Driving from Mumbai to Goa? Stop at this homestay for farm life and Maharashtrian food

Just before COVID-19 hit India, Noopur Chaughule, a Toronto-based chef, travelled to India to visit her parents Rajan and Sadhana. Before she knew it, a lockdown was announced and so was a worldwide pandemic. She was five months’ pregnant and at her parents’ farm in Guhagar indefinitely. There were days with no electricity with longest name or hot water and the nearest market was 25km away. “I felt like Shahrukh Khan from Swadesh, but without the fancy caravan,” Chaughule tells me over email. Then, her daughter was born, and Chaughule saw her grow up on the farm. “Suddenly, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and why I was here. We decided to call our project Ayra Farms after my daughter because as Ayra grew, so did the farm.”

Located about six hours from Mumbai and Pune, Ayra Farms is easily accessible via road or by train. If you’re heading to Goa from Mumbai, hop off at Chiplun—the homestay is an hour’s drive away.

About the homestay

Currently, the property features two cottages. The first one is spread across two floors and 7,500sqft, and occupied by the hosts. The second cottage right opposite spans 3,000sqft and has two rooms that are let out to guests. Both rooms have ensuite bathrooms and can accommodate a maximum of three people. The beds are queen or king-sized, and made with upcycled materials, and the bathrooms come with eco-friendly toiletries. The hosts plan to build the property further to create an eco village of sorts, with more cottages, a yoga centre and a space for pottery, carpentry and upcycling workshops.

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