Shekhawati, the land of Rajput rulers, is famous for its warm and endearing hospitality. 'Athithi Devo Bhava', is the way of life in Rajasthan. The bright and colourful ethnic attires counter the hot climate and allows the people to enjoy the charms.
RAJASTHAN IS a gateway to the bucolic beauty representing the rich heritage and immortal Indian culture. Rural tourism offers a peep into the rural lifestyle, hand portraits and rangolies, hut clusters, the thatched roof dwellings with mud walls often alongside the brick & mortar houses of a new age farmers. Alongside the age old forts, heritage havelis and famous monuments you can also explore living in countryside. Experience a distinct blend of traditions, lifestyles, history and people.
Rajasthan is world famous as far as tourism is concerned and has been attracting tourists to all its important cities for its artistic forts and palaces of Mughal eras. Tourists visit various places based on their interest mainly to get rejuvenated and fresh. One of the ways to do it is being with nature in the midst of men, animal, birds and plants and enjoy the fresh air and scenic natural beauty. This enlightens humans also as they understand how people live in villages with so little amenities, learn their language, culture, food habits and also do some local sightseeing.Normally, we live in hotels when we go to visit a tourist place but it’s a out of world experience to live in rural villages with simple villagers and find happiness doing simple things with them.A not for profit organization M.R. Morarka – GDC Rural Research Foundation set up by Kamal Morarka, an industrialist, philanthropist, politician and social worker is doing remarkable work in promoting farm, rural, eco and religious tourism. The farsightedness, clarity of vision and thought and sound technical knowledge of the founders gave The Foundation humble but firm beginning in 1994. With the rural support programme The Foundation has grown over the years.Unlike other voluntary organizations Morarka Foundation is into more than just the conventional areas of voluntary actions. We often than not take the lead to venture into new areas such as Organic Farming and Certifications, Agriculture Extension, Tourism Promotion, Waste Management, Vermi Compost, Conservation of Heritage etc. For the implementation of an intervention The Foundation restricts its role to that of a catalyst, coordinator and facilitator, encouraging necessary participation of the rural community and entrepreneurs.More than a profession or a business, agriculture is India’s culture. Hence, additional income generating activities to existing agriculture would certainly increase the contribution of agriculture in the national GDP. Agri-Tourism is one such activity. Tourism is termed as an instrument of employment generation. Promotion of Agri-Tourism needs conceptual convergence with Rural Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Health Tourism, Adventure Tourism, and culinary adventures.Mukesh Gupta, Executive Director of Morarka Foundation says “We being associated with farmers were more concerned about alleviating the lives of our farmers who are associated with us and believe in us”. Gupta was instrumental in trying out this concept in 2 villages in Shekhawati region – Kattrathal and Singhasan where he promoted Digvijay Singh of Kattrathal and Girwar Singh of Singhasan village to build facility in their farm for tourists to come and have a comfortable stay. He added “We identify the location and the farmer who owns the farm land and explain them about farm tourism concept and tell them the advantages of setting up the facility for the same in their farm. We give them complete know how of setting up the complete project and make a project report for them”. He further adds “it is like cultural exchange program for tourists coming from abroad. They will stay with the host family, eat the food cooked for them, giving a helping hand in their work, spend time with them and educate them about modern technology in farming etc.”As a part of stay Morarka Foundation teaches them yoga, Ayurved medicine, conduct lessons in Hindi, local games like kabbaddi, langdi, camel and horse rides and ride on the tractor fascinates them. Though language sometimes is a barrier but that does not stop hearts to grow fond of each other. When the tourists depart they are heartbroken but promise to return one again to enjoy their hospitality.In a short span of less than 3 and half years, Morarka Foundation has 7 places where they are promoting farm tourism. The best part is that the Foundation believes in transparent and responsible tourism. They train the hosts completely about do’s and don’ts while dealing with tourists.