Ayra Farms — a farm stay situated six hours from Mumbai — is a nature lover’s dream managed by Noopur Chaughule, a culinary professional.

As a child, Noopur’s father, Rajan Chaughule, used to visit this ancestral land frequently. In 2014, he took the initiative to renovate the dilapidated place and construct a farmhouse.

Rajan along with his wife Sadhana turned the farmhouse into their permanent home. The many trees they planted around it made the land unrecognisable from its previous state.

During her visit to her parents in 2020, Noopur was amazed by the significant progress made on the property.

“I watched my baby grow up around nature and watched as it influenced her. I realised I had found my purpose in life — to build a project of my own here and preserve the space,” she says.

In the years that followed, she undertook the project of turning the space into a farmstay called Ayra Farms.

The four-and-a-half acre plot of land that houses Ayra Farms has two cottages, a tent area, a cowshed, and a kitchen garden, which blooms with vegetables.

“Right now, there is the farm stay where four adults can stay for Rs 5,000 a night. We provide homemade meals and the menu is seasonal,” says Noopur.

Among the food specialities here, there is Kerela stew with grilled chicken, bhajleli ratali (roasted sweet potato), grilled fish fillet with a chimichurri sauce, and seafood.

Noopur is also keen on constructing additional eco-friendly homes using locally sourced materials and establishing a community kitchen, a yoga centre, and a workshop.

As Rajan traces back to the journey of how this all unfolded, he says, “I never expected Noopur to take interest in this project. It was a complete surprise especially when she showed consistency in her work here. And not to miss my granddaughter!”

“It feels so good to be able to create something where not only us, but all the generations to come will benefit in one way or the other,” he adds.