Nepal Homestay Villages – Bhalam Village

The village of Bhalam is clean, peaceful and located in the Gandaki Zone, a mere 4 kilometres from the city of Pokhara. It is in the southern part of the Kaski District and south of the Khola River.

The village is located around 950m above sea level, among beautiful forests and surrounded with fields of rice, maize, grain soybean, mustard, wheat, and vegetables.

Visitors should be aware that Bhalam has no Internet or Wi-Fi infrastructure and there are currently no accommodation options outside the homestay program. Be mindful that in some parts of the Gandaki Zone villages lack facilities due to the impact of the monsoon season, for instance, unpaved roads can practically disappear in heavy rains.

Attractions and activities
Bhalam offers visitors an opportunity to experience genuine rural Nepal life, while keeping the conveniences of Pokhara reasonably accessible.

The contrast between city and country is no more obvious than when travellers take an option to walk from the busy, noisy streets of Pokhara, dodging motorbikes and crowds to find themselves on peaceful, ambling paths among traditional buildings of Bhalam.

Visitors can  take the time to visit a number of impressive caves in the area, including the Harihar Cave and Birendra Cave.

Located north of the Khola River is the Hari Har Ghupa, a religious site for Hindu people. The site is located along the Bhalam Dandagaun Road.

Also, every year a fair (mela) is held by local youths at the occasion of the Holi (Fagu Poornima), which is an exciting three-day festival of colors. Activities include volleyball competitions and a lot of dancing, and the festival attracts thousands of visitors from Pokhara.

Visitors may also want to see the Annual Athletic Competition of the British Gurkha Trainees, where each trainee carries 25 kilograms of weights to the highest point of the village. No easy feat!

Local life
Most people in Bhalam are engaged in agriculture for their livelihood and more than a third of the local population has joined professions in government sectors. Employment abroad is a reality for about 25% of Bhalam’s youth, and the impacts of this are felt on the community’s future.

The village has one secondary school. Most local people are Hindus with Buddhists and Christians also living in the village. Gurung, Sharki, Damai, Kaami, Newar, Brahaman, and Chhetry ethnicities exist in and around Bhalam contributing to a mixture of people and traditions. Festivals celebrated in Bhalam include Dashain, Tihar, Teej, Lhosar, and Janai Purnima.

How to get there
The village is close to Pokhara making it possible for visitors to walk from the city or take a short taxi ride. Transport via bus is also available with a service leaving Pokhara approximately every two hours.

HOST FAMILIES

Family Sunar
Head of Family Dil Bhadur Sunar
Contact Family Member Shanti Sunar
Ward No 3 Tole Bhalam
The Kadal family offers 3 rooms for guests (with 4 beds total). In their seven-member household, they have five people who are able to speak English. They have a toilet and water facilities. Of the five sons, two work in Korea, one has a job and one is studying. Dil Bhadur Sunar works in the field with his wife and daughter-in-law. The family depends on their children and agriculture for their livelihood.

Family Poudel
Head of Family Lekhanath Poudel
Contact Family Member Lekhanath Poudel
Ward No 3 Tole Bhalam
The Poudel family offers 3 rooms for guests (with 3 beds total). In their four-member household, they have three people who are able to speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. One of the sons has a job and another is a teacher in the United States. Lekhanath and his wife work in the field and depend on it, and their sons’ jobs, for their livelihood.

Family Sunar
Head of Family Lila Bhadur Sunar
Contact Family Member Shanti Sunar
Ward No 3 Tole Bhalam
The Sunar family offers 5 rooms for guests (with 7 beds total). In their 7-member household, they have four people who are able to speak English. They have a toilet and water facilities. Lila Bhadur Sunar is retired from the army, his daughters live in Pokhara to study and he and his wife work in the field.

Family Poudel
Head of Family Rampasard Poudel
Contact Family Member Maya Poudel
Ward No 3 Tole Bhalam
The Poudel family offers 6 rooms for guests (with 8 beds total). In their three-member household, two of them are able to speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. The family’s son is overseas earning money and Rampasard Poudel is a retired teacher. His wife works in the field and home.

Family Sunar
Head of Family Shara Bhadur Sunar
Contact Family Member Sarmila Sunar
Ward No 3 Tole Bhalam
The Sunar family offers 4 rooms for guests (with 8 beds total). In their five-member household, three of them are able to speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. Shara Bhadur Sunar, his wife, and his daughter-in-law work in the field and his son has a job. They depend on agriculture and their son’s job for their livelihood.