High5 reviews a quick, off-beat getaway from Gurgaon!
Have you ever forgotten to book your tickets for a holiday only to realise that the cost has almost quadrupled? If yes, then you are super stressed at your job and in dire need of a break. Escalating air fares, exorbitant hotel costs and inflation have made long haul vacations passé. Short breaks and day trips are the order of the day. Gurgaon’s unique location allows its residents to choose from a wide range of quick getaway options. Here, we present to you a place located at less than an hour’s drive away from the hustle and bustle of Gurgaon.
A Rustic Immersion
Ever wondered how a short drive along the Gurgaon- Faridabad highway can take you to a world completely different than the one you live in? Well, a drive to Laksh Farms, nestled in the lap of the Aravalli hills, will give you your answers.
Established by Shakti Lumba and Ila Lumba, Laksh farms is a nine acre property located in the Mangar village, promising to offer something for everyone. Shakti Lumba is a renowned and respected aviation and aerospace expert. In his thirty year long aviation career, he has donned many roles—from that of a pilot, to being a key member who setup and ran Alliance Air and being a founding member of the team that set up Indigo.
In contrast to his day job of being 35,000 feet above the surface of the earth, he was always passionate about work with the earth, literally. Farming has been his fascination and he vividly remembers flying over Delhi and wanting to buy a piece of land that was surrounded by the Aravalli range to indulge in his true calling some day. “The farm you see today was bought over a period of many years,” he tells us. The lush green that one is surrounded by today is a result of years of toil and learning. Aiming to transform the then barren landscape, Shakti Lumba recollects using fancy seeds initially which failed to grow and then, turning to organic farming, a practise that the villagers followed. For people who live in multi-storeyed apartments and work in big glass buildings, a short drive into Laksh farms can be, not just refreshing, but much needed. Ila talks about how just being away from the noise can be an ‘experience’ for city-dwellers.
For children and very often even adults, watching the milking of a cow can be a novel experience. Speaking about the importance of sustainable living, Ila says, “There is so much to learn from the villagers. Nothing is wasted; it is always recycled, reused. Even a little bit of fabric is made into a rope. So that has truly inspired me.”
Things to do: For nature lovers, there are numerous trails to walk, and a variety of birds to challenge the ornithologist in you. If you are looking to get more active, there is enough of terrain for cycling, rock-climbing and trekking. You can also bathe under the gushing waters from an irrigation pump or hop on to a tractor for a ride along the countryside! .
Stay: If you wish to spend more time exploring the farm and the surrounding village, Laksh farms offers seven cottages spread out in the property. Each room is unique and is customised to suit a particular need. Some rooms can accommodate up to six people while others are more cosy and intimate.
What to expect: Upon arrival at the farm, guests are served either fresh chaach or lemonade. This is followed by an appetiser. On the day of our visit, we got to savour papdi chaat that had just the right seasoning. Lunch consists of traditional home-cooked Punjabi delicacies. The best part of our trip? Being served with freshly made hot phulkas (bajra and makki) just off the choolah. The accompanying condiments of achars and chutneys are lip smacking and are available for sale for a nominal amount. Before leaving to head back to the city, tea is served as well.
Things to carry: In this day and age of smart phones, a camera always travels with us in our pockets. A change of clothes is also advisable if you decide to stand under the irrigation pipe for a quick shower! Carry a book, you are bound to find a nice corner to curl up in. If you are travelling with young kids, a cricket set or a frisbee would also be a great idea.
How to get here: Once on the Gurgaon-Faridabad highway, stay on the road until your cross the toll. A few hundred meters later, take a right after crossing the police station. An approximate 4.5kms drive through the beautiful and bumpy village roads lead you to the property.