Discovering the unique stories and backgrounds of your hosts sets a homestay apart from a hotel, especially when the hosts have such amazing stories to tell.
The owners of Om Mahal hail from a glorious line of politicians and are royalty of the region. The host, Mr. Vijai Singh Mankotia also served in the army and has a long standing association with the Dalai Lama.
Vijai’s wife, Mrs. Jaishree Kumari Mankotia is a perfect example of an Indian woman of blue blood. She’s a hostess with immense grace, kindness and panache. The soft spoken and gracious couple have together been entertaining guests since 2009.
When His Holiness Dalai Lama came to India to seek refuge he chose to reside in this region. The then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru offered His Holiness his choice of home in Dharamshala. The Dalai Lama expressed his wish to reside in the ancestral home of the Mankotias, however, Vijai’s father declined to part from his home. His Holiness went on to choose his current residence but the bond between the Dalai Lama and the Mankotias has been growing stronger.
Vijai’s passion for the cause of Tibetan refugees, brought him close to His Holiness and he soon became one of the most trusted people around His Holiness Dalai Lama. Their home is almost a shrine filled with gifts given to the Mankotias personally by His Holiness.
Their lavish homestay is located in Tayari, a small place 22 kms from McLeodganj. Village visits, treks and hikes for people can be arranged from the homestay. The region has enormous potential for photography and exploration.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.