“Parashar Agri-Tourism Center” –A Million Satisfactory Place
Parashar is an agro-tourism hub in the scenic Junnar taluka, which has a history of more than two thousand years and is also known as the British ‘Sanatorium of India’. Four kms from Alephata village on Pune-Nashik (MH-50) highway. At a distance, Parashar Agri-Tourism Center in Rajuri village is the only agri-tourism in Maharashtra with the lowest acreage.
About The Name Parashar Rushi –
The contribution of Parashar sages in the field of agriculture is very great. In the eleventh century, he wrote a treatise on agriculture called Krishi Parashar. Also, Junnar taluka is the karma bhoomi and tapobhoomi of sage Parashar. Manoj Hadwale, the director of the center, named the center Parashar as a tribute to him and to express gratitude to him and especially to make people aware of the importance of his work.
If one understands that one’s business is different and one’s interests are different, then one should learn from Manoj Hadwale, the director of the center, how these two things can come together. Manoj Hadwale, who has a Master’s Degree in Agriculture (M.Sc.) and is an Agriculture Officer at State Bank of India, quit his job and chose a new path of agri-tourism in North-Pune district. Manoj Hadwale started an agri-tourism center on April 11, 2011 in the village of Rajuri in Shivchhatrapati’s birthplace.
Today, paradise has blossomed on a place that was murky, rocky and hilly seven years ago. The features of this center are that it is not widely advertised or marketed anywhere, but it is attracting tourists not only from the country but also from abroad. Nearly ten thousand tourists, including citizens from 21 countries, have experienced hospitality in this tourist center.
About Agriculture Tourism Center –
One acre of low and high land has been fully utilized to make it a natural tourist destination. Emphasis has been laid on making the tourist center attractive by using wooden bridges, flowers, trees, fruit trees, waste materials as well as traditional antiques.
As soon as you get near the entrance of the center, you start to feel green. The entrance to the center is covered with vines and agricultural implements are used for its beautification. The first thing you see when you enter through the entrance is the wooden bridge. If you look at the tourist center from this bridge, you will see a variety of trees, vines, flowers and birds, butterflies.
The chirping of various birds and the chirping of sparrows make you feel like you have arrived in a new world. 21 species of birds including 250-300 sparrows live in this tourist center. There are some trees planted in this tourist center. So, most of the plants are naturally grown. This is where vegetables can be grown without the use of any fertilizer. These vegetables are used to make meals for tourists. The center has wooden chairs, benches and tables for tourists. It has shade and grass roofs, while some of the trees are surrounded by a special seating arrangement to accommodate tourists.
Other places in the Agro Tourism center –
1) Painting Room – Warli paintings are painted on the walls painted with natural colors. Also the features of this room are that the tourists can experience the painting on their own. In the same room, the 3200 year history of Indian agricultural culture is presented in the form of tables.
2) Kitchen Gardening – Saplings are planted in pots made from kitchen waste. This room also has a vermin-compost project.
3) Parashar Kuti – This hut has a two to two and a half feet idol of sage Parashar. Also this hut has a meditation point. This hut is used by tourists for meditation.
4) Main Hall – The hall used for seating and dining has agricultural implements, plowshares, pot slopes, and old traditional items. Also this hall is decorated with various paintings. There are small tables for seating. The cleanliness and tidiness of this dung-infested hall is commendable.
5) Leaf huts – Leaf huts are built on both sides of the hall for tourists to rest. The roof is made of cane wedges; the walls are made of turati-bamboo and cane wedges. The special significance of these huts is that they are cool in summer and warm in winter. Everything in the leaf hut is covered with wood and the ground is covered with dung. The wooden windows are sliding and have curtains made of white catfish.
The dolls provided to cover the tourists are sewn by the self-help group. Magazines like Maharashtra Unlimited are kept for tourists to read. The hut has wooden mirrors. Dustbins are made from empty cans of kitchen oil. Items made from clay as well as handicrafts are kept in the hut. Light comes naturally in this leaf hut. There are a total of ten huts in the center.
Each hut is given a unique name. E.g. The names given are Sharangadhar, Kashyap, Surpal, Medhatithi, Kautilya, Garg, Mandvya, Chavundrai, Vasahamahir. So that tourists can get acquainted with the sages who have contributed to Indian agriculture.
6) Scaffolding – A large scaffolding is built on the southwest side of the center. From this scaffold one can see the scenic area of Junnar taluka. The height of the scaffolding indicates the height reached by the agri-tourism center.
Meals are prepared for the tourists from the vegetables in the center. Local spices are used in making vegetables. For the tourists, two vegetables made from black and yellow spices, dal-rice, sweets, chapati, bread, papad-onion, pickles are planned for the feast on the stove. A healthy herbal is also prepared for the tourists in the morning.
Manoj Hadwale has tried to maintain social commitment along with agri-tourism. Through the center, employment opportunities are also being made available to the farmers in the villages.
1) A tour of the farm – Tourists travel to the farm. Real working experience is provided along with agricultural information.
2) Bullock cart and tractor tour – In the evening, tourists are taken on a bullock cart and tractor tour of the surrounding area.
3) Painting – making pottery: There is a separate arrangement for drawing to give the tourists an experience of painting. It is also taught to make objects from the clay in the center.
4) Yoga, Meditation, Meditation – Yoga, meditation, and meditation has been taught in the romantic atmosphere of the morning. Along with this, people are taken for a morning walk on a nearby hill.
5) Ready-to-Cook – When the tourists are in small numbers, they are given the experience of making meals. This activity is especially implemented for foreign tourists
6) Library – There are about 1,500 books in the central library.
7) Documentary – Since Junnar is a leopard prone area, a documentary on leopards is shown to make tourists aware of leopards. Information about the culture, history and geography of Junnar taluka is shown to the tourists through this video.
1) There are restrictions on smoking, meat, alcohol in this agri-tourism. So naturally the sanctity of the premises is maintained.
2) Since there is no TV, tourists automatically prefer to spend time with each other and their purpose of visiting the tourist center becomes meaningful.
The ‘Parashar Agri-Tourism Center’, which cherishes the motto of rural development through agri-tourism and development of Maharashtra through rural development, provides lakhs of rupees to the tourists.