I had read somewhere about a place which has more than 2,000 peacocks in the entire vicinity. So, one fine morning this monsoon we found ourselves driving down to a small village called Morachi Chincholi in Maharashtra.
Throughout the journey I was visualizing myself surrounded by & dancing with those beautiful birds. The child in me wanted to do some more mischief, just like I used to, when I was actually a child.
Dancing in full glory.
‘Morachi Chincholi‘, means ‘village of dancing peacocks’, and true to its name, it indeed has abundant of them! On reaching we were told that the best time to spot the peacocks in full grandeur is in the morning between 6 and 8 am and in the evening between 5 and 7 pm.
In this village only option of a stay is a homestay. Staying in a typical village house which has no compound wall but 3 water wells, swings and lots of fruit trees from which you can pluck the freshest of Guavas, mangoes, custard apples, has its own charm. Plenty of greenery, cows, bullocks, dogs, and last but not the least… the colourful peacocks & peahens strutting around us added to our zest.
Come evening, our host guided us in fields, set our boundaries so we do not go beyond lest peacocks fly away. He knew exactly where the peacocks had perched & the places where they dance at specific times.
“Peacocks are to appear near those trees”, he pointed towards trees at a faraway distance.
What? Won’t they come closer?
No. Then he left.
Armed with tripods we waited for peacocks to make an appearance. We could see farmers working in the fields at a distance. Soon the peafowl appeared. But they felt threatened every time one of us moved to capture a better photograph. Now we knew why our host had instructed us to sit down and not move at all. So we had to sit like fearful chicken in front of those birds.
Strolling in the fields.
I started wondering if they’d dance now. The peacocks were, however, comfortable around farmers. They hardly paid any attention to them and moving slowly, soon went about eating, wooing without any fear.
The sight of royal peacocks fanning their feathers, dancing in rhythm for their lady love was just too breathtaking. Then I noticed something unusual and it made me laugh every time I saw it. Impressed and somewhat wooed, whenever a peahen approached a dancing peacock, he’d just turn around excitedly and show her, his fluttering back.
Oh shucks! Would I have to content with capturing their derriere? Not to mention, majority of my photos have their equally beautiful derriere too!
Derriere is equally beautiful.
I had seen pirouetting peacocks before, including ones with white feathers. But this experience of capturing them in camera while containing my excitement was something new ! Their hoarse calls sounded like songs to me. Oh! This was a very beautiful sight ! I was soon lost in their world.
Suddenly it struck; I reprimanded my husband “Have you ever sung or danced for me?”.
And there it was. My peacock dancing for me.
Plan your trip to Morachi Chincholi : The best time to go to Morachi Chincholi is during monsoon or just after that as this is breeding period for the peafowl.
Homestays are the only option. Even without any luxury, one can be assured of a warm hospitality of villagers and the authentic Maharashtrian village experience.
Road directions: It is situated on Ahmednagar-Pune Highway at a distance of around 220 Kms from Mumbai. It is reachable by NH4 or by Expressway by taking the Lonavla exit to take the NH4 to reach Talegaon. At Talegaon juncture take a left on Pune Nashik road. Travel till Khed (20 kms) and Pabal. After Pabal, take a left turn for another 10 kms to reach Morachi Chincholi.
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