Chandigarh: Haryana will promote farm house tourism in the state, especially during the annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela held near Delhi, a senior officer said here on Friday.
Principal Secretary, Tourism, Sumita Misra said that registered farm house owners in the state would be encouraged to give visitors, especially from abroad, a good experience of Indian culture and hospitality.
"At present, 14 farm houses are registered with the tourism department under the scheme, located mostly in the National Capital Region (NCR) area and along national highways. These farms present an experience of a lifestyle that's true to real India -- rich in age old traditions, ethnic arts and crafts," a tourism department spokesman said here.
Misra held a meeting with farm house owners here and urged them to add more rural activities at the farm houses.
She said that the farm houses could be developed and upgraded in such a way so that film and TV units come for their shootings, especially to show rural settings.
"A tourist at these farms lives close to nature and gets hands-on feel of milking a cow, ploughing a field, riding a bullock cart and bathing under a tubewell. Community participation plays a vital role in farm tourism and also helps in engaging and generating employment for people from the adjoining areas," Misra said.
Pardeep Kumar of Pratapgarh Farms in Jhajjar district said: "We generate good business and many school groups and corporate sector employees visit our farmhouse as they get an opportunity to connect with their roots."
The Surajkund Mela is jointly hosted by Haryana Tourism Corporation and Surajkund Mela Authority, in collaboration with the union ministries of tourism, textiles, culture and external affairs, at Surajkund in Haryana's Faridabad district, about 15 km from New Delhi, from February 1 to 15 every year.
The popular mela witnesses over a million footfalls annually, including thousands of foreigners.
Surajkund derives its name from the ancient amphitheatre Sun Pool constructed in the 10th century AD by Raja Suraj Pal, one of the Tomar chieftains. The place is located in the Aravalli mountain range.