Pack your bags and get ready to travel with a purpose as Melissa Fernandes takes you on a journey to farms, villages, horse-riding adventures and lots more
It's close to vacation time so we started to wonder if you have a holiday plan all chalked out. And we really hope you aren't planning to waste your time sitting at home as there is so much to be done! Vacation options are getting more exciting and adventurous by the day. Today, vacation options vary from waterfall rappelling, learning to make cheese and tree planting to fish farming, gardening and village tours.
Ruchi Munshi from Lady Vissanji Girls Academy says, "Holidays that involve field trips are not only fun and interesting, but also allow one to get hands-on experience while doing some fun activity. Whether it's milking cows, chopping wood, rappelling or even planting vegetables, you can steal knowledge from each of these activities. Trips like these are much more interesting than mundane trips like visiting zoos and museums."
One organisation that makes holidays adventurous is Grassroutes. It conducts trips across rural India. One of its trips takes you to Purushwadi village in Ahmednagar where you can connect with nature, live with villagers, walk through farms and milk cattle. This is the perfect place for a thrilling experience.
You can also choose to go for a night trek, take long walks on gentle slopes or go on a hike through the hilly terrain. And what's more, this experience of a lifetime can be had over the course of just two days.
Inir Pinheiro, one of the founders of Grassroutes says, "We offer a unique concept of village tourism where visitors can live with the villagers and learn how a village functions. This form of livelihood is completely different from what we are familiar with. As most of India is rural, it is essential to know how a major part of our country lives." At the farm you not only enjoy the brilliance of nature, but also learn about farming tools, crop varieties, specific soil conditions, fertilisers, environment conservation and a lot more.
Village tourism is certainly relevant and the experience of living in a village, truly unique. Abhijeet Kavthekar, co-founder of Grassroutes says, "Rural tourism is very essential as children need to be informed about rural life and get to know about rural developments. Children can explore rural culture and daily practices, one of which is conserving nature."
Another interesting vacation option is Acres Wild in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, which offers you the chance to live on an eco-friendly farm. This farm has only six rooms and is completely self-sustaining as it grows its own food. But the most exciting part about the place is that you can combine your visit with a lesson on how to make various varieties of organic cheese including gourmet cheeses, hard cheeses and soft cheeses!
If cooking and other kitchen work is not your forte, then you can try something more adventurous like fishing, horse-riding, tractor-riding, vegetable farming and more. The Dirghayu Farms in Thane are one place where you can take part in such activities. Dr Ashwini Kotkar, owner of Dirghayu Farms says, "We educate people about several things like plantation techniques, drip irrigation and other necessities of farm life. Jungle trekking is also one of the options we give our visitors."
Recently, such trips have also been brought to the notice of schools and parents, both of whom have shown a preference towards these educational field trips as compared to holidays to exotic locales. Shubhada More, a teacher at Guardian School says, "We had taken our primary class students to Dirghayu Farms. They had quite a fun trip and enjoyed dirtying their hands while they learnt the nitty-gritty of vermiculture and the uses of earthworms. Besides all the fun and games, they also learnt about various kinds of trees and obtained sufficient information on the subject. Field trips like these are preferred by children as they learn faster through applied knowledge."
So as you can see, there is a lot more you can do to spend your holidays wisely. Take your pick and enjoy your vacations.
Grassroutes: Call Darren Lobo on 0810-8133016
Acres Wild: Visit acreswild.com
Adventure Holidays: Call 09833940077 or visit adventureholidays.net.in
Dirghayu Farms: Call 09969983318 or visit dirghayufarms.com