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IRTA 2017 Silver Winner, Best for Cultural Immersion
Rural Pleasure is a social enterprise which delivers hands on experience of village level activities: ploughing, seeding, picking fruits & vegetables, crop harvesting, tribal dancing & paintings, swimming in the river, milking cattle, bullock cart rides, village trails, cutting wood, mud flooring, fishing, forest hikes. They encourage tourists to participate in the chores of villagers which give them an insight into their values, customs, culture, behaviour, attitude and lifestyle. Livelihoods are generated for villagers through the provision of lodging and board, guiding, housekeeping, performances by local artists and the sale of art, craft and agricultural produce. In Dangs, Warli Art was in decline but young people are now practicing it. Seven houses have been decorated with Warli Art, more than 750 travellers has been immersed in cultural activity and the tribes have earned close to Rs98,000.
Bhuj House, Kutch
IRTA 2018 Gold Winner, Heritage Property
In 2013 the Bhujwala family decided to restore the Bhuj House, their traditional Parsi home into a heritage homestay in the historic town of Bhuj in the Kutch district of Gujarat. One of only two Parsi houses remaining in Bhuj, its future has been secured, and the Bhujwala family has protected the Agiary through a trust maintained by the family. This is a homestay designed to conserve the Parsi heritage through tourism. “The house is filled with family treasures, photographs and memorabilia which offer a sense of the past, as well as a mix of vintage and contemporary Kutchi fabrics which can be found throughout the region. The food is typical of the Parsi community and served in the inner courtyard of the house; a peaceful oasis in the midst of a bustling town.” The Bhuj House is an authentic symbol of the community which once thrived in Bhuj .
The Bhuj House stood alone in this category, standing comparison with previous winners in this category internationally. Based on the applications before them the judges did not identify worthy Silver in this category.