Location and Background

Set amid the backdrop of the snow capped Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, Ghoomakad is located amidst natural surroundings of fresh river streams, thick woods and lush terrace fields at Rakkar, Sidhbari, 8kms from the town of Dharamshala in the North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The studio functions as a fusion space for nerds and artists from across the world and the locals from the Rakkar and Dharamsala community, alike.
Rakkar is an agricultural village inhabited by the indigenous shepherd community called the Gaddi and has a population of around 1500 people.


Outdoor space

The triangle shaped main compound is surrounded by freshly melted, flowing water on all sides (locally called Kuhl, these are irrigation channels). There is also a fresh water pond with some fish and the shape of a bow, with the water fountain coming out as the arrow. The Kuhls are good for dipping your feet. The pond is good for storing water and also for dipping your self! There is also another water fountain at Southern corner.
The main hall built with mud and stone and is shaped as two Infinity symbols overlapping at orthogonal angle. It has a wooden stage on one side, a fireplace, bathroom and storage room. Up to 15 people can easily work from the studio.
The living cottage (called Pyramid because of the shape of its roof) has two floors and 8 rooms. A third building (Boat House, traiangular) has one hall (used for dining/screenings/events) and three rooms for stay. The garden in the compound works as a good extension to the work space and gives an ever changing, ethereal view of the mighty Dhauladhar. Adjacent to the main compound, is a camping space with four dry compost toilets, two baths and enough ground to accommodate forty tents.


Accomodation

During a rainy afternoon There is always space for visitors. Sleeping bags can can be provided to volunteers at the Ghoomakad itself based on availability. Private rooms with food can also be arranged at ghoomakad compound, or in the home stays in the village within walking distance and at reasonable rates.


Food and transport

Fresh home cooked meals are prepared at the space. Kitchen facilities are also available to prepare food yourself. The village has basic convenience stores that can be used for most supplies. Well stocked shops and cafes are reachable within a 10-20 minute walk from Ghoomakad. Regular buses to Dharamshala (9km) are available from Sidhbari bazaar (15min walk). Raju bus crosses Ghoomakad three times a day as well. More frequent bus service available on the other side of river Manoni (5 minute walk)


Skills, Activities and Interests

  • Wholesome living
  • Treks to the mountains
  • Yoga
  • Local empowerment through skill training and knowledge sharing (kids, college students, anyone willing to learn)
  • Village homestays
  • Music, Music, Music
  • Waste recycling experiments (with Nishtha)


Facilities and Tools

  • Camping site
  • Broadband WiFI from three providers. Check the connectivity status here
  • Bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner. 24x7 open kitchen
  • Laundry machine
  • Organic waste pit
  • Microscope


Local Organizations and Communities

There is a myriad of locally available resources and skillsets that can be utilized in and around the hackerspace. Rakkar is also home to 5 organizations:

  • Tech-himalayan; a technology work enthusiast.
  • Jagori Grameen woman empowerment, organic farming and food distribution
  • Nishta, an NGO which focuses on healthcare, primary education and waste management
  • Dharamsala Animal Rescue
  • MyEarthStore: Organic boutique shop at Sidhbari and a farm.
  • Gyuto monastery, Norbulingka, and other Buddhist monasteries nearby
  • There are quite a few more in the vicinity


Other Village resources

  • Government run secondary school
  • Nishta's computer center
  • Nishtha's medinal clinic
  • Grocery shops
  • Tailor
  • Clothes and curtains boutique
  • Fresh dairy product - milk and cow dung
  • Carpentry workshop
  • Local farm produce
  • Mineral water spring
  • Village sports ground


Places nearby

  • River Manoni - Freshly melted snow from Dhauladhar range, running across the length of the village. Great for baths.
  • Aghanjar Mahadev Shiv temple by the Manoni river. 20 minutes walk up the road.
  • Norbulignka Institute for Tibetan arts and culture[1], Fatehpur (1km)
  • Gyuto Karmapa Monastery[2], Sidhbari (1km)
  • Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD) [3], Tapovan (3km)
  • McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot[4] (12km)
  • Sambhaavnaa Institute of Public Policy & Politics and children's learning center [5], Palampur (35km)
  • Andretta Pottery and Crafts Society[6], Palampur (45km)
  • Billing paragliding area, Bir (55km)
  • And more..