The drive to Gunehar was uneventful. We reached our destination around midday. The village is scenic like most Himalayan villages, a mix of mud and brick houses intercepted by golden fields of barley and wheat. At the end of a narrow, winding, bumpy road - deep into the heart of a village - we found the hotel we had booked for ourselves.
We found ourselves smiling as we walked in, taking in the aesthetic appeal of the place. Lovingly restored, thick mud walls welcome you into a natural cavern full of happy flowering plants. Cheerful upholstery, comfortable bedding, a spacious open contemporary bathroom, and a little courtyard right outside the room replete with a canopied bed.
What we would have also missed is the little cafe called The Four Tables that serve the most delectable Roast Chicken and Grilled Trout. But most importantly, we would have missed entirely the groundbreaking art movement that is quietly sweeping this nondescript little village tucked away in the folds of the mighty Himalayas.
ShopArt ArtShop (SAAS) is a unique project that brings contemporary artists from around India for a month. This edition of the program seeks to enhance collaboration with the villagers of Gunehar to create art that transcends boundaries between people. It aims to remove divides and sectarianism - much needed in the world we live in now.