Jaipur: Savour unique rural lifestyle, via farm tourism

JAIPUR: The West is travelling back in time to savour the inimitable lifestyle of rural India. Laura, a high school graduate from Germany, was catching up on siesta after helping separate wheat from chaff and laying water pipes at a farm. Another farm tourism enthusiast, 18-year-old Carlson from North California was back after milking cows at a farm resort. But they are no exception in their choice of a vacation in Rajasthan. Scores of travellers from the West opt for farm tourism over leisure.

Considering the appeal the oriental carries for the occidental, special initiative had been made for the growth of newer niche tourism products like rural tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism and camp tourism etc. This also witnessed the emergence of a new segment of tented accommodation which provides an altogether new experience. The Union ministry of tourism has introduced voluntary schemes for project approval and classification of operational tented accommodation in the country.

The Commonwealth Games would be a good opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the rural India to the international community. Under the Rural Tourism’ initiative Sahaj Morarka Foundation is working towards providing an authentic India experience to tourists from across the world in pristine rural settings.

“We had recently created some itineraries for vacation planners through the agrarian, invigorating and pollution free countryside. The six to 12 days itineraries focus on the Desert Trail’, The Jungles of Rajasthan’, The Rajasthan Roller Coaster’ etc. These would be absolutely tailor-made for the visitors during the Games,” said Vigyan Gadodia, promoter and director, Sahaj Agrofarm India.

The NGO has broadly categorised the rural experience under three segments. Volunteering for India, experiencing rural India & rural lifestyle, which is a popular programme with international guests to experience Indian rural life up close and personal.

The concept at Saharia, another organisation in rural farming, is to educate the villagers and tourists on the benefits of organic farming by returning back to nature and old Indian traditional agricultural practices. Volunteers from India and abroad and World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) members get to stay free of cost at the farm and contribute their bit to the organic farming practices and methodology.

From TOI

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