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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Country walks and community around The Sarai at Toria

One of the reasons people do this walk is to get a glimpse of rural life…

By Dr Raghu Chundawat and Joanna Van Gruisen
Owners of the Sarai at Toria

We have plenty of lovely walks around the property and along the stunning Ken River. One of the most interesting routes takes you to Toria village and is a highlight for a lot of people. Each leg is about 40 minutes through crop fields with very good birding. You can spot a large variety of species attracted to the forest and riverine habitats such as long-tailed shrike, peregrine falcons and Indian rollers.

One of the principal reasons people should do this walk is to get a glimpse of rural life. At the village of Toria, you’ll see one of the schools that we support and perhaps meet some of the children if they’re not too busy studying the surrounding nature, drawing or reciting poetry. Our staff are from the local community and we have an NGO nature education program in all the neighbouring villages. Staff visit once a week to conduct an activity for a couple of hours such as face painting and origami workshops. This week its mask making. In the future it would be nice to include the local potteries in the area so guests can go behind the scenes of India’s rural craft scene and take home some beautiful ceramic pieces.

Village life is an experience and at times quite surprising. When people visit, they’re amazed at how large and well organised these traditional houses are. More importantly, they love meeting the local people and learning about their lives.

Categories

  • Community
  • Culture
  • Trips to take

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Dr Raghu Chundawat and Joanna Van Gruisen

Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Raghu is a conservation biologist and ran a 10-year study on tiger ecology in the Panna Tiger Reserve. He is author of ‘The Rise and Fall of the Emerald Tigers,’  and runs a wildlife conservation trust, Baavan - bagh aap aur van, as well as the Sarai at Toria alongside his wife Joanna. Born in the UK, Joanna has lived in India since 1981 and has been a wildlife filmmaker, writer, and conservationist.