An experience called Varshavan!
India is turning urban whether we like it or not and whether we want it or not. High-rises, roads choc-a-block with cars, noise, pollution and people all over. These are our daily invariable sights these days and aren’t disappearing anytime soon.
When our elders tell us stories of a more easy-going past, it may seem out of this world for most. Languid easy life, acres upon acres of nothing but open lands, evidence of wildlife in the form of small animals, birds like peacocks, naturally occurring greenery, a small rivulet in the distance….and an easy pace to life! Believe it, close to 70% of India today does not have a clue of what rural life is all about!
For most, the above is a description of a fast-disappearing past or a scene from another planet which we can only dream of.
Now if we were to tell you that there exists within a comfortable distance from Pune (just 40 kms!) such a place which offers you a glimpse of the easy past replete with cultural activities, of the past, a drive into the wild as also scrumptious, appetising and wholesome meals! For the 70% of India which does not have clue what rural life is all about, this could just be the right thing!
VARSHAVAN it is called. And what it does is take families into the not-so-distant a past when things were a lot easy and the word “stress” practically unheard of! And if you have never been outside the city, it’s time you visited Varshavan!
Just 40 kms & a one-hour drive from the heart of Pune, VARSHAVAN at 3000 feet above mean sea-level is a veritable Paradise located at Waghapur Village in the Purandar Taluka. Sitting here you get a clear unhindered view as far out as 25 kms in the horizon. Located on the side of a hill, you have hills all around which makes it a walker’s & trekker’s paradise. Yes, it is desolate but then it is in places such as these that you feel nature in all its glory like the site of wild animals (including peacocks, an occasional jackal, deer etc), birds, a clear blue sky in the day which transforms itself into the most starriest in the evenings (a telescope shall shortly be installed here!). Bird and Deer watching is thus a normal pastime here for most guests.
All of 30 acres, Varshavan has everything which takes you back in time to those days when life was life with very few unnecessary distractions. With a profusion of Cottages of various sizes and activities galore including sightseeing (hill climbing, safari, visit to temples closeby to name a few), dressing up in local drapery and of course gorging on bountiful, delicious local delicacies, Varshavan can cater to the needs of individuals as also groups as big as a hundred with equal ease and élan! For those wanting to remember the old times, there are games like vitti-dandu, lagori, gotya, changus-pani, sangeet-khurchi and many more!
The fun starts right from the time you step into Varshavan! For a start you shall be welcomed in a traditional manner and a complimentary welcome drink.
Festival times are another attraction at Varshavan where we celebrate with gusto on occasions like:
- Bail Pula
- Rang Panchami
- Deep Utsav
- Kille Spardha
- Dance competitions
- And many more!
- Where you have in mind celebrations for particular days and occasions, we can help you celebrate the same in a grand manner
Part of a unique tourism initiative, it gives visitors a much-needed glimpse of life in rural India replete with visits to farms, wilderness, actual villages and yes, rich, delicious Maharashtrian cuisine normally reserved in most homes for special occasion (here you get it daily!). Even the accommodation here is anything but usual with cottages built to resemble rural homes replete with traditional flooring!
For those wanting to know more about Maharashtra’s rich history, the environs of Varshavan offer a lot like:
- Shivaji Maharaja’s Generals, Commanders and supporters were from these parts. He himself had stayed here. Villages close-by still retain old, old structures of those times
- Peshwa wadas, like the famed Shanivar Wada of Pune, is closeby
- Temples as old as 1000 to 1200 years exist closeby including Bhuleshwar
Besides tourism and visits, Varshavan is also known to be kind to those with breathing issues. Being part of the Deccan Plateau, the air has relatively less moisture here. This, and zero air pollution make Varshavan the perfect retreat for those with breathing problems including asthama. Guests at Varshavan never remember the word “boring”! That’s because the place has something or the other for everyone. Besides trekking and sightseeing closeby, one can indulge in indoor games such as table-tennis, cards and carrom or go our in the open and enjoy playing on the swings and the trampoline. We do have other activities such as rain dance, train and bullock-cart rides and the likes which we provide where circumstances so permit.
Another attribute of Varshavan is the complete absence of sounds we associate with urban living like vehicle noice, sound of people, activity etc. Here, it is truly PIN-DROP silence! And it remains like that throughout the day! The only thing you hear are birds chirping, the sound of fresh, clean air and an occasional vehicle/ bike etc.
In succeeding pages, we tell you more about VARSHAVAN, its attributes and why it’s worth more than a one visit! Yes, to enjoy its bounties, you ought to visit us again and again….and again!
We would like to clarify right here that we do not have anything in the nature of “room service”. Guests need to come to our service area for food and beverages at designated times. As for things in the cottages, we try and provide things beforehand. In case of any omission, it is expected of the guest to bring the same to our notice and we shall do the needful. Facilities for the physically handicapped and the sick shall be provided on request. Our food menus, sumptuous and filling as it is, are fixed and nothing other than that shall be served- even if demanded as a special favour.