• Travel: Party with the peacocks at Morachi Chincholi

    Krutika BehrawalaMumbaiJun 16, 2017, 13:15 IST

    Pic courtesy/Karan Mahajan

    A Four-hour drive from Mumbai on the Pune-Ahmednagar Highway leads you to Morachi Chincholi. The name means a village of peacocks and tamarind trees. And that's exactly what you'll find here. It is believed that during the Peshwa dynasty's reign in the 1700s, many tamarind trees were planted in the village, attracting peafowl. Over time, villagers began cohabiting with the birds, which led to a growth in peacock population in the area. Today, it's home to about 3,000 winged beauties, and you can spot them fanning their plumes even by the roadside.

    Spot peacocks in the wilderness. Pic courtesy/Mumbai Travellers
    Spot peacocks in the wilderness. Pic courtesy/Mumbai Travellers

    "Last year, I visited the village at the end of May, and it was scorching. Even in that heat, we spotted five peacocks. Locals have turned the entire village into an eco-tourism centre and they are the ones responsible for the large peacock population. A sighting is always guaranteed," shares Mangesh Joshi, who runs the city-based travel agency, Skyhigh Adventures, which has planned a two-day trip to Morachi Chincholi next weekend.

    Rock depressions created by Kukadi river
    Rock depressions created by Kukadi river

    "Ten years ago, Morachi Chincholi was declared as a tourism spot by Agri Tourism Development Corporation of India. It is pollution-free and highly accessible from both, Pune and Mumbai, making it a good spot for a day picnic or weekend outing," shares Janardhan Thopate, a local tour guide, who runs a farm stay here called Mauli Agri Tourism Centre.

    Stay at the rustic farm
    Stay at the rustic farm

    You'll find many such rustic farm stays in the village. Joshi has booked cottages at Jai Malhar Krushi Paryatan Kendra for the trip. "They serve delicious, local Maharashtrian food using spices from their own farm," he adds. The trip starts with a bus journey from Borivali to Morachi Chincholi. Once you settle in, soak in the rustic environs of the farm and nursery.

    Later, take a trip to the nearby fort museum. In the evening, enjoy a walk through the village to spot peacocks. Next morning, spend your time in the company of peacocks before proceeding to Nighoj, a village famous for naturally created rock depressions on the bed of Kukadi river.

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    TRIP DATES: June 25 to 26, 7 am onwards
    STARTS FROM: Borivali
    CALL: 9769255269
    COST: Rs 4,200

    Celibate? No way!
    The large iridescent train of a peacock, with a wingspan of six feet, is used in mating rituals and courtship displays. Females are believed to choose their mates according to the size, colour, and quality of the trains. At least, now you know the bird isn't celibate, as a certain Rajasthan High Court judge would have us believe.

    Sign up in advance
    Mumbai Travellers is conducting a two-day trip to Morachi Chincholi next month. Along with peacock excursions, you can participate in rural games and enjoy bonfire (in case of no rain).
    ON: July 8 and 9
    CALL: 8692086927
    COST: Rs 4,200

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