A Bhanwar Kala Village House

It was not easy getting to the Baliyani home in Bhanwar Kala, a remote mountain village in Himachal Pradesh. But it was worth every nerve wracking minute on the mountain roads.

IMG_6864 ss

Anku, Prem, Meena and Priya

Prem’s family was so gracious. I was treated like royalty. Meena and the kids didn’t speak a lot of English and they were very shy at first, but that didn’t last long. Anku is only 12, but he’s almost as tall as his dad! He’s already taking computer classes at school. Prem often consults Anku to learn how to use his new smartphone. Priya is 14, a beautiful dancer and very artistic. I’ve been invited back for her wedding. There’s no one in mind yet, they’re just planning ahead, as it’s customary in this area for girls to get married around age 18.

IMG_5849 ss

Typical house construction in this area is stone blocks and bricks with slate roofs. When one has the money, the house is “plastered” with a thin layer of cement, both inside and out. One day, when there is enough money, the house will be painted.

IMG_5970 ss

Village houses have bedrooms and kitchens but no living rooms. The Baliyani house has three bedrooms downstairs with only screen doors on them. Solid wood doors will come later, when they can afford them. It was a bit cold at night, as they have electricity but no heaters, but a thick comforter kept me warm.

IMG_6255 ss

Prem built his house with a huge front patio, perfect for receiving visitors, dancing and playing volleyball.

The government pipes water to the houses, but they’re not plumbed. Every home has one or more 1,000 liter reservoirs, and water is taken in buckets from the reservoirs to use as needed.

IMG_5844 ss

The Baliyani kitchen is upstairs. The rest of the upstairs is an open rooftop. One day when Prem has the money, he plans to build a living room up there. In the meantime, since it gets more sunshine than downstairs, it’s used for various tasks and just for hanging out.

IMG_5974 ss

Water reservoirs on the roof and under the stairs.

IMG_5966 ss

About fifteen feet from the house is the outbuilding which houses the squat latrine and the shower stall.

Bhanwar Kala has a dependable electric supply and has power cuts only occasionally. It was no problem keeping my gadgets charged.


2 thoughts on “A Bhanwar Kala Village House

  1. Even though Prem hadn’t given me much detail about the house, it was much larger than I imagined. I was impressed with the huge patio. Yes, a very nice house. I was very comfortable there.

Comments are closed.