Taking It Slow At Seeking Slow Farmstay In Himachal Pradesh

This snug farm stay in the sleepy hamlet of Naggar in Himachal Pradesh is primarily for women
Swati Seth with her dogs
Swati Seth with her dogsSeeking Slow

Swati Seth was never fascinated by cities; it was the mountains that always had her heart. After leaving the city life and moving to the hills a few years ago, she started hosting women in her house. Hearing their stories and learning about the market gap regarding women-only homestays in India, Seeking Slow Farmstay in Himachal Pradesh's Naggar was born. "When I initially started hosting in my previous house, it was only women because there was just one washroom and I was not comfortable sharing with men. But the stories I heard from my guests spurred me to do something, make this into a proper thing," says Seth, co-founder of Seeking Slow and founder of The Color Caravan, a slow fashion brand.

"So many of the women I hosted told me how this was their first time travelling on their own, and they could only do it because this was a primarily-for-women homestay," she says. Launched in May 2023, the Farmstay idea took root in reality when Seth's co-founder, Richa Tandon, came into the picture and decided to cement it and make it happen.

"My urge to do something for women made me say yes to Swati, who is again very passionate about what she has been doing," says Tandon. "This was something I know I would have loved to do but never really got a chance to do before. So, when Swati came up with this idea of a farm stay exclusively for women, I immediately said yes."

One of the rooms at Seeking Slow
One of the rooms at Seeking SlowSeeking Slow

Offering a variety of experiences for women, Seth takes them through village walks, forest bathing, and forest foraging and conducts immersive craft workshops for natural dyeing, knitting, spinning and weaving.

"I'm from Lucknow, so food is a big part of the experience I offer my guests. Along with the typical Lucknow-style food, both veg and non-veg, we also offer Himachali and continental fare," she says. Guests can also participate in a cook-along with the host and learn about new cuisines or eat with the locals; the itinerary is built around whatever the guests want to experience and, of course, on the availability of resources.

Although born out of passion, turning the farmstay dream into a solid reality was arduous for Seth. "I lived in the house for two months while the construction was still ongoing to keep track of everything that was happening," she says. With no domestic help, she would take care of everything herself, from managing the labourers to designing the interiors, and zeroing in on every little detail. While Tandon is a partner in the business, she is based out of Bangalore, so Seth takes care of the property and hosts the guests in Naggar.

"It was difficult, but my reason for wanting to create the farm stay in the first place kept me going," she says. Seth shares an affectionate bond with her guests and aims to create an environment where women can learn and empower each other through their individual stories. With most of her guests comfortably sharing their stories with her, Seth's disposition towards them is a lot like the slow and steady pace of the hills, which you crave after being part of city life's madness.

Seth at her farmstay
Seth at her farmstaySeeking Slow

"All my guests tell me how they felt as if I was that long-lost friend they found again," she says. "One of them left a particularly sweet note. She wrote how she felt seen, empowered and inspired after her stay here. Such small but meaningful gestures from guests make me feel hopeful. It reminds me why I love doing this."

Perfect for women seeking the slowness in life, the snug property has five guestrooms which can house up to nine guests. And you have to be comfortable with the two resident dogs, Ollie and Chutki. "They are the official mascots of the farm stay," laughs Seth.

Address: Village Nashala, P.O Larankello, Tehsil Naggar, District Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Social handle: Instagram/seekingslowfarmstay

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