As we the #ghoomophiro sisters got to the heart of India in Madhya Pradesh, a beautiful clear water river flowing through a dam caught our eye. The sight of the Betwa river which is far off from any usual tourist spot gave us what we craved for. A good scenery and solitude.
We delighted in the absence of crowds as we strolled the village of Pranpur, occasionally striking up conversations with the locals who were still awe bound by the visit of stars from 3 idiots. The duo of Aamir Khan and his co-star had arrived unannounced in the village to promote their film and the impressions are still fresh in the mind of the villagers.
With the picture perfect view of the village, the humble hospitality of the locals, the click-clack sound that surrounded us as we passed by the weaver’s houses, there was no lack of charm in this place.
Not only is Pranpur a delight to watch, there are many talented artisans that exist here making Chanderi Sarees and other crafts. The Village even got a National Award in 2009 for Rural Tourism. Don’t expect any resorts or luxurious treatment because the place and its people are very down to earth. You will get to experience the traditional village lifestyle with strict vegetarian diets.
We got to meet the village elder who was a knowledgeable man with all sorts of information about pottery, Bundelkhandi musical instruments, medicine as well as folklore. The day began with the melodious chirping of birds and ended with the star-filled sky. Large portions of delicious meals such as poha. Gujias, kadhi, mangodi etc is what you will find in your meals.
Then it was time for a leisurely stroll through the village during which we came across stone houses painted with pastel colors, four stepwells as well as a countless number of Sati pillars back from the sixteenth century. There was another incredible thing that we got to see and that was a Ram Mandir and a Dargah at the far end of the village, peacefully facing each other symbolizing how religions liver harmoniously in the village. The villagers were happy to indulge us in their pottery making practices as well.
Then there is the most important aspect of the village, the Chanderi weavers. Entering the house of a Chanderi weaver is like being surrounded by rainbows. The superfine cotton and silk warp is stretched tight on the loom and all members of the household be it the man, the wife or young children are indulged in making sarees of different designs and patterns. These Chanderi Silk Sarees are an expensive traditional Indian wear but this little village of Pranpur that makes these Sarees is forgotten. Women all over the country are huge admirers of these Sarees and we were glad to have seen their manufacturing first hand.
There were also a few metal craftsman in the village but their business had not been flourishing like the looms. But when we got a look at their handiwork, it reminded us of great antiques, something that would be admired long after its time.
Pranpur gave us a look into the Indian village life that rejoices in its crafts and talents.
Getting there: Pranpur is in Ashoknagar district, in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh. Chanderi is 3km from Pranpur.
What to do there: Explore the village’s Maize and barley fields on Bullock cart and enjoy their folk music and dance performances. See the spectacular sunrise and live like the villagers do, close to our roots.