Live the rural life with these off the track destinations close to the city.
Ever wondered what life is like just 200 km or less from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai? With a fast paced life, Mumbaikars are constantly on the go to get from one end to the other. This sure makes them efficient enough to deal with the usual humdrum but they do need to break away from time to time to relax and unwind. One would’ve usually thought of going for a quick trip to the quintessential hill stations or a beach to ease off on a weekend, but city dwellers these days are now opting for a rural respite in a bid to ditch their routine lives. From milking cows, building a raft to learning how to fish these planned weekend getaways give a glimpse of the quaint village just a drive away from the city.
For Grassroutes Journeys, the idea was to give villagers an additional source of livelihood by giving their non-rural counterparts a peek into their lives. Grassroutes arranges planned tours at villages across Maharashtra — Purushwadi, Adgaon, Dehna and Valwanda says Richa Williams, the spokesperson of the firm, “We wanted to bridge the rural-urban gap and engage urban dwellers with rural families. The idea is to create livelihood for villagers through tourism. Villagers help us plan these expeditions and are actively involved in all the activities.”
The basic staple here at most of the villages is rice, and tourists get to see the entire journey of the grain. “Through these tours, they get to see how rice is grown, the dehusking process and how the final product made. There are options available for home stay and one can choose stay with the villagers in their houses as well. Some of these villages are close to the seashore and we have special fishing activities organised with the Koli community of the village, ” Richa shares.
For Manoj Hadawale, it was his idea to give his urban friends a glimpse into his rural life that led to the genesis of Hachiko Tourism – his initiative that specialises in giving curated village experiences to urban residents. A resident of Maharastra’s Junnar region, Manoj felt the need to introduce Junnar’s rich cultural heritage to the world. “As industrial development is totally banned in Junnar, the beauty of Mother Nature can be experienced at its best. We organise fests around the cropping season where they can learn about various staple fruits and crops. We also introduce visitors to cow farms where they get the know-how of a typical village life - shed cleaning, milking and poultry farms. The best time to visit here is from June onwards at the onset of monsoons,” Manoj shares.
The next time you have a long weekend, you now how to break free from pollution, noise, technology and the bustle of the city.