Rural tourism! Is that even a thing in India? You must have explored the awe-inspiring hill station and famous destinations of India. However, rural tourism caters to unique experiences that blend the indigenous communities, traditional practices and mouth-watering cuisines of villages.
As you soar high in the mountains and roll across the green landscapes, rural tourism allows you to disconnect from the chaos and entangle with nature. With many Treebo hotels in different parts of the country, you can easily go on a scenic journey to explore your inner self. Check out the top 15 unique destinations for experiencing an authentic rural lifestyle.
15 Places for Rural Tourism in India are –
1. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong tops the list for offering the best rural tourism experience in India. Nestled in the state of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is known as Asia’s cleanest village. What sets it apart is the beauty of people, their practices and their unique take on environment conservation!
Mawlynnong offers an amazing opportunity to connect with Khasi people, learn about their simplistic cuisine and live a sustainable lifestyle. The village is surrounded by dustbins made from bamboo, and people here use minimal electricity as well. You can walk through the root bridges, connect with local farmers, go for long walks in the village and shop for the best Khasi shawls too.
2. Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
You must have known Spiti Valley for crazy expeditions however, it is so much more than that. Rural tourism in Himachal Pradesh is famous due to the communities living in Spiti Valley. The locals here manage to live a life in tough situations but it does not stop them to welcome you at their homes.
The warmth of close-knit communities allows you to explore the local delicacies and practices for livelihood. Tibetan Buddhism is followed here, and you can witness the fusion of art, heritage and culture at the monasteries. As you dive deeper, you get to uncover the balance between modernity and cultural significance by people here.
3. Chitrakote, Chattisgarh
When you live in tribal communities in India, you get to see the world from a distant perspective. Chitrakote is a popular destination for rural tourism with Gond and Madia tribes residing in the region. As you go deeper into their lives, you can explore various forms of farming and agricultural activities.
It is their connection with the land that makes them create a sustainable living for tourists as well. If you visit during the festival time, be a part of their vibrant dance and music forms too. The food here is prepared with locally sourced vegetables and ancient cooking techniques. The place, indeed is deeply intertwined with nature giving you an authentic experience.
4. Pipili, Orissa
Rural tourism in Pipili is way beyond your imagination as you get to dive into the rich heritage and culture of the region. Located in Orissa, Pipili is famous across the world for its charming applique work. Intricate applique work can be seen in umbrellas, bags and different forms of textiles. As you walk through the lanes, you can soak in the pride of the meticulous craftsmanship of people here.
Apart from art and craft, Pipili is home to clean homestays and guest houses, thereby giving you an authentic experience. Communities here prepare Odia cuisine, so you can try Pakhala, Dalma and Chhena Poda. Moreover, green fields and calming lakes are sure to take you away from the everyday chaos.
5. Hodka, Kutch
Immerse yourself in the rustic charm of the picturesque village of Hodka. The place certainly tops the list of rural tourism in India with its unique accommodation known as Bhungas. These circle-shaped bhungas speak largely about the community’s efforts towards an eco-friendly and sustainable stay for tourists.
Located in Kutch, you truly feel special with the Gujarati hospitality and cuisine. Bajra roti and Kutchi Dabeli are famous foods known for the fusion of many ingredients. Hodka invites you to try your hands on pottery and agricultural activities defining the village’s pride. Lastly, it is also soothing to strike up meaningful conversations with the locals and explore their simplistic living.
6. Lachen, Sikkim
Situated in the mesmerizing state of Sikkim, Lachen is a small village with tiny human settlements. It is one of the best places for rural tourism in India where you get to experience the influence of Tibetan Buddhism practices. The community is focused towards animal husbandry and agriculture for their livelihood.
Imagine the tranquillity of being surrounded by mountains and only hearing the melodious sounds of prayers from the monasteries. As you choose to stay with the locals, know that they try their best to present the mouth-watering delicacies of Lachen. The making of Thangka paintings and woven textiles indeed talks a lot about the dedication of communities towards a sustainable life.
7. Naggar, Himachal Pradesh
Are you up for staying amidst the Himalayan mountains? Located in the Kullu district, Naggar is a small region known for its rich history and cultural significance. You can browse through many wooden houses showcasing the craftsmanship of locals here. The region allows you to soak in the beauty of the mountain lifestyle with traditional living practices.
Nicholas Roerich Art Gallery in Naggar is one of the famous places delving into Russian influences. You can participate in various activities including gardening and farming to best experience the local lifestyle here. Visiting the local houses and trying age-old Himachali dishes including Chana Madra and Dham is a must-do thing here.
