To be honest, Sirubari had been on our wish list for a long time. It was the pandemic that kept us from visiting and the homestays were closed at the time, only set to be open to visitors from 2021.
So, there we were, on our way to Sirubari, Syangja, and in the perfect time – for the Holi. The festival of colors is by the way a big thing to celebrate, especially in a place like Pokhara. While everyone was returning to the city a day before the festival, we were on our way to the beautiful village of Sirubari.
Sirubari is a perfect destination for anyone who is trying to get away from the blaring and buzzing city. First of all, it’s not that far from Pokhara, and while the road is not that good, the journey is worth it. You can collect your friends, hire a four-wheeler or take your motorbikes there or you can simply take a bus to Sirubari, which I think departs from Naudanda, Syangja once a day. Of course, we chose motorbike over other means, which was fun and a bit troublesome, but again what’s a journey without some problems, right?
What I loved the most about Sirubari is that the place exceeded my expectations; all the off-road trail, the difficult journey, and the remoteness had me thinking somehow lesser about the place but then, I think it happens to just about everyone who visits the place for the first time. The people there are amazing, the hospitality – top class and above all, who wouldn’t love to be in a quiet and beautiful place once in a while.
Sirubari is the first homestay of Nepal and believe it or not, the first in South Asia, which might seem strange as most of us didn’t hear about the place for a very long time. The tale of a remote village in a faraway place turned into a tourist destination is even more fascinating and we had a chance to hear it first hand from the family member of the person who made it happen and lucky enough to get to stay at the same person’s home.
The first thing you’ll get to experience once you reach Sirubari is the hospitality of people. They’ll welcome you with the traditional panchebaja (sounds too good to be true but it is) and a garland, serve you tea and popcorns (believe me, it’s one of the most relaxing moments of the entire trip), and give you a brief introduction of the village. The management of the place is too amazing as it is managed by a local youth organization.
Another thing you’re likely to notice is that majority of the residents are women and the management of the homestays is overseen by them as most men are out of the village for jobs. At night, you’ll get a chance to attend a cultural program which includes traditional dance and songs and you might as well get a chance to join in if you’re interested.
Sirubari is probably the best homestay among all those I’ve ever been to and there’s no doubt in that. At the end of the day, it’s not always about the place, it’s about the people who you meet, who you make friends with, and who you spend time with. The place and people there will make you feel like you’re home for sure, no matter where you’re from.
If you ever get a chance to visit Sirubari, you surely wouldn’t regret it. Just remember to pre-inform them about your visit for the proper arrangements, as it might get crowded at times.
Capt. Purna Bdr. Gurung (Treasurer): +977 – 9846122946
Sunil Gurung (Secretary): +977 – 9846176991