All our guests from kids to elderly, enjoy guided immersive experiences of walking alongside streams, hiking on mountains, spotting birds, strolling through tea-gardens, riding mountain bikes, interacting with locals, exploring their culture and heritage while enjoying a home-cooked meal, an experience filled with love and warmth in their mud houses. The locals feel pride in sharing their culture. For travellers from the Indian subcontinent, the authentic experience of being taken back to old times is beloved. While our international guests cherish the intimate acquaintance of a serene and rustic India of Himachali villages made memorable by humble and convivial locals. Some among them make these mountains their homes or second homes. This has a special appeal and resonance to me, as after a long stint in a foreign land, I too moved back to India and made mountains as my home. I redefined my career and retooled my skillset. My eternal gratitude to the Rakkh family for this wonderful opportunity. (On a side note, many among my friends and social circle wonder how it is to adopt a new home and be adopted, nitty-gritty, nuts and bolts of it all. Write to me personally to know more about why and how of it at email@example.com. Yes, I feel evangelical about it and will literally shout it out from the top of the mountain!)
There are benefits to being a locally driven and serviced venture. It is not about altruism or idealism alone. Working along with our local communities makes us self-sufficient. Our food supplies including jams, pickles and groceries are sourced from local small businesses. The flour we use for our bread is from the milling of locally produced grains in water-run mills (known as “Gharats” or “Pan-chakki”) making it nutritiously rich and of superior quality due to cold grinding. It is axiomatically eco-friendly as it harnesses a renewable source, the mountain streams. Our vegetables and fruits are either grown in our own organic garden or sourced through local farmers. Our vernacular architecture with the use of local wood, mud and slate keeps us connected to the environment albeit reducing utilities and maintenance cost. We take pride in supporting local weavers and potters by helping them keep their passion alive and giving an opportunity to our guests to learn a skill and take a souvenir back home with them. We invite local artists, musicians and cooks for the Kangra cultural evenings with music and “Dham” at Rakkh to preserve and spread awareness about local traditions.
Even in the current trying times, we are fortunate to give back, be hopeful and stay positive owing to our robust sustainable and responsible practices. Our workforce is able to stay connected with their families and community. Our offbeat location away from town and each private cottage provide natural social distancing. At Rakkh, our team and the community as a whole came forward to educate itself in the proper protocols and practices of handling the pandemic. Personal hygiene, peer and self-monitoring, social distancing, proper use of equipment to minimize direct contact with food, linen and other personal use items are just a few of the measures now ingrained into our staff.