Homestays of India: Home away from home


Traveller, photographer, biker and hotelier Vinod Verma, along with his travel writer partner Shailza Sood Dasgupta, who once worked for corporate houses like Google and McKinsey, decided to give-it-all-up and dedicate their time and effort of making ‘Homestays of India,’ their brain-child, a roaring success.

Homestays of India, a team of passionate, like-minded hard-working people with volunteers chipping-in off and on, work “on authentic, hand-picked, well-crafted home stays,” as their webpage tells us. 

A platform exclusively dedicated to promote homestays, not only in Uttarakhand but also pan India, Vinod adds, “ultimate aim to is provide travellers with a unique cultural experience, while developing local community skills and handicrafts and preserving our heritage, culture and traditions.

To make Homestays of India ‘happen,’ the duo did not take any short cuts. They travelled the length and breadth of India to learn and understand the concept of Homestay. was launched with five home stays, for starters. Since then they have progressed to 85 home stays spread over twenty states and more rare properties in the pipeline to be brought on board.

Uttarakhand has  fifteen homestays registered with doting districts of Almora, Nainital, Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi. Trying to tap migration at its very source, Homestays of India works closely with the local, rural community. The couple encourages villagers to turn their humble abodes into comfortable homestays for travellers from home and foreign shores, looking for more than just the luxuries of a five star property. 

Their hard-work and vision won them the National Business Leadership Award for exemplary work in the field of Travel and Tourism. 

Taking their passion one step ahead, Vinod and Shailza are working as Consultants on a project in Almora to convert a village into a Heritage Homestay Village.

For now the team is working relentlessly on becoming India’s biggest homestay network of India, by providing visitors a comfortable, authentic alternate arrangement in not only tourist destinations, but also places less travelled to.