India rural holiday with charity walk

“A week long holiday in the rural areas of Central India’s Chhattisgarh state, staying in a jungle retreat. With a charity walk in aid of a local cause while you are there. ”

Highlights

Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat | Maikal Hills | Chhattisgarh wildlife | Chhattisgarh community activities | Local charity trek

Description of India rural holiday with charity walk

This seven day Central India holiday is based in a beautiful village style guesthouse, Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat, in the state of Chhattisgarh.. It is the perfect place to see rural, genuinely off the beaten track India. The trip includes a two day walk visiting villages that are supported by Samerth, an NGO that works to provide villagers in our area with clean and sustainable water supplies, and whom we support via UK Water Charity FRANK Water. You will spend one night camping in one of the villages where we will be joined by one of the Samerth team, who will talk you through their work.

The trek will be the core of a week long stay during which time you'll be shown around this beautiful part of India by your host, lifetime resident Sunny Upadhyay. Sunny has been our friend for fifteen years, we have watched him progress from being a wonderful guide to building and planting up his very own lovely retreat. The retreat itself is a heavenly place to relax, with all rooms opening onto a veranda that overlooks a pretty garden full of birds and butterflies. You'll find it hard to remain still though, for there is much to see in this lovely corner of rural India. The medieval temple of Bhoramdeo is just a stone's throw away, with its beautiful carvings and spectacular evening puja. A short walk or cycle ride will take you to two more tweflth century temples that make up the Bhoramdeo complex. One has stunning erotic carvings, the other was the site of goat sacrifices, both are startling and generally free from crowds.

But the real delights of this area are the villages that dot the hills and plains around BJR, and seeing them with Sunny is a true joy. He will explain the yearly harvest cycles, knows exactly where the next superb market or festival is about to spring up, and most importantly of all, is genuinely loved by the people amongst whom he lives. It is heaven to spend time with dear Sunny but equally the area is totally safe and there are bikes on hand should you wish to do some solitary exploring.

One proviso of joining this trip is that on top of the trip cost, you raise a suggested minimum of £150 per person for FRANK Water. This goes via Just Giving, not through us and we do not profit from this liaison. We will put you in touch with the good people at FRANK when you make your booking, and they will help you with your fundraising.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: India rural holiday with charity walk

Environment

Our accommodation provider, at Bhoramdeo has turned a plot of land that was previously unproductive scrubland, into a well wooded havens for bird and insect life. All our accommodations provide alternative drinking water to the ubiquitous plastic bottles that now litter India (quite apart from the disposal of plastic bottles, it takes four litres of water to produce a single litre of drinking water). All accommodation providers dispose of their rubbish on site using composting where possible and trying to minimise the purchase of anything plastic wrapped.

We operate with small group sizes which not only maximises interaction within the group and guides and local community but also minimises the impact on environment.

We work with Frank Water a UK water charity (reg. 1121273) that works with NGO partners across India to improve access to safe water and sanitation. In our area, Kabirdham, FRANK works with Samerth, a local NGO, to provide safe clean water to an area that has suffered much due to climate change. We have more fund raising projects in the pipeline, including a sponsored walk visiting villages that have been helped by Samerth, which we hope will raise both funds and awareness.

Community

We believe there are two fundamental factors in creating a successful and socially beneficial holiday: slow travel and placing value on local knowledge. All our guides on treks in the hills are local herdsmen (yadavs) or farmers; they not only know the best routes and the food and medicinal uses of every plant and tree, but also whether it is worth a diversion to see a leopard footprint, to bypass a village where private ceremony is taking place or drop in on one where a baby welcoming party will enjoy the presence of some extra guests. It enables real relationships to be established between guests and host nationals.

We ensure that there are multiple languages speakers on all our tours to avoid cultural faux pas and to enrich the exchanges between everyone. Our guides ensures that same villages are not visited by foreigners more than once in any month and that all supplies are brought along so no strain is put on the local resources. We encourage guests to bring small but useful presents; jumpers or shawls for children (central Indian winter nights can be bitterly cold) and fresh fruit and vegetable for longer stays (50% of Indian people do not even eat one fully balanced meal a day).

All our accommodation providers employ the vast majority of their staff from local villages and encourage the learning of English, interaction with guests and opportunities for promotion. The also support the education of the children of their staff and their health needs.

2 Reviews of India rural holiday with charity walk

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 15 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Definitely the sponsored walk! Days filled with such a variety of experiences and landscapes. Some hard work but so totally worth it. Learning about the way of life in rural India was amazing, a privilege actually. The local people were warm, welcoming and very curious too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We did a lot of walking throughout the week, really make sure that your footwear is comfortable for long distances if thats what you want to do (unlike me). Not that massess of walking is essential, at BJR they were very happy to meet the personal preferences of all the guests. I also was unprepared for camping, make sure you take warm layers as it did get very chilly at night time. OH and try absolutely all the food at BJR, its insanely good.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Experiencing rural life in India certainly benefited us and so I sincerely hope this was mutual. The sponsored walk allowed to to see some of the incredible work done in the area by Samerth, one of the charities supported by frank water. As well as facilitating access to clean water for as many people as possible, the thing that I found most inspiring was their focus on making life sustainable by supporting people to learn about sanitation and agriculture, and ensuring education for little ones. BJR also focus on reducing environmental impact. The food was sourced locally and water was filtered so we could refill bottles rather than using plastic bottles constantly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


10 out of 10

Reviewed on 15 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cycling/walking in the countryside/villages.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared to walk.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - certainly very low on omissions..... And locals seem welcoming and pleased to have you visit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great and will be back.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much for your review Russell, so glad to know you will be back. We really enjoyed your stay and look forward to showing you more of the forest and villages of the Maikal Hills and over to Kanha National Park.

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