Started by Mandakini Mathur & Suresh Pungati, Devrai Art Village in Panchgani was started with a vision to connect with nature and celebrate creativity. A non-profit initiative started about 9 years ago, the village offers Adivasi craftsmen a safe space to practice their craft away from their difficult and often Naxalite-affected regions.
The village is a 2-acre space where tribal artists living around collaborate to create wall art, puppets, murals, household products, statues, artifacts and more. The artists often mentor apprentices, also living in Panchgani, honing their skills, one piece at a time.
The place is now trying to bring in more people of Creative instincts like artists, designers, writers, film-makers as we all know nature is the best inspiration anyone may need to charge especially creative buffs. They provide you with Internet service with a speed of 1-2 MBPS for any work you might want to work on.
About the space, Devrai currently has just one single room to provide which is a part of their bungalow, but have a separate personal entryway. They provide for breakfast but the further meals can be relished from various eateries that are just around the corner of the space. The room also has a kitchenette where you could cook yourself a meal. They have just started so they are on the planning basis for the further building of more tents around the region to invite more and more people to the region. As that will encourage a community in the formation and also will help in getting the Adivasi craftsmen get acknowledgment.
The village is 250 km from Mumbai, 120 km from Pune. The bungalow property is about 1.5 km from the Panchgani bus top.
The room can accommodate two people and the charge for the room for a single night is INR 2,010, in case you are going in a group they arrange for you a homestay around the village.
So we say, take a detour this weekend as you will get to experience the raw craftsmanship and skills which are not a regular sight in city life and along you could experiment with your creativity as well.