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An unwritten language and a reservoir: Warkhanda, Maharashtra

A one hour drive from Uplat heading to Mumbai on the Mumbai-Gujarat highway takes one to the village of Warkhanda. Warkhanda is another Warli tribal village in Talasari. The best way to get to Warkhanda is to hitchhike or hop into a tum-tum. Most villagers prefer to walk till the highway from where they hitchhike.

The village of Warkhanda is built with the church at the centre of the village and the houses surround it. Most of the village people are tribals who have converted to Catholicism. The people of Warkhanda live a very simple life like the rest of the people in that area.  Most of the people work in their rice fields during the monsoon and sustain their livelihood based on that. Date trees are found in plenty in this village so date toddy is a feature of the village. Sap extraction takes place from March to May end.

The village has a couple of shops which are run from the house; they sell cold drinks and a few basic commodities. Warkhanda is situated at a distance from the highway so there are not many industries located nearby due to which the village faces a lot of power cuts with a three-hour alternation every day. The houses in Warkhanda are made of mud and have cow dung flooring but there are a few houses which are built of concrete. The villagers rely heavily on water from wells and bore wells as there is no piped water supply.

Accommodation in the village is basically homestays, here befriending a local and staying with them is a good option. The basic meal of the people comprises of dal, rice, and some vegetables. Date Toddy is served for every occasion and is also consumed by the villagers on a daily basis.  The people speak a dialect of Marathi known as Davar which is only a spoken form of the language and is a very fast Marathi.

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A place one much visits while in the village of Warkhanda is the Kurze Reservoir which is located just on the outskirts of the village. The reservoir is just a 10 minutes’ walk from the village church and can also be reached by a vehicle but the preferred route is by foot. Going on foot is a good option as one can walk through the picturesque paddy fields.

The children from the village come in the evenings to take a dip in the two small canals near the reservoir which has water that is around 8-feet-deep. These two channels supply water to the fields in the village. The reservoir also gives one a splendid view of the sunset and sunrise.

Warkhanda is a village worth visiting for the hardcore backpackers as it is devoid of the luxuries that most people on a holiday look out for.

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