Where Nestled safely between the charming and quaint hill stations of Panchgani and Mahablaeshwar in the district of Satara, lies the peaceful village of Bhilar. Previously known for its cultivation of delicious and bright red strawberries, the erstwhile sleepy village is now home to multitudes of tourists who love to engross themselves in books while munching on the delicious strawberries. In an initiative to promote the "culture of reading" among people, the Maharashtra government has transformed Bhilar into a 'village of books', packing it with more than 10,000 books.What Makes It Special The concept of 'Pustakanche Gaon', as it is called in Marathi, is inspired by a little Welsch town called Hay-on-Wye located in Wales. Hay-on-Wye is famous for being one of the largest book centers. Bhilar follows the suit and has become India's first 'village of books' where over 25 artistically decorated locations in the vicinity of the village have been transformed into hot spots for readers. Local properties, including homes of people have been converted into libraries by stocking them with thousands of books. The government also provided chairs, tables, shelves and beanbags for the comfort of the readers. Homemade food, including bhajiyas, kanda poha, vadas and refreshing drinks, is an added advantage of spending time at a home-library in Bhilar.