Home stays in India
At Traveller's Palm, we have always believed that tourism, handled sensitively and responsibly, can be hugely beneficial to both the hosts and the guests of a country.
This conviction made us seek out historic homes, havelis, palaces and castles for our guests for the last 30 years. The flow of guests helped the owners of these properties to maintain their buildings and to provide employment to the local people.
With this philosophy, imagine our delight when many more Indian families started converting just a handful of rooms in their homes to visitors. Very often, the primary reason for this was not economic! Rather, we found that most home owners simply wanted some company after their offspring had left home. Rather than suffering the empty nest syndrome, they started inviting in guests. Others had palatial homes on sprawling but isolated plantations and they also found that there was no better way of having company than opening a few rooms to paying guests.
The guests, in turn, find that there is no better way of getting under the Indian skin than living with an Indian family. You are no longer simply reading about Indian culture and customs, but you actually get to live them! Add to that hosts who have known the area for generations and can open its mysteries to the guests like no one else can.
The homestays can vary from very simple rooms to luxurious suites. The surroundings also vary from villages or plantations to havelis in towns or cities. One thing they have in common though is the genuine interest the owners have in the guests and ensuring a great time for them.
In all places we have selected there will be attached private facilities to the guest rooms (unless stated differently). In addition to this, there are the shared spaces of the family, the front verandahs, the back gardens, a gazebo in the garden or simply a bench along a water-body. All these are delightful spots from where to watch the day roll by.
Read through our detailed and honest descriptions which tell you exactly what level of comfort you can expect from each home stay.
Privacy and Personal Space
As a guest you can mingle as much or as little as you like with the host family. Having said this, you should keep in mind that the charm of the homestays lies in activities which make the guests a part of the family. If this is not what you are looking for then it is best not to opt for a home stay but go in for a hotel and or resort.
By staying at a homestay, you'll be able to taste authentic Indian home cooked food. It's a lot lighter, and has more variation and flavor than restaurant food. The meals are cooked in the family kitchen and eaten with the family, often with the lady of the home serving you, as is the Indian tradition. Very often, the hostess is happy to give an impromptu or a formal cooking demonstration, a unique way of leaning about Indian cuisine.
You will also be able to do activities which would not have been possible without the guidance of a local host. This may just be a visit to a nearby village, the local bazaar, places of worship, a wedding or some local festival taking place.
One can safely say that there is no better way of getting to know India and Indians than by spending a few days with an Indian family in their own home. In more cases than can be recounted, the guests have parted as lifelong friends of the hosts.
- Himachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu