Authentic Punjab Village Tour : Fabulous Amritsar Day Trip

Created by Colleen Sims | Updated : 10 March 2024 |

Are you are looking for an authentic day trip from Amritsar?  Would you like to try something a little different and experience rural Punjabi life? 

We thoroughly recommend this Authentic Punjab Village tour, spending the day with Tarsem Singh and his family. We loved this day!

If you’d like to get off the beaten path, escape the noise of Amritsar and see a more traditional, less touristy side of the Punjab, then read on and I’ll tell you about our wonderful day.

Colleen and Gerry wearing traditional Punjab headwear during our village tour

Where is the Punjab Village?

The tour takes you to Gohalwar village; about 30 minutes drive north of Amritsar and around 40 kilometres from the Attari-Wagah border with Pakistan.

The tour doesn’t include transportation;  we arranged this easily with our hotel or Tarsem will collect you for an extra fee.

Why Is This Tour Called Authentic?

Be warned!  Not all Punjab Village tours are authentic. When we arrived in Amritsar, our hotel gave us a map and a list of places to visit.  They also offered a warning about a tourist village that sold itself as traditional, but really wasn’t worth visiting.

This worried me as I had already booked our village tour. However, a quick check assured us that our tour was the real-deal.  Tarsem and his family strive to showcase the genuine local culture and daily life of Punjabi villagers.  This certainly wasn’t staged or commercialised in any way.

It’s called authentic because you visit a little village in the Punjab, meet three generations of the same family and are taken on a tour to meet a few local characters.

We played games and chatted and ate with family and friends.  This trip offers you a unique opportunity to interact and participate in typical every day activities; which makes it very special.  If, like us, you like to dig a little deeper into the local culture, then this is the perfect outing for you.

★★★★★

WE LOVED OUR AUTHENTIC VILLAGE TOUR

  • Expect genuine warmth and hospitality
  • Embrace Punjabi life
  • Eat a feast of local fayre for your lunch
cart being pulled by water buffalo in the Punjab countryside

What to Expect from the Punjab Village Tour

I understand that each day varies depending on the group and season; it’s authentic so it’s never quite the same for everyone. 

We visited during the Diwali celebrations when more family members were at home; which made for quite a festive atmosphere. 

  • We arrived and met family and had refreshments
  • I was given a beautiful headscarf to wear and Gerry was dressed in a traditional Sikh turban. This was not your pre-made affair but was wrapped just for Gerry! It was amazing to see how much cloth is used to make a turban.
  • We sat and chatted and watched mother cook traditional snacks on an open fire before heading off in the tractor for a tour of the village; collecting new friends as we went, who hopped on for the ride.
  • We travelled through the Punjab countryside; yellow with mustard seed crops.  And we both had a turn at driving the tractor! 
  • A little while later, we stopped in a field for much fun and a games of Kancha (marbles) and Gulli Danda (a game where you need to hit a wooden peg with the tiniest of bats!) before returning to the village for lunch.

A number of our new friends joined us for lunch; I think this was partly down to Diwali but also because it seems everyone knows everyone in this village.

You may find that you are asked to help to milk their cows, plow their fields, making rotis in their traditional clay oven, feed their livestock, pick fruits, or cut vegetables for lunch.  Expect to be busy!

We chatted at length with the guests around the table, talked about life in India and life in France and life in UK and time flew by.  We were genuinely sad when it was time to say goodbye; we felt like old friends when we drove away.

Gerry trying to hit the peg during the game of Gulli Dander in the Punjab

What Is The Cost Of The Punjab Village Tour

The tour costs 19€ per person but you will need to add transport to this cost.  Currently an UBER is less than 10€.   

Do also ask when you book if they can provide transportation to and from Amritsar; they offered this service to us. Our hotel provided a reasonably priced taxi service and the family invited our driver to join in the day. He had such a fine time that the hotel now offer this tour as one of their recommended day trips.

What Is included In The Punjab Village Tour

Apart from the activities mentioned above you should expect all the food and drink that you can eat and an incredible amount of kindness, laughter and hospitality.

Once we had arrived at the village home, we really needed nothing; everything was provided.

Onion Pakora cooked outside on an open fire during our village tour

What Are The Timings Of The Village Tour

Expect to arrive at the house at around 9:30am.  We were there for the day and left around 4pm.

The drive from the centre of Amritsar is around 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

What Do You Need To Take With You?

You don’t need anything but I took :

  • My handbag with sunscreen and insect repellent
  • We carried bottled water, although refreshments were provided
  • Do bring a camera as you’ll take lots of photos
  • You’ll probably get to drive the tractor and join in the field games so flat comfortable shoes and easy-to-wear clothing is advisable
villagers joined us in our tractor cart to join in the games during our visit to the Punjab countryside

Additional Tips For Your Authentic Village Tour

The day is suitable for travellers of all ages. The itinerary comprises of simple activities, easily manageable for children or older folks like us.

  • Remember to be respectful of local customs; for example we saw no-one smoking in the house
  • Dress modestly : I wore loose trousers and a simple t-shirt
  • Take a little cash for gratuities
  • Most importantly, go with a willingness to embrace the Punjab village life

Is It Worth Taking The Authentic Village Tour?

Absolutely.  If you have a spare day in your itinerary, we totally recommend this day. 

We loved our time in Amritsar and part of those memories include this tour.  Of course, the Golden Temple is a must and you should make time to see the incredible Wagah Border Ceremony but equally, if you wish to see a traditional, authentic side of Punjabi life then book this tour.

We spent our evening of Diwali at the Golden Temple; there were thousands of people there.  As we were leaving, I heard someone call my name; not what you’d expect when you’re so far from home!

In the crowd were Tarsem, his wife and young son, waving and smiling and calling us to join them.  We hugged and greeted each other like old friends and spent the rest of the evening chatting as if we’d known each other for years; such was the warmth of this family.

If you’re looking for an immersive cultural experience, then the Punjab village tour is definitely worth considering. It offers a unique opportunity to step outside the bustling city of Amritsar and connect with the soul of the Punjab.

Make time in your schedule. Don’t expect fireworks but do expect genuine warmth and hospitality.

Ps. The delicious home-cooked food was pretty fabulous too!

Tarsem and his beautiful family, greeting us for our village tour

★★★★★

WE LOVED OUR AUTHENTIC VILLAGE TOUR

  • Expect genuine warmth and hospitality
  • Embrace Punjabi life
  • Eat a feast of local fayre for your lunch

Are You Planning A Visit to Amritsar?

I have a series of posts that may be of interest to you and help with your Amritsar visit :

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel, you should have a great travel and medical insurance policy.  None of us expect anything bad to happen, but in the event of an incident, you want to be sure that your insurance will be there for you.

I’ve ended up in hospital in Peru, Indonesia, Portugal, Japan and Ireland! Every time my insurance took care of everything. I would never leave home without full and comprehensive insurance.

TrueTraveller : We have this policy and we are very happy with the cover, especially considering our ages and pre-existing conditions.

Globelink : We have used and recommended Globelink for years and we’ve not heard of any issues. They are a great choice for European and UK Residents.

Safety Wing : Many of my travelling buddies from the USA have recommended this company to me, although we’ve not used them personally.

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Colleen in Salamanca on the Via de la Plata

Hey I’m Colleen. I’m married to Gerry, we’ve three fabulous kids and been living in France for almost two decades. I fell in love with Spain in the 1980s and I’ve walked 1000s of miles along the Camino de Santiago. Now we’re exploring and walking the world and I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!

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