Village Treks & Homestays
Village walks is a great concept and an increasing number of sophisticated travellers are seeking something beyond five-star luxury and great monuments – something simpler, which would take them off the well-trodden paths and closer to India’s landscape, her people and their living cultures. These are fully catered where you would only be expected to carry a daypack. Each day you walk through pretty villages, stretches of pine forest, descending into scenic valleys, exploring several architectural marvels from the 8th – 12th centuries dedicated to Hindu gods and goddesses. On arrival at your village house you will be greeted by a lovely family. The village houses have been renovated to make them cosy and comfortable, yet to keep their simple charm and authenticity of living in a village house. The friendly families promise a comfortable room and a delicious meal during your stay. The bathrooms are outside (not en-suite) with western toilets and the adjoining shower rooms have slate tiles and showers are taken (in local tradition) using brass buckets and mugs filled with hot water that our staff have boiled for you. Your itinerary is completely private and flexible and if you wanted to, you could spend your afternoon sitting outside reading a good book and admiring the scenery. As night falls, the village men prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal over the wood fire and, later, you sit in the moonlight, the stillness broken only by the sound of a dog barking in a distant valley.
Homestays are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to experience real India . The Indian “homestay” experience has grown from strength to strength since the idea first emerged in Kerala, a decade or so ago. Now there are homestays from city apartments to plantation houses. The majority are in the far north or the far south and as a general rule, they are middle-class houses, largely run by the active retired professionals. A Homestay combines the comfort and distinction of a small hotel with the personal hospitality, informality and local knowledge enjoyed when staying with family friends. They offer well-appointed air conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms. A Homestay offers an insight into the culture, traditions, history and everyday life of an Indian family. What’s more, guests get the chance to enjoy authentic Indian food at its very best – home cooked. Depending on the family, many hosts will offer to take guests round the sights of their town or village, sharing local insights and an experience far removed from the usual tourist trudge. Hosts are always happy to inform a guest of neighbourhood walks where they can get a feel for the district and even meet some locals.