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Arty getaway: Head to Devrai Art Village for a stay with a side of art

Complete with a homestay, this artists' collective is the right place to discover unique art techniques and explore Panchgani.
Devrai Art Village has an art gallery worth checking out in Panchgani

At the crossroads of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, in an unassuming residential society sits Devrai Art Village. The winding path that leads downwards opens up to a humble bungalow. But one step into the property, you are welcomed with terracotta artefacts and brass work windchimes.

Devrai Art Village is an artists’ collective and art gallery and store run by Mandakini and Atul Mathur. The Mathurs have opened their home to offer a platform for local artists to come together and co-create.

The garden at Devrai Art Village

Photo: Devrai Homestay/Air BnB

The village started as Mandakini’s dream to preserve and curate tribal art and heritage. She took three Dhokra artists under her wing, who came from the Naxal-affected Gaucherie region. Devrai Art Village began under a Ficus tree in October 2008 and soon enough more artists joined in. The village now has over 50 artists under its wing.

Why a trip to Devrai Art Village is worth it

artworks at Devrai Art Village in Panchgani

Dhokra work at Devrai Photo: Devrai Art Village

This artists’ collective has managed to patent Rock Dhokra, all because of their breakthrough projects with the art technique. The Devrai Rock Dhokra is a unique technique that imagines pieces around a piece of rock. Then, artists artfully fuse it with brass using a lost wax technique to create pieces.

Apart from the rock dhokra, the artists at the village have created other collections including the Beaten Iron Craft, which is inspired by the traditional Bastar iron craft. Fusion Dhokra, under which other mediums such as terra cotta, ceramic, glass and even other metals are used to create pieces. The metal mural range uses molten brass poured on the ground to form abstract shapes integrated as a part of a painting on a canvas. The Tumba Art collection is Devrai’s take on the traditional dried gourd craft. At Devrai, artists create lamps, puppets flower vases and even wine and beer casks. Among other artworks, natural painting, and organic casting are some other techniques that come to play at Devrai.

While the art gallery is open daily between 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, you can make your experience at Devrai Art Village more wholesome by staying there. Check out their Instagram page to know more before you go.

Staying with the Mathurs

Room at Devrai Homestay at Devrai Art Village

Photo: Devrai Homestay/Air BnB

The Mathurs run a homestay as well. Through their Air BnB listing, you can book a room in their bungalow. While there’s only one room available for stay, it’s on the ground level and the path to it via the Mathurs’ garden.

The cosy room for two is complete with a kitchen where you can cook small meals, or make tea or coffee. The accommodation is fit for those looking for a relaxed stay where you can practice yoga in the garden, sit on the garden chairs and sip tea. Each morning, you can head over to the Mathurs’ for breakfast and at night marvel at the light worms that dot the trees around.

The Mathurs’ are also extremely helpful with recommendations for things to do in Panchgani. You will be recommended off-beat trails to take, farms you can head to sip organic juices, and some spots for beautiful views.