If you’ve ever fantasized about living in a remote village in the high Himalayas, experiencing the colonial charm of a hill station minus the tourists, savoring the country hospitality of India’s most hospitable culture, waking up to birds chirping on a farm, or finding the beauty of Europe’s alpine countryside in India, this post is for you.
While travelling in India over the last 6 months, I have met families, communities & individuals running small travel offerings in rural parts of India, that offer travel enthusiasts an insight into a world away from the cities and the popular tourist circuit of India. Through tourism, they help the local community preserve their way of life, protect the local ecology, conserve the heritage of a place, provide employment opportunities to the village folk, and offer the artists & craftsmen of the region a financial avenue to sustain their work. Unfortunately, the lack of an online presence in today’s Google-dominated world means many such offerings haven’t yet become self-sustainable.
India Untravelled was born on a weekend I spent on the countryside of Punjab, amid a 400-acre fruit & cotton farm and the heartwarming hospitality of a family from the pind of Ghallu. It is an attempt to bridge this online marketing gap. It is a window into the India that many of us romanticize about. It stems from the fact that people who would enjoy experiences off the beaten path in rural India are not people who would book their travel through a travel agent. These are independent thinkers who rely on Google for their travel research.
In the 3 months of its existence since January 2012, India Untravelled has introduced travellers primarily from Europe & India to five socially responsible travel experiences across the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan & Punjab. A village stay in Madhya Pradesh and a jungle camp in Uttarakhand are the latest in the list of untravelled Indian destinations. On Friday next week, India Untravelled will set out for its first group trip to Punjab, to celebrate the harvest festival of Baisakhi on a countryside farm!
As my travels in India take on the eyes of my new venture, I hope, in subsequent posts, to take you on a journey through an India Untravelled.
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