Picture this: You wake up leisurely in the morning from your oh-so-luxurious bed to the chirping of birds and an awe-inspiring view of snow-capped mountains. You step onto the balcony, overlooking lush apple orchards and kiwi plantations. The flavoursome breakfast is accompanied by mint tea and fresh fruit, grown in the neighbouring farmland. After a day of adventure, or simply relaxing, you lounge and soak in the warmth of the fireplace downstairs. Service is excellent and every need is met.
This is the Ramgarh Heritage homestay in Manali, North India, right in the lap of the majestic Himalayas…well, it’s a Royal Heritage Villa to be more accurate. Whether you’re looking for a lazy holiday or want to spend your days exploring your destination, homestays like this one have it all and offer a new life experience. Living with a resident family offers the chance to truly immerse oneself in the culture of the place and live like a local.
Moreover, it does away with any prejudice about the discomfort of rural travel. The Ramgarh homestay offers all modern day conveniences like hot and cold running water in the rooms, cable television, wireless access, room service, food prepared from freshly grown produce from the farms outside and typical holiday activities like sightseeing, hiking or trekking. It also includes offbeat activities like picking fruit from the orchards and indulging in local arts ‘n crafts.
One of a handful of websites which provides access to homestay options in unexplored rural India is www.indiauntravelled.com. Started with the intention of helping travellers discover a new side of this sprawling and diverse country, the site features a variety of homestays ranging from the backwaters of Kerala in South India to staying on an organic farm in the North Indian desert state of Rajasthan or in a jungle camp in the middle of a Himalayan forest. Each featured destination is culturally unique and highlights the unrivalled, warm Indian hospitality.
Revenue generated from tourist visits helps sustain the livelihood of local communities with their traditions and art forms, making this a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable venture. The ingredients for food served at these homestays is sourced from local farming or fishing communities, furniture is often locally crafted and tourism generates additional employment options for local people.
So get away from the maddening urban crowd – rejuvenate your senses, indulge in centuries old art forms and immerse yourself in nature’s breathtaking beauty – explore the road less travelled.
What’s your favorite Indian escape? – we would love to hear about it.
Happy Travels & Namaste.
Check out www.indiauntravelled.com for more information on the homestays mentioned above. The website includes traveller reviews and itineraries that promise enriching insights into nature and local community living. Other links: http://www.ramgarhheritagevillamanali.com/,http://www.keralahomestaysonline.com/, http://himachalhomestay.com/ramgarhheritagevilla/index.php