Going out on long drives used to be very common and regular for us. In fact so regular that weekends would find us speeding down the highway to some unknown destination ... usually on the lookout for small, unknown places or villages. We have come across many small and quaint villages this way.
After a long, long time we actually went out on a long drive again. The husband has been mentioning Morachi Chincholi for a long time. But of late weekends have been flying by with a lot of pent up chores and errands.
Besides, I was not too enthused about 'getting to see peacocks'.
Yes ... Mor means Peacocks. And Chincholi is the name of the village.
It is heard that there are hordes of peacocks in and around the village Chincholi. So people go there to 'see' them.
So off we went. Chincholi is very near to Pune ... around 40kms. And most part of the drive will be on the Pune-Nagar highway ... which is better now than sometime back. I usually don't like the drive on that highway due to the heavy traffic and the very barren countryside. Just tolerate it whenever we drive down to Shirdi.
Anyway ... we left for Chincholi at around 1:30 in the afternoon. No hurry ... drove leisurely and took the left turn at Shikrapur. And went on till we reached Mayur Baug.
This is a garden resort type ... with a rural feel. They have all arrangements for spending the day and also for overnight stays.
You need to buy tickets at the main gate. There are different kinds of packages ... with appropriate pricing. The best part was they had a very good parking place inside ... would have hated to leave the car out on the highway under the scorching sun.
We were welcomed with bottles of soft drinks and a small ritual of Tilak .. welcoming someone with applying red vermillion and turmeric powder on their forehead. We were also each handed a fresh red rose from their garden.
It was lunch time already ... and food was already being served. We went to hall where there was a buffet system on.
And the food was awesome! We were so glad that we did not give in to our earlier doubts to have lunch there or not.
It was traditional Maharashtrian food. With authentic taste and flavours. All cooked fresh in the adjacent kitchen. The cook urged us to get going ... or they will run out of the dishes.
We are always on the lookout for local authentic cuisine wherever we go. And this place gets full marks for its food. And warm service. The people there made sure everybody had their fill and were satisfied. Unlike this place. :-)
We settled for Bhakris ... they did have chapatis and parathas too. But only bhakris could have done justice to the wonderful side dishes of Vaangi, Amti, Pithla and the other chutneys. ( I'll try to post the other dishes in my food blog asap).
After lunch we roamed around and had a look of the place. There were a puppet show, bullock cart rides and tractor rides. There was a magician too.
All these things to keep people engrossed till evening when the peacocks actually make their appearence.
What I noticed is the peacocks do not go anywhere. They are all well hidden in the fields ... keeping their heads low and going about picking food busily.
Once in a while they do look up ... take in the loudly talking humans ... and quickly disappear.
Once evening sets in, there is a gallery like place for everybody to sit down and watch the peacocks as they make their appearence.
We were served fresh and piping hot Kanda bhajjis ( Onion Pakoras ) and tea in the evening.
After the refreshments we left for our journey back.
On the road small children were selling fresh vegetables from their fields right there. We stopped and they surrounded us ... urging us to buy something from each. We ended up buying a little of everything from each child. The huge smiles on their faces were so endearing that we did not bargain on anything.
A little kid came up with a big bunch of methi ( fenugreek ) leaves freshly plucked. On asking the price he said "Rs.5" ... in the city we buy the same thing for Rs.7 or Rs.8 ... but in the village it should not be more than Re.1 or Rs.2.
We bought it ... without bargaining.
Another kid of around 10 -12 yrs was standing nearby. He doubled up with laughter and soon the small one joined him too.
We knew they were laughing at us for being taken for a ride. :-)
But we believe that saving Rs.5 one day is not going to make us any richer ... since we buy everything at a higher price everyday, why bargain for a little money and deprive those kids of that laughter. :-)
So leaving them with their glee of 'fooling' us we went on.
On the way evening set in ... and we saw the farmers setting fire to their fields after harvest ... and to make them ready for the next sowing.
I must say I enjoyed the day ... and my earlier scepticism was put to rest. It had been a while since I was this close to nature last ... so felt quite refreshed. :-)
Friday, February 5, 2010
Posted by Sharmila