Rajasthani Lime Water Tank & Plasters Workshop & Spiti Valley Tour


Kwang Village, Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh

Learn about the Vernacular traditions of Spiti & Rajasthan during one intensive natural building workshop

Combine an unforgettable journey to Spiti Valley with a 7 day hands on lime water tank and lime plasters workshop. We will be constructing a 5000 litre all natural lime water tank, the first in the valley. A highly skilled Master Artisan will be joining us all the way from Rajasthan to teach this time honoured tradition.

This event is much more than just a natural building workshop.

On completion of the workshop you will guided on a three day tour along the Spiti & Kinnaur Valleys exploring hidden architectural gems along the way. Experience the cultural change along side material selection and innovative design.

Kath Kuni, stone masonry, rammed earth, adobe, wood carving, slate & flat mud roofs, Himachal is home to diverse people and landscapes. Their homes still reflect this. We will take you off the beaten path sharing some amazing sites unknown to mass tourism.


What You Will Learn During the Lime Water Tank Workshop

  • How to build a Rajasthani Lime Water Tank from beginning to end
  • Be part of the construction of a live site – We will be building a 5000 litre underground tank
  • Foundation, base, floor, brick and lime mortar masonry for walls
  • Thappi – base plaster, Lohi – finishing plaster, Araish Polished – Lime & Marble Plaster
  • The use of bio-enzymes for natural waterproofing.
  • Theory – Lime cycle, various different types of lime, Fundamental differences between vernacular materials and modern industrial ones, Calculating material quantities & costs



What You Will Learn During the Spiti Valley Tour

  • Visit various examples of diverse vernacular buildings – private homes, temples, monasteries & forts
  • Understand the adaptations made in different regions to create homes suited to the local climatic and social context utilising abundant local resources.
  • Learn about vernacular adaptations that enabled buildings to survive for thousands of years in a severe seismic zone.
  • Meet with traditional artisans still practicing their traditional craft
  • Witness and understand the architectural changes taking place as people race towards a perceived modernity.

Inclusions & Cost

₹17000 – Workshop Only 

₹32000 – Workshop & 3 Day Tour

  • Transport from Kwang village to Shimla in a private tempo traveller.
  • Accommodation during tour – on a twin / triple sharing basis in simple clean hotels.
  • Simple vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday during Tour. 
  • Participation in a small group tour / plasters workshop with maximum of 16 participants.
  • Expert teaching, guidance & one on one attention from a Master Artisan.
  • All materials and tools required for workshop
  • Theory sessions and extra reading materials
  • One day guided tour of surrounding villages in Spiti Valley, including transport
  • Tour personally guided by Kimberley, who has been living in & exploring the region for the last 8 yrs.

Accommodation options

Kwang Village

Option 1: Dormitory (3-4 people) in traditional rammed earth home with compost toilet only - Rs 1000 per day including 3 vegetarian meals

Option 2: Dormitory in Homestay (up to 5 people) common non attached bathroom with flushing toilet Rs 1200 per day including 3 vegetarian meals

Option 3: Dormitory in Homestay with attached bathroom with flushing toilet (two rooms attached to one bathroom - (1 room up to 3 people 1 room up to 4 people) Rs 1500 per day including 3 vegetarian meals

Camping - Free if you bring your own tent - you will need to pay for meals separately. 


Double room in with common bathroom (separate for men and women) Rs 1500 per room no meals included. **This is a passive solar building built by the Auroville Earth Institute and therefore an interesting property to stay in. By Kaza standards it is also quite an economical option. Kaza is 8km from Kwang village - Guests choosing to stay in Kaza will have to arrange their own transport daily to Kwang village

There are countless other accommodation options in Kaza for anyone wishing to book their own

Itinerary for Spiti Valley Tour

  • Day 1 Kwang – Introduction to materials & lime, preparing the mortar mix and and preparing the base of the water tank
  • Day 2 Kwang – Wall construction – Half Day Tour to surrounding village
  • Day 3 Kwang – Wall Construction – Thappi plaster Lohi & Araish Preparation
  • Da 4 Kwang – Thappi Plaster, Grinding Lohi
  • Day 6 Kwang – Grinding Araish – Free Afternoon
  • Day 7 Kwang – Araish Application
  • Day 8 Tour – Drive from Kwang to Pooh via Tabo Monastery & Nako Village
  • Day 9 Tour – Pooh to Ropa Valley day trip 
  • Day 10 Tour – Pooh to Shimla Drop