Yearly, three moms and 4 youngsters set out on a vacation, to locations as distant as might be. We decide a area and attempt to cowl totally different terrain inside it. The roles are clearly cut up among the many three of us. I, the compulsive dreamer-traveller, analysis and unearth gems from inside India, my engineer buddy does the mathematics, and the mother amongst us moms, takes care of our teenagers’ wants.
This summer time, I zeroed in on the ever-eluding Northeast. However time and finances constraints got here in the way in which. We settled for one thing in and round Maharashtra.
The obvious and simply accessible was Goa. Nevertheless it appeared like vanilla ice cream — scrumptious, however plain and oh-so-common. I needed to make this extra interesting. I added Dudhsagar, which is rural Goa, to our plan. So, the solar and sands, and waterfalls and forests have been taken care of. I dug deeper and found Malvan. That may be our final cease earlier than we headed again to Mumbai. So as to add to the joy, I preserve each keep a shock from the group. We made probably the most of our week in Goa, ticking off the listing of must-dos, from eating to dancing, island hopping to dolphin viewing, purchasing to solar tanning.
We have been now prepared for Dudhsagar. One of the best a part of driving into the agricultural a part of any State is the stopover for native delicacies. Dudhsagar Plantation, our vacation spot, was a haven within the warmth — a 50-acre property with 5 cottages within the midst of a tropical backyard and a cashew plantation.
We have been welcomed by the host, Ashok Malkarnekar, born to a Konkan father and a German mom, who tells us how this property was his mother and father’ creation — from a barren piece of land 30 years in the past to a pure oasis with a vibrant ecosystem in the present day.
One with Nature
The cottages are constructed with eco-friendly, porous, rusty-red laterite, which is frequent alongside the size of the Indian shoreline. The rooms are brilliant and spacious, with wood cots, cotton mattresses and mattress linen with pleasing floral prints.
The youngsters shrieked in delight on the massive open-to-sky lavatory, coated with a web to lure falling foliage.
The spice tour across the backyard, lavishly sprinkled with flowers and fruits — distinctive types of ginger, turmeric, chillies, peppers, lemons, betel leaves, and lots of extra with medicinal worth — was enlightening.
The pure pool on the deep finish of the farm, with vegetation round performing as pure filters, is any hydrophile’s dream. The water is crystal clear and devoid of chlorine. One can attain nirvana by merely mendacity afloat staring on the sky. Every part about this was nostalgic for me. It jogged my memory of my ancestral house in Kerala, the place I spent my holidays as a baby. Waking as much as the sound of 100 birds chirping, catching a ray of the golden solar, respiration contemporary air which you could odor, and would possibly even wish to bottle the perfume for later, strolling aimlessly on an countless carpet of dry leaves, observing Nature’s most lovely creatures that are available varied colors and sizes, swimming beneath the star-studded sky, and consuming gentle and flavoursome vegetarian meals, constructed from contemporary farm produce.
As we set out one morning on the Nature path, following the neatly-mapped route, I travelled again to my childhood when, together with cousins, we might go cashew plucking.
We realised that we may pack a-plenty in 48 hours, from village walks to hen watching, farming to bathing within the many waterfalls, visiting a pre-historic rock-carving web site, Portuguese heritage mansions or Goa’s oldest temple — all inside just a few kilometres distance from the property.
If you’re an early-waker, it’s essential to stroll down the neighbouring village, to catch the solar unfold its rays on the fields and glisten the pristine rivers.
If hen watching is your ardour, be prepared along with your scrapbook and your cameras to seize over 30 species of birds, or drive right down to the pristine Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in Mollem.
There’s something romantic about practice rides in India, particularly when the route is scenic and you’ve got a window seat. Benefit from the experience from Madgaon to Kulem for an exhilarating view of the Dudhsagar waterfalls, that appear to be gallons of milk gushing down from heaven. The smart would spare a second to cease and stare, whereas the remainder will lose the view to useless selfies and video captures.
Heritage lovers will likely be spoilt for alternative. You can decide from the Braganza home in Chandor, a colonial mansion paying homage to the Portuguese period, the 12th Century Tambdi Surla temple located within the midst of a forest, or the Usgalimal village to marvel on the lately found Mesolithic rock carvings. Goa could be among the many most popularly recognized locations worldwide, however there may be a lot left to be found as you go deep inside. Dudhsagar was simply one among them.