“a slice of Bengal country life…”
mon chasha offers a unique experience of an authentic rural stay. just about 150 kms from kolkata, it is tucked away in a little, almost non-descript village, Paushi, in East Midnapore district. surrounded by green all around, it is based on the concept of eco-tourism linked to sustainable development. the location of this beautiful haven is superb, with four tastefully decorated thatched cottages (offering, needless to say, all urban amenities except a t v set) and a river flowing by just behind. the initiative by and sheer grit of a remarkable couple Nilanjan and Debjani have resulted in transforming a slice of the Bengal countryside into a nature lover’s cherished destination. the gastronome has a wide variety of delicious rural fare to choose from… an authentic bengali platter beginning with the bitter and rounded off with the sweet. one can have first-hand knowledge of rural activities such as pottery, making cane articles, clay models, organic cultivation of home-grown vegetables, and a lot more. they have taken great pains to revive certain fast disappearing village craft like “goyna bori”.it is a pleasure to see how they have tried to showcase local artistes in the field of music, literature, painting, etc.the hospitality and warmth of Nilanjan and Debjani are reason enough to go back to mon chasha. something which struck me was a very noble endeavour of funding an orphanage with the income generated from mon chasha …a commendable venture, indeed! the overall ambience with its undisturbed peace and tranquility is balm for our jaded souls…it is, in the words of Tagore, the comfort for the mind and peace for the soul. a short sojourn in this rural home is sure to work wonders for us, hopeless city-dwellers. the pristine charm of mon chasha will beckon one over and over again!
It was really awesome to be there at Monchasha. The place, the environment the people, food, each and everything was so good. It was really a perfect weekend destination. Specially I loved the evening gathering in front of office. Local folk artist was performing with instruments, the deeming light of hariken, the smell of raw soil was thrilling me. I loved that place and I told my friends to please visit the place.
A creative, energetic and a vibrant couple has gifted us a heaven to visit. Near five star comfort , homely hospitality & Bengali Cuisine is very much available and is of highest quality. There is greenery all around and it gives a perfect experience of eco tourism and rural Bengal. There is no bar, disco theque or a pool table!!! But there is an AV room to view old CDs of movie which you can carry and play, you can watch your marriage CD or anything of your choice. Something which is extremely relaxing and refreshing. If you are willing to do fishing that is also available in this scenic beauty. Monchasa has also promoted farming all around and for Kids it is a “WOW”. In late evein you can see local artists entertaining you and if you too have the skills you can also perform.
On the whole it gives us all what we miss in a busy city life.
“Its fresh air around you ….its magic”
Mon Chasha is a place which has touched my heart for a number of reasons. We went with our friends and children way back in March 2012. First and foremost Nilanjanda and Debjanidi make most of the magic. I haven’t seen such pure soul, such a warm hospitality even in the best of hotels. They will go all out of their way to make your stay comfortable and make you feel you are most important to them. Set amidst rural bengal this place makes you feel the clear sky , the small rivulet flowing by the cottage, the fresh air and the pesticide free food. Everything is natural out there and one can enjoy fishing, playing cricket/ football, counting stars, having telebhaja with hot tea or tasting a number of unknown fish varieties of bengal. Food is great and the way they serve makes the difference. For children they had given us a number of toys and also went all the way to inflate a bath tub in the garden so that children can actually enjoy an open air shower. Rooms are huge with clean toilets and at night the weather becomes too cold. We went in hot summer months but at night we had to use quilts and even switched off the fans. Eyeing all details like use of eco friendly articles , making use of bio gas and using all locally available materials make it an absolute model place to care for our mother nature. The host’s care for mother nature, for orphan children around us and to give you back the rural life makes your stay really different from other weekend destinations in and around kolkata. Except the road from Kalinagar everything about this place is beautiful. I would definitely like to go back to Mon Chasha.
“Wonderful short vacation at Mon Chasha”
We visited Monchasha during our Christmas vacation in 2012. Monchasha is located at Paushi village in East Midnapur. We went to Monchasha in our car, a 3 hours trip from Kolkata.
The place was very tranquil and green and a very peaceful place to spend a short vacation. The owners Mr. and Mrs. Basu formed Monchasha a year ago. Their warm hospitality immediately made us feel at home. During our 3 day vacation we saw potters wheel in action, tasted local delicacy goyna bori and got to see quite a few local handicraft products. We saw different types of birds, it was a pure joy to walk around in the foggy mornings. We took many nice pictures of our son in the diffuse morning light.
Our son had a great time playing with different types of toys in the kids’ room. He liked the place so much he even wanted to tow one cottage back to Kolkata! The food was absolutely delicious there, they made vegetarian food specially for me, I being a vegetarian. I got to know from my husband that non-veg food were also very nice. Our son struck a friendship with a dog at Monchasha, and then we found ourselves making trips to Paushi Bazar several times for buying biscuits for the dog. The dog kept walking by our side wagging its tail while we were strolling through the village enjoying the calm countryside view.
Everyone in the resort were so very nice. I picked up some nice recipes from the wonderful cook. We really want to go back to Monchasha again!
