Welcome to Rajmachi Travel Experience,Maharashtra


Homestay Experience with Mahadev Koli Tribe of Rajmachi,Maharashtra


Troveko, in partnership with Rajmachi Rural Aid And Development Program, has come up with a travel experience that you’ve been waiting for! Here is a weekend getaway or holiday where the price you pay for your stay experience is directly invested in local environmental conservation & providing sustainable livelihoods for the homes in Rajmachi(Udhewadi) village of Maharashtra.

Introduction

A plateau rich in history, culture and beautiful hills, Rajmachi has two fortified peaks – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, with a small village Udhewadi located near two famous hills of Lonavala and Khandala in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Rajmachi, one of the most loved and frequented destinations by avid travellers and trek enthusiasts, has paved a way to livelihood opportunities for the impoverished villagers who are residents of this geographically remote place. Over the years many households have been providing rooms and food facilities for fellow-travellers, sparking a shift from agriculture to tourism for their livelihoods. Tourism is an industry like no other. However, unplanned growth without proper structuring has led to harm the environment, natural and cultural resources such as water resources, heritage sites etc. There also exists exploitation of villagers as they get paid less by the trek organisers.

Albeit the deterioration of resources, the realm of tourism generates, there fortunately is a silver lining. Our idea of this silver lining is to build a solution that promotes eco-tourism, create sustainable livelihoods – a win-win situation for all.

History

Built by the Satvahanas who ruled the Indian province peacefully from 230 BC, this fort was captured in 1657 by Shivaji Maharaj from the ruler of Bijapur. Rajmachi fort was of strategic importance to control Borghat (the Ghat between Khopoli and Khandala on Mumbai-Pune route) which was a historical trade route. It was in the possession of Angre family, the head of Maratha Navy in the 18th century. Rajmachi Fort (Killa) consists of two twin fortresses Shriwardhan Balekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla, with a wide Machi (plateau) surrounding the two Balekillas.
The ancestors of the people living here in the 17th century were organized by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj into a strong fighting force for guerilla warfare. These brave warriors liberated Western Maharashtra from clutches of tyrannical alien rulers and established independent Maratha kingdom. They recaptured many historical forts and built a few new forts. They held the forts till the advent of the British rule in the early 19th century.

Present Day

Rajmachi fort has been declared as a protected monument.
Despite the glorious historical past, most of the families have been living a neglected backward life. The people living here belong to the Mahadev Koli Tribe. Generally ‘Koli’ means a fisherman but they are primarily engaged in agriculture. The Mahadev Koli Tribe derive their name from their God – Mahadev and live in the Mahadev hills of Maharashtra. They speak Marathi and use the Devanagari script.
The villagers are low on quality of life since access to resources like health care services, education for children, water facilities, electricity and so on is meagre. The evident cause for this disparateness is poor road connectivity. The villagers are compelled to migrate to bigger cities where they end up doing menial jobs in order to ensure their children’s education.

Program: Rajmachi Rural Livelihood Mission
(Rural Homestay Experience with Mahadev Koli Tribe of Rajmachi)

Troveko has partnered with Rajmachi based NGO Rajmachi Rural Aid And Development Programme to explore how organised community-based tourism can provide sustainable livelihood options to the villagers. The NGO was established in the year 1976 by a group of friends who were trekking enthusiasts; they noticed the poor conditions of people in the hills and felt the need to extend a helping hand to them. Their aim was and is to preserve the historical monument, provide livelihood options to the villagers and make sincere efforts to wean the people away from addiction to alcohol. It also makes strides in removing various harmful superstitions prevalent in the community.
We designed a unique adventurous and educational travel experience with the precedence and the remembrance of the glorious fighters of the Maratha kingdom. The host families for this pilot believe that sustainable forms of community-based tourism can bring the awareness and conservation of heritage, and it all begins with you!

The program will work in five phases 

Phase 1: Infrastructure development

Phase 2: Rain Water Harvesting

Phase 3: Improvement in Solar Power infrastructure

Phase 4: Generating Sustainable Employment for the villagers

Phase 5: Setting up of School and Medical Center

The ultimate vision of this project is to build a strong, sustained and content communities who are able to fully imagine and pursue their aspirations.

Weekender

2 days, 1 night

Includes:

  • Trekking
  • Ethnic Food
  • Heritage Walk
  • Rural Home Stay
    • 1000

     

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