Waking up before the alarm can scream into your dreams, is not an everyday scene. It’s called the pre-trip feels. Woke up at 4am, walked around the house clueless, until mom came to my rescue. By 7:30, I was out of my house. My parents looked as though they were sending me off to a battlefield. I completely understand their concern. Purushwadi is a lesser known place, and it being a rural area, the network there is erratic. But I was happy in the heart for having chosen Purushwadi as my destination for the story challenge. My photographer and I got what we were looking for. Purushwadi, a piece of paradise, adopted by Grassroutes, stays unadulterated by the modern world. The story I’ve got is long enough to last through a night of tale telling; but I shall run you through as quickly and as precisely as possible.
We were told, the network there is erratic, and electricity, an ephemeral privilege. How accurate! The minute our jeep left Rajur behind and entered Purushwadi, both my sim cards criss-crossed their hands, and looked at me as though they were telling me - “Do not disturb, we’re on vacation too”. I smiled, and quickly slid my phone inside my bag. No network, no internet, but none of these seemed to irritate me as they usually do. Riding along the ghat roads, I wished; if only had I a pair of thousand eyes, could I behold such picturesque beauty on display.
We reached. We were welcomed with a ‘tika’ on the forehead and a ‘topi’ on the crown. We’d grown hungry after the long journey, so our guide marched us through the untarred roads, and the lush green rice fields, all the way to our homestay. I’m so glad we chose homestay over camp sites. Ramesh, the owner of the house, gave us a warm welcome, and his wife Meera, and their kids peeked from behind the mud wall, welcoming us with their warm smiles. We sat down to eat, and the delicious looking food stared back at us. Nothing can surpass the gustatory delight of having organic food cooked in the choolha
After this meal, we couldn’t resist resting for an hour. Our guide came looking for us, for we were to head towards the sunset point, an hour long trek that is. Words would fail me if I attempt to express the overwhelming encounter that I had with nature enroute the sunset point. Trekking got a little too tacky as we moved further, but our guide gave us a saving tip. He told us, slanting your feet while climbing helps retain balance. On our way uphill, we learnt of plants with medicinal benefits, and those that can be used in making handicrafts.
Being blissfully exhausted, we could only wait to have dinner and doze off. It rained that night, it was beautiful. The clock struck 5, and we were out of our beds. We set out to chase the sun, and we trekked to a considerably small hill. The view from there at about 5:30? Breathtaking! The sun took its own sweet time to come out of its hiding. But when it did, it stole our hearts. We had a village tour to do, so we rushed back, freshened up,
had our breakfast, and set out once again. The guide took us into the heart of Purushwadi. We had very little time with us, but our guide made sure we saw most of it.
The blacksmith was skillfully hammering the piece of metal he had, and we could see the lump of metal taking shape. As we moved further inside, the mud houses had their doors open for us. One of the ladies began with the rice threshing, I tried my hand at it but I lacked the skill. We further went to another mud house with the rice that she threshed for us, and sat down at the grinding wheel. I gave up after a minute of rice grinding, but it’s visually very fascinating to see the flour come down as you go round and round on the wheel. But that’s not it, we further took the flour to another mud house to master the skill of making bhakris. What can you expect? I tried, but it’s not as easy as it seems. After all the hard work, we headed to the river.
Two boys were whiling away chasing the dragon fly. I watched them as they played, and they got me a dragon fly to hold. But the amazing part was, they showed me how the dragon fly picks a stone. We wet our feet in the water, sat there and watched the boys as they made the river their playground. The time was nigh, we knew we had to bid good bye. As we were having our last lunch, our hearts began to sink. The family we stayed with, the children we played with, all would soon go down in the history of our lives. As we packed our bags, and as we said good byes, I said to myself, Purushwadi will see me again.
How to get there
Take a Mumbai local train to Kasara. Preferably the 6:55 Kasara train from CST. You shall reach Kasara around 9:15. There are local jeeps just outside Kasara station, they will take you to Rajur petrol pump at Rs. 120/- per head. Travelling in the jeep is safe as there are enough people commuting everyday, you will have around 12 people in the jeep with you. The jeep journey from Kasara to Purushwadi will test your patience, but Purushwadi is worth the trouble. Once you reach Rajur petrol pump, the guide shall receive you from there and another ride of about an hour to Purushwadi, and you enter into another world. You will have to pay Rs 300 for the vehicle (not per head), which is not included in the package.
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I went after the Fireflies season, yet fell in love with all that Purushwadi had to offer. I'm definitely going there next year to behold the night sky as a canopy of fireflies sparkle in the dark.When you decide to gift yourself a beautiful trip, look up the Purushwadi package we have for you
Author : Leeba Thomas