Last week ended with a site visit to Nasrapur, Karjat. This is the fourth design in the same general location after the [RaBV], [BAli] and [LGEs] bungalows so I’m extremely familiar with the area and climate. Part of this particular one-acre plot is prone to flooding during the monsoon, and the only portion that is safely outside the flood zone (even considering the massive downpour of 26th July 2005) is on a mound near the road. On this rise stands the ruin of an old shed which I had seen earlier but was unable to explore properly because, until recently, it was overgrown with Mucuna pruriens — locally known as khaj khujri. This climbing shrub causes extreme itching on contact with young foliage or seed pods and I wasn’t about to take my chances.
Unlike other plots in this cooperative society, this particular site doesn’t have too many mango trees — mostly due to the flooding aspect. We intend to plant native trees such as Millettia pinnata or karanj which thrive in such conditions.
I am really looking forward to starting the design. Conceptually, I’m looking at a string of structures — some of them without walls — forming a sort of “C” shape around a water body. The river, unfortunately, is too far away and not visible from the mound. The mountains of Matheran and the Garbat plateau, though, give a splendid view to the West.