Nepal Homestay Villages – Hemja Village

Hemja is a food bowl located about 12 kilometres from Pokhara on the Pokhara-Baglung Highway. The area produces vegetables (becoming known for its potatoes), fresh fruit, fish and poultry.

A Village Development Community in the Kaski District, Hemja is quite developed with electricity, communications, piped drinking water, a post office and health services. Wi-Fi is also available through cyber cafes.

Residents of Hemja live on both sides of the Pokhara-Baglung Highway that was completed in 1991. At about 1,120m elevation Hemja is also near the Seti Gandaki River (Seti Khola), a holy river flowing from the Annapurna massif.

Attractions and activities
Easily accessible Hemja features caves, temples, and fantastic views of the nearby Himalaya. Visitors can learn about local farming and irrigation practices and sample dishes of fresh, local produce. Travelers may also be interested in visiting a mine in Hemja that produces beautiful flat stones and ample sands.

Another attraction in the area is the joint efforts of the local community to preserve and protect Hemja’s natural areas, especially forests. One example even has a protected wildlife sanctuary within the forests.

For the adventurous, Hemja is right amongst the action of rafting on the Seti Gandaki River, paragliding and is also the end of the world’s longest zip-flying line (1,860m long from Sarangkot).

Local life
Agriculture is the main occupation in Hemja and villagers invest their income in education as a priority. Building houses and buying land are also popular investments for residents. There are four small cooperatives that locals rely upon to gain small loans. A recently established City Development Bank means people can open a bank account locally.

In 2013 Hemja has declared a fully literate Village Development Committee. The area has eight primary schools, three secondary schools, and one higher secondary school. Hemja also has three private schools. Some local students study in Pokhara or Kathmandu, and families who can afford it send children abroad for studies.

The community here is diverse with people of different castes and ethnic backgrounds living in harmony. The local population is a mixture of Brahman, Chhetri, Magar, and Dalit castes living together in the village (as tradition has it, Dalit people live in separate settlements within the village).

How to get there
The Pokhara-Baglung Highway has numerous bus stops. A taxi may also be convenient for visitors to arrange transport to Hemja.

HOST FAMILIES

Family Khadaka
Head of Family Dhanbadhar Khadaka
Contact Family Member Hari Khadaka
Ward No 4 Tole Shajachowk
The Khadaka family offers seven rooms for guests (with six beds total). In their four-member household they have two people who can speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. The family relies on agriculture and a business for their livelihood and the children study.

Family Thapa
Head of Family Dhakbhadur Thapa
Contact Family Member Bhagawoti Thapa
Ward No 4 Tole Shajachowk
The Thapa family offers seven rooms for guests (with eight beds total). In their five-member household they can all speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. The children are studying and to make a living Dhakbhadur Thapa works with the government and his wife works in the field.

Family Timilsina
Head of Family Himalal Timilsina
Contact Family Member Ambika Timilsina
Ward No 4 Tole Shajachowk
The Timilsina family offers six rooms for guests (with eight beds total). In their seven-member household they have four people who are able to speak English. They have a toilet, bathroom and water facilities. They have children abroad and working in Nepal. The senior members of the family rely on work in the fields for their livelihood.