Karpe Wadi – a weekend getaway from Mumbai

One lucky man bought three acres of land located right on Nagaon beach in Raigad district for a song in the 80s, and then decided to share it with people like us, who are eager to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities at the drop of a hat. Thus came about Karpe Wadi, an agrotel.

Nagaon is about 100 odd kms from Mumbai. Although not far, it took us about 3 ½ hours to get there given the traffic that we encountered getting out of Mumbai, particularly in Panvel and the bad roads in parts. For a mid way break we stopped at Amantran at Wadkal Naka for some misal pav.

Karpe Wadi is located at the end of the little village almost in the middle of nowhere. The farm is filled with coconut trees and a variety of other crops and spices. The rooms are simple brick cottages with an attached toilet and basic modern amenities.

The whole farm functions in way that nature and the environment are disturbed to the least extent. Water from wash basins is channeled into watering crops. Coconut husks are burned to heat water and the smoke is used to fumigate the place in the evenings to drive away the mosquitoes. Local people are employed to work on the farm.

We wanted to go to a place where we could relax and do nothing and Karpe Wadi let us do just that. We spent several hours idling on the hammocks spread across the farm, starring up at the open sky, listening to the leaves rustle in the afternoon breeze and watching butterflies going about their everyday business. The edge of the farm towards the beach is lined with hundreds of casurina trees. A small winding path through the casurina grove takes you the dark clay beach. The sea was particularly calm with gentle waves. With only about 20 people on the entire stretch we did feel like we owned the beach, and what a good feeling that was.

Sunset was spectacular, with the sun changing from a flaming ball of fire to a speck that ultimately vanished, leaving behind a deserted pink sky. The nights were cold and early mornings were even colder.

The owner was happy to show us around his property and gave us a short lesson on the various crops that grew on his land. He practically grows it all, from vanilla, cardamom, bay leaf, curry leaves, brinjal, bhindi, gourds, papaya, turmeric, nutmeg, palak, methi, beetle nut and more. Much to our surprise we discovered that many plants have companions. Beetle nut and coconut trees co-exist and pepper creepers are best grown on beetle nut trees.

With not much to do, mealtimes were an important activity. Apart from the co pious amount of tender coconut water that we drank, we got to try some local Maharashtrian cuisine like mutki and bhakris (rotis made with rice flour).

At Rs. 1900 per person for a 2 night, 2 day package it was completely worth it. For complete peace of mind and a feeling of being one with nature this place is perfect.

They have a useful website so check it out if you’re interested in going there: www.karpewadi.com

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