Villages in India are its highlights especially when someone wants to explore the real life around a place they visit. South Indian villages are known for its genuinity and simple way of life. As a part of Sustainable Tourism initiatives, we have many possibilities for exploring the authentic village life around our destinations. The amount charged on such activities goes to the local community to make them benefitted from Tourism. The main beneficiaries are women homemakers who are a part of most of the activities.
1. Poothotta Village Experience
When I met Babu and his father 20 years before, I was fascinated by their passion on extending their natural hospitality to tourists under the guidance of Peter. Babu and his father did row the canoe to bring travellers to their village to explore the real village life. The village lady who cooks lunch for the guests at her home is same all these years. Always smiling and making the best local food. This village is 45 minutes drive from Cochin and an island backwater village. Peter’s amazing knowledge on almost everything around is another fascination.
2. Manakkodam Village Experience-A Women group initiative
Sonu was brought to this village when my friend married her. She wanted to do something for the neighborhood and she organized her neighboring women to lead this tour for visitors. After having a short description about the local area, you will be taken for the village walk to experience the real life style of Kerala’s village people. Have a visit to the church, coir yarn & coir mat making cottage industry units, a local school (except holidays/exams), vegetable garden, local house, match stick making unit, local tea shop, fish market & paddy field/fish farm etc. You will be brought back to your host’s house to enjoy the delicious and traditional KERALA lunch.
3. Marayoor Tribal Village Visit
In Kerala, the tribals were brought back from the forest to have better living standards and the children started going to schools. The youth were trained to guide the tourists for forest activities, bird watching etc. This helped the forest conservation also. Marayoor village is a unique tribal village where our Naturalist can take tourists to see their lifestyle and even have a meal at one of their homes. There is a big cultural exchange happens through such visits. We ensure all such tours are without breaking their privacy in their village.
4. Better Together-Community program at Kumarakom
Kumarakom is crowned with Ulysses award for the best Responsible Tourism Destination by UNWTO. Its interesting to visit the village guided by the local villagers to experience why its called as the best responsible Tourism village globally. Tourism has become a way of life for the villagers and the local community initiatives like organic farming etc. supported the demand of the local hoteliers. The initiative “Better Together” is a project introduced by Responsible Tourism Mission, Department of Tourism. This is a village tour guided by the local villagers and the benefits go to them.
5. Kumbalanghi Village
The first model tourism Village, Kumbalanghi is known for its authentic village atmosphere with traditional features existing. Its a small peninsula where fishing is main activity. You can be a part of the fishing activities and walk with the villagers to explore. The best way to access the village is in a tuk tuk which also is an experience. You can opt to stay inside the village at a homestay or a boutique resort.