A homestay that will always be known for the irreplicable hospitality of the hosts and the amazing food on offer. This homestay also appeals to those looking to deeply understand the process of traditional weaving and dying.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
About the village
The Garo village in Sonitpur district lies in the foothills of Eastern Himalayan Range. With a homegrown holistic farming approach, the Garo people have made a tremendous effort to keep their village green and clean. They are experts in handicrafts, weaving, fishing and cultivating economically important plants. The history of how this village came into existence is quite interesting. Garos who are mostly based in present-day Meghalaya were brought in by the British to be used as rubber plantation labours. The Garos were excellent in climbing trees and that was one of the chief reasons for employing them. Many left, and most stayed back. This is their village.
Distance from the main town
How to reach
Breakfast isn’t a part of Garo tradition but the spread that is presented by the host, Mrs Sushila is something to look forward to. Puri sabji, eggs, butter bread, milk and something traditional that will be decided on the day you visit.
For lunch and dinner, the hosts prepare a completely traditional meal where you will be spoilt for choice. Garo food is rare to find commercially and once you taste it you would be surprised as to why there aren’t more restaurants serving it!
Know your host
You wouldn’t probably meet a lady in a village with more foresight and uncrushable confidence. Her body language exudes such positivity and determination that you hope the same for every rural woman in India. She is an orator. Only if she knew the English language you would know how good she is. She is totally up for conversations in Hindi as well, albeit it isn’t as strong as her Assamese. As a widow of a martyred soldier in the Indian army, Sushila Sangma lives with her daughter who is equally invested in helping her mother and taking forward the work of promoting Garo culture and the village’s lifestyle through the opportunity of tourism. You are certain to come back with fond memories and a stretched belly.
- Rafting on Kameng river
- Learning to make traditional recipes of the Garo and you would love it if you are a foodie.
- Trying your hands at traditional loin loom/ handloom weaving and organic dyeing
- Playing games with village children like you probably did when you were in school, in their sprawling compounds
Points of interest:
Nameri Tiger Reserve, Tipi orchidarium, Bhalukpong rafting point
Things to keep in mind
Even though people can choose to stay as long as they please in the homestay, for sake of convenience and ease of planning this tour, we are sharing the ideal itinerary while staying at the Garo homestay.
Start your journey
Drive from Guwahati or Tezpur or anywhere else which is a 4 to 5-hour drive in a way that you are reaching the starting point of the rafting on Kameng river by 12 pm.
The rafting on the Kameng river will take about 2 and a half hours to complete. The grade of the rapids vary based on the month you are visiting, but it can range anywhere between Grade 2 to 3. Enroute you will cross many virgin beaches and we shall alight on one such beach to have our lunch.
Those who want to jump out and swim in the calmer parts of the river can do the same after consulting with the instructor on board the raft.
At the end of this aqua adventure, we drive to the homestay to relax for the evening. The eager hosts will present a dance for you and you must join in!
Oh, the dinner, the bonfire and perhaps a game of cards?
P.S. The rafting happens in Arunachal Pradesh and hence Inner line permits need to be issued to the travellers. This can be made available by us, as long as the bookings are made a week in advance.
Time to say your Goodbyes
The whole point of going to a village is to let life slow down and take its natural course. However, waking up early gives you that experience of listening to nature and feel something you probably have missed for a while. Also, the sun rises quite early in Northeast India, so you need to keep up with it.
After thanking Sushila Baido(affectionately referring to her as the elder sister) for a sumptuous breakfast, its time to turn the tables and learn how “rice pithas” are made. One particular form of rice pitha popularly known as Jakheb within the tribe is what the people of the village consider as their favourite. These are made usually on special occasions like Christmas, but you’ll be lucky enough to make and eat them. Next up, we will educate you about how clothes get coloured, but naturally. Don’t worry it won’t be a boring session. We will be collecting leaves and fruits and then boiling them and stuff. Science lab but in a completely different setting! You could also try your hands at weaving and understand the pain women go through to create the magic!
Yes, that’s all, you will have to bid goodbyes now.
- The rooms have coffee, tea and milk powder sachets in case you want to make your own drink.
- Charging points for devices are also available (yes, it is a village so this needs to be mentioned specifically)
- Toilets are not attached but it is just behind the house and the bathroom is clean with a western toilet.
- Toiletries and towels are also available. However, we request you to carry your own toothbrushes to avoid wastage and be eco-friendly in the simplest way possible.
- Bonfire is a part of the experience.
- Ample space for parking.
- Hot water can be arranged for on request.
Rules and restrictions
1. Smoking is allowed in open outside the compound of the house.
2. Alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited since the village is against it
3. There is no restriction in terms of check in and check out time but it is a homestay so we expect visitors to be considerate