Agriculture and tourism are two inherent sectors of the Indian economy. The profit earned by each, comprise of a significant part of the Indian revenue. What if, both are combined and promoted in conjunction? The experiment has been initiated and the results noticed till now are remarkable. India has come up with several agritourism destinations. But before we start focusing on them, let us try to understand what is agritourism.
What is Agritourism?
Agritourism industry in India has mainly been initiated to develop the rural sector of the country's economy. The concept is to stay in farmhouses or farm stays and engage in various farming operations along with the locals. The meals are cooked in the farm and served in the rural style. The salient features of Agritourism are:
1. The accommodation and meals are affordable and inexpensive compared to the luxurious resorts and hotels
2. Acquaintance with the lives of farmers or villagers and their way of living. Food, agriculture, farming, culture, dresses, lifestyle, handicrafts are some of the areas where you can engage with the locals.
3. Participation in several rural events, festivals and recreational activities along with the men, women and children of the village
4. Spend moments of solace and surreal calmness in a refreshing rural environment
5. Soak into the enigmatic beauty of Mother Nature and enjoy the serene and tranquil environment of the farms
Best tourist destinations for Agritourism
1. Dewalokam Farmstay Retreat in Karimannoor, Kerala
In the colloquial language, Dewalokam means "paradise". The name is apt as the farm stay is wonderfully located on the banks of a river and a lush green plantation. The farm is owned by a Syrian Christian family. The guesthouse has 8 air-conditioned rooms with a view of the forest and the river. Another option for accommodation is a private traditional house that has 3 bedrooms. Fruits, vegetables, honey, and milk are produced in the farm itself. The guests can engage in numerous activities like bamboo rafting, spice walks, temple visits, village walks and swimming in the river.
Location: Thodupuzha, Karimannoor 685581 India
Price: INR 10K per night with the inclusion of meals and activities.
2. Vanilla County at Kottayam District, Kerala
Vanilla County is also owned by a Syrian Christian family. The resort is located in a picturesque spot near Vagamon, nestled within the majestic Western Ghats. There is a heritage bungalow, about 70 years old, with organic rubber and spice plantation spread across an area of 150 acres. The guests can engage in several activities like birdwatching, trekking, plantation walks, village walks, cruising in the backwaters and meditation.
Location: Mavady Estate, Vagamon 686580 India
Price: INR 11K per night for a double with the inclusion of meals and activities. If you do not want to opt for meals, then the rate is INR 7,250 per night.
3. Dudhsagar Plantation and Farm stay in Goa
Though Goa is well-known for its beaches, but you will be amazed to know that it has a spectacular farm stay promoting agritourism. Its Dudhsagar Plantation, circumference by lush greenery and vivid plantation. There are 5 jungle cottages, located near the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls of Goa. The resort has a cashew feni distillery, which you can explore to learn the process and even taste it. The guests can opt for swimming in the river, walk around the plantation or go for a natural fish foot spa in the river. You can stroll along the pineapple orchard as well.
Location: Mollem National Park, Karmane 403706 India
Price: INR 3,500 per night including breakfast.
4. Konyak Tea Retreat in Mon District, Nagaland
Spread across an area of 250 hectare, it is essentially a tea estate. The hostess is the great granddaughter of a tattooed headhunter. She still researches, analyzes and documents various kinds of tattoo designs and patterns. Other than tea, you can find many organic vegetables and an orange tree orchard inside the farm. The farmhouse has walls made of stone and adorned with beautiful authentic tribal paintings. The guests can engage in various activities like mingling with the Konyak tribes, village walks, hiking and learning the habitat of the people. Remember to try the home-brewed rice beer.
Location: In the middle of Sayeang Tea Estate, Shiyong village, Mon District, Nagaland, India
Price: INR 3K per night including meals and a tour of the tea estate.
5. Enchanted Forest Farm, near Gangtok in Sikkim
As the name implies, the resort is enchanting and captivating. Spread across an area of 18 acres, its is a marvelous destination for agritourism. Gushing waterfalls and the dense green forests amplify the beauty of the resort. Organic farm produce is a specialty of the farmhouse. There are 3 cottages, artistic in decor, for the guests. The host is quite entertaining, plays guitar and engages in a jam session.
Location: #05/31 C/o O.P. Basnett, Near Parbing School Ranka, Parbing 737101 India
Price: Ranging between INR 2K and 5K per night with breakfast included.
6. Kumbalangi Farm tourism in Kerala
The ecovillage of Kumbalangi is an awesome tourist destination to unwind yourself. Surrounded by the gorgeous backwaters and the intriguing dense plantations, it is a splendid experience to stay in the farmhouse. It is the firts model tourism village in India. You can happily engage in fishing with the local fishermen. The key attraction is the Chinese fishing net at the banks of the backwaters. Guests can also go for village walks, forest walks, swimming, fishing, engage with the villagers, country boating, basket making, coir making, cooking and relax inside the premises of the farmhouse.
Location: Picturesque village in the suburbs of Kochi in Kerala, India
Price: Starting from INR 1200 per night
The Indian tourism industry is realizing the benefits of Agritourism and hence attempts are being made to come up with more and more ecotourism projects. A recent report has elaborated on how the Kerala government is introducing responsible tourism by promoting Agritourism extensively.
So if you want to soak into the serenity and calmness of the nature in your next vacation, do visit one of the farm stays and enjoy being with the locals.
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