8. Bishnoi Village, Rajasthan
Away from the chaos and the traffic of cities, Bishnoi Village is one of the top-rated places for Rural tourism in India. Bishnoi is a close-knit community dedicated towards environmental conservation, protection of animals and a sustainable lifestyle. As you visit the village, you can witness the houses made in an eco-friendly way.
It does take you deep into the practices of preserving flora and fauna at personal costs too. The village offers safaris in the nearby forest areas, which are well protected by the community. This place lets you discover the essence of craftsmanship with pottery, handicrafts and weaving skills that are passed to generations.
9. Khonoma Village, Nagaland
While rural tourism has gained significant attraction from travellers, certain parts of India remain unexplored. Khonoma Village in Nagaland is one of the secluded villages for exploring homestays and local life. Craft-making and Naga textiles are popular things to witness in Khonoma.
Morungs are communal dormitories where you can witness the architecture and functioning of the local lives of the Naga people. Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary are two famous places where the locals dedicate their love towards environmental conservation. Traditional dishes here are prepared with fermented soybeans, smoked pork and bamboo shoots.
10. Majuli Island, Assam
Far from the hustle and bustle of life are people living joyfully on the Majuli Island of Assam. Deep-rooted in traditional Assamese practices, the island offers a perfect getaway into the beautiful worlds of people here. While the island faces challenges due to extensive erosion, people have tackled such adversities without losing their cultural essence.
Straightaway, book a ticket to explore mask-making and pottery here. You are certain to love delicious Assamese food fused with local music and dance. The rural lifestyle focuses on ecotourism and promotes family values as well. Such a surreal experience only lets you immerse in lush greenery and riverside boating.
11. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
The town of Mandu exudes vibes of historic charm. Delve into a world where echoes of love stories and legends exist even today. The rural lifestyle of Mandu lets you explore many village walks and local artisans. You get an opportunity to stay with the locals, watch their daily life and only have more gratitude towards the community.
Since Mandu is influenced by Mughal architecture and the strategically built Mandu Fort, the cuisine here includes Dal Baati, Poha and delicious Malwa snacks. Many sustainable activities are organised for tourists and locals alike. Take a glimpse into traditional textiles and handicrafts and take home memories of your rural tourism trip.
12. Puttur, Andhra Pradesh
The rural life of Karnataka can be best experienced in the beautiful region of Puttur. The town is renowned for its cultural heritage and lush greenery. Agriculture is one of the main occupations here, so you can acquire knowledge about farming activities and techniques. Fruit picking is one of the famous tourist activities here.
As you explore the rural tourism in Puttur, know that you can enjoy folk music and dance as locals jam up to showcase their pride. Pottery and weaving workshops are also famous in the region. Make sure to visit the heritage sites and monuments in Puttur to discover their roots and practices.
13. Kumbalangi Island Village, Kerala
Imagine people coexisting with nature and preserving their cultural heritage. That indeed is a thing in Kumbalangi Island Village. Situated in Kerala, the island is popular for its fishing and canoeing culture. You can witness various fishing practices and be a part of it.
As it is located on an island, you get an opportunity to see the artistry of homes built on stilts. The authenticity of Kerala architecture and design is well-defined here. Make sure to enjoy delicacies prepared with coconut and rice. Delve into a sustainable lifestyle at unique homestays and discover age-old practices of living.
14. Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
As you soar in the high-altitude mountains of Uttarakhand, Munsiyari offers bliss in your journey. It is situated in the Kumaon region, and people here are called Kumaonis. The small town is characterised by traditional dishes, including bhatt ki churkani and mandue ki roti.
As you visit this place, you can witness an amazing connection between music and dance. Communities here create melodious rhythms and enjoy folk dancing in the Himalayas. Many artisans make woollen shawls and authentic handicrafts too. The beautiful blend of tiny houses built with cultural heritage is sure to melt your heart.
15. Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
Dominated by the Chettinad community, Karaikudi is one of the best places in Tamil Nadu for rural tourism. You get an amazing opportunity to witness the creation of Chettinad mansions built with vibrant courtyards and pure craftsmanship. Local families are too welcoming and offer traditional cuisines at their houses.
What’s more? You can engage in pottery and other art forms or even visit workshops nearby. The best part is that you can explore this small town on a bicycle and interact with villagers to know their everyday life. As you cherish the farm stays and watch the green landscapes, know that this place mesmerizes every traveller’s soul.
Rural tourism in India allows you to deeply connect with locals, live a sustainable life and find joy in small moments. With the best villages for rural tourism, you can now add worthy experiences to your bucket list!