- Monday, 19 September 2011

Sutarwadi (Maharashtra), India: Whispering grove

This is a place in middle of nowhere. Quite literally. Aprox 135 Kms from Mumbai, a little off on Mumbai-Goa highway. A friend of mine suggested me this place to get rid of all my piled up stress and havoc of typical traffic jams of the city life. I had been warned of how rustic this place can be with lizards & snakes. Snakes were still ok, but lizards? Eeww ! Anyhow I braved through it and decided to go by it- for it was month of perfect rains.

This place is owned by a brave lady Anjali in her 60s and its named as Anjali’s Whispering Grove. She has been living in this middle of jungle for past 15-20 years, with about 3-4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 turtles and some domestic help which forms her workforce. She is an avid collector of junk ranging from old alcohol bottles to rusted metal vases to tattered brocade fabric patches. She has put her old junk material in a manner so rustic and antique, that as you enter her home, it feels like an ancient museum. She has a single mud-brick home with quite a few rooms in it with attached bathrooms. The house is big and spacious. Then there are two spacious gazebos with few chairs, charpoys & cobwebs to just sit around and pass time with her dogs, eat, drink and just look around. Additionally, she has built up a tree top sitting area for that absolute solitude.  

The home’s kitchen is also beautiful and big with a separate dining area. Its not a 24 hour running resort kitchen. It’s a home. So its expected you make up your mind in advance on what you plan to eat for meals- food will be arranged and then cooked for you accordingly. Go for local Maharashtrian food- its simple and authentic. Also to let you know, Anjali loves her drink & to talk. She being a friend of my friend- we spent all the lazy afternoons or evenings chatting and drinking away with her.

I went in the month of torrential rains, so all we did was laze, talk, watch & hear the rains. You look into any direction- it was varying shades of green. No phone network. And the nearest tiny village market being like 30 minutes away. This is no hotel, this is no exotic looking resort, it’s a simple home. You don’t get any room service here. You only get to live in perfect nature, in the way its supposed to be. And yes, I did see some lizards sticking out of those thatched roofs.

There is a river at some distance going downhill, but because of all the rain, mud, slush & laziness- we opted out of it. There are rafting and rappelling adventure centres also nearby. At just 2-3 hours away from Mumbai- this place certainly takes you by surprise for all its serenity, calm, green and remoteness. I am not sure of charges here, because there is no tariff card as such. We did try paying something that we felt would be appropriate, but being just so excited to see her old friend, she didn’t take anything from us.

If you haven’t been there before, do not try to drive by yourself. Fix up with Anjali and she will pick you up from a more known place somewhere nearby. Else in all probabilities you will be lost.

See some pictures below :   






  

2 comments:

  1. very nice place to visit kolad during rainy season. kindly provide contact number of whisper grove

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Anil. I don't have the number anymore.

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