Jthere’s a lot of fun in taking a trip – the ride, the journey, the sights you see and the adventures you encounter. What if, on top of all that, you had the chance to develop your skills and learn from the locals themselves?
Here is a list of guesthouses in India that offer training, fun activities, sessions and more in art, culture and skills.
- Where can I ride a camel in Rajasthan?
- Unique Homestay in Goa – Salt Harvest
- Homestay with organic farm in Kerala
- Archery lessons in Karnataka
- Learn Pottery in Karnataka Homestay
- Happy Birding Vacation in Sikkim
- Unique trekking route in Sikkim
- Yoga Holidays in Rajasthan
- Where can you wakeboard in Goa?
- Cooking class in Uttarakhand
1. Chhotaram Prajapat Homestay Camel Ride – Rajasthan
In this homestay, you can participate in a variety of fun activities that will challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. The staff at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay decided to take the cultural experience for tourists a step further and started a camel safari in the Thar Desert. A truly authentic experience in the sands of Rajasthan.
Looking at the sand dunes around you atop a majestic creature isn’t that enough to make you feel like you’re on top of the world?
Homestay prices: Rs 7,900/2 nights (dinner and lunch included)
Or: Salawas Village, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Contact: 094147 20724
2. Harvesting salt at Casa Menezes Homestay – Goa
Located in the Batim village of Goa, this homestay is a calm and quiet break away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Panaji. It has managed to stay true to its old charm. When you’re not exploring or marveling at the 300-year-old ancestral home, or gawking at the surrounding beauty, you might find time to get lost in the winding roads of the village , watch the sunset over the horizon and immerse yourself in what you will remember as an unforgettable experience.
Besides the usual activities, here is something different and exciting: the harvesting of salt. Depressions in the ground, called salt marshes, receive the tide and when it goes down they are filled with salt. Learning to harvest this from the locals is a once in a lifetime experience. They will even share some of their tips and tricks with you.
Homestay prices: Rs 6,800/night for the Veranda Garden Heritage Suite (breakfast included)
Or: Batim, Panaji, Goa
Contact: +91 9819223009
3. Organic Farming at Vembanad House – Kerala
If taking a trip to God’s Country is not enough, Vembanad House in Kerala gives you several other reasons to visit here. The amazing part is that you won’t have to travel far to drink in the splendor of the place. All attractions are nearby.
All you have to do is walk to the back of the property where you will see temples, fields and more.
At the Vembanad House, you can learn and learn about organic farming, and maybe even cook up a little something for yourself! They have their own farm where they grow produce without chemicals. Even if you’re not one to cook, the hosts will engage you in conversation about farming methods, produce quality, and more.
Homestay prices: Rs 8500/night (breakfast included)
Or: Vembanad House, Alappuzha, Kerala
Contact: +91 98 95 061 561
4. Archery at Aura Kalari – Karnataka
If you often think about ditching the city life and taking a trip nowhere in particular, this is your dream destination. At Aura Kalari, the motto is “you did everything to earn a living. Now don’t do anything to have a life. Paying for silence is what they demand.
A rustic house built sustainably with mud and bamboo welcomes travelers with its silence. Although there are plenty of activities to enjoy while staying here, the archery sessions seem to be the favorite. You’ll learn the basics of the sport and the spacious environment will give you the kind of space you need to train. Being one of the oldest sports, it requires more than a large space and the right equipment. Accuracy, right angle and sense of direction are what you will need.
Homestay prices: Rs 5,000/night
Or: Aura Kalari, Chikkagubbi village, Karnataka
Contact: (+91) 99647 13429
5. Pottery at Off The Grid – Karnataka
It’s not every day that you’ll be lucky enough to wake up to the sound of birds and fall asleep to the sound of crickets. But at Off The Grid Homestay, nature pervades every aspect of the day, whether you’re just relaxing or trying out daring activities.
Hosts encourage their guests to explore the location and not create an itinerary that forces them to stick to a schedule. If you don’t like something difficult, try your hand at pottery, but be aware that it may seem easier than it is. During an engaging 1.5 hour session with the potters, you will learn how to keep the clay usable, how to carve the clay when finished, and the alchemy of turning a piece of clay into a beautiful urn .
