As the summer season brings lot of joy and happiness to children …. Parents start planning short and long trips around Mumbai and Pune.
Short trips include one of the most favorite destination Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani.
Here is BRAND NEW destination for spending weekend (Saturday and Sunday) as called as Village of Books aka Pustakanche Gaav aka पुस्तकांचे गाव !
The concept of this village is inspired by Britain’s Hay-on-Wye, a Welsh town known for its bookstores and literature festivals. Modelled along the lines of Hay on Wye, the Welsh market town best known for its plentitude of bookstores, libraries and a famous literary festival.
On 4th May 2017 village was officially opened as Village of Books or Pustakanche Gaav.
Name of the village is Bhilar which is spread over two kilometres, and located at a distance of 8 kms from the hill station Panchgani
Initially Bhilar has developed as best agro-tourism destination, with people loving the strawberry farming here.
Just to tell you the fact that the strawberry brings huge revenue of over 50 crore Rupees per year ! Wow, plenty of tourists from Mumbai and Pune get down to the village to get a taste of local flavor, get hands on picking experience through farms !!
How the concept was taken forward ?
Our Education minister Vinod Tawde has conceived this idea of Village of Books, and undertook as a project under the department of Marathi Bhasha.
The intention behind developing the Village of Books is duel purpose, promote Marathi as well as agro tourism. Surely its novel concept, bringing you freshness of farm with local cuisine & tasty books.
He called over 75 artists to paint the village premises and finally to develop them as reader hotspots.
Work was completed in a 3 day painting camp to deliver wall paintings with graphics as per the genre of book that was going to be placed in that house or area. Total 25 locations are designed covering everything from history, poetry, and literature to autobiographies, biographies, festival specials, poetry, religion, history, environment, folk literature.
To begin with, the collection includes Marathi books but later it will also include Hindi and English books.
The village contains Maps at different locations with short description of each location which will make navigation easy and quick.
Since Bhilar homes are already covered under the B&B scheme, you will get nice food and stay by the villagers.
Most of the houses are single or twin floor designs. Upper floor normally developed specially for the tourists. The houses are quite specious. And they will serve home made food which is really the thing to be experienced alongwith experiencing reading the books.
How to reach:
- By Road : There are various private buses, cabs and taxi services from Pune and Mumbai. Bhilar village is only 17km from Mahabaleshwar.
- By Railway : The nearest railway station is Satara which is 56 kilometers away from Bhilar. Nearest major railway junctions include Pune (148 km) and Miraj (188 km).
- Air : The nearest airport is Pune International Airport, which is about 118 km from Bhilar. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai is 259 km away.