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Morachi Chincholi, a village of tamarind trees with peacocks
A village with more peacocks than people, Morachi Chincholi is actually an unofficial peacock sanctuary.
Less than 50 km from Pune and around 200 from Mumbai, it’s a great weekend getaway for and some natural rejuvenation.
An overnight stay will ensure maximum “peacock experience”. Like most birds in their natural settings, dawn and dusk are the best times to spot peacocks.
At dawn, the peacocks venture into the farms in the villages. The farms are their office – they spend almost the entire day there. Then, at dusk, they all venture out of the farms and retreat back to their homes in the many tamarind trees in the village.
We spent early mornings and evenings in the farms. Found a spot where we were hidden behind the tall crops and had an unobstructed view of a clearing. We had to be quiet and move stealthily, for peacocks are a very shy bird.
From this hideout, we found ourselves in the midst of colonies of peacocks. We were thrilled to observe them in their habitat, so up close and personal.
Our visit to Morachi Chincholi was not just about the peacocks, though. We experienced warm (and sumptuous) hospitality at our farmstay, Anand Krushi Paryatan.
Morachi Chincholi is now recognised as an agro tourism location by the Maharashtra Tourism Department. Some villagers have tapped into this potential and set up farmstays. This tourism option is an essential alternative for the farmer community at Morachi Chincholi, which gets a scanty monsoon leading to unpredictable agricultural income.
The Thopate family, with whom we stayed served some lip smacking farm fresh organic food. When not spotting peacocks, we spent time with their cattle and other pets. It is a good spot for some bird watching. Datta, our host, also took us on a bullock cart ride around the village.
We could sense the strong bond each one in the family shared with their cattle. Datta spoke of them with a sense of responsibility, like a father does of his children. His wife fed them the right food at the right times. For their daughter, they were playmates!
Spending a day with the Thopate family, we had a renewed appreciation for the hard work involved in being a farming family.
We clubbed our visit to Morachi Chincholi with a day trip to Nighoj, a village with an alien landscape of potholes in the river.