Published: 25th July 2018
In Hyderabad for a budget trip? Try Shepherd Stories, a brand new backpackers' hostel
Shepherd Stories, is a backpackers' hostel that is also a cultural space and café. We try to find out how it came to be
While Hyderabad has its fair share of cultural spaces like Lamakan, Jxtapose and Out of the Box, Shepherd Stories is the latest that the city has to offer. But Shepherd Stories is not just a cultural space, it is also a backpackers' hostel and it comes with a small café too. This 2,300 square feet space that's nestled in Journalist Colony, Jubilee Hills, was launched on July 14.
The hostel is open from 7.30 am to 9 pm. They have a full-time cook and a part-time maid. They charge backpackers Rs 599 on weekdays and Rs 699 on weekends for one bed
Saawan Kabalavai, Priyush Jagadam and Pradeep Reddy Vundyala started this space when they thought about the lack of a backpackers' hostel in a city like Hyderabad, which is growing more cosmopolitan by the day. "Events like the Global Entrepreneurship Summit have truly put our city on the global map and brought it a certain visibility. Also, the trend of travelling is really picking up among youngsters, especially budget and solo travelling," shares Kabalavai, which is why he believes that the City of Nawabs truly needs a space like this.
While the backpackers will have three rooms for themselves with a total of 13 beds, the café offers a basic menu of coffee, mocktails, sandwiches and pasta.
Where they are: Shepherd Stories inhabit the ground and first floor of the four-storey building they are located in
With their launch event itself, the team hit it off big by getting Telangana State Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited (TSHDC) as their Skill Resource partner. "We want this space to be a hub for NGOs and social entrepreneurs to connect and social initiatives to thrive," says 26-year-old Kabalavai, highlighting a very important part of their plan. In this regard, the team had met the Vice-Chairman and MD of TSHDC, Shailaja Ramaiyer. "When we explained what we are trying to do, she seemed impressed. We requested her to connect us to artisans and offered to take care of their food and travel allowance," says Kabalavai, about their plan to connect artisans to the market. So they launched with an event on July 14 and 15 where four artisans, each a master of art forms like Bathik (wax-resist dyeing), Lac bangle, Cheriyal and Nirmal painting visited the space to exhibit and demonstrate their work. In the future too, the team plans to organise offbeat events like acoustic sessions.
In the near future, they want to set up hostels in Secunderabad and Sainikpuri, and a few months down the line, in Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry too
As of now, the trio is happy with the feedback Shepherd Stories has received from its first few guests who have complimented the vibe of the place. "It is indeed a very warm, cosy space that feels quite homely," says Kabalavai, who is an avid traveller himself. His recent, budget travel to Himachal Pradesh is what sparked the idea of Shepherd Stories. Why the name Shepherd Stories though, we ask. "Shepherds are travellers and don't stay in one place. They always have a story to tell. We feel that every traveller is a shepherd here, bringing with them several stories worth sharing," he concludes.
Inside the place: The interiors of Shepherd Stories
For more on them, click on facebook.com/Shepherd-