In the travel community, they say if you like to stay in a hotel with a selfie stick, you're probably a pseudo traveller. You know, shuffling dutifully from one monument to another, from a famous cafe to some popular location while checking in on social media. Ah! Sounds like another routine to me as if your mundane office life was something dissimilar. To make the most of your travelling experience and to know places better, one should try to feel home at foreign places and what's better than staying at places run by the locals of the area. Well, if Ladakh is next on your travel bucket list, here's one such amazing option for you.
If you genuinely want to experience the Ladakhi culture, their exotic food and lifestyle, you can try the homestays run by mothers in Ladakh through a project called FarmStays Ladakh. They have converted their homes into a source of income and cultural exchange and it's undoubtedly an exciting opportunity for people looking for an out-of-the-box stay.
FarmStays Ladakh lets you stay with local families of the area, involve with their culture, eat their traditional food and what not. Just like the locals do.
The project was tested for over two years before it was officially inaugurated by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche on June 18, 2016.
It was done to ensure the families, especially mothers, are self-sufficient. As the Ladakhi youth is compelled to work in the nearby towns for better income, their parents are left with nothing but ancestral farms with no assistance.
Sonam Wangchuk, the brain behind this project said -
"Rural youth is migrating en-masse to the Leh city for economic and educational reasons and farming is left to the elderly women. Therefore we realised that water alone couldn’t solve the problems of dying Ladakhi villages. Hence, the FarmStays project was started with the aim of attracting discerning tourists to experience authentic Ladakhi village life, away from the noise and pollution of the city. Prototyping of the project was already done last summer and this spring already in just one month seven families in Phyang and five families in Phey have had a turnover of roughly Rs 1,50,000. The hospitality is amazing and the hosts have been trained to maintain highest standards of hygiene and comfort."
These homestays can be booked directly on a crowd funding platform called Indiegogo for a modest fee. Convinced? For this year you can book your stay until September 2016. The weather conditions get unfavourable after this and the region shuts down for tourists.
Get acquainted with FarmStays Ladakh in the video below: