The Lesser Known Heritage Homestays in India

Homestays have gained extreme popularity in the post-COVID era when social distancing, hygiene and privacy have become the top priorities for travelers. In addition, the travelers are now looking for meaningful experiences. Since homestay owners host their spaces in many different ways, each homestay experience is enriching and unique.

Here is a list of 5 such lesser known heritage homestays in India where the echoes of time still speak of an era of style, rich taste and sheer class. Experience a unique old world charm, feast on delicious traditional home cooked food and listen to the interesting stories of their rich past from the host family. Staying in these heritage homestays can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Ponnamveli Homestay Chirthala, Kerala

It is a heritage home built by Mr Aniyan Ayappan in 1925, expanded in 1955 and finally renovated and restored between the years 2005 to 2015 by his grandson Dilip Vishwanathan. It’s a traditional Kerala-style home, set in coconut groves surrounded by lush greenery. There are 2 guest rooms. Relax in the garden, wade into the ocean or traverse the backwater on a Shikara boat; go fishing in ponds and canals and cook the catch of the day, there’s a lot that you can do. The stay will transport you back to the golden era. There is a Library, an in-house ayurvedic massage center, dedicated yoga practice area and fishing ponds. 

The Destination:

The homestay is located in a quaint little village called Ponnamveli just 9 kms from Cherthala. It is midway between the great backwaters of Alappuzha and the heritage town of Kochi. The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport (54 km).

Excursions:

  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (24 km)
  • Mango Meadows Agricultural Theme Park (33 km)
  • Vembanad Lake (28 km)
  • Cochin (24 km)
  • Alleppey (30 km)

How to Reach:

You can hire a taxi from Kochi Airport and enjoy a scenic roadtrip to Ponnaveli with Savaari.

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Bordi Heritage Homestay, Maharashtra

It is a 150 years old ancestral property, thoughtfully laid out over 8 acres of land. It is located just across the road from the Bordi beach. The home is filled with quaint antique pieces and tastefully upholstered furniture and retains its old world charm. The roof is still held aloft by Burma timber beams over a 100 years old and even the flooring and other parts of the entire home still showcase the timeless design of a bygone era. The home offers two beautiful 4 bedded rooms to accommodate a group of up to 8 people.

Bordi Heritage Homestay

The Destination:

Not many know about this hidden jewel Bordi about 155 km away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Mumbai. A part of a sweeping coastline that stretches from a town called Dahanu based in Thane district, Bordi is close yet so far far away. 

[Also Read: Weekend Getaways from Mumbai]

Excursions:

  • Udwada for the old colonial architecture and the Parsi Cuisine (50 km)
  • Umbergaon Beach, Kalpataru Botanical Garden, Vrindavan Studios (10 km)
  • Dahanu Beach and Fort (17 km)
  • Bahrot Caves (8 km)
  • Aswali Dam and Warli Painting at Aswali Village (8 km)
  • Gholvad for Chickoo Orchards and ‘ooni keedheli taari’ or Toddy (5 km)

How to Reach:

The best way to reach by road is to rent a car from Mumbai. The road trip from Mumbai is extremely scenic as you pass through the locales of Maharashtra. The distance from Mumbai is about 160 km and takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes for the journey. One can book a taxi from Mumbai to Bordi anytime with Savaari.

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Temi Heritage Homestay, Sikkim

This 200 years old heritage home is made of mud and stone surrounded by lots of greens and provides a wonderful mountain view. Lalit Kumar Pradhan along with his wife Sarala Pradhan run this amazing homestay. Sarala cooks delicious local Nepali cuisine and their daughter Divya likes to make cookies and sweets. The family is very hospitable and polite. There are 2 well furnished guest rooms; each room has a double bed, attached bathroom and balcony. 

Temi Heritage Homestay

The Destination:

The homestay is located in the beautiful hills of South Sikkim in a small village Temi Tarku. This place is known for Temi Tea Garden – the only tea garden of Sikkim.

