Relax & Revel in Rustic Charm of Virasat Haveli
A city near Pakistan border, in the state of Punjab, Amritsar is of great importance for the Sikh community as it is home to one of their holiest temples : The Golden Temple. It is one of the sought after tourist destinations. The Golden Temple and the Wagah Border’s ceremony (Indo-Pak border) are the main reasons to attract travelers. You will find many places to check in as it is thronged by tourists, international and domestic, throughout the year. But if you are looking for an out of the box experience, then Virasat Haveli is the right place for you. Away from the humdrum of city, it is situated in the countryside of Manavala, a very close by village of Amritsar. If you are evading fast paced life of city, want to relax, be at peace, and be at proximity with nature.
GPS: 31.570994, 74.977033
address: Village Rajewal, Manawala, NH-1, G.T Road Amritsar, Punjab
How to reach?
From the railway station, Virasat Haveli is be about 12 kilometres. It does not seem far if you compare it with the dimensions of bigger cities. The Haveli is situated at the outskirts of Amritsar, in a small village called Manavala. If you were on train towards Amritsar from New Delhi, and if you were curious enough to check out all the stations however small, you would come across Manavala right before your destination. But there is no stoppage of the train. So you have to get down at Amritsar. You could either take autorickshaws or tuk tuks as some international tourists call them. Ask the drivers to take you to Manavala, near DelhiPublic School. If they do not understand the route, you can certainly make them talk to the owner of the place who will make them understand in their own tongue i.e. Punjabi. If you are fortunate enough, Narinderjeet Singh, the owner, would send you a car to be picked up from the station. While on your way, you would pass by the city and gradually enter a quiet, serene environ of the village where amidst farms, you will find this farmhouse which looks like a castle of some sort.
Welcome to Virasat Haveli
Now that you have reached your destination, you will enter through a small gate inside the property. You will get the real feel of countryside as you see some goats, sheep, one or two horses, ready to welcome you. On your left is a garden where some tables and chairs are placed and on your right is a bigger door to let you inside the Haveli. As you enter, two cots on each side add to the rural ambience. And yet in a stark contrast to the whole setup you will rejoice in finding a pool right in the centre of the property. The décor is rightly done with lamps and chuttilas ( hair accessories for women to make long braids). The Haveli has about 8 to 10 rooms that cater to all your basic needs. The ceilings of the rooms are all done with mirrorwork.
The Haveli runs on a different concept. You don’t have to pay for your rooms. It provides you unlimited food and your means of transportation generally a car/taxi to visit around the city at a certain amount charged per night.
The reception desk is not like a traditional reception of a hotel. The small restaurant inside the Haveli houses the reception. Step out of the restaurant, a little away, at the other end is the restaurant’s kitchen. You will again find some tables and chairs placed outside between the restaurant and the kitchen. The restaurant offers pretty nice food. However, if you are looking for an elaborate menu, you will be a little disappointed. But it still offers you more than enough to choose from.
You might be thinking what is so special about the Haveli. Here’s why.
Meet the people
Haveli provides you with a warm and friendly environment. The owner Mr. Singh is a people’s man. He likes to interact with his guests, share his stories and listen to your side of story. He has a wide experience of life, extremely optimistic in his attitude and a kind man. The staff is also very friendly and helpful.
Your stay at Haveli is sprinkled with elements of rural life. You can take a ride in the lush green farms on a tractor and feel like a real farmer. You can also do a horse-ride. At the backside of the Haveli, is the stud farm. You will also find cows, camels, goats and sheep around.
Once you have finished visiting around the city of Amritsar during the day and towards evening when you decide to return, a cultural surprise awaits you. While you relax and revel in the ambience, in the company of your friends or fellow travelers sitting outside in open area of the pool, Bhangra, a traditional dance performance brings you close to the Punjabi culture.
A last word
Unwinding yourself or slowing down the pace of your life a little, to find time with yourself and nature, with open arms Virasat Haveli greets you. The experience shall be worth.