Post updated on April 17th, 2018 at 04:28 pm
If you’ve ever watched a Bollywood movie, then bright yellow mustard fields pop into your head when you think of Punjab (a North Indian state). If you’ve never watched a Bollywood movie, this is what I’m talking about:
This is REAL! And the villages of Punjab really do look like this.
I’ve always wanted to experience farm life in India, so when my family and I chose Amritsar for a short vacation in February, I had to Google farmstay options closeby, since North India is well-known for its lush green fields. An incredible option popped up, hidden amongst search results – a farmstay known as Punjabiyat. There were limited reviews on TripAdvisor (it really is a hidden gem), but every single one of them had only good things to say about this place! We had to check it out!
(Quick facts on costs, reservations and best time to visit at the end of this post)
Where is Punjabiyat (the farmstay)?
Punjabiyat is located in a village called Gurdaspur, 75km from Amritsar. We had rented a minivan with a driver, to take us from the Amritsar airport to Punjabiyat (a 1.5 hour drive). The drive was gorgeous – everywhere we looked, we only saw yellow mustard fields. We visited at the end of February, just before the harvest season so we lucked out!
Flight options to Amritsar: Direct from Delhi; 1-layover from Mumbai (usually Delhi)
What are the cottages like?
Visiting Punjabiyat is an experience like no other – four rustic cottages in the middle of the farm, with lush green fields as far out as the eye can see! I don’t think there’s any other farmstay in India like this. The beauty of Punjabiyat is the fact that there are only four cottages, so there can never be too many people to disturb the peace and quiet of your stay here. Lucky for us – we were a group of 6, so we had occupied 3 of the 4 cottages, and there was no one in the 4th, so we had the entire plot to ourselves! There are two additional cottages – one is a library, with a rooftop where they serve some meals, and the other is a dining room, with games and a fireplace!
While the cottages have a rustic, village-like look on the outside, they are very modern, clean and well-equipped on the inside, so that your stay is absolutely comfortable!
What about food?
The service is impeccable – their staff is sweet, polite and so attentive to all your needs! Best part: they’ll cook you what you want with farm-fresh vegetables every day! We were spoilt for choice: aloo parathas for breakfast, ‘sarson ka saag’ and ‘makke di roti’ for lunch (a traditional rural Punjabi dish), chhole-kulcha for dinner, gulaab jamuns for dessert– these are Punjabi delicacies that you can’t miss if you’re in a Punjabi village! The ‘sarson ka saag’ deserves special mention because the cook had literally plucked the “sarson” (mustard leaves) from the field outside our cottage; it was so good we asked him to repeat it the second day!
They serve the meals in a different location each time – we’ve had breakfast on the patio, lunch in the middle of the fields, and dinner on this rooftop:
What else is there to do?
Don’t worry about being bored here at all! There’s so much to do!
Tractor ride through the village
Our first evening there we decided to take a tractor ride through the village! Such a cool experience – the driver even let me ride for the last half an hour! We drove through the village, passing by farmer’s houses, with loud Punjabi music blasting from our tractor. They had set up rustic four-legged single beds in the back of the tractor so we could lie down while enjoying the village views.
Bike ride through the fields
Punjabiyat has 5-6 bikes that you can borrow for the day. We biked through the fields, with just a few farmers around, clear blue skies and blissful silence – your ears are not used to this type of quiet, it’s so soothing. We biked deep into the fields, until we could only see green all around us. Everything was so laidback, it really takes all your stress away – this was some serious meditation 🙂
Milking the cow
There’s a dairy farm nearby, where the Punjabiyat staff gets its daily milk from (everything is so fresh here!) – if you ask, you can tag along with them and watch how the cow is milked, and try it yourself too! I was too scared to try, but it was definitely really fun to watch!
Honestly, the best thing about coming to a place like this is true, quality alone time in complete, blissful silence. I spent several hours a day just relaxing on the patio or rooftop of my cottage, listening to music and staring at the views, especially at sunrise!
Best time to visit: January-February when the mustard fields are in full bloom, just before the harvest season! Half the beauty of this place comes from that gorgeous yellow crop! The weather is crisp and chilly at this time, so just carry a few layers 🙂
Reservations: There are only 4 cottages, so if you plan to travel during peak season (November-March) make sure to reserve in advance!
Cost: Tractor ride and lunches/dinners are not included in the room rate.
Double room: $90-$110/night (depending on time of year)
Tractor ride: $5-$10/person
One of the best travel experiences you’ll ever have – don’t miss this!
*Photo credit to my friend Shreya Bhatt, who took a lot of these gorgeous photographs!*