The Best Ways to Book a HomeStay in West Bengal

A brief view of Tourism in India :


With the change in the trend of travel, tourism in India now has flourished extravagantly embracing all the possibilities that can be embedded into the niche of travel. As tourism in India is more about exploring the diverse colours of cultures that together bind India with a strange harmony, the only way to explore the true essence of this harmony is get into its source rather than measuring it through any polished and trained cover of Hospitality Industry. The sources that truly define the culture of India are the rural areas of India and in the rural areas, there stands  the homestays of India that build an individual identity of a particular culture that has been followed since ages.  

What is a homestay?


A Homestay is defined as an accommodation availed at a real home that is culturally and tourism in India is taking a new shape with what it already is rich for - culture and heritage.
traditionally owned by a native of that particular place. It cannot be relevant to any of the commercialised tourism units that focus on the promotional business concepts rather than the reflecting the cultural heritage of the family. In precise terms, it's more natural where there are no expectations of measurable quality in the delivery but a sense of respect that is palpably abstract. Here you do not exchange your money with the best services, but you compensate. You don't make demands but curiously wait for what is to come. You can never be obvious for anything but be conscious to learn the new things. So, now

Booking a Hotel vs Booking a homestay in India :


Regarding other services of tourism , travel industry has ample of portals and outlets from where such services can be availed enjoying varieties of options. Today, with the growth in the internet market, any traveller can easily match their interests and choose the type of tourism products they would like to avail. From extremely luxurious hotels to best jungle adventure and wilderness resorts one can easily make a choice of services right from the comfort zone of home and plan and book everything in advance. Now, when it comes to book a homestay in India, there hasn't been so reliable sources because of their remoteness and isolation from the mainstream tourism Industry. So, booking a homestay in order to explore the ethnicity of India still is still more like a research work.

Homestays under West Bengal Tourism:


India is a huge country. So, defining all tourist places in India that have homestays would be impossible, so this post will focus more on the homestays under West Bengal Tourism, as this state has one of most diverse geography and cultural influence in the tourism map of India than any other states of India. It is also the gateway to North-East India and one of bests locations of Jungle adventure for adventure lovers. The Northern part of West Bengal, because of its diverse geographical feature, has the highest cultural influence that has divided the region into different cultural zones that have not at all any similarities in between them . Due to this cultural disparity  the region has developed into a destination that is more known for its Homestays rather than hotels and other commercial tourism units of India. So, for all the travellers who want to experience the best of India holidays and want to make it a meaningful travel Experience can avail the homestays of West Bengal and explore the unknown side of West Bengal Tourism.

Booking a homestay in West Bengal:


As most of the homestays are located in rural and offbeat destinations of West Bengal, before Booking a homestay in West Bengal you should be aware that you wont be expecting to stay in any of famous tourism destinations of West bengal. Most of the homestay destinations of West Bengal are located in the northern part of West Bengal, so for all the solo travellers, volunteer travellers, travel bloggers, here are the best ways to book a homestay in North Bengal :

1. Know about the homestay circuits of  North Bengal :


As you wont be aware of the offbeat rural areas, you should first learn about the circuits of  rural tourism destinations of North Bengal and accordingly you can make your choice to search for such names to book the homestay :


a. Darjeeling Circuit of Rural Tourism Destinations of West Bengal :


These rural destinations also allow you to visit the mainstream tourism spots of Darjeeling Town along with exploring the rural beauty of Darjeeling Hill.  Some of these homestays  can be considered as beautiful farmstays where even volunteers and scholars are welcome to spend their gap years by doing various volunteering works in the field of teaching, agriculture, botany etc. Some of the names of these places are Takdah Cantonment and Bara Mangwa.

b. Kalimpong Circuit Rural Tourism Destinations of West Bengal :


Apart from Kalimpong town, there are many beautiful rural destination that fall under sub-division of Kalimpong. These rural destinations are now renowned for their best homestays. Travellers from all around the world can now get into the depth of Himalayan Culture through these homesstays. Some of the places are Doon Valley, Lingsey, Pedong, Chuikhim, yelbong, Singji , Itchey busty etc. 

c. Lava Circuit Rural Tourism Destinations of West Bengal :


This is another summer destination of West Bengal where the cold climate with beautiful nature and culture attracts many meaningful travellers who just don't want to travel as a tourist but more as an explorer. The best attraction of this circuit is the beauty of Neora Valley National National Park - One of the remaining pristine Heritage forests of West Bengal.Some of the destinations are Kolakham and Rishop.

d. Dooars Rural Tourism Destinations of West Bengal :


Dooars - meaning the door to Bhutan, is a beautiful rural tourism circuit that together combines, different topographic features ( Both Hills and Plains), Cultural divertity ( Again of both Hills and Plains), Rich Bio-Diversity ( Neora Valley National Park, Buxa Tiger Reserve, Jaldapara National Park), and some of the best Jungle adventure destinations of West Bengal. Some of the best Destinations of Dooars are Samsing-Suntalekhola, Rocky Island, Dalgaon, Rongo, Paren, Kumai, Sisamara, Gorubathan Taar, etc. 


2. Check their Facebook Pages :


Most of the homestays of West Bengal are located in Rural and remote destinations, where connectivity may be a minor problem. So. they may not have their own website, but some of them would certainly have their facebook pages. Instead of searching for travel agents you can search for their facebook pages and communicate directly with the homesaty owners. This way you will feel more reliable as you will be talking with the homestay owner who will be your main host.

3. Payment options : No online payment, no credit and debit cards :


The simple rule is carry enough cash to meet your travel expenses. The rural destinations are away from the town and you may have to bare extra cost just to reach the ATM, So it's better you carry cash with you as no homestays will have debit card or credit card payment facility. For booking and confirming the room you should always make a prepayment arrangement with your hosts. This way you can stay confirmed about your reservation. For prepayment you can always communicate with your host and transfer the required advance payment either to their personal savings account or any other account recommended by your host. 

4. Communicate in Simple words:


Remember that your host is not a professional travel business owner. He or she may be a farmer, a retired person or of any other rural profession  who may not know the terms used in the travel business for example Package, Plans, itinerary etc. Some host may not even be highly literate but this doesn't meant that they wouldn't know the etiquette of hospitality. For them their cultural ways of treating and respecting their guests would be the best hospitality manners. So, whenever you have any queries with the hosts before going to such  rural destinations, always communicate with the hosts in simple words and do not expect them to know everything like a professional travel consultant. They may only know about the best places of their locality, weather and climate, etc. 

5. Always ask for local transportation :


This is because you may get lost if you hire transport services from the main towns. Like in case of homestays of North Bengal many people hire the transportation services from Siliguri, but they may not exactly know about the location. So this way you may spend your valuable time in just locating your destination. It is always better to ask your hosts in advance to organise a pick and drop with  local transportation because they would be knowing more about the destination than any other transportation services. This way you will also be promoting the alternative income sources helping the rural destinations to develop economically.


The above mentioned points will help you in a better way to plan your holidays in a more meaningful way exploring the different culture and tradition of West Bengal through the homestays of West Bengal.

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