I along with my friends went for a weekend trip. Its not very far off from Kolkata. If want to enjoy the natural rural beauty then you got to stay a day here. Fantastic hospitality, good food served in pure bengali style. Huts are build with bamboo logs and each is having attached bath and TV with DTH connectivity. From Howrah one can avail the Digha bound train (Tamralipta Exp or Kandari Exp) to Kanthi and from Kanthi its around 17 Km. If you call their office, they can arrange the transport from Kanthi Rly Station. Overall it was a very nice experience and will certainly visit again with my family.
Desher Baari, for a typical urban Bengali would mean his native village, where his ancestors hail from and where his ancestral home still remains rooted. An ancestral home is where your heart is; because that’s where you would find the ever pampering grandparents, uncles and aunts, the friendly cooks and housekeepers. More often Desher Baari is a child one would go playing for hours and hours (under the ever watchful eyes of the relatives and neighbours) with no one to scold or timekeeping. Freedom was truly freedom…freedom not only from homeworks but also from pollution and the stale urban khaana-peena. Desher Baari is also where one would get closest to nature…the earth, the water and the air in their purest possible avatars.
However, sadly many of the urban Bengalis (like Your Truly), have lost connection with their ancestral root.
But then that’s what Monchasha is …what I call ‘Desher Baari’…where you feel unrestrained, relaxed and rejuvenated. You and your kid could drench yourself in the rains, get dusty in the red soil, swim to your heart’s content in the twin ponds, go fishing and take a boat ride down the ‘Bagda’ river. Or better still…do nothing…absolutely nothing. Just sit by the Bagda and attain your nirvana.
For the Bengali foodie, it could be reliving the traditional Bengal spread that the doting grandmoms used to serve in your ancestral home.
Monchasha is the closest you could get to rural traditional Bengal (without compromising on the basic comforts from western civilization).
For my non-Bengali friends, this is an opportunity to see a Bengal that is beyond Kolkata, Darjeeling and the Dooars. Come and experience the alternate Bengal, where the rural toil hard and live a simple life, but are ready to welcome you with their biggest asset…an unadulterated smile.
My friend and me visited Monchasha on the second week of March 2013 for a one-night stay.
We had taken the train from Howrah to Contai, and I would strongly advise future visitors against this mode of commute. The trains are invariably and unreasonably late in both their up and down trips. Taking a bus of car would be a much better option. In the last lap of the journey by car, expect to encounter bad roads.
The property itself is nice, with a sprawling natural rural landscape, offering unhindered views all around, though there aren’t any particular elements of interest in the views. The architecture proves to be more interesting, with innovative structures and methods of construction inspired by the Indian vernacular idioms. The decoration is somewhat kitschy, but charming. The accommodation is reasonably comfortable, and though their is no air-conditioning, it was pleasant even by early summer. Acoustic privacy is low between adjoining cottages. Running hot water is not available, but on request, they provide buckets of it for bathing. Water closets are of the European type; complimentary toiletries are limited to soaps and tissue roles; ‘Gamchha’ towels are provided, but do not forget to carry a pair of slippers for the rooms/toilet. Mosquito repellents would be essential, depending on the season of visit: mosquitoes proved to be great deterrents for enjoying the evening (thankfully, mosquito nets are provided for the bed).
The food was good: traditional Bengali cuisine (though some of it could do with a little bit of chilies), and is possibly the best thing to look forward to. We opted for vegetarian meals (not a la carte, but the hosts do consult at times), and were pleased with the variety, taste, and quantity of items served. It seemed healthy and hygienic.
There is a nice selection of local handicrafts for sale as mementos.
The hosts and attendants were gracious and welcoming.
Might be recommended for groups of friends or family.
I will just say excellent. Other than the 500 meters of the approach road from Kalinagar everything was just what it should be. The place should be kept as it is. No further expansion. For 2 days its far from the blare of loud speakers of the “ultra modern city of Kolkata”. Just be lazy lazy and lazy. The owner’s plan not to allow budding cricketers to hone their skills there is extremely laudable. Did not expect some sort of a rain shower in the bath. The hot Bong food was great. Overall an excellent experience.
“Mon Chasa… nurturing the soul”
Mon Chasha for me is fresh air, soothing greens, the rejuvenating Bagda river and warm hospitality… Mon Chasa has something for every traveler… for the young urban Bengali it is a chance to reconnect with one’s roots, to get the taste of the slow life we never had while dozing off on the hammocks or taking a boat ride on the Bagda. It is the perfect setting for an adda in the evenings over muri and tele bhaja (puffed rice and fries) with friends.
The foreign traveler can taste a slice of Bengal in this one eco-tourism venture – authentic cuisine, true Bengali hospitality, folk music, rural art forms and pottery.
For seniors, it is the perfect getaway to spend some days amid serenity… spend hours fishing, or just gazing at the Bagda river from the cottage balcony over a cup of fragrant tea… and if it rains….the view’s just amazing.
And for our city-bred kids, it is a chance to break free, run and play all day, chase butterflies, swing on the tyre-swings. After sundown they can play with the wonderful collection of toys in the kid’s toy room, including games like bagatelle.
