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Rural Tourism – A Journey to the Villages of India



 
  Tourist taking fun of elephants in rural region


India has many places, where you can go and enjoy Rural Tourism. You can learn their old age traditions and culture, which exist till date, besides activities like: milching, harvesting competitions, tree climbing, edible adventure, bullock cart race, shooting a coconut target, fishing, farming, etc. Roaming in the acres of agricultural land, along with a group of villagers can provide you better insight of village life.

As you walk through the fields, feel the smell of the Indian soil, which gives you the real flavour of Indian soil. Chant with the farmers working hard in the fields, take the tour with the bulls ploughing in the fields. The wells, other water bodies, mountains and forests are the added attractions for the tourists. You can witness the unspoilt beauty of the country and its rich culture, traditions and simple lifestyle by travelling to some great villages of India that have been well preserved through the centuries.

Travel within India is not just about visiting the cities and popular tourist destinations, in fact, the real India can only be explored in the many villages. Rural Tourism is a concept that is slowly gaining popularity among travellers.

Rural Tourism Spot

Puttur, Andhra Pradesh

This small village in Andhra Pradesh is popular for its agriculture, mangroves and the prominent silk business. The traditional homes are a beautiful sight and staying in one of these are eye openers on the healthy lifestyle of village folk. The people are involved in various facets of silk saree weaving. Enjoy the grand tour of the silk saree making process, the warm hospitality of the people and the many temples that dot this little village. You can also explore the surrounding regions by going for a picnic or trek.

Chitrakote, Chhattisgarh

The tribes of India present interesting opportunities to learn about colourful cultures and a way of life far removed from the rest of the country. Chitrakote is one such village located in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Popular for the folk arts and handicrafts that are made in the village, Chitrakote is also popular for the Chitrakoot waterfalls. The village has much to offer from scenic surroundings to exciting festivals such as the Goncha that sport the usage of bamboo guns and fruits as ammunition! You can also visit the Jagdalpur Palace and Danteshwari temple located here.

Maharashtra

Maharashtra is not just Mumbai to a traveller. It has a plethora of tourism joints and many of them are located in the rural areas. Gorai is a village in Dharavi Bhet, the North-western part of the island of Salsette near Mumbai. Gorai is less polluted and swimming is bliss here. It doesnít have the pollution of the metropolitan Mumbai and provides you the serenity surrounded by beaches and palm trees. Bullock carts are still in use here.

Punjab

Rural Tourism is incomplete without Punjab. It is very famous for its farm, culture and tradition. Travellers can enjoy a trip to an organic farm in rural Punjab, nestled in the foothills of the Shivalik range. There are different kinds of activities from short treks to learning Punjabi cooking and visiting a Punjabi village. The harvest festival of Baisakhi is an excellent occasion to celebrate there. The Punjab villager farmers plough their fields with bullocks. Watch village metal-workers or Lohars casting, soldering and making metal things like hammer, sickle, garden tools, pots and common utensils used in the village kitchen. You can walk along the swaying mustard fields, take a ride on a tractor, take the cattle for grazing, feed the cattle or simply sit, relax and gulp down the fresh buttermilk in the green fields.

Rajasthan

Rajasthan is not only famous for its forts, palaces and wildlife. Once you will visit here, you will see the real rural tourist spots. There are circular thatched roof huts with walls made up of plaster of clay, cow dung, and hay. The houses are bordered by baras which are typically made up of the dry branches of a nettle-like shrub. The people of these villages belong to different communities and are segregated according to the nature of their profession. These people have deep religious faiths that help them survive in this immensely difficult landscape. There are many villages to see, you can go to any village around Jaisalmer and Bikaner.

 
  Tourist fetching water in a pitcher from a well


Gujarat

Rural Tourism in Gujarat allows travellers to visit areas outside of urban areas. Options include hiking and biking, visiting community museums and buying locally produced crafts and handicrafts. The fairs and festivals in Gujarat exhibit the skills of artisans and scale Gujarat on a higher map with its tradition and culture.

Tamil Nadu

Karaikudi or Chettinad is well known for its hot and spicy Chettinad cuisine. A typical meal will have meat, served on a banana leaf, with a large number of courses. Also famous are the old Chettiar mansions, rich in heritage, art and architecture, reflecting the affluence of the Chettiar community. Carved teak wood doors and frames, marble floors, granite pillars, Belgian mirrors and Italian tiles add the beauty of the architecture. Kanadukathan has one such beautiful palatial house.

 
  Tourist enjoying planting in the field


West Bengal

Ballavpur Danga, three kilometers from Shantiniketan, is a Santhal Adivasi tribal community in the pastoral beauty of rural Bengal. The Sonajhuri forest lies to the east and the Ballavpur Avayaranya forest area and bird sanctuary is to its south. Santhali art, craft and culture is closely knit into the communityís life. They are skilled in terracotta works, Batik, leather work, carpentry, mat weaving, broom binding and making ornaments with bena grass, date leaf, palm leaf and various kinds of seeds,. Beautiful designs adorn the walls and floors of the homes of the adivasis, made from red earth and cowdung.

WHERE TO STAY

Traditional houses in the village have been converted into guest houses while retaining their antiquity, and yet equipped with all basic amenities. The interiors of these home stays are designed using locally or regionally made crafts and textiles, which lend them a unique aura. Apart from home stay, other accommodation options include many privately owned guest houses varying in price and amenities.

TYPES OF RURAL TOURISM

Agricultural Tourism- Where tourists can explore more about the agricultural industry. They can enjoy and see the farmers work with crops. Open fields steal the show. Food Routes- This tourism is all about food and knowing more about different staples of different places.

Community Ecotourism- Where tourism is for a purpose. It is a rather responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.

THINGS TO DO

Animal Rides

 
  Tourist travelling on bullock cart in a village


Holidays on farms provides you the complete entertainment. Ride on the bullock carts along with the villagers into the agricultural fields. See them carrying fodder for animals into the buggies. You can even take the camel ride to explore the village and the surrounding areas.

Cow Milking

Cow milking is real exciting activity, which canít be escaped. Practice the art of cow milking from the villagers. Feed the cows with the fodder and chapatis. See how the rural women cook food on the Ďchulasí made of mud. Taste the authentic rural cuisine and drink fresh milk of cow.

Rural Art and Craft

Villages are expert in making the handicrafts, it is something which is passed on from one generation to the other. Tourists can carry some of the items back home as momentum.

 
  (Left) Tourist milking a cow (Right)  A female tourist learning how to make basket by bark of tree


Village Fairs and Festivals

You can also participate in the village seasonal harvest fair or other festivals. Onam, Baishaki and Pongal are some of the villagers most famous harvest festivals. You can enjoy the traditional dance and music performed by the villagers on such occasions.




(For full stories read SAFARI INDIA)