Find life in its most unfiltered form at a village vacation this year
We are eating ancient grains, wearing indigenous clothing, cooking from grandma’s recipes and gradually putting life in slow gear. There is a universal yearning to go back to the roots, to live a less complicated and de-cluttered life. While some people have been able to slow down their everyday madness, others simply look for it elsewhere….
The Alternative Route
Travel trends confirm that more and more people are cutting away from the lure of big cities and their trappings and taking a detour towards small towns and villages on their travels in India and abroad. Be it a spectacular Swiss village or an enchanting Northeastern hamlet, pastoral charm is swaying travellers. “What’s the in going from one frenzied city to another? The whole point of vacation is to find some vacant mind space – and you get a lot of it in rustic setting,” says Delhi-based website designer Nitin Moudgil. “I find a village holiday a better substitute for a full body detox. You can get your fix to clean air, give your lungs a good scrub, stock up on homegrown fresh produce and flush out all the mental toxins!” he adds. In fact, a rustic holiday can be so much more. It could be a walking vacation, exploring the ethnicity of the place on foot or a vacation in sync with a music fest or annual cultural procession. You could stay with a local artisan and learn a native craft or check into heritage homestay and enjoy a bit of luxury in the middle of nowhere.
From misty Himalayan hamlets and the sunny north Indian countryside to the arty heritage villages of Gujarat and Rajasthan, it really takes a village to see India in its characteristic colours. “There is a growing desire amongst city dwellers to reconnect to their roots and enjoy the tranquillity and cultural refreshment offered by traditional rural environments,” shares Manisha Pande of Village Ways, a social enterprise with the specific aim of promoting rural livelihoods through community tourism in Binsar villages, Mothakkara village in Kerala, villages in Satpurs and Pench amongst others. On their tours, they offer guests seasonal food bursting with flavours, leisurely walks from village to village, night stays at different guest houses with well-informed guides to update you on the wildlife and rural cultural life. Sometimes it’s just for that one pure food experience that you head to village – dollops of fresh white butter, chicken saaru on the neer dosa and kadubu with pork.