Visiting Art Village – a unique farmhouse in Karjat is one of my most cherished lockdown memories. This farmhouse is a great get away from your daily monotonous lifestyles and adds colour through this creative and inspirational stay. Places are much more than the first impressions and my initial thoughts about this farmhouse greatly differed from what it actually was.
During my Diwali vacations, we visited Art Village and stayed there for 3 nights. Taking part in various activities, we grew closer to nature and bonded with different animals. After a 2-hour drive, we arrived there at around 4. It consisted of 4 Cottages each with two rooms built with earthy mud. Surrounded by all sides were green fields and right in front of our hut was a badminton field. There was a common room or a recreational centre as well which was filled with various books, art supplies, games and much more. It led to the Earth Café where we had our daily meals. The farmhouse also had a wide Meditation centre as well as a nursery with various plants and many animals like rabbits, goats and turtles. At first when we arrived, I was disheartened to know that there was no Wi-Fi available nor any A/C in the rooms. To add on, the meals were homecooked Indian meals and there was nothing fancy. There were very less guests with us, in fact just one more family with their dog were present. This made me think how boring this place would be and I wanted to go back home. After settling in we went to the recreational centre and played some board games as well as carrom. We toured the place and swung on the swings. The recreational centre was built to give a rustic old feel and I guessed that’s why there was no Wi-Fi and A/C. The place gave an insight into the pre modernised era and even the architecture gave the same feel due to the unique tiling and mud used to build it. I loosened up a bit and tried to enjoy myself. After having home cooked dinner, we went back into our huts and slept through our first night.
Our second day at the Art village was extremely entertaining and fun for it was filled with various activities to do throughout the day. Our pleasant morning started off with some relaxing yoga postures which dates back to the pre-Vedic times. We did various breathing exercises and asanas which calmed the body as well as the mind. After yoga we had our breakfast and played around with the farm animals. After having bath in the skylit bathrooms in our cottage, we visited the sister property of Art Village which was Tooth Mountain. It was just next to our farmhouse and was quite similar to Art village expect it overlooked the Lake and had pool as well. We went back to the recreational centre and I lied on the hammock reading some books and escaped into an enchanted forest, a spaceship cruising through space or talked with characters living in underwater cottages.
Having a hearty lunch, another family with 2 children and a small puppy arrived. I made two new friends and played badminton with them. At around 4 o clock in the afternoon, we went to Good Will farms – 10 minutes away from Art village for Horse Riding. It would be me and my sister’s first time on a horse and we were exuberant. We chose our own horse – mine was a 6-year-old chocolate brown horse with a black mane, and Ruhi’s was a white horse which was 23 years old. At first, we just sat on the saddle and put our feet into the stirrups. The horse walked briskly along the farm and we started to get used to its’ slight trots. After a while we had to perform some exercises like touching our toes with the opposite hand while on the horse or touching our helmet to the horse’s mane. After that the horse started trotting at a higher speed and it was amusing to match his rhythm of moving up and down while he swiftly trotted. Our first experience of horse riding was incredible and we both looked forward for riding once again. We arrived back at the Art village and had a wholesome and nutritious dinner.
The next day we woke up early as we planned to go to the waterfall nearby. After a 20 minute drive when we heard “your destination is on the right” but all around us were yellow grass fields with no sign of a water body around. Disappointed for waking up super early for nothing I sulked back in the car. But when my father walked around further, he found out a little waterfall surrounded by rocks of various sizes. “Even though we found the waterfall how are we going to get up there?” I inquired, only to see my father climbing up the rocks with Ruhi. I followed them carefully stepping on the right rocks and in no time, we actually reached the peak! Contentedly I splashed water around and observed the breath-taking sight. After a while we got back to the farmhouse and I played various board games, cards and online games with my 2 new friends. Till around 4 o clock we had fun outside in the green lawns and played with their puppy – Ollie. At 4:30 we went to the recreational centre for pottery. We rolled muddy clay into shiny balls and shaped these balls into various pots using our wet hands on the rotating pottery wheel. After they partially dried, we carved them using our own creativity and left them to completely dry. After a while another family with 2 black dogs – one 6-year-old cocker spaniel and another 4-month-old puppy – arrived as well. We played with the big black dog for hours, while the 4 month puppy was befuddled at seeing a completely new environment and hyperactively ran around. We played football, tag and fetch till we were tired and I realised it was our last night at Art village.
Next morning was our checkout and we packed all of our luggage and were ready to go. Me and my sister reluctantly sat in the car and said our goodbyes. During the car ride, I thought how these 3 wholesome days helped me bond with so many animals and grow closer to nature. Taking a break from our hectic life back at the city, this place helped us relax and have endless fun without looking at our screens. After this mini vacation I realised that Wi-Fi or fancy meals aren’t on my to go checklist anymore.
“Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life” – truly felt meaningful while I was amongst nature.