Kinnaur tribals throw doors open for city slickersJune 11th, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by IANS
Shimla, June 11 (IANS) Want to go to the hills for a vacation but bored with hotels? Now you can stay in a tribal villager’s home, savour local cuisine and even work in the fields — thanks to a ‘household tourism fest’ in Himachal Pradesh.
Residents of the picturesque Sangla Valley in Kinnaur district - which remains cut off from the rest of the country for more than six months a year owing to heavy snowfall - have thrown open their doors to tourists, offering a homely stay.
The two-day Sangla Valley Household Tourism Festival from June 27 is a promotional drive to invite tourists to relish local cuisine, enjoy folk culture and experience working in the fields and cooking garden-fresh vegetables.
“The people of Sangla Valley will showcase local cuisine, folk culture, handicraft and handloom for domestic and foreign tourists under the home-based tourism initiative from June 27 at Sangla,” said V.K. Negi, chairman of the Sangla Valley Sustainable Development Society (SVSDS).
The society is organising the festival for the sixth time. The registered villagers rent out a portion of their house to tourists.
“Last year the response of tourists was good and the area is emerging as a hub for household and agro-tourism. This time, more people have come forward to register themselves under household tourism activity,” Negi told IANS.
Shimla-based NGO Himalayan Research Group and the CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (CSKHPKV) of Palampur in Kangra district are providing logistic and technical support to the festival.
“The Sangla Valley tourism festival is slowly gaining ground. In the long run, the local communities will benefit in monetary terms. Some locals have been trained in the hospitality sector,” said Tej Pratap Singh, CSKHPKV’s vice-chancellor.
“It would also help in the preservation of local culture, skills and traditions in a sustainable manner.”
SVSDS chairman Negi said dishes prepared from locally grown crops and spices would be served to guests. “Tourists can relish dishes prepared from buckwheat, barley and apricots. The food will be served in traditional utensils,” he said.
The climatic conditions of the landlocked Kinnaur district are harsh as much of the land falls under the inhospitable Himalayan terrain.
“Such festivals not only generate self-employment for people living in villages but also de-congest urban areas,” said Negi.
Himachal Pradesh, with a population of over six million, attracted 9.37 million domestic and 367,000 foreign tourists last year. Kullu and Manali are the hot spots for tourists, followed by Shimla and Dharamsala.
- Home stays and agro tourism, Sangla Valley shows way (IANS Travel) - May 19, 2010
- Tourists throng Himachal - to milk cows, pluck vegetables - Apr 21, 2011
- Eco lessons for India from Himachal Pradesh (Postcard from Kinnaur) - Sep 21, 2012
- Himachal Pradesh eyes household tourism - Jun 29, 2009
- Pastoral holiday on agenda? Drop in at a Himachal village (IANS Travel, With Image) - Jul 04, 2010
- Himachal to develop eco-tourism in Sangla Valley - Dec 27, 2011
- Himachal's Sangla Valley reopens for motorists - Sep 26, 2010
- 35 tourists stranded as Himachal valley still cut off - Sep 25, 2010
- Feast on yam leaf, jungle asparagus when in Himachal (Feature with images) - Jun 08, 2011
- Homestay high: Himachal expects 100,000 weekend tourists (With Image) - Aug 12, 2011
- Food festival held in remote Himachal valley - May 10, 2008
- Kolkata tourists rescued in Himachal - Jan 02, 2011
- 'Summers for making money, winters for making merry' (Postcard from Lahaul and Spiti) - Nov 02, 2011
- 40 stranded tourists airlifted in Himachal Pradesh - Sep 24, 2010
- Incessant rains in Himachal, rivers in spate (Lead) - Sep 22, 2010
Tags: agro tourism, city slickers, folk culture, handicraft, handloom, heavy snowfall, himalayan research, hospitality sector, monetary terms, negi, ngo, palampur, pratap singh, research group, sixth time, sustainable manner, tourism activity, tourism initiative, vice chancellor, villager