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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Homestays at times are priced at par or even higher than hotels. Have stayed at a few, it has been good experience
wow…i think i must go to kerala if i could 🙂
and never knew there was any concept like guest staying with people in their homes…hmmm thanks for enlightening 🙂
well the reason that people choose to stay at hotels could be that they are wary and they feel safe at hotels..who knows if one stays with a family and what they might do with him/her? like strangers… but if there is a reference then one must homestay to feel the true culture of the area as we know hotels are like airports and do not represent the culture…
Well just to compliment that I recently had an awesome home-stay in Spiti Valley, Kaza 2 days back. The hospitality we got was too too good and infact same is true for Ladakh homestays as well. We had awesome time in knowing those people, their lives, how they cook and what not.
I too agree that staying around homestay is much much better than staying at any hotel, if you are really one of those who love to Travel rather than being a mere tourist. Glad to see them growing in numbers day by day.
nicely explained about homestays, is there any website where we get information about such homestays , this would definitely save lots of money in staying..
Good one. We have been working on this concept. A partition of our ancestral home in Kerala is due next month. We propose to have a swimming pool with some cottages thereat.
I agree that this is an exceptional way to really get to know a place. The sterility of a hotel does not give us the full perspective of the location we are visiting.
@bhupendra, MyriadGetaways offers an exhaustive listing of Homestays across India and gives out direct phone numbers of the homestay owners… this makes it easy for you to communicate directly with homestay owners and get to know them before you can confirm you stay.
@PN Subramanian, nice to know that you will be starting a homestay soon. Do get yourself registered on MyriadGetaways.. it will make it easy for your guests to find your homestay and reach you directly.
I never knew this was possible in India, but will definitely try on my next visit.
It was a good experience for us at a homestay in Coorg. Always good to stay close to nature.
I think Homestays are a great way to experience the authentic and it’s lighter on your pocket as well.