A 90-minute drive from the Dabolim airport in Goa takes one to the historic town of Sawantwadi in neighbouring Maharashtra. Tucked away on a small hillock near Sawantwadi is the picturesque. The homestay is located in the middle of a 12-acre cashew, coconut, banana and pineapple farm. The mud walls, terracotta tiled roofs and solid wooden beams that support the sloping roof give a very earthy feel to this homestay. While retaining the old world charm of this house, the latter has been modified to suit the requirements of the international traveler. The two rooms which are luxurious come with modern attached baths. The service here is personal, yet unobtrusive. The hosts are Ashish Padgavkar and his wife Amruta Padgavkar. Ammu; as Amruta is fondly called by her friends is the moving force behind this homestay.
This spunky lady who is passionate about plants happens to be an agricultural graduate. Besides being fond of singing (Ammu has studied classical music), reading and watching Hindi films, Ammu loves cooking. Malvani Cuisine which is Sindhudurgâs own distinct style of cooking happens to be Ammuâs forte. Some of the mouthwatering dishes that Ammu dishes out for her guests include kombdi vade or chicken curry with puri, bangda fry or fried mackerel and kolambi or prawns curry. Before a guest has finished with his or her meals, Ammu would gently remind them not to forget to have sol kaddi; the tangy coconut milk based drink that she prepares with every meal. Ammu will explain to them how sol kaddi helps in digestion.
Ammu goads her guests to leave their SUVâs behind for a while and clamber into a traditional bullock cart for an exhilarating ride through the countryside. During the 10-day festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, this homestay wears a festive look. Ammu brings home a big idol of the elephant-headed god- Ganesha and decorates her house with flowers and lights. Ammu invites all guests to join them in celebrating this auspicious festival. There are several options for excursions too while one is at this homestay. Situated within a 25 kilometers radius of this homestay are Vengurla; a place dotted with pristine beaches, Amboli; a British era hill station and Mangeli Waterfalls, among others. Discerning tourists keen on getting a feel of the âreal Indiaâ will find this homestay to their liking.