Farmer Kundan Singh’s mud homestay in Kais village of Himachal Pradesh is simplicity-redefined.

Kundan has spent the better part of his life tending to his apple orchard, so, every guest is treated to delicacies that feature that fruit.

Having lived off the produce of their farm for decades now, he has an ardent respect for the two bighas of land where he cultivates wheat, apples, and pulses.

What prompted the creation of this oasis? Kundan replies, “We would hardly leave the village. A part of me wanted to meet people of different places and cultures. I wanted to see the world.” But exploring the world on a farming income was tough, as Kundan discovered.

So, if he couldn’t go around the world, he would bring the world to his village. Kundan Homestay is an attempt at doing this.

A one-night stay here will cost you Rs 1000.

The homestay saw its first guests in 2016, a group of eight tourists whom Kundan met while on his way home from the farm one evening.

They enjoyed their stay in the mud house and coaxed Kundan to register his home on a travel website. “Once they left, I began getting requests from people across India who wanted to experience life in a mud homestay,” Kundan shares.

In the time to come, Kundan built an additional room beside the homestay where travellers, who were not comfortable with living in a mud property, could stay.

By 2016, Kundan and his family had become pros at hosting guests not just from India but also from Australia, Germany, the Philippines, and Italy. Tourists marvel at the home that has been standing tall for over a century.

“Not an earthquake has been able to shift its foundation,” Kundan notes, crediting the home’s architecture, which is built in a traditional style using wood and stone. Not only does this design make the home calamity-proof, but it also keeps it cosy on chilly days.

But while the home’s design can be credited for the warmth, Kundan’s wife Kala’s cooking is also responsible for part of the magic. The food is steaming hot and prepared with produce sourced from the farm.

A bonus is the ambience — you’ll be having these feasts on the charpai (cot) outside Kundan’s home with the stars for company.

Kundan also takes his guests to the village where they can experience the local culture. “Tourists enjoy seeing the village women decked in pattoo (the local dress worn by Himachali women that comprises a long shawl spun out of pure wool). They also enjoy seeing the natti dance (a performance where the local youth dance to popular folk songs and enact stories of their culture),” he says.

In the evenings, you can accompany Kundan to the farm where he will introduce you to the traditional techniques of pahadi agriculture.

“I couldn’t take my family to see the world. So, I brought the world to them,” Kundan says, as he reiterates his dream!