The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world forever and the tourism industry has been hugely impacted too. It will never be the same again. In the months to come, we will observe how the idea behind travelling and more importantly, the way people travel, will change.
Travellers will avoid crowded tourist destinations and seek special, secluded experiences. Farmstays are also going to emerge as a major trend. The reasons are quite a few. For one, they provide vast open spaces where physical distancing can easily be maintained. Second, farmstays are all about organic food, and people will prefer the farm-to-table concept rather than eating at hotel restaurants. Also, farmstays draw less crowds than big hotels and offer a one-of-its-kind experience.
Having spent a large part of the year within the confines of their home, people would love to unwind in the lap of nature as and when things return to normalcy. And farmstays are the perfect way to do so.
Here are some good farmstays you can visit from the metro cities.
Banni Khera Farm, Rohtak
A farmstay in Rohtak? Yes, you read that right. Banni Khera Farm is the result of a sustainable rural tourism project and offers an authentic village life experience. The farm is aimed at supporting the villagers in earning an alternate livelihood. From yoga and meditation classes to horse-riding and tractor rides, every service here is provided by members of the local community.
Location: Thakur Joginder Pal Singh, Samargopalur, Rohtak
Surjivan Resorts, Manesar
This 50-acre farm offers a quintessential ethnic experience. What makes it truly rejuvenating is the fact that it is primarily a health resort. The cottages here are mud thatched and adorned with tribal art. Powered by solar energy, the farmstay serves as the perfect escape from the nearby Gurgaon and Delhi NCR. Meals are cooked on traditional hearth using freshly grown produce from their farm.
Location: National Highway 8 off Jaipur HW, Naurangpur – Tauru Road, Manesar, Gurgaon
Ph: 09810015159, 09811103519, 08800150555
Casa Coorg Homestay
If you are seeking a blissful monsoon experience, look no further than Casa Coorg. Misty hills, gurgling streams and fresh air from thick tropical forests await you at this beautiful homestay.
A paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers, the homestay is the perfect place to spend the day just lolling around and drinking endless cups of freshly brewed coffee. Marvel at the sea of greens while you read your favourite writer in your separate verandah, listening to the chirping of birds and the pitter-patter of rain.
Location: Chevur Estate, Virajpet, Madikeri, Coorg
Ph: 09449635127, 09880434127
Kalyan Cool Villa Homestay, Chikmagalur
Encompassed by verdant coffee plantations, this homestay serves as the perfect getaway from Bengaluru. Take a break from the noise of the city’s infamous traffic and spend some leisurely time here listening to the songs of birds instead. The property is nestled inside a 30-acre coffee estate and serves organic food redolent with local spices. Your hosts will also create an itinerary for you and would love to take you on a guided tour to nearby nature spots.
Location: Chikmagalur, Karnataka
Ph: 09448693890, 08197538954
Acres Wild Farmstay, Coonoor
If you are a cheese lover, then this farmstay is kinda perfect for you. The family-run farmstay is nestled inside an organic cheesemaking farm. They not only make cheese, but also give you a guided tour around the whole process. And of course, you can consume oodles of cheese without a care in the world. You can learn to make it as well, also on offer is an organic cheese-making course!
Location: Upper Meanjee Estate, Kannimariamman Kovil Street, Coonoor
Ph: 0423-2232621; 09443232621
Destiny Farmstay, Ooty
Adventurists will have the time of their life at this farmstay which offers a slew of activities like rapelling, hiking, valley crossing, golf putting and camping.
Surrounded by a serene lake, the farm grows a variety of herbs, fruits, veggies and condiments. There’s also a horse stable, a dairy full of cows and some really cute dogs for company. The hosts would love to teach you a thing or two about organic farming practices. The farm also houses a theatre room, where you could watch some great movies about nature.
Location: Oriental Bldg, Commissioners Road, Ooty
Ph: 0423-2244000; 09442632980
Tathagata Farm, Darjeeling
Situated in an idyllic tea estate, this farmstay offers some of the best nature trails around Darjeeling. Cardamom, ginger, vegetables and other crops are also grown at the farm here, and the place promotes the farm-to-table concept.
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Tathagata Farm is all about simplicity and offers minimalistic accommodations. Your hosts will also take you for guided village walks where you can get to interact with the local farmers of the village. You can also go fishing or birding.
Bara Mangwa Farmhouse, Darjeeling
If you fancy waking up to picture-perfect panoramic views of the Himalayas, this farmstay is for you. The property offers splendid views of river Teesta and the Kalimpong hills. From animal husbandry to yoga and martial art classes, there’s a range of activities you can indulge in here. What’s refreshing is that the farmstay is located in a rural area far from the maddening crowd of Darjeeling.
Location: Takdah, Panchayat Takling I, Bara, Mungwa, Takling, Darjeeling
The best part about Utopia is that it’s a stone’s throw away from Sula Vineyards. Overlooking the stunning Gangapur Lake and surrounded by the magnificent Sahyadri mountain ranges, the farmstay is one of the most sought-after weekend getaways from Mumbai. The rooms here are bedecked with tribal artwork. Apart from spending time at their organic farm, you can also enjoy a complimentary tour of the nearby Sula vineyards and York winery.
Location: Behind Seeyona Resort, Near York Winery, Gangapur- Savargaon Road, Gangavarhe, Nashik, Maharashtra
Farm Of Happiness, Ratnagiri
Not every farmstay introduces its guests to the minute details and lessons on agro farming the way Farm of Happiness does. Also known as Anandache Shet, the Marathi term for 'farm of happiness', this place in Ratnagiri is an agro-eco tourism destination.
Enjoy a peaceful afternoon in the traditionally designed Konkani houses or sleep on a machaan and gaze at the star-studded night sky, the farmstay guarantees happiness with curated experiences.
Location Near Katal Wadi, Phungus, Chandika Mandir Road, Ratnagiri, Sangameshwar