Sundeep and Badabrata of Delhi-Fun-Dos fame visited Dera Bassi Homestay in October, 2020 as a part of “Unravel Travel with HOI” Campaign . Read on to know their experience.
“This is our first trip after the corona lockdown. We are driving from Delhi to Manali with all possible precautions not limited to only masks and sanitizers. We are carrying food, water and tea and coffee in flasks. Delhi to Manali is a long journey of about 14 hours. To minimize exposure we have decided to not stop or eat out, however tempting the dhabas look. But driving continuously for 14 hours, without reinforcements, seems like a back-breaking proposition. As a solution, we are breaking the journey at Dera Bassi, new Panchkula. Our stay for the day and night is booked through Homestays of India at Dera Bassi Homestay. We reach the homestay following Google Maps. Our host has also called and given us directions.
Dera Bassi Homestay is a beautiful bungalow where our host Capt. Ajay Sood and his wife Chandrika Sood live with their sons. They have opened up their home and offer a few of their rooms to guests. Our jaws drop when we enter the bungalow. The place is like the centre-spread of an interior decor magazine. They have a rich and passionate collection of Indian and overseas handicrafts intelligently displayed all over the house. The crafts collection is punctuated with paintings and prints of photographs clicked by Capt. Sood. While we are soaking all the visuals in, Mrs Sood serves chhnach (buttermilk) that works as elixir after the drive in the sun.
Our room is tastefully decorated in simplistic style. It is sparkling clean and has an attached balcony with a table where one can read, work or sit with a cup of tea doing nothing. The bath area is so well stocked, complete with perfume and a nail-clip, that you probably wouldn’t need to open your toiletry kit.
What beats it all are the wonderful spreads Mrs Sood cooks for us. The courses are elaborate and well thought out. It is wholesome home food, but the tastier variety. She also packs us dry breakfast when we start for Manali early the next morning. This way we can avoid eating out during our remaining journey. We are touched by her warm hospitality.
Dera Bassi Homestay gets a big thumbs-up from us. Every person chats with us here as if we are visiting family and we feel so at home. This time we stay here as an intermittent halt. But our hosts make us feel so welcome that we may perhaps drive up from Delhi just for spending a day or two, like a mini staycation. Given that they have internet facilities, Dera Bassi Homestay can be an ideal place for a workation as well. Also, they have decent parking facilities in front of their bungalow.
Capt. Sood and Chandrika Sood reinstate our faith the in Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the world is a single family.”
Contributed by: Sundeep and Bedabrata