There is no record of and no one in the region exactly remembers when it was built. Pema Doma a 57 old owner of the house who lived her entire life in the village can only recall her parents saying that the woods that built the house were fetched from the nearby jungle, which now stands as a barren land.
The house is fairly large, lodging 14 bedrooms, with 10 attached bathrooms, the other 4 being standard rooms with common toilets. A beautiful Tibetan structure with a ghumba (Tibetan Shrine) of its own, storing Tibetan text books and a 5 ft tall Buddha statue enigmatically dotting the center, one can almost feel the mysterious awe mixed with divine sense of peace and solitude of its own kind! The Buddha statue is the second highest in the Mustang region with the first one being in LoManthang.
It is said that once the west side of the building had collapsed, which now has been transformed into a meditation room, and at another occasion, during a ritualistic prayer (puja), the east section of the house was caught up in fire when one of the helpers had left the fire unattended. Coincidently or incidentally during both the times, the center of the building holding the ghumba appeared unscathed. People believe that this was possible due to divine power and presence of lord Buddha! Some locals still come to pay visit and offer their prayers in the ghumba.
Another intriguing history of the house is that, that it was used by Khampa warriors, then fighting the Chinese, to store ration and other goods to be distributed to the other Khampas living in the nearby villages and jungles like Khesang (now Mountain War Training School) and as far as some part of Manang (Cheko, Khang brathang). General Wangdi leading the war lived in the upper room of the house in many oaccasions, who had refused to surrender to the Royal Nepal Army, was finally killed near Dolpa.
In 1997 when Manang and Mustang regions were declared ACAP, tourist started to travel in this region. Pema doma was the first to start a small lodge providing basic facilities with what best she had to offer, along with her sweet, homely hospitality.
Soon after many travellers came to stay but it had no name then. Among them Sydney Schuler, who came to Kagbeni to study the women of Baragoan and the status of women in Nepal, stayed for about 2 months. The friendship between the two flourished during the length of her research.
And since Sydney wanted to help her friend, one day on her visit to the town of Kagbeni, she brought a sign board written Red House Lodge, by the color of the house which was all painted red! So it is not just the color that the name symbolises but also the true friendship and bond between the two women which is only growing with time!
We hereby, declare our mission to preserve the history by means of restoring the old houses! We would be humbled to get the cooperation and support of the people to come forward in restoring their homes as is, instead of following the modern structure of building. We have with us Architects Padma Sundar Maharjan and his wife Subina who shall be the part of our endeavour.
We are also daring to bring his students who teaches at the engineering college to do a preservation project for Kagbeni in a larger scale.
We want to promote Kagbeni as a destination on its own right! Apart from its serene, expansive beauty, there are lots of activities that can be incorporated, such as a short hike to Tiri Village or Phalak, trek to Jong or Seldhak, where one can get the glimpse of the simple life style, tradition and culture that the Himalayan people follow.
We want to promote Tourism as an option to generate employment in the region, so the youngsters can get the opportunity and scope serving and loving their own place.