Located in the foothills of Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra, the quiet village of Dehna is crafting new chapters for the emergence of Responsible Tourism in India. Intertwined with rural empowerment, Dehna which is located 130 km from Mumbai, is known for its rich experience, soulful memories and rustic beauty. Years back, when Dehna, mainly comprising of Hindu Marathas was just an anonymous location, it was silently calling the world for exploration. And as the discovery began, it started an adrenaline-gushing experience into the heartland of India. Miraculous, indeed!
Today, Dehna has become famous for its trek to Mount Ajobagad where you can visit the decade-old Valmiki Ashram, participate in the engrossing journey of ‘Rice’, walks to the river and village treks. It also endows you the blissful experience of participating in village activities like milking cows, chopping woods to make furniture and spice grinding. But more than that, the tremendous impact of responsible tourism cannot be overturned. Today, as travelers explore the untouched beauty of Dehna, they are instilled the values of respect and admiration for the community and their livelihood, they are taught about the rich traditions and culture, making them more responsible about the conservation of the village, something which can also be taught through real-life experiences.
It is indeed heart-touching by envisaging the number of chores every villager does every day. It was never been documented before, thus giving you the rare chance of witnessing the beauty of Indian village in the lap of nature, away from the noise and anxiousness of city’s urban life. It brings you closer to your own self, helping you discover a new way to look at life and be thankful to the souvenirs of every day, often forgotten in the clutter of monotony. Dehna empowers your soul, by making you witness the beauty of unspeakable delights of nature that can add a new burst of energy and vitality in your life.
And as you embark on this journey, something inside of you would cry for stopping the time, so that you can stay in that moment forever. It would make you ask for thousands of more eyes, as everything in the village would have its own story, its own tale that can leave an impeccable imprint on your life. Through responsible tourism, you would know how India’s village youth is harnessing their own potential by creating different venues for their own advancement, an inspiration for many.
The journey will be different for each one of us. It would leave a different message, calling a tune which only your heart can hear. For once, you will be able to live your life, away from your troubles and worries, in the giant embrace of hills, valleys and wide plains, as if the backpacker in you has suddenly been given a new life, a new journey. Through responsible tourism, you would not only embrace the culture of the village, but also learn about the simplicity of life, the biggest gift for your lifetime.
By- Shubhda Chaudhary