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Livelihood Holidays

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Overview

Have you ever dreamt of experiencing a day in the life of a fisherman or a potter, or a blacksmith, or even a farmer? 

Their trails are very different from yours, their joys are simple, success is measured differently and contentment finds a new meaning here - the smile on their face despite the obvious drudgery is fascinating. What powers them? Do their children wish to follow in their footsteps? What dreams to they pursue? How about heading out to experience another a rural person's way of life - if that's something you wish, then livelihood holidays offer a pristine peek into lives of ordinary people whose way of life and livelihood is different from yours.

Envisioned as a bridge to bring about more rural and urban harmony, these holidays are mutual learning experiences as you share life with people who only imagine urban people/lifestyles in stereotypes. These are valuable opportunities for both the traveler and the host to understand that people operate from different contexts in life and neither is better or worse than the other. These holidays require you to have an open mind to learn, enjoy and live life the way the host does. Brace up to bear the sun, rain and wind on these holidays; the hospitality and warmth will be worth everything. Fascinating insights and worthwhile learning indeed! 

A day in the life of

Fisherman: While fishing is a source of livelihood for many in rural areas, join a local fisherman in his country made coracle (wearing a life jacket of course!) on a day's fishing trip. Usually the fishermen lay the nets in the evening and head out again in the wee hours of the morning to pull up the catch. Bring home the catch with the fisherman, and allow his family to cook the fish if you would like!

Potter: Pottery is not a very popular livelihood anymore as it pays very little and innovation means investment (which does not come easily in rural settings). But previously each village had a potter (or sometimes 3 or 4 of them) who supplied all pottery needs for families when food was cooked in earthen pots. However their use and context has dramatically changed over the years. Spend a day at the potter's home learning to spin the wheel, or help him mix the clay or make your own souvenir at his home - become a potter for the day!
 
Chittara artist: Chittara art is an amalgamation of music, painting, and the very lifestyle of the people in a large part of Shimoga and North Canara districts of Karnataka. Chittara was practiced by these communities (mainly the Deewaru community), nestled amidst the beauty of the Western Ghats, at a time when festive and joyous occasions were celebrated with great pomp and show in picturesque villages.  However with the recent onslaught of modernism, many of these traditional art forms have had to take a back seat. However Radha Sullur, the Chittara artist and State Awardee is a committed solider for the art. Radha comes from Sullur (which is about 27kms from Sagar). Spend a day with Radha learning the nuances of the art, its history, the colours, the process and painting itself. Experiment and make yourself a souvenir as you spend the life with a family full of Chittara artists. 
 
Farmer: A way of life and important for self-sustenance, agriculture is the main livelihood of the region. Part of Karnataka's rice bowl - the main rice producing area of the state, the region has many self-sufficient farmers. There is agriculture activity all through the year - harvesting two crops of rice each year; each day in the life of the farmer belongs to his land and his hard work. Join him for a day in the fields, doing all that he does, get your hands and feet muddy, let the sweat drip down your nose as you brave the elements and work with the land - it is fascinating to watch the way he relates to the land - very unlike city dwellers indeed! 
Location

Livelihood holidays are based in the Sharavathy valley, Sagar taluk, Shimoga district. The main town center is Sagar (which his about 360km from Bangalore), Shimoga district. The exact location various depending on your choice of livelihood - but they are all located within a 50km (about 1 and half hours travel time) radius from Sagar.

Getting there:
By Road: From Bangalore, the ideal route to Sagar is via Shimoga (270kms). From Shimoga drive to Sagar (75kms). Our trip leader will reach you at Sagar and guide you further on.
There are direct KSRTC luxury, deluxe (Rajahamsa) and even Airavata buses from Bangalore. There are also comfortable non-AC overnight sleeper buses, run by KSRTC, Sea Bird, Gajanana, Kamat etc. All buses going towards Gokarna, Karwar, Honnavar, Sirsi, Jog, Bhatkal pass via Sagar town.
 
By Rail: Nearest Railway Stations: Sagar, Talguppa (22km); Honnavar (70 km on Mumbai to Mangalore - Konkan line), Shimoga (98 km), Birur junction (118kms on Bangalore - Pune main line). There are daily trains from Bangalore to Shimoga. The Talaguppa - Shimoga line has been temporarily shut for conversion to broad gauge. The overnight train to Shimoga is a convenient alternative. From Shimoga, there are local buses to Sagar or you could hire a taxi to Sagar. For those heading from Mumbai, Mumbai - Birur is a good option. From Birur it is a 2 and half hour drive. You could also come down Konkan route to Honnavar. From Honnavar it is an hour and a half drive up the Ghats.

By Air: Nearest Airport: Hubli (110 km) Mangalore (200 km)

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