Advait and his wife Uttara Kher of Nashik Agrotourism Utopia has begun. This farm has been designed with the environment in every way. The couple has been working for the environment for some time.
Both Advaita and Uttara worked in the hospitality industry. The two met while working at Taj. At the same time, they both also worked as models. Uttara won the title of Miss India World in 1982. Despite belonging to such a bright world, what sets this couple apart is their warmth.
Advaita and Uttara meet each and every one of the guests who visit their farm with such hospitality that most people keep in touch with them even after leaving here. This farm is about five minutes from Sula Vineyard in Nashik. On one side is Gangapur Lake and on the other side the Sahyadri Mountains.
Leaving the bad weather and the concrete of Bombay, the two decide to come to Nashik, a small village in the middle of nature, to raise their daughters, Saiyami and Sanskriti.
He first opened three restaurants
Advaita says, “Mountains, hikes and especially waterfalls are the things that took me away from Bombay during the monsoons.” Arriving in Nashik, Advaita opened three restaurants: Aangan, Tandoor and The Bombay Talkies.
After a long time, he thought of a farm and in February 2018. Agrotourism Utopia it began. Advaita visited the nearby villages on his motorcycle for several months and learned about the architecture there. It took him two months to plan his project before starting agrotourism work.
But he was soon presented with a great challenge. He used black cotton earth, which expands during the monsoon and shrinks during the summer. Because of this, every time there is a stretch and push (pull and push) into the construction. You also need a solid foundation to support yourself.
For this reason, no architect was prepared to take on this project. But he did not give up and thought of doing this work himself. Aside from being the architect of the 2-acre property, Advait also worked as a carpenter. Together with a professional, he has made farm furniture.
what was used to do so
From the first stones, used bricks, clay to interiors, that Agrotourism Utopia Every effort has been made to make it environmentally friendly. Speaking of the material used on the farm, Advait says, “We have basalt rock foundations and we have used flying ash bricks. We have used very little cement and gypsum has been made with cow dung.”
Fly ash bricks do not destroy the top floor and require less cement and water for bonding. Compared to cement bricks, they are less likely to break and there is less waste. These bricks absorb less heat, so the rooms stay cool.
AC is not needed here. Very small amounts of toxic latex oil paints have been used for the farm rooms. The rooms are mainly covered with a mixture of cow dung and mud, an ancient and sustainable technique. Also, instead of ceramic tiles, only clay tiles have been used in the building.
Empty Bisleri bottles wrapped in sacks have been installed as screens. The farm has old, recycled items such as windows (jharokhas), etc., which Advaita collected during her numerous travels over the past 30 years. They have taken many products from Rajasthan, Cochin, Maharashtra and so on. “We’re collecting a lot of things from around the country, which we can incorporate into our designs,” he says.
Vegetables grown at Utopia Farm Stay prepare food for guests
The gray water from this farm is used in the fields and this farm runs on solar energy. “Everything here is designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible and we want it to be that way,” says Advait.
Many types of vegetables and fruits are grown on the same farm, such as onions, garlic, bananas, coconuts, mangoes, drumsticks, spinach, etc. Currently, part of the field has sunflowers, which were planted mainly to attract birds.
Today, more than 42 species of birds roam this farm. Apart from that, about 100 liters of oil are obtained from the sunflower planted in the fields. Uttara says, “I will use it for cooking, as I am the one who cooks on the farm. We will also sell cold-pressed sunflower oil.”
Advaita and Uttara have been working for the environment for some time. Both have made many important contributions to environmental protection, ranging from the introduction of PIL to clearing the Godavari to saving the trees from being cut down around Nashik.
“We were able to save about 3,000 trees from felling because they cut down trees at random to widen the roads,” Uttara says.
What are the charges for staying in this Utopia agrotourism?
The rent to stay on this farm ranges from 5,000 to 7,000 rupees per night. Here Uttara and Advaita offer a variety of activities, such as yoga workshops and clay modeling classes.
In addition, activities such as Advaita, Car Painting Workshop and Monsoon Trek and Hike, a visit to the city of Nashik and a show of beautiful architecture are also organized.
Guests who come here enjoy all these activities to the fullest. “Young children in big cities have never seen vegetables grow on plants, so we teach them a little gardening,” Uttara says with a laugh.
One of his 72 years, Guest, wanted to run. It was an ultramarathon that was also a scientist at NASA. Another guest was working on electromagnets at CERN, Switzerland.
Here come only those people who do not like the 5 star culture.
Advait says it’s wonderful to interact with these guests from around the world. There is a good group of people to meet in the evening in the common area. Although Advaita and Uttara do not stay here on this utopia farm, they do visit frequently.
They exchange ideas with people from different walks of life and learn new things every day. “People who live in rural or cozy homes are people who don’t like the 5-star culture,” Uttara says.
Most of the guests are now like a family for the couple. Even after leaving here, they keep in touch with him. Advaita and Uttara’s journey of growth and innovation continues unabated. Now they are trying to get the villagers to imitate their model and teach them, so that their income is better.
Place: Nashik, Maharashtra
Bed and bathroom: Four cottages, all with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Area: 2 hectares
Time required to build: Seven months
To learn more about Utopia Farmstay, you can visit their website.
Original article: Aarushi Agarwal
Editing: Archana Dubey
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