Village home stay is way different but most distinguished form of tourism now a days. The ‘tourist’ here is little more experimental in his/her life and is looking at his/her definition of travel and tourism to be more informal and willing to be blended with the scene and life around rather than just being the spectator or a ‘clicker’. Village tourism not only satisfies the quest of being a nomad, to be a part of life away from usual sophisticated definitions and means but also a best way to quench the quest of an anthropologist and philanthropist inside one.
During a village home stay in Himalayan state of Uttarakhand you will lead a life of villagers in there. As a villager you will be involved in normal chores, such as taking care of cattle, collecting water,and also will be helping with conservation projects or assisting the children in their studies. This way you will develop a deeper understanding of a different culture and way of life and hopefully make friends for life. The village stay experience in Uttarakhand’s village is very different and fulfilling than in any village in planes. Here you not only experience the raw village life but also nestle with the purest hues of nature in form of Himalayan beauty which is expressed while living near to natural spring, thick tropical forest, Himalayan river and so on.
The day to day life in Himalayan village is tougher as compared to the villages of planes, as for every chores one has got less luxury of even normal equipments or machineries. Also need to trek a bit either up or downhills, be it going to fields, rearing cattles, or any other outdoor activity. The roads are also not so near.
Some of the core chores of an Himalayan village which your would be part of and gaining most enriching experience of lifetime.
- Fetching water from ‘Dhara’ ( Natural source of water) in ‘Bantha’ or Gagar ( metal vessels).
- Ploughing the fields through bullocks only as no tractors or any other machine would work in small ladder type fields there. During summers one can participate in paddy field cultivation which is entirely different experience of farming as paddy farming is a wet field cultivation.
- Going into forests or fields or to collect fodder for the cattles and Carrying that in’ Kanda’ or ‘swalta’ (a traditional wooden basket carried at back).
- For villages which are near to the river, or flowing water source, have got water mills for grinding grains, in local language these water mills are known as ‘Ghatts’ or ‘Gharats’ where water flow is used to move the shaft of the Stone Grinder. You can take your grains to the Gharat and have it grinded there and carry the load of flour back to home. This is such an experience of life time.
- Uttarakhand has got very rich culture and heritage, reflected in the cultural fairs and festivals organised in every village throughout the years, which could be of in household Jagar(devotional songs), or at village level such a Bagdwali(The ballads of brave Jeetu Bagdwal), Pandav leela(dramas related to Mahabharata saga ), mask drama or at small regional level such as Dev Banyat (religious doli yatra of god/goddess ). Ramleelas (dramas related to lord Rama’s life). Depending upon the time of year. You could be part of any of these folk events during your stay in Uttarakhand village
You Can contribute too:
Apart from these mundane tasks you can also valuably contribute as an philanthropic way while sharing your useful skills and knowledge in order to assist development and upliftment of other people’s lives which would be a very fulfilling experience of life where you’ll see your skills making a mark in adding values to villagers’ lives. In other words you can help children, young, old or disabled people in their daily life. In any case you will have the chance to make a valuable contribution .
1. Teaching part time or conducting a skill dissemination workshop in local school or college e.g teaching English in village primary school.
2. Educating villagers about new ways of working and earning livings.
3. Parting knowledge about better ways of development and conservation of natural resources.
So as per above synopsis of village home stay in any Himalayan village of Uttarakhand one could definitely live an experience of lifetime.