Staying at Nirvana Adventure's Native Place in Kamshet- All you need to know!

1. What is native place and why stay there?
When I mentioned Native Place in my facebook updates, few friends mistakenly assumed I am at my native place (place of birth). Native Place is the base camp of Nirvana Adventures, who have been operating paragliding courses since 20 years in Kamshet. All students who take part in Nirvana’s various paragliding courses (which vary around 3-4 days) are required to stay in Native Place during the course days. All class room training will happen here and transportation to actual paragliding site will be done from here. If you’ve signed up for any paragliding course, your course fee includes stay at Native Place.
Note: Stay at native place is not required for those who join for one time tandem flights. Such guests are required to arrive and return same day. No stay is included.

2. Can we bring guests who will not be taking part in paragliding course?
I think this is doable at a fee. Do check with Nirvana/Native place.

3. Where is Native Place located?
Native Place is located 14 kms off Old Mumbai Pune highway, some 75 kms from Pune.

4. How to reach Nirvana's Native Place from Pune/Mumbai?
If you have a vehicle you can reach following google maps. Connectivity is poor but if you load the map before hand you can comfortably reach Native Place. There’re a few direction boards, Nirvana will send detailed step by step directions and any local person in Kamshet area can help. 

5. How is road condition? Is a small car with low ground clearance good enough?
Road condition is ok- repair was going on in many patches. But then road work was going on back in 2015 as well (when I visited for a tandem flight). So not sure when this roadwork will get completed, how long the repair will last and when they will start again. Small car is perfectly fine to reach Native place. If you intend to drive to paragliding site as well, you may find last 500 meters bit harsh on the car. If you have an option bring SUV/better ground clearance vehicle, else it is manageable with regular cars.
6. Is there public transport available to reach Native place?
Yes, but not likely to be convenient/practical. You can easily reach Kamshet town by buses that ply between Mumbai and Pune on old Mumbai Pune Highway. Kamshet is also accessible by Mumbai-Pune suburban train network. From Kamshet you can try for bus- I saw this red bus heading towards Kamshet at about 11 AM and returning from Kamshet at about 3.30 PM. So if you’re really really keen you can reach Kamshet early, ask around about the bus and try reaching Native place in it. (I guess you might have to walk last 2 kms as bus will divert). Alternatively you can try negotiating an auto/taxi at Kamshet town. Once you book your course/ride Nirvana/Native Place will share a list of recommended taxi operators if you wish to hire one. I rented a bike in Pune and rode to Kamshet- I found this the most viable option- detailed experience here
7. How is the food at Native Place?
Good. Breakfast involves poha/bread toast/sandwich or omelette. Lunch and dinner involves chapati, rice or rice item, dal, sabji and a non veg item.

8. Do they serve non-veg and alcohol?
Yes. Usually 1 non-veg item is included in buffet lunch/dinner. Alcohol needs to be purchased

9. Can I go to some restaurants nearby if I don’t like the food at Nirvana Native Place?
There’re no decent restaurants unless you wish to go to Pune. Near to native place there’re petty shops selling discuits, juices etc and a few rudimentary restaurants in and on the way to Kamshet. But if you can trust my word, you’ll be better off with food offered by Native Place.

10. How are the rooms at Nirvana's Native Place?
I stayed in room- which looked like this. Fairly spacious with basic facilities- fan, charging points, basic bathroom and toilet facilities etc. There is no locker facility though. There are also larger private rooms ideal for couples/families, which cost a bit extra. Nirvana can also arrange stay in tents.
11. Do rooms have AC?
Dorms do not have AC, private rooms have. In March I didn’t feel the need for AC- there was good tree cover and fan was enough. Don’t know about May.

12. How is internet connectivity? Can I plan some work?
Internet connectivity was not available in the rooms. Was accessible in terrace and few select locations like balcony. Speed was decent enough for normal usage on phone, but not consistent enough. You can have some connectivity, check your mails, update FB etc but don’t count 100% on it for critical applications like conference calls/heavy duty work related activities. I tethered phone and coonected to laptop- the speed was very poor for normal usage.

13. What are the places to visit nearby? Will I have free time to explore around?

  • Lohgad fort  (30 kms)
  • Karla caves (25 kms)
  • Bhaja Caves (26 kms 
  • Lonavala and Kandala (30 kms)
  • There're few dams and temples within 5-10 kms radius 
  • Uksan and Pal caves (less than 1 km but couldn't visit)
Free time depends on day's schedule, which is again dependent on wind and weather forcast. On some days you may have outdoor practical sessions both in morning and evening, but on most days it will be either morning or evening. In such cases you will have a classroom session in the other half, before or after which you might be able to go out for 3-4 hours.

You can also plan to visit above on first or last day- on your way to Native place or while returning.

14. How is daily life in Native place while doing paragliding course with Nirvana?
Will cover in a separate post.

15. Can I do day trip to paragliding site from Pune/Mumbai instead of staying at Native place?
No. that won’t be practical. Paragliding site may vary depending on wind information and there’ll be classroom sessions everyday. So staying somewhere else will create significant logistics problems and is very unlikely to be entertained by Nirvana.

16. Is there a luxury resort nearby if I don’t like Native place
This scenario shouldn’t arise. I am reasonably sure you will like Native Place. Check my detailed review here. The dorms are neat and clean, there’re private rooms available and the campus located in great area with lake on one side. I did see few boards calling themselves as ‘Resorts’ in the area, but they were not at all looking like resorts from outside. You can try your luck, but again, staying elsewhere will make logistics complicated and may not be recommended. I can assure you Native place will not disappoint you.

17.What if I need something urgent? Are there shops/supermarkets nearby?
Only petty shops exist in the region. You will get biscuit, chips, some juice, cigarette, eggs and such basic stuff, also bread and tea in some places. For anything else, nearest option is Kamshet town, 14 kms from Native Place. Some of the paragliding sites are on the other side of Kamshet town, hence the while going there you will cross Kamshet town and you may be able to buy something, but again, this is not guaranteed- best to take whatever you need for the duration of your course with you.

18. What else to keep in mind while going to Native Place to attend Nirvana's paragliding courses?
Do carry anything and everything you may need for 3-4 days. Carry glucose/electrolytes/energy drinks as it can give you some additional energy during outdoor activities which can be reasonably tiring.

19. Is Native place for paragliding students only?
No. They can organize team building activities, small get-togethers and other events. Do check with them. http://www.nativeplace.com/ is the official website.

Let me know if you have any other questions about Native Place. Will try to answer.

Also check- Elementary Paragliding Course from Nirvana- FAQs * 

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