We visit a sleepy little non descript village of distt Hoshiarpur, Punjab, by the name of Chaunni Kalan. In the middle of citrus orchards we find ourselves amidst well manicured lawns, a swimming pool, the bar set with Australian wines and single malts, and the highlight are 9 bright luxury tents. Harkirat Singh, the man behind this vision, is a progressive farmer who started this agro-tourism project in 2008, by the name of “Citrus County”. The agroresort boasts of 3 rooms and 9 luxury waterproof tents complete with air conditioning, heating, attached toilets, teak wood furniture, tea coffee making facility and of course Wi-Fi. Harkirat has taken “glamping” in India to another level. “The concept of glamour camping has become very popular in the safaris of Kenya, and parts of North America also. The idea for the concept came about on one of my trips to the vineyards of the Yarra valley in Australia”, shares Mr. Singh with us. I wanted to start a concept where I have guests come and stay with our family, experience what life on a north Indian farm is like.
The food served at the farmstay is exceptional, which has been a major reason for repeat guests. An avid cook himself, Harkirat often does a lot of the non vegetarian cooking on a slow fire, while the guests enjoy their wine by a bon-fire. Some of the activities the resort offers are fruit plucking, four wheel driving, a jungle safari, culinary tour, a cultural evening of live Punjabi music and dance.
The latest addition to the project is a bikers lounge which is the perfect place to enjoy a chilled beer , or meditate or simply allow time to pass you by, all the while enjoying a view of the lush green lawns, and magnificent mango trees. A keen biker himself, Harkirat’s place is a very popular stopover for groups of Harleys. “To succeed one must have a very strong team and never forget your roots”, are the 2 mantras he always follows. “Majority of our team is women we have hired locally, this generates employment and increases the respect these women command amongst their communities and families”.