Why you’ll love Indrashan Homestay
Located in a quiet residential area of Jodhpur is Indrashan, a family-friendly homestay run by Chandrashekhar and his wife Bhavna. The house is named after Chandra’s great grandfather and photos of him and the family are displayed throughout the house.
This is the place to come if you really want to experience life with an Indian family. Chandra and Bhavna, along with their son and Chandra’s mother, have been welcoming guests for over 16 years and are extremely convivial hosts; if there’s a wedding or family gathering happening while you’re staying, you’ll be swept along.
The house is built around a central, plant-filled courtyard where most meals and evening sundowners are served. Indrashan’s original rooms open onto this courtyard and a subsequent number have been added upstairs. All meals are enjoyed together, with both the family and other guests, and many visitors report this being the highlight of their stay.
Why the kids will love Indrashan Homestay
Although Indrashan accepts children of all ages this is really better suited to big kids and teens owing as much to the layout of the house and size of rooms as to the experience itself. That said, Chandra and Bhavna are parents themselves and are very welcoming of all children into their home.
There are no dedicated activities for families here however Chandra can organise just about anything you wish, from sightseeing tours of the old city and adventures in the Mehrangarh Fort to afternoons spent visiting the Bishnoi villages that lie southeast of Jodhpur. Bhavna is happy to lead shopping expeditions, particularly for spices, and will then teach willing pupils how to cook with them.
This is a wonderful opportunity to live with an Indian family, particularly one whose lineage dates back to the founding of the city – make sure to look out for the photo of when the Maharaja of Jodhpur came to dinner! The experience might not be suited to all families and all children but if you choose to do it, it is utterly unique.
There are five rooms located on the first floor. These are large and private. We particularly liked Number 11 when we visited, it’s pretty with duck egg blue walls and a colourful hand block print bedspread. This room is also the most private as it is tucked away in the corner and has its own sit-out with a rattan sofa, and tables and chairs.
The rooms are very homely with family photographs on display and framed Persian carpets that once belonged to Chandra’s father hanging on the walls. The bedrooms are furnished with family heirlooms and most have wardrobes, dressers and other bits and pieces in addition to solid wooden beds.
Best Rooms For Families: Each of the five bedrooms upstairs could accommodate an extra bed. However, Indrashan is really better suited to families with older children and teenagers owing to the layout of the place and the size of the rooms; you would be pushed to get more than one extra bed in any of the rooms. If you are travelling with big kids and/or teens then taking two neighbouring rooms (a double and a twin for example) would be ideal.
Meals are served in the communal courtyard that leads off the kitchen and dining room, or in the dining room itself. If there are more than eight guests then meals are served buffet-style.
Breakfast is traditionally a continental spread with fruit, porridge, cereals, eggs cooked to order and toast. Tea, coffee and juices are also available. If you fancy paratha (a type of Indian flatbread) with pickles and yoghurt instead, you simply have to ask.
Guests rave about Bhavna’s cooking, many saying that it’s the best they’ve had in India. The food is fresh, home-cooked to order and delicious. Dinners usually include two vegetarian dishes, one non-vegetarian, one curry, one dhal and plenty of rotis. Many guests choose to have lunch outside the homestay, however if you would like to dine in then simply ask Bhavna at breakfast time. Requests and dietary requirements can be accommodated with prior notice.
For Kids: There is no dedicated menu for children however Bhavna is sensitive to her guest’s palates (and stomachs) and is happy to adapt menus and dishes according to guests’ preferences.
Explore the mighty Mehrangarh Fort, one of the best in India that towers 120m above Jodhpur’s skyline; make sure you get the excellent audio tour.
Pay a visit to the Maharaja, or at least his beautiful home with a trip to Umaid Bhawan Palace. Set on a hilltop, the palace is now a luxury hotel (although the royal family still lives in part of the building) and also home to a very good museum.
Jump in a jeep and head into the countryside on a tour of the Bishnoi villages that lie southeast of Jodhpur, and see the wildlife that roam the area. Ask globetotting for a recommended guides and tour operators.
Learn to cook with Bhavna then head to the markets to pick up the spices to take home with you.
Play batman for the day and whizz along the zip wires suspended between the fort and ridge tops, and over lakes with Flying Fox. Children must be aged 10 or over to participate.
Discover the legends of the Mehrangarh Fort, the cannon-ball marks on the walls, the handprints on the portals and the story of the man who was buried alive here.
Visit during the Rajasthan International Folk Festival (held annually in October) and dance in the courtyards of the Mehrangarh fort, watch local musicians perform and learn how to play traditional Indian instruments.
Wander the winding, narrow lanes of the old city and discover why the blue city is blue, visit the century-old clock tower and bargain your way through the colourful Sadar Market that surrounds it.
A/C, common room, doctor on call, nearest hospital 5 km away, maximum 1 extra bed per room, laundry, WiFi.
When to go:
The best time to visit Jodhpur is between October and March when the maximum temperature is around 27C and the minimum around 15C. During the summer months temperatures can soar above 45C making sightseeing an unpleasant pastime. The monsoon happens from roughly mid-July to mid-August when things get hot and sticky. Make sure you don’t miss the Rajasthan International Folk Festival held annually in October, the exact dates coincide with the full moon and change each year.
Location & Travel:
Indrashan home stay is located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Jodhpur Airport is 5km south of the city centre. Jet Airways and Indian Airlines fly daily to Delhi and Mumbai. The Indian Airlines’ Mumbai flight stops at Udaipur on the way. Devi Bhawan can organise transfer services to and from the airport for an additional charge.
Jodhpur Railway Station is very central near the Clock Tower. There are daily sleeper trains between Delhi and Jodhpur as well as daily trains to Jaisalmer. Devi Bhawan can organise transfer services to and from the station an additional charge.
1) Definitely take part in one of Bhavna’s cooking class, her food is some of the best that you’ll taste in India!
2) Time your visit to coincide with the annual Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), read about one family’s experience here.
3) Take a tour into the surrounding countryside and visit the Bishnoi villages.