Sometime in the middle of the day I stumbled upon this wonderful read Notes on Travel, Loss and Forgetting and it got me thinking. A lot. And in the convoluted maze of thoughts my mind went to my most recent weekend sojourn- Panchgani.
Mahabaleshwar is often one of the most sought after getaways for folks of Mumbai and Pune. So obviously we had to work out a way to visit and yet not visit it. After some research and discussions, Panchgani was zeroed in and more so for the placement of a very different Air BNB listing that was discovered by the name of Devrai Art Village.
A little under three hours drive from Pune amidst an onslaught of rains and music, we reached our destination.
Welcomed by the most wonderful host we have discovered on many of our trips, Rudransh looked young, sweet and very hospitable. Coupled with this was the room we had to stay in and we knew these two days would forever be added to our trippy stories.
So what is Devrai Art Village?
In their own words:
Devrai Art Village is a non profit initiative to connect with nature and celebrate creativity. A core group of highly skilled Adivasi craftsmen and artists from the naxalite affected areas of Gadchiroli & Chattisgarh find a livelihood and a safe refuge here in Panchgani. The unique and distinctive style of our product range comes out through combinations of different mediums such as iron, brass, stone, wood, bamboo and fabric.
We believe in empowering craftsmen and not in doing charity.
Todays idea of “development” has broken the link which connects us to the whole. In modern times nature is commodified and relationships have turned into transactions. Devrai Art Village attempts to mend this broken link and make the process of creation a joyous experience.
And in our words?
A place where you get to interact with the Mathurs- Mandakini,Atul, Rudransh and Devansh (in abstentia 🙂 ) and listen to their wonderful life stories. Live with them as if they have been family to you for eons. And discover a zen like existence in their house among the woods and greens with some soulful jazz music in the backdrop.
Not to forget get a personal guided tour of the Devrai art village and the exhibition hall with the exquisite artifacts.
And in case you still have some time at hand then yes please do go for that drive to Mahabaleshwar city and eat some strawberry and cream (so what if wimbledon is not played here!) and tick off “went to mahabaleshwar” off your bucket list at the speed of light!
We now leave you with a photo gallery of the homestay as well as the handicrafts and other elements one can discover on their way up here!
For more you can check their Facebook page (and yes make sure you like and share- spread love!)
Well until next time and with more travel tales, sayonara!!