Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fancy a campfire and spooky tales? Go camping at this little village near Igatpuri

"There once was a little girl called Ebethoi. She lived with her widowed mother in a floating hut on Lake Loktak, near Imphal. She didn't have any siblings, nor any friends to play with. But although she was alone, she was never lonely," begins Samvedna Amitabh.

She narrates the rest of the Manipuri folktale, which shows us how little Ebethoi befriends the fish in the lake, the dancing sangai (brow-antlered deer) and the migratory birds that visited every winter. The story ends with a grown-up Ebethoi rescuing her fish friends from the wrath of fishermen using the power of song to call upon their god, Thang-jing. As with many such legends, the message is clear: preserve the ecosystem you live in.

The camp will be held in a village called Purushwadi
The camp will be held in a village called Purushwadi

This month-end, you'll be treated to this and other stories at Far Far Away, a camp organised by Grassroutes. For the first time, the rural tour company has tied up with Amitabh, who is the founder of storytelling platform Kahaanipur, to bring the joys of stories and camping together, at one place.

You will be camping in Purushwadi, a little village situated atop a mountain near Igatpuri. Three storytelling sessions will be held across two days, where Amitabh will narrate a trove of folktales for not just kids, but also adults. "I'll be sharing stories about tribes, and about flora and fauna. There will also be spooky campfire stories," says Amitabh.

learn how to fish like the locals
learn how to fish like the locals

She adds, "The venue for the first session is a grove of trees in the forest; the second, around the bonfire at nightfall. The third session will be held the next morning in the village itself."

ntroduce your children to the livestock
Introduce your children to the livestock

But it's not just the tales that make this experience different. While in Purushwadi, you will meet friendly villagers and also get a chance to step into their shoes for a bit. "You can try your hand at activities such as chopping wood, making a traditional mud stove, grinding rice, making bhakris, and fishing the local way," says Richa Williams of Grassroutes.

When you've had your fill of activities, laze under the shade of trees, hike to the sunset point, saunter over to the nearby dam, or take a dip in the river. There's plenty to keep you busy.

If you enjoy stories and camping, this might just be the fairytale weekend that you have been looking for.

ON: March 25 and 26
AT: Purushwadi, Ahmednagar.
CALL: 8879477437 EMAIL
COST: Rs 3,500 onwards, free for kids below five

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