Naggar (Kullu): It’s a tourism of different kind in this small hamlet, tucked away in the mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh as villagers play host to tourists here, an initiative that has increased their incomes.

Launched by Tourism Ministry in tie-up with UNDP in Naggar panchayat of Kullu district, the project aims to use tourism as a base to improve livelihood of villagers and to provide a unique interactive experience for visitors with local communities.

Since the launch of ‘Explore Rural India’, which involves tourists staying in the house of villagers enjoying the local custom and tradition, the number of visitors to the area has gone up, said Sudha Devi, Deputy Commissioner, Kullu.

The income of villagers has also increased with arrival of more tourists, she added.

Situated at 6108 ft above the sea level and 22-km away from Kullu district headquarters, Naggar has now 30 houses converted as ‘Home Stay’ with clean toilet, kitchen and bedroom for tourists.

The government has given Rs.30,000 as subsidies to house owners to improve amenities in their houses under the Home Stay scheme.

Thirty more house owners have come forward to avail the subsidies under the scheme, she said.

While Tourism Ministry has given a grant of Rs.50 lakh for the project, the contribution of the UNDP is Rs.20 lakh. The panchayat has got a face-lift through the project, said Pushpa Sharma, Mahila Mandal Pradhan of the village. - PTI