For those of you planning a comprehensive budget trip to India, you might have come across lavish five-star hotels and ludicrously expensive resorts. But India is a developing nation and you will get the real ambiance, inherent to India probably when you are more connected to its roots. Maybe in some unique stays that are in theme with the country’s flavour. And there is an added advantage of such unusual accommodations being so much more fun to live in rather than the boring old hotels where you simmer in a room like a couch potato, thanks to room service!
1. Treehouse Hideaway, Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh - As you are wading your way through the west to central India, you can literally bring your childhood dream to life. Live in a treehouse! This is the cutest little quirky place to stay for the real nature loving backpackers. Situated in the heart of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, you will be living in one of the five tree houses packed with the sturdy look of a camouflaged tree house and totally comfortable eco toned homey spaces inside. Forget your boring old neighbors and their nasty cats; in the treehouse, you will have all the hummingbirds and canaries with a great view of the wildlife of Bandhavgarh. And for all of you famished backpackers, dining is also available in the Central Mahua tree with a side serving of a local Tree Watering Hole (I bet, none of your friends have ever been knocked out in a better bar!)
2. Guhantara Cave Resort, Bangalore, Karnataka - It all started million years ago when lava shaped the Bengaluru surroundings. Both wind and rain took its turns for thousands of years to form the caves. Then some people found it and added stone art and idiom-like paintings. And then came other people who built here a unique hotel. Expect cozy rooms (some of them have windows and balconies) with TV, AC, private bathrooms and electricity. Restaurant menu is simple and interior is a home to some interesting parties with water flowing from the ceiling.
In terms of entertainment there's a lot on the menu here: cricket, swimming, zip-lining, horse-riding, Segway tours and swimming in the natural pool overlooking ancient sculptures. Indeed an unusual place to stay!
3. The Ladakhi Women Travel Company Homestays, Ladakh - Any Indian trip is incomplete without a trek to the majestic north. And what could be better, if one could trek along the snow-clad mountains of Ladakh and get an authentic fervour of the life of the locals. The Ladakhi Women Travel Company brings you the genuine experience of the area by organising home stays during treks and tours alike. You get to live with the local women of Ladakh (the men are generally away due to their vocations) in the villages you pass on your trip. The tour guides and staff are all women which make it a totally safe option for solo female backpackers who want to see the real Indian way of life.
4. Camel Camp, Jodhpur, Rajasthan - Did you know that the word Safari has Indian origins? It means “travel” in Hindi and was popularised in Africa by Brits. Thanks to Reggie Marwar, descendant of the family who ruled this land for centuries, one can experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the Rajasthani Desert in a 4x4, camel rides and even elephant rides! From the camp you’ll have a chance to observe desert life (Bishnois, Bhils, shepherds, potters, weavers), and animals including Bluebulls, Gazelles, Foxes, Peacocks, Partridges.
It is a must-stay when in the area!
5. Xandari Riverscapes, Allepey, Kerala - Spend a night on a kettuvalla, which is a traditional houseboat made from local jackfruit trees and tied with fiber rope from coconut tree and fish-oil. Each unique boat has rooms with AC, living area and kitchen. You can spend your time on the viewing deck looking at riverside landscapes, sipping drinks, enjoying your lunch during the day and million of stars at night.
Food is gathered locally, whether it's rice from local paddies, shellfish from local fishermen or ducks from duck farmers. There is a surprising number of things you can try during your stay on this unique boat: rent a canoe to visit Alleppey village and take a peak into the life of the local people, see the famous school bus boat, children playing around coconut trees and fishermen going about their daily lives.
Unforgettable stay guaranteed!
Now come on, tap the real traveler in you and cancel those boring hotel reservations! Explore India to its fullest by living in its core and we promise the journey will be as beautiful as your destination. You know you want to try something new, so why wait for some perfect getaway, one of these places can be the experience you have always been seeking!