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  • Writer's pictureKevi Sirie

10 Immersive Rural Tourism experiences in India

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

The concept of rural tourism is a growing form of tourism and gaining momentum in India. With the growing concerns over climate change and more travelers becoming conscious of their impacts, sustainable travel or green tourism is on the gradual rise in India.


Rural tourism in India could help in boosting the local economy and help conserve the local culture and might prevent rural migration. Rural tourism could attract tourists by providing a glimpse of the village ambiance with local cuisines and several other cultural and traditional practices of locals in India.


More than half the population in India still lives in villages and is directly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood. Hence, visiting these rural settlements and spending time with the locals will instill in travelers a new perspective on life.


Best Rural villages to visit in India


01. Kumbalangi Village, Kerala

The Kumbalangi village resting on the banks of backwaters of Kochi
Photo Credit: Onmanorama

A well-kept secret in the backwaters of Kochi, Kumbalangi is an island village with teeming biodiversity. Kumbalangi has been flagged as an experimental rural tourism initiative by the Kerala government. The spellbinding view of the village is mainly due to the azure backwaters, thick mangrove forests, rich paddy fields, and boat cruises that trudge the calm waters around. You can tag along with the fishermen and try fishing in the sea in the early morning hours for an unforgettable experience. You can also take a boat cruise and explore the mangroves and other regions of this island village.


02. Khonoma Village, Nagaland

The green paddy fields of Khonoma Village
Photo Credit: Pelevizo Meyase via Instagram

Also known as ‘The Green Village’, Khonoma is the first officially declared green village in India. The stunning vistas of forest-covered hills and mountains, panoramic view of luscious paddy fields from the village, and long winding roads and streets of Khonoma give the village an almost paradisical impression. You can spend your days in the village exploring the various traditional sites, bond with villagers over a cup of locally brewed rice beer, or trekking the famous Dzukou valley. But the most recommended activity is the farming experience that was introduced to interested travelers, where one can go to the paddy fields and get hands-on practice of the farming technique in the village.


03. Ladhpura Khas, Madhya Pradesh

The magnificent Hanumana Temple in the backdrop of the Ladhpura Khal Village
Photo Credit: mptourism

Situated along the banks of Betwa and Gurari River, this quaint little village on the outskirts of Orchha is beaming with natural beauty. The slow-paced lifestyles of the locals, the beautiful historical sites and temples, and the friendly villagers are truly impressionable. However, what makes this village even more alluring is the motto of the village which is ‘Farm to Plate’. This agricultural village makes sure its guests are fed fresh produce right from the farms. The locals of the village are also actively working to revive the age-old cultural and traditional practices by introducing different festivals on a large scale. This act of reviving the historically and culturally important practices through food, arts, crafts, music, and farming techniques has landed the village to be nominated for the Best World Tourism Village at the UNWTO.


04. Kongthong Village, Meghalaya

A group of travellers relaxing in one of the homestays in Kongthong Village
Photo Credit: Newsbytes

A unique feature of Meghalaya, Kongthong village in the East Khasi Hills, is nothing short of perfect. One of the most unique places to visit in India, Kongthong village has a tradition so distinct and set apart from the ordinary norms, that it has earned the moniker of being called ‘the whistling village’. This is so because the natives of this village call out each other by whistling a tune instead of calling out their names. Each native has a sole and unique tune called out after them. Thus, while walking the streets of Kongthong village you will come across a lot of hoots and whistles. But apart from this unique trait, the stunning hills of the village are also pristine and serene and they serve as a perfect getaway from the maddening noises of the city.


05. Pochampally, Telangana

A man weaving a silk saree in Pochmapally village
Photo Credit: ntnews.com

A village on the outskirts of the bustling city of Hyderabad, Pochampally is a weavers hamlet. Known for its famous colorful silk sarees and cotton fabrics, this village has been awarded ‘Best World tourism Village’ by the UNWTO. While in Pochampally, you can shop at the various stalls lining the streets and buy sarees, bedsheets, and other handwoven fabrics and materials. You can also visit the weaving exhibit site of the village or walk around and witness in person the locals weaving in the comfort of their homes and learn more about the practice and history of the traditional weaving patterns and techniques.


06. Turtuk Village, Ladakh

The rocky barren mountains and Shyok River in Turtuk
Photo Credit: Ladakhtourism.net

This once landlocked village on the banks of Shyok River in Ladakh is now a budding destination for rural tourism in India. Turtuk village thrives off the harmonious amalgamation of the Persian and Tibetan culture. Once occupation of the Baltistan empire, Turtuk in Balti means “desire to stay”. Nothing sounds as apt and accurate as its literal meaning in Balti as the village is shrouded in absolute beauty with crumbling barren mountains, gleaming water bodies flowing in the midst of the village, and magnificent views of snow-clad Himalayan ranges. While in Turtuk, tag alongside the local farmers to their lush green paddy fields and try your hand at farming or visit the walnuts and apricot orchards. Make sure to explore the stone walls and houses built on cobblestone alleys for a better understanding of the locals.


07. Grahan Village, Himachal Pradesh

The lush green meadows of Grahan village
Photo Credit: Adventure Nation

Nestled in the lap of Parvati Valley on the outskirts of Kasol, Grahan village is an offbeat destination. With spectacular views, stunning waterfalls, forests blanketed in deodar trees, and crystal clear streams, Grahan is a village that is straight out of a storybook illustration. A special aspect of this village is the fact that you can trek to reach the village instead of opting for vehicles. The trek starts from Kasol and along the way, you get to encounter the stunning vistas of lush green forests and mesmerizing meadows making this trek even more endearing. There is no internet connectivity in Grahan which is perfect for travelers looking for an opportunity to try the social media detox.


08. Laluri Khal, Uttarakhand

The cloud covered hills as seen from Laluri Khal Village
Photo Credit: Thetarzanway.com

Tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayas, Laluri Khal in Rishikesh is a remote little village. With landscapes of rolling hills, lush paddy fields, traditional mud or thatch-roofed houses, and friendly and hospitable locals, Laluri Khal is truly special and endearing on its terms. Get involved with the villagers in their day-to-day activities like helping out in their fieldwork or other local activities like basket weaving or rope making. Interact with the locals and learn about the culture and traditional practices of the village and get involved in the early morning routines of the locals.



09. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

The clean pathway and green surroundings of Mawlynnong Village
Photo Credit: Nomadic Weekends

The crowning glory of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong Village is dubbed as the cleanest village in Asia. The sparkling clean streets, unsullied drainage systems, bamboo-basket dustbins, and well-trimmed hedges are among the first things you’ll notice. But apart from this, one astonishing encounter that will leave you stunned is the open gates of almost every residential house in the village. This special feature of the village is what makes this experience even more memorable. You can enter these houses and take a look around for a more immersive understanding of the lifestyle of the locals. Apart from these, you can also trek your way to the living root bridges in Mawlynnong which have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


10. Chatpal Village, Kashmir

The lush green forests and valleys of Chatpal
Photo Credit: Sandeep Chetan via Unspalsh

Traced by valleys along the Southern part of Kashmir, Chatpal is a village of imperial beauty. Chatpal village is regarded as an experience of heaven on earth with flocks of sheep grazing the meadows, an energetic river rushing by, and stunning alpine forests. The mud houses sitting gracefully and the modest lifestyle of the native Gujjar community bring the village to life with a calm demeanor. Spend time taking long nature walks through the rich green valleys and strike up a conversation with the locals and bond with them. Another bonus to Chatpal is the lack of electricity supply which will prove to be a true rural tourism experience in India.


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Final Words

Rural tourism is a crucial kind of tourism sector that plays a vital role and provides many benefits to rural areas’ communities. When tourists visit rural areas, they support the local economy and helps in various way. Rural tourism in India helps with the development of rural areas and the living standards of host communities. Given the abundance of rural areas in India, one can make the conscious decision of travelling to these lesser-known places in India. It will one understand the importance of connecting with the natural surroundings and going back to living life in a simpler and more sustainable way.


Visit The Tarzan Way for more immersive travel experiences now.


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