Rakkar Tourism & Travel Guide

Trips and Itineraries for Rakkar

36 Days
Ghoomakad - A home in the mountains

Just as working from home sounded like a curse to me, I headed for Ghoomakad for some motiva...

Mayur Sontakke
Dialogue in Dharamshala

This past September, twenty students and alumni of Ambedkar University Delhi hauled themselves in...

Aqseer Jungni
I Moved To This Himalayan Village From A City And Here Is How It Has Changed Me Forever

Credits: Harigovind KaninghatTaking a dip in the cold river stream..Refreshing! Thanks for the pi...

Shipra Shekhar
Inspiring Co-working Spaces In Dream Destinations For Travellers Who Hate Cubicles

If I had a penny for every time someone told me they wanted to move to the hills and work from th...

Himani Khatreja
7 Days
A Backpacking adventure with my Toddler

22nd Jan’17- 29th Jan’17 {Mumbai-Amritsar-Dharamshala(Dharamkot-Rakkar)-Mumbai}Eve...

Nehal Shah
Saying hi to 2016 in the mountains – Trek to Mohinder's hut

You must have heard a lot about Triund as a popular trekking spot near Dharamshala. Although beau...

Mayur Sontakke

Hotels and Homestays in Rakkar


Weekend Getaways from Rakkar

Shimla
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,October,November,December
Shimla is the capital and the largest city of the northern India state of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamsala being the other c...
Srinagar
Best time to visit - April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, i...
Chandigarh
Best time to visit - August,September,October,November
Chandigarh is India's first planned city, quite distinct from the rest of the country and considerably better organized....
Leh
Best time to visit - June to September
This beautiful town happens to be located in Jammu & Kashmir and is an abode for those who wish to pursue Buddhism. The ...
Dehradun
Best time to visit - March,April,May,October,November
Dehradun is the capital city of Uttarakhand, a state in the northern part of India. Located in the Garhwal region, Dehra...
Manali
Best time to visit - February,March,April,October
The land from where once an ancient trade route to China would be embarked on, Manali is an abode for modern creativity ...

About Rakkar

I am in travelling in the mountain villages of Dharamsala. The weather here is much more pleasant than the rest of the country in June-July and monsoon clouds are fast making their pilgrimage northward. I have been to Dharamshala before, but this time around I enjoyed the unique experience of living in a village. I lived there for around 8 days and enjoyed it thoroughly. In this article, I would be sharing my experience and why you should consider swapping a hotel stay for an authentic stay with villagers.Where Did I Stay & How Did I Find The Place?I stayed at Dhauladar Homestay run by the Sharma family who are paddy farmers in the village of Rakkar. You can reach the village by taking a bus from Dharamshala bus stand and getting off at Fatehpur. The stay is a great option for budget travellers, as it costs only around Rs 500, which is a mere US$7 per night. It can go down further, if you intend to stay longer than a month. I didn’t book the homestay online. In fact, there are many such places in most villages, but there is a trick to finding them. You have to identify the bustling local grocery shops, which are not just centres of commerce but also of local conversation, news and gossip. These places are generally up to date about the local houses available for travellers to stay in. Which is how I found my own homestay, surrounded as it was by paddy fields and rural tranquility.Here are five top reasons to live in a village homestay :Travel Back To The PastIf you’re a city-dweller like me, you know that life in the cities have modernised to a startling degree. And although it affords us many comforts and conveniences, the increasing complexity of our everyday lives has also worn out our nerves. Therefore, it was refreshing to immerse myself in this village environment, where life was not very different from the way it had been maybe a hundred years ago. Simple quarters in a modern style had been built for the guests, and the family hosting us still resided in adobe mud-houses, which were typical of the area. The mud-house keeps you cold in the summers, and warm in the winters. The food was cooked on firewood and people spent a majority of the day working on the farms, growing produce mostly for their personal consumption. The shops were not very easily accessible, and at times even superfluous, so living in such an environment, made me reevaluate the essentials that I need for living comfortably.Farmer’s Food, Farmer’s PriceWe had all our meals with the Sharma family itself. They charged a meagre 70 bucks for every meal, and you got much more than you bargained for in that price. Meals are sumptuous, nutritious and organic, a majority of the produce grown in the family farm itself. Everyone would sit on the floor and eat with their hands, and we would have meals like Kidney Beans in Gravy with Rice (locally known as Rajma Chawal), or Indian Bread with Mixed Vegetables or Spinach Saag with Rice, which is a wholesome way to eat a lots of greens at once. For the most part, we were eating what they were eating. We had very few demands, although they were more than willing to accommodate any.Experience Local Traditions CloselyWhile on the topic of mealtimes, a village stay is a great way to experience local life and beliefs closely. Whenever we sat down to eat, the person serving us would always take a bit of every dish and put it gently in the firewood still simmering after cooking the daily meal. In essence, food was fed to the fire. When I asked Grandma Savitri why she did so, she replied saying “The fire always gets the first bite, because we respect it for helping us cook all this food.” I found such traditions incredibly life-affirming in their own way, and they invoked greater regard for simple things that we take for granted.Work The FieldsIn the morning after fixing us breakfast, the hosts leave to work on the fields. Since it has been raining, the fields are more lush than anything. You can accompany your hosts, if you so wish, or even lend a hand in the day’s work, which is a learning experience in its own right. Farm work is hard physical work and can be a welcome change from our generally cerebral professions. The family also maintains a shed for the goats, cows and buffaloes it rears. They don’t do much. They like grazing on grasses when someone takes them out for a walk, or the hays and grasses that are laid out for them in the shed. I have sat down to draw and paint them multiple times, because they are so still. I believe it can be therapeutic and calming for the spirit to be in the company of placid creatures such as cattle, as they go about their simple existence.Local Flora & Fauna Right From Your RoomAs the days pass, it is easy to find yourself becoming interested in birdwatching as the thick cover of trees surrounding the house welcomes a variety of birds that are not commonly seen in the city. Magpies and larks and parrots, all flying freely and teasing you with their birdcalls. There are also several herbs and plants which the locals use in their daily life. One such discovery was of an edible fern, locally known as ‘Lungru’. It is a funny looking plant all curled up on the top, but is consumed as a part of the diet. For the inquisitive traveller, there are many such discoveries to be made while living in the village.I hope my experience allows you a glimpse into the life of a village in Dharamsala, and you get a chance to make such a trip yourself.

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