I’m absolutely fascinated by a countryside life. For a townie like me, it’s like slipping into a different world. The quiet of nature, the lushness of flora, and the rusticity of living – all of it mingled together exudes something very potent for a traveller. To my fortune, I had a plum share of village sojourns recently, which made me discover and experience a great deal of rural way of life. In fact, I found my rural expeditions more enriching than my city breaks. I believe there is a deeper connection with everything when you walk on the rural paths.
|Darap village near Pelling, Sikkim|
In fact, villages are the roots of Indian tradition and culture. I think it’s time to go back to roots and give travel a new meaning. We should look beyond the big cities and the over-hogged hill stations, and get curious about the hidden villages in India.
WHY VILLAGES GIVE BETTER TRAVEL EXPERIENCES -
1.You get fresh air to breathe in. The ‘freshness’ in the air is worth a million dollars. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. There is a sense of freedom when you have such a clean environment to breathe in. You can go for long walks, loiter around, or simply sit for hours in the midst of nature and immerse yourself into its purity.
2.You get to eat organically grown food. We don’t eat as healthy as we should in our cities. But, village folks eat fresh produce. Everything they serve on your plate – milk, butter, fruits or vegetables are organically produced, which is good for health.
|Assam Linzey village near Gangtok, Sikkim|
3.There is less traffic. You won’t find many vehicles on the roads, which reduces both air and noise pollution. You don’t get tired very soon, which motivates you to walk more and explore places on impulse.
4.People are warmer. Yes, country folks are friendlier and more respectful. They always have a smile on their faces. They have more time to talk to you.
|Dilaram village near Kurseong, Darjeeling|
5.You can expect good old hospitality. People who have lived all their lives in the countryside don’t mix hospitality with business. They don’t count every penny. They extend genuine warmth, courtesy and respect to their guests.
6.You get to witness more natural beauty. There are unhindered landscape views to enjoy. Also, there are virgin forests and verdant farmlands to explore. It’s like wherever you lay your eyes, nature beckons you for a rendezvous.
|Farmlands in Assam Linzey|
7.You spend less, experience more. It’s comparatively cheaper to travel in a village than in a city. Be it food, accommodation or transport, everything is within a modest budget. Therefore, you can stay longer and absorb more.
8.Villages are less crowded. It’s easier to enjoy a place if it’s peaceful and devoid of the tourist bustle. You can go anywhere with ease, because you know you won’t be pushed or elbowed. You don’t have to hog a picturesque view with a bunch of other photo enthusiasts.
|Huts in Darap village|
9.You don’t need to buy tickets to be amused. The most underrated benefit of travelling in a village is that you get to see so many interesting things without spending a penny. You can simply take a walk, stop by anywhere at your own leisure and enjoy the unusual stuff that you don’t get to see in your city life.
10.You get to be more spontaneous with your interests. You can follow your heart. You don’t have to follow any specific itinerary. You get the freedom to explore random things at your own pace. You can choose to hike through the forests, swim in the lake or simply gaze the mountains.
|Cattle in Darap village|
11.You get a chance to interact with village folks. Travel is also about exchanging views, and conversing with people who are living different lives than yours is more enriching. Extending a smile to a random stranger, talking to village folks, and listening to their short and sweet anecdotes take your travel experience to a greater level.
12.It’s a way to learn about their culture and living. We read about various villages and tribal communities in books and journals, but breathing amongst them, eating their food, smelling their stoves, and maybe milking their cows help us have first-hand experiences of their lives.
What do you say? Do you think village tourism should be promoted?
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