTube video here:
Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay
Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay is also known as Salawas Homestay and is indeed Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay, Chhotaram runs the homestay with his family and when I arrived him and his wife Mamata were there to greet me in the best way possible.
Mamata tied a piece of red string around my wrist as a bracelet traditionally worn by Hindus’, painted a Bindi on my forehead and gave me a Sugarcane sweet, followed by a cup of delicious Masala Chai whilst I sat and spoke to Chhotaram and took in the relaxing surroundings of what would be my home for the next 3 days because as Chhotaram had said ‘you are now part of the family now, this is your home too’.
The Homestay has 6 huts which are made from mud and cow dung but they have been beautifully painted and are in a lot better condition that a lot of guesthouses and hotel rooms I have been in!
My hut had a very comfy double bed, a fan, enough floor space and a good sized bathroom. I really didn’t need anything more and I knew I would be very happy here for the next 3 days.
I spent my first afternoon outside my hut sitting in the afternoon sun relaxing and working, watching the children of the family play with some shy hello’s from them before being asked to join the family for dinner.
I had a unique experience as on my first night I was their only guest, this could have been awkward but it was not at all.
Most of the family sat around on the floor eating whilst the ladies cooked the food in the kitchen. No-one was speaking English but it was so nice to just observe them speak and Chhotaram did translate for me now and again so I had an idea of what they were talking about.
It was like being a fly on the wall but instead I got to eat incredible fresh, Rajasthani food with them on the floor outside of their house as they have done for many years and as I walked the few meters back to my hut feeling very full and the moon and the stars were out, I had a huge feeling of contentment come over me and I can imagine this is a feeling that most guests here get when they experience life in a simpler, calmer and more peaceful way.
The following day I had a delicious breakfast of Chapati, Yogurt, Bananas and of course a cup of Chai- Mamata’s Masala Chai is seriously good, and I spent the rest of the day reading my book and spending time with the family before going on a sunset walk.
Related Post for if you go to Jodhpur City before or after the homestay: 6 Of The Best Ways to See Jodhpur!
Chhotaram’s Father and Mother live 1km up the road and they have recently turned an empty bit of land into another homestay but this time a Heritage Homestay in Jodhpur so I took the opportunity of a free day to go with them and see what they offer there.
Pukhraj Garh Heritage Boutique Hotel in Salawas has a beautiful big lawn and selection of different huts. The huts all vary slightly, they are a higher quality and a bit bigger than the huts at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay. The eating area is inside the main house rather than outside as it is at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay and there is also a swimming pool which was just being built when I arrived.
I really like that the family are now able to offer 2 properties and have more variation for guests looking for a homestay in Rajasthan and the best homestay in Jodhpur.
If there is no availability at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay or you want to stay somewhere that is a bit more luxurious you should definitely contact them and see if you can stay at Pukhraj Garh as it is very close by and you will still experience the same offerings in terms of huts, homemade food and interaction with the family.
By the time I got back, new guests had arrived at the Homestay- an Indian family from Delhi as Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay is not only popular with foreign guests but Indian guests too and we all went on a sunset walk to an a great viewpoint and as we snapped photos and asked questions the sun sank into the Countryside in front of us.
This of course meant it was dinner time again, the previous night I has shied away from helping with the dinner which was bit silly so this time I sat on the floor of the kitchen watching Mamata cook in the most beautiful way and then I rolled a few Chapati’s which is one of those things that looks easy but I found it quite tricky especially as I had not used a rolling-pin in about 8 years, but Mamata and the rest of the family made me feel at ease and she finished off my Chapati’s to make sure they would cook properly.
This intimate and personal experience was also something I was looking for in India. Up until this point I didn’t know how I’d get it, I’ve found Indians and Indian families to be very friendly but it’s not that normal for them to invite you in to cook with them, but by being a guest at the homestay in India I got to experience real Indian cooking and this is why I would recommend staying here over a hotel in Jodhpur.
On my last full day I went out on a morning Village Safari with Chhotaram’s Brother- Pukhraj Garh which was really interesting and a great way to see the area, and lots of animals!
We started off by driving to a Bishnoi Home where I got to meet the man who lives there, I saw how he makes Opium tea and it was interesting to hear how and when this is used.
Afterwards we went in search of Blackbuck’s which we found plenty of and also popped into a Pottery Workshop where I got to have a go and into a Recycled Textile Factory and shop and had I had a home to buy bedding and rugs for, I could have purchased a lot from here!
Driving around was probably my favourite part though, to see all of the different animals – Camels, Donkeys, Sheep, Cows and Goats walking around on their own or being herded in the traditional way, experiencing the hair raising roads and driving of locals and being able to ask lots of questions about the Village and life here, it was definitely a highlight of my stay at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay and I would really recommend going on a Village Safari.
To see exactly what I saw, have a watch of my YouTube video here.
I finished my time at the Homestay watching Chhotaram do some weaving as his family originates from the Durry Weavers and this was their main income and jobs before starting the homestay. It’s really interesting to see and learn how long it takes, an average sized rug takes 1 month to make by hand, and there’s also the opportunity for guests and visitors to Salawas to purchase some of their rugs and mats. If I had a home, I would have purchased one of these too!
Hopefully you can tell I loved my 3 Days here! In fact I loved it so much that within 1 day I had already messaged my friend who is visiting Jodhpur soon to say ‘you have to visit Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay, you will have the best local Indian experience there!’.
She booked it!
The Details for Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay in Jodhpur
You can either purchase a package for 2 or 3 nights which includes all of your meals, water, a sunset walk, village safari, henna, cooking experience and pick up and drop off from Jodhpur, or you can book on a bed and breakfast rate and add on dinner, lunches and the experiences on top.
To make the experience easier and to ensure you do not need to think about money for the days whilst you are there, I would recommend booking one of the package’s which you can see when you go onto their website, enter your dates and click ‘Book Online’.
Chhotaram does not amend the rates by the days of the week or the time of year, they always stay the same, just like his home is the same all week and year, check the rates here.
You can also call and email Chhotaram on +91 9414720724 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be prepared to be around Children as there are quite a few children in the family and young Children, I got on with them well but if you are not a fan of Babies or Children I wouldn’t recommend the Homestay to you.
All food is vegetarian with no egg either due to their Hindu religion.
India Travel Assistance
I visited the homestay as part of a 1 week solo trip around Rajasthan with India Someday who provide planning assistance for people who want to explore India independently but want a bit of extra help, a personalised service and access to extensive information and knowledge on India! India Someday will tailor make a trip to work with all budgets and all interests.
India Someday offers a 20% discount off their fees to solo travellers, and The Wandering Quinn readers get an additional 5% off. So, if you are a solo traveller you will get a 25% discount on India Someday’s fees if you book your India travels with them.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!
For more of my posts on India see:
My stay was in collaboration with India Someday but all tips, recommendations, thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links but at no extra cost to you.