There’s a saying in India, “Atithi Devo Bhava“, which means “the guest is God”. Indians consider it a great honor to have guests in their home and go out of their way to pamper and please them. Sadly, most travelers coming to India stay in hotels and never get to experience the true homely ambience of Indian hospitality. But all this is changing now, thanks to growing popularity of homestays in India.
A homestay is similar in concept to that of a bed and breakfast in a family home, staying with a family or in separate quarters nearby. One gets a first hand experience of the place, local culture, traditions, the ethnic cuisine and people besides getting to interact with the host family. It is considered a home away from home. It is far more economical and in my view, more exciting than staying in hotels.
A visit to India as a destination would remain incomplete without experiencing the warmth of a family in a typical home. There are so many options for staying with Indian families, and eating their home cooked food, all over the country.
Photo courtesy: Myriad Getaways.
My most recent experience of a homestay was in Morachi Chincholi where I experienced the rural life and authentic Maharashtrian food.
Besides Maharashtra, there are plenty of homestays in Coorg in Karnataka and Kerala.
Just yesterday, one of my friends returned from Coorg and got me a packet of coffee from there. That set my mind’s machinery on a roll. The overflowing imageries in my mind’s vision consisted of lush green forests and coffee hills shrouded in mists.
Kodagu (Coorg is a Brtish adaptation) lies in the south west of Karnataka. Coorg and its own hill station Capital Madikeri boasts of wholesome travel opportunities. Talakaveri, the fountainhead of one of the biggest rivers of South India , the Kaveri, is a must. So are the various falls, the wild life park.
Over a period of time homestays in Coorg has become a sort of organized sector providing good accommodation for reasonable prices.
Kerala is said to be India’s cleanest and greenest state. Exceptional natural beauty and wildlife, combined with different plantations invite every single person who wants to go away from chaotic city life.
Already my list is growing by leaps and bounds. 🙂
Have you ever stayed in a homestay? What has been your experience? Would you like to stay in one again?
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