For the shutter-happy, this is a treasure trove of best shots!
The bamboo cottages are very comfortable in every season, thanks to their design and use of hogla leaves on the roof… the bathrooms are modern and squeaky clean. During my stay here I have often wondered why we spend fortunes on resorts down south when we can have the same experience here in Bengal.
However, the soul of this place are the hosts and their amazing hospitality. Nilanjan and Debjani Basu bring to this place the warmth and class of a home stay. Their eye for detail, love for the environment and aesthetics is evident all around you in Mon Chasa.
“Unwinding with friends and family amidst the purity of Nature”
We went to Monchasa over a hot summer weekend. I was quite skeptical as there was no AC rooms there. We wanted to stay over for a night only. But when we reached there I was taken aback by the surroundings. It was so beautiful – the cottages, the garden, the poultry, the pond. Here is our experience in a snapshot:
Ambience – Breathtakingly beautiful. No pollution. You are completely in the cradle of Mother Nature. Even the fruits and veggies are from their own garden.
Food – I was seriously contemplating poaching the cook! The food was that good. They serve a fixed menu – mostly Bengali cuisine. You can specify whether you want vegetarian or fish or meat or egg. They can also prepare snacks for evening provided you tell them before hand. Breakfast was also ‘desi’. So carry your bread and cornflakes or oats if you are not fond of puri and sabzi or poha for breakfast. And yes take your own liquor.
Hospitality – Nilanjan da and Debjani di are one of the most affable people I have met. They made sure we were very comfortable and had everything we needed to make the trip unforgettable. I wish them all the best.
Monchasa is ‘must visit’ weekend destination. If you have not yet been there, you are really missing something.
We arrived at “Monchasha” with a lazy & relaxing weekend in mind. The natural beauty of rural bengal and it’s ambiance left us awestruck. The mouthwatering and sumptuous food left us yearning for more. We were completely overwhelmed with the simplicity of the place. The village came across as a very clean and picturesque landscape. We definitely look forward to come back again to bask in the natural beauty of “Monchasha”.
“A quiet retreat into rural Bengal”
Our stay in Mon Chasha over a winter weekend had been very memorable. The place is so close to Kolkata, perfect for a weekend getaway…great place to unwind with friends & family…specially if one likes the feel of a nice warm village.
Hospitality had been superb at Mon Chasha, which made it easier for us with a toddler. The food is amazing, typical authentic Bangali ranna– gives u a feel of home away from home. The taste of ‘goyna bori’ still lingers in our taste buds. Having food in ‘kanshar’ bashon was a unique experience… Our generation hardly had a chance to savour this special experience. So it was great!
The wooden cottages were nice & cozy. Though there were its share of mosquitoes, mosquito nets and coils were promptly placed in our rooms from dusk. So it kind of helped.
The surroundings are pleasant, with lots of activity to keep u busy. There was a pond to practice fishing, there was a dhenki, we took a look around the ‘grams’ too in a van rickshaw. Then we tried our hands at pottery, and created some clay forms, which remotely resembled any pot/bowl. But it was fun!
In the evening, we arranged for poter gaan, and the idea was worth. Rarely do we get so close to our various regional roots, so i must thank Monchasha for having such facilities on offer.
The cleanliness of bed sheets, pillow covers and quilts has been the only downside in our experience. But those were quickly changed as soon as we raised it.
The place was quite chilly in December. So please take enough warm clothes if you are traveling there in dec-jan.
But for every kolkatan, it’s a place worth visiting. The cost isn’t too high. So you may go for the Monchasha experience at least once, to start with. We came back with nice memories. Thanks Monchasha!!
Unique Surrounding. Enjoyed Fantastic Hospitality And The Facilities – We Didn’t Expect. Spent Two Wonderful Days – Unforgettable. The Food Was Great – Served With An Exquisite Presentation On Brass Utensils. All The Best For A Wonderful Future Of Mon Chasha. Excellent Service. Must Visit For The Children. Will Surely Recommend To All My Friends & Relatives.
Monchasa has touched my heart. Serene and peaceful this place gives one the feel of a village. Set amidst greenery, ponds ,vegetable patches and mud huts complete with a dhenki your eyes feel soothing and the wind touches the right cord in ur heart. Food is delicious, full on bengali style. I didn’t stay over but enjoyed thoroughly the hospitality of this place. Do go there once but yes the approach road will make u doubt this place but believe me do not get intimidated by it.
A great place to relax, have good food and escape city life. The presence of your host Nilanjan & Debjani looking after you adds to its charm. Do walk around the village and see village life. If you don’t want to drive from Kolkata, you have the option to take a train to Contai Station and then have the resort pick you up. Be sure to get that book that you have been meaning to read for soo..o long – I promise you will be able to finish it here without any distraction.
“One visit is incomplete…will come again and again…”
Go for cleansing your mind from the daily rat race. Experience rural life in authentic village cottages beside the Bagda river amidst lush green surroundings. Pamper yourself with warm hospitality of the hosts. Enjoy sumptuous meals. Get lost in the village market, around the river, within yourself. An experience of your lifetime.