Make your holiday even more special by choosing homestays over chic hotels. These beautiful little boutique homes will introduce you to colourful cultures of the country.
If you are looking forward to a laid back and relaxing holiday, chuck crowded and conventional holiday destinations. Instead head to some offbeat destinations; every state of the country has some hidden destinations, which are less crowded. These places guarantee all that is required to make your holiday a success. Staying in a homestay would give you a homely feeling even when you are on a holiday.
It is like staying in someone’s home and the house owners hosting you for a pleasurable stay. Combined with comfort with personal hospitality, a stay in homestay would acclimatize you with the cultures, traditions and local flavours of a particular region. Choosing a homestay over high-end hotels and resorts would help you discover new places of interest, eat authentic regional food, come across local natives and their traditions. To top it all, you can enjoy your holiday in a completely different set up.
Since the country is home to hundreds of regional languages, style of dresses, food, architecture and landscape varies from state to state. And a homestay would give you a chance to explore the country in a new way. Homestays in India offer not just a simple stay in someone’s house, these come bundled with lots of interesting activities.
Many hosts have sight-seeing tours on offer, they take the guests around their village or towns and share local insights, legends and anecdotes. Depending on their location, homestays offer activities like adventure, artistic pursuits, and experiencing local culture like dances and music. Some homestays even offer ayurvedic massages, indoor and outdoor games, hammocks, traditional wear. Whatever you do while on a holiday, your hosts would make sure you enjoy every piece of time to spend with them. You wouldn’t get such an experience anywhere else but homestays, where by the end of your stay, you would feel like part of host’s family.
Happy hosts help informing the guest about their customs and traditions. A host from Kerala would offer you backwater cruise in a houseboat or a trip on the narrow water canal in small boats. While a host from Himachal Pradesh would take you around on a tour to apple orchard and lesser-known trekking trails in the jungle. Activities differ according to the location and preferences of the host. On one such stay in the Nilgiris, the host took around the spice plantation and tea gardens. I did not know that the region is a growing hub of tribals and was surprised when I met a few tribal women.
We bring you four homestays that have appealed us with their simple charm.
Kewzing Homestay, Sikkim
Small yet untouched state of Sikkim, with its majestic landscape and verdant hills, has all the elements to give you a relaxed holiday. Offering a slice from nature’s bounty is Kewzing Homestay as part of the Mahendra Homestays. Run by natives of the Kewzing village, which is a small Bhutia (Buddhist) hamlet situated in thesouthern part of the state. The place is one of Sikkim’s best-kept secrets, which has now gained recognition through travellers who have been here and publicized the place. Along with striking beauty and beautiful landscape, the homestay offers authentic Bhutia lifestyle. The picturesque holiday destination gives you a chance to experience the culture of the Bhutia community and connect with the locals. Attracting travellers from world over, the homestay is run by natives of village, which thrives on farming and follows barter system to sustain their lives. You will be received by the head Lama of the village’s monastery and served served authentic Sikkimese meal.
Impeccably maintained rooms and high standards of cleanliness are followed to keep the guises entertained. To provide an authentic slice of their lives, the hosts encourage the visitors to participate in tilling the land, picking organic vegetables and milking cows, giving away a rare and cherished experience. To top it all, you would be served with farm fresh organic vegetables.
Do it yourself
Guests can participate in farming, milking cows, cooking, cultural shows
Common activities include hiking, farming, and photography
Local guides are readily arranged for hikes through the village, cardamom fields and nearby monasteries.
Homemade millet-based drinks are a must-try.
Hot-stone herbal bath is also on offer