With participating homes in 28 villages across the country, the Indian tourism ministry runs an ambitious homestay project. Some private agencies also offer homestays in places like Samthar, left, in West Bengal. "I think visitors like going under and getting to know the people," said Leena Nandan, joint secretary at the tourism ministry. "People are at the heart of this."
The guestrooms in Samthar have electricity, en-suite bathrooms with Western-style toilets and sinks with running water, unlike most homes in the village. Buckets of hot water are also lugged up to your room for bathing.
Staying in the Real India - The New York Times > Travel > Slide Show > Slide 11 of 12