Eco-Tourism, Sustainable Tourism or Home Stay is related to nature, Community, society, preservation and identity. Home Stay and Festivals are the backgrounds of each tribe or community. The best way to enjoy this is to stay at the homestay and enjoy the culture, cooking and their lifestyle. Secondly celebrating their festival is also a way to patronize their identity and lastly is the intermixing with the hosts
Nepal, Sikkim & Darjeeling is home to Gorkha, Newar, Tamang, Rai, Limbu, Bhutia, Chettri, Sherpas, Magar, Gurung, Sunwar, etc have developed homestay which is sustainable and eco-friendly. Thatched Bamboo cottages are one such favourite home which they promote for tourists.
Bhutan is home to numerous ethnic groups, with many tribal peoples like the Brokpa, Lepcha, Ngalop, Sharchop, Lhotshampa, Lepcha, Doya, Rai, Limbu, living in rural villages all over Bhutan. However, there are some distinct large ethnic groups – including the Ngalop of Tibetan origin that live mainly in western and northern Bhutan and are the dominant political and cultural element. Their language, Dzongkha, is the national tongue. The Sharchop live in eastern Bhutan; and the Lhotshampa in the south.
Bhutan’s landscape is as rich and unspoilt as its culture. Steep high mountains, deep valleys and swift rivers offer breathtakingly beautiful scenery. In the north there is the alpine shrub and meadows of the Eastern Himalayas; central Bhutan is made up of the Black Mountains, dense forests and the river systems of Mo Chhu and Drangme Chhu; and the south comprises the Shiwalik Hills, lowland river valleys, and subtropical Duars Plain with its dense vegetation.
Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Seven Sisters & North of West Bengal is known for its colourful festival. Northeast India along with Nepal & Bhutan have hundreds of tribe. These tribes have their unique cultures and architecture. Their life comes alive in the form of song, dance and celebration during the festivals, hence we always promote such packages which covers these festivals. These are eco-based as almost all tribes are nature lovers and worship them in various styles.
Some of the popular festivals of the Seven Sisters of Northeast India are Kalachakra, Tshechus, Hornbill Festivals, Tea Festivals, Sangai, Bihu,Losar, Darjeeling Carnival, Ziro Music, Shillong, Saga Dawa, Solung, Nyokum, Mopin, Ambubachi Mela, Wangala, Nongkrem Dance, Kharchi Puja, Kang Chingba, Lui Ngai Ni, Anthurium, Chapchar Kut, etc
Some popular festivals of Nepal are equally colourful and are accompanied by dance, food and music. The main festivals are Lhosar, Chhath, Fagu Purnima or Holi, Dashain, Tihar, Mha puja, Teej, Buddha Jayanti, etc
Some popular festivals of Bhutan are equally colourful and are accompanied by dance, food and music. The main festivals are Paro Tschechu, Thimphu Tschechu, Jambay Lhakhang Drup, Wangduephodrang Tshechu, Haa Summer Festival, Punakha Tschechu, Drubchen, Black-Necked Crane Festival, etc
Buddhist celebrations held at temples, Dzongs and monasteries throughout the country to mark important events in the life of Guru Rimpoche. Monks perform with sacred cham masked dances to the sound of horns and cymbals, interspersed with performances of folksongs, whilst apsaras, naughty clowns with vast wooden phalli, entertain the crowd! People flock from surrounding villages dressed in their best clothes to enjoy these lively, high-spirited festivals. They receive blessings, catch up with friends and family and share meals of red rice, spicy pork, ema datshi and momos (pork dumplings) whilst drinking the heady traditional rice wine known as ara.
We are trying to develop sustainable village tourism. It is a tool and has taken extra care to spread awareness of local culture and lifestyle. We as a tourism house we try to just promote these homestays and community as they are economically not so developed. Recent time knowledgeable, passionate, nature lovers enquire about such places. There are many organization, individuals, Tea Estate or even Government officials help in to develop homestay so that our activities help local people socially and economically improves. Interaction with travellers and the knowledge that they are visiting for the richness in the culture brings in a sense of pride amongst the people and also brings in supplementary sources of income hence it makes economic sense to the villagers as well as tourists. We use our time and patience to identify our partners in each such destinations. The focus was always about finding partners who are already involved in working with local people. Homestay or tea tourism is two of the options most popular among our guests. The stay is with basic facilities and creates less impact environmentally.
A concept of ecotourism preferred by most of our guest and is fast catching up locally and internationally. These reduce pollutions and helps villagers to develop and redefine themselves. Home stay is arranged and run by villagers and it includes staying in villages or a whole village set up made especially for the guest. It is known by different name in the different region. Birding, short trails, angling are part of the stay and are not spoken or written separately, it is part of the concept.
The stay is simple with basic infrastructure and is about bringing one closer to local cultures and environment. A local guide from the destination will help guest with their cultures and ways of life far better and earn a much-needed income. There are festivals and special arrangement for guest who wants more. Staying in cottages, fishing, small walks, cooking or simply doing nothing are some of the options travellers ask for. Village or Home Stay popularity is fast catching up and many of the places in this region are setting up such facilities with some form of adventure for the guest. There is a number of such homestay facilities in the region. Guest visit helps the economy, buying local products, buying art materials and using local villagers as a guide or help.
The benefits are participating in Sustainable village tourism, observe about the lifestyle of the group / tribe, guest can spread their own message, Teach and learn environmental issues, Gain knowledge about a particular place /region/people, Enjoy an idea of culture, religion etc, visiting Off beat destination, learn cooking, agriculture, angling etc and Participate in local festivals
Some of the famous and nice homestay sites are the following. Here the hospitality is warm and one can participate in any activities of choice. One can cook or learn the agricultural practice, birding and angling or just go for a short trek. Some of our guests have stayed for three days and extended it for a couple of days just to participate in their festival celebration. Guest returns to the same place again and again. The guest might learn to cook some of the local dishes like Momo or dumpling etc. Yes the sophistication is missing but the warmth and hospitality is pleasing
Address: NBMC&H Campus, Post:Sushrutanagar, Town / City : Siliguri, District: Darjeeling, State : West Bengal, Country : India. PIN : 734012
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