The best way to experience the heart of rural Punjab is to veer off the main cities to experience a slice of rustic life on a farm stay.
Farm stays have sprung up all across Punjab. Ranging from luxurious old-world bungalows and private cottages to more modestly priced ones, they offer modern amenities that make for a comfortable stay. In most cases, the farm owners themselves are the hosts and are happy to engage with the visitors, share anecdotes, and provide a first-hand insight into life in the countryside. The winter months from November to March are the best time to go on a farm stay. As the state offers a good network of roads, they are easily accessible.
Also Read: Best travel experiences in Punjab
Life on the Farm
In the midst of sprawling fields, a range of activities take you through the typical life of a farmer: wake up to birds singing, ride or even drive a tractor, take a walk or cycle through the fields, sit under the shade of a tree, pluck fruits, milk cows and buffaloes or get your hands dirty in the field. Some farms are situated close to canals that cut through the countryside where you can go fishing and angling.
You can explore nearby villages and might be invited to homes for a cup of tea with the locals. There’s no better way to understand why Punjab’s farmers have earned a reputation for being enterprising and hard-working.
Farm Fresh Food
The food served at farm stays is home-cooked and prepared fresh, very often with ingredients just sourced from the fields. Meals will usually consist of quintessential Punjabi dishes such as aloo paranthas, sarson ka saag (mustard greens) and makki ki roti (a flatbread made from maize flour) during the winter season, fresh milk and white butter and generous glasses of creamy lassi.
Some farm stays host evening barbecues and bonfires in the middle of the fields to the tune of Punjabi folk songs or put on cultural programmes with displays of the traditional Punjabi dances, bhangra and giddha.
Punjab’s bountiful crops include wheat, mustard, cotton and rice, but many farms also grow fruits such as kinnows and plums. Some farmhouses are nestled in the midst of luxuriant groves of fruit.
While many people choose a farm stay for a weekend, a longer halt helps to actually get into the rhythm of the slow and tranquil pace of life in the countryside. Farm stays are highly recommended for those travelling with family, giving children an insight into a life that is closer to nature. The experience of staying on a farm in Punjab is greatly enhanced by the warmth and hospitality of the large-hearted people who have always opened their doors to guests.