If you're among the thousands disappointed by the mangoes available in the city this season, head t o Sindhudurg for an authentic alphonso experience. Culture Aangan is organising trips to the village, 150 kms from Goa, all through this month, targeted at city dwellers and foreign tourists. And it's the village locals who will benefit from this endeavour. Says Rashmi Sawant, founder of Culture Aangan "We have organised the visit in a way that the tourists stay at the locals' homes, eat their home-cooked meals, visit their orchards and farms, use their modes o f transport, work with them and learn from them."
The basic package spans over two nights and three days, including a stay with the locals. The packages are flexible and can be modified to include educational as well as recreational activities. The homes are located in and around mango orchards and agriculture farms, with various activities developed around them. Visitors can spend their days at the farms, interacting with the farmers and tasting and collecting mangoes. Other activities include culinary sessions that teach you to make jams, squashes, chutneys and a visit to a mango research station to study the varieties of the fruit. "There are several other activities like picnics at the waterfall and nature trails," says Sawant.
According to Sawant, this is the perfect time to visit Sindhudurg a s i t lies in the alphonso belt and the mango harvest season is currently underway. Also, by involving the locals at every step, the trip stays rustic while offering a range o f activities to suit everyone's tastes.
Still only in its first year, Culture Aangan has started its holidays only in the Konkan region, but Sawant plans to take the concept of rural tourism across the country. "The aim is to recreate a model as such across villages in India with an aim to conserve and prolong cultural traditions," she smiles.
What's on offer
Mango plucking, collection
Studying varieties of mangoes
Flora and fauna expeditions
Dolphin boat rides