What Is It?

Serene eco-village is a calming getaway haven just 45 kilometres from Pune, nestled amidst the Sahyadri ranges. In actuality, it’s a man-made forest, a project that was taken up by Dr. Pravin Chordia and his family when they purchased a barren land. It’s a perfect getaway for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature, pollution-free air, recycled water useage and organic farming in Velhe, Dhanep.

Giving Back to Nature

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Dr Chordia, a general surgeon based out of Pune built this village from scratch with the help of his family more than 15 years back when he first brought the land. The idea was to create a space that breaks away from the shackles of the ‘hustle’ mundane routine of living in a city. Serene, then, served a breakaway to re-immerse himself in the nature, reclaim the beautiful rain-forest land that turned barren and reforested it over a period of time. The fruits came bearing in the form of more than 2.5 lakhs trees that were planted there in the beginning.

Serene eco-village, named aptly, is a place to spend your time engaging with the nature, taking up organic farming, living in the mud houses and trekking along the wilderness that was created around it. Yes, there’s even a small pond, a quintessential finish to the serene village life.

Why Should I Go?

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It’s for anyone who’s looking to spend time in isolation, for someone who wants the horizon to paint the plain blue sky instead of the sky-high rises in the city. Since its inception in 2000, the eco-village now hosts more 50,000 trees, at least 1,000 species across the land along with hosting visitors and volunteers from around the country. You can learn more about organic farming, go on treks in the thick lush green forests or just learn the simplicity of a sustainable, self-sufficient village life.

The village has a few of the mud houses, a sizable patch of land wherein organic fresh fruits and vegetables are grown along with their installed solar panels and solar cookers that work as an alternative to the coals and fuels.

Anything Else?

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What started off an experiment is now a flourishing thick forest with a lot of activities planned out for the visitors. The family whole-heartedly has been supporting the farmers community who are involved with the eco-village, as they also openedĀ up a tiny ‘Gurukal‘ school on the premises. Even the produce from their organic farm is sold to the markets by cutting of the middlemen thus taking the ownership of the revenues wholly.

If you’d like to spend a day, it’ll cost you INR 650 {inclusive of breakfast, lunch and tea snacks and a trek}. However, if you’re looking to spend a night there, the cost is INR 1,300 {inclusive of two meals, accommodation and two time snacks}.

#LBBTip: You can also volunteer at the village as and when the projects come up at the village, like the plantation drive or helping out at the organic farm. The accommodation will be free, inclusive of meals if you volunteer there for a minimum of ten days.

To stay, or volunteer at this peaceful village, mail them at medicinefreelife@gmail.com or call 09850778898.

Photos source: Serene Eco Village