[Also Read: Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim]

Excursions:

  • Ravangla (22km)
  • Samdruptse (25km)
  • Namchi (29 km)
  • Chardham (29km)
  • Buddha Park (30km)
  • Rumtek (38km)
  • Gangtok (47km)
  • Pakyong Airport (48km)

How to Reach:

Temi Tarku is around 50 km by road from Gangtok. You can book an outstation cab in Gangtok with a driver and reach the village in about 2 hours.

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Panchkula Heritage Homestay, Haryana

It is one of the ancestral havelis of the Chandel family, the descendants of Chandel Dynasty whose Empire extended over entire Central India from the years 800-1182 AD. It was constructed in 1945 by Kawar Mohan Singh Chandel and is a replica of the Ramgarh House in Lahore. It was inherited by Deiji Sukshma Singh Chandel, mother of NB Singh, the present owner. The haveli has 4 rooms for the guests equipped with all modern facilities with a swimming pool, private bar, lush green lawn and farms. And during your stay you’ll be given an unforgettable gastronomic experience

Panchkula Heritage Homestay

The Destination:

The homestay is located in a small village Bhanoo, 11 km from the center of Panchkula, Haryana. It is famous for the ruins of the Chandel Rajputs and trekking in Morni Hills teemed with Khol Hi-Raitan Wildlife Sanctuary, Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary and views of Shivalik foothills. Mohali is 29 kms and Chandigarh 22 kms from here. Just 4-5 hours of drive from Delhi, it serves as a perfect stopover for people going to Manali or Kangra. 

Excursions:

  • Chandigarh (22 km)
  • Mohali (29 km)
  • Shimla (113 km)
  • Kufri (127 km)
  • Gurudwara Nada Sahib (10 km)
  • Panchkula (13 km)
  • Cactus Garden (14 km)
  • Mata Mansa Devi Temple (16 km)
  • ChattBir Zoo (17 km)
  • Sukhna Lake (20 km)
  • Kaushalya Dam (20 km)
  • Khuhi Nepli Forest (24 km)
  • Khol Hi-Raitan Wildlife Sanctuary (23 km)
  • Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary (27 km)
  • Morni Hills (34 km)

How to Reach:

You can either fly to take a train up to Chandigarh, and then hire a taxi from the city to Panchkula.

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Gangapole Heritage Homestay, Rajasthan

Located just inside the first gate of walled city, 1.5 km before from Hawa Mahal, this traditional Haveli was built by renowned Vaidya Prabhu Dutt Ji Shastri in 1965. He was the Founder Principal of National Institute of Ayurveda.  The Haveli consists of six guest rooms. You will be hosted by a warm family headed by Vaidya Shyam Sunder Sharma, M.D. Ayurveda in Kayachikitsa and Panchkarma. His daughter-in-law Nidhi Sourabh Sharma who actively takes care of the guests is Naturopathy cum yoga expert and a holistic advisor. You may get some unforgettable yoga experience under her guidance if you are inclined.

Gangapole Heritage Homestay

The Destination:

Jaipur is one of the most vibrant cities of India. The only planned city of its time was built in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II. It will amaze you with the brilliant architecture of its palaces and forts, colorful markets, museums, gardens and busy streets. Jaipur today is a blend of tradition and modernity. If you want to witness the city at its best, plan your visit during some festivals like Elephant festival, Teej festival, Kite festival and Gangaur.

Excursions:

  • Amer Fort (6 km)
  • Nahargarh and Jaigarh Fort (11 km)
  • Monkey Temple Galta Ji (11 km)
  • Sambhar Salt Lake (81 km)
  • Bhangarh (82 km)
  • Abhaneri (98 km)
  • Lotwara (102 km)
  • Sariska National Park (107 km)
  • Ajmer (134 km)
  • Nawalgarh (141 km)
  • Pushkar (145 km)

[Also Read: The Regal Rajasthan – An 11-Day Roadtrip]

How to Reach:

Being a capital city, Jaipur is well-connected to all important cities via a network of highways, railways as well as flights. Once you reach Jaipur, you can book a reliable car rental in Jaipur to reach your homestay or for local sightseeing. 

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About the author

An engineer by degree, a writer by passion, I’m a lover of fiction, classics and Shah Rukh Khan. When I’m not busy challenging the status quo, one word at a time, I fancy reading, shoe-hoarding and petting my cat.

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