Homestay prices: Rs 3,700/adult/night (3 meals included)
Or: Between Goa and Karnataka. Find out how to get to the host family by train, plane and car.
Contact: +91 96861 57440
6. Bird Watching at Martam Village Homestay – Sikkim
The mountains need no introduction to those who know the sense of calm they provide. Each person here has a story, albeit sometimes in a different dialect, and understanding that story is what takes you on a journey that changes you from within. This is exactly what Martam Village Homestay has in mind.
If you are a nature lover, consider this your paradise. Changey Waterfall is a 5km walk from the homestay and as you hike there you will see a variety of birds. For those who love bird watching and butterfly watching, this trek will do you good. You need to be absolutely in tune with your surroundings and calm to get the most out of the experience. Bring a pair of binoculars that will help you spot birds easily.
Homestay prices: Rs 3,500/night (3 meals included)
Or: Martam Village Homestay, Martam, East Sikkim
7. Trekking in Malay Lyang – Sikkim
A name that translates to “The Hidden Land”, this homestay offers you something unusual and even a little intimidating. The Lepcha tribes have lived in the area since time immemorial, and to them this land is everything.
Locals say there are treasures behind every tree, and to find out what that really means, you have to visit. The best part of the trip here? The vast expanse of land. When you are in the Himalayas, a good trek is always easy to find. During your stay in Malay Lyang, hikes are organized to the various villages and peaks. You will come across Lingthem, Kusong Village, Tholung and many other similar places.
Depending on whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced hiker, the hosts will guide you on the best paths to take, what you’ll need, duration, level of difficulty, and more.
Homestay prices: Rs 4,600/night
Or: Passingdang, Sikkim
8. Yoga at Shahpura Bagh – Rajasthan
“Life is quiet here”, say the owners. True to their claim, Shahpura Bagh offers its guests a myriad of things to do as they marvel at the timeless beauty of Rajasthan. The essence of your stay in this homestay is to let time pass, to let in the nostalgia of your youth and to put a break from the hustle and bustle in which you would otherwise be involved.
In the evening, an expert from the village teaches yoga and meditation by the pool. You will be guided through the asanas and learn how to get the most out of your session by incorporating breathing techniques. Yoga is a complex practice which, if not done carefully, can end up causing you discomfort. But rest assured, you will have the best guided session here. The ambience of the place elevates the ambience of peace and calm.
Homestay prices: Rs 29,400/night
Or: Shahpura Bagh, Shahpura, Rajasthan
Contact: +91 9587004999
9. Wakeboarding at Vaayu Vision – Goa
At Vaayu Village you will find adventure around every corner and yet the journey is as relaxing as lying in a hammock and watching the day go by. As it is on the edge of the beach, this village offers a ton of activities that tourists can enjoy. The waves make for good surfing.
Wakeboarding is a must for tourists, and you’d do well to give it a try while you’re here. Unlike surfing, wakeboarding doesn’t require you to wait for the waves to come at you. Instead, your board is attached to a speedboat speeding through the water, and the board is pulled. You can try your hand at aerial acrobatics while enjoying the waves that sway you.
Homestay prices: Rs 2000/night
Or: Ashwem Beach Road, Mandrem, Goa
Contact: 098500 50403
10. Cook at The Retreat Bhimtal – Uttarakhand
The hosts aim to provide guests with a warm atmosphere in which they can relax while fully enjoying being away from home and immersing themselves in fun activities. One of the best parts of this homestay is the food. Continental, Indian – you name it, and they can cook up a feast. Be it spicy South Indian dishes, buttery pancakes or fluffy pancakes for breakfast, rest assured that you won’t have a boring day. They also offer gluten-free, Jain and diabetic meals for those who wish.
It just seems that if you binge on these delicacies, you also have the chance to learn how to make them. Cooking classes are organized for those who would like to leave their trip with some culinary skills up their sleeves.
Homestay prices: Rs 5500/night
Or: The Retreat, Jones Estate, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
Contact: +91 – 81 710 31968
Edited by Divya Sethu