The Panigram Apprenticeship Experience is a unique travel adventure which gives our guests the opportunity to learn ancient building, farming, and craft techniques while camping out in our semi-finished bungalows beside a river in rural Bangladesh. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to participate in the construction of an eco resort! See first-hand what goes into making a socially responsible resort out of mud! There are a variety of packages available and many family-friendly activities.
Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest Sasha creates a beautiful design in the decorative wall painting class.
Apprenticeship tasks will vary based on the season and what is going on at the construction site, but all tasks will be both educational and fun!
Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guests Paola and Silvia enjoy the scenic vangari village tour.
Activity Choices May Include**:
- Bamboo screen making. Learn how our experts make bamboo “chik” screens and try your hand at weaving it into a panel that we will use in our bungalows. We will even let you sign your handiwork, so when you return after the resort opens, you will know which panels you worked on!
- Roof making. Discover how our wonderful bangla ghor roofs are made from bamboo and golpata thatch. Learn how Panigram is helping to revive ancient architectural techniques that are being lost. (Unfortunately for safety reasons we will not be able to let you climb up on the roofs, but you can assist the craftsmen by collecting thatch and bamboo for them!)
- Mud construction. Mix mud mortar with your hands and help build our mud walls from sun-dried mud bricks that have been specially made for Panigram!
- Mud plastering. Learn how to plaster mud walls in both the ancient and “modern” ways.
- Basket making. Learn the ancient art of basket making from a family of village craftsmen.
- Pottery classes. Visit the pottery village near Panigram and learn how pots are made and fired. Try your hand at making your own pot using both the mold and wheel techniques!
- Pottery classes for children. Visit the pottery village and see a demonstration of how clay toys are made. Children will have the opportunity to make and decorate their own clay animals!
- Decorative wall painting. Walls of the Panigram bungalows are hand-painted; learn how to mix our special paint and try your painting skills on one of our test walls.
- Rice farming. Learn how rice is planted and harvested. Use a “deki” to grind rice into flour.
- Chita pita cooking class. Use rice flour freshly milled in the village to prepare this traditional Bengali pita! (This is a great activity to do after rice farming to see the full lifecycle of your food.)
- Muri moa cooking class. Learn how to make muri moa (the Bangladeshi equivalent of caramel corn balls) from homemade puffed rice and ghur. Yum! (This is a great activity to do after either rice harvesting and/ or date palm juice collecting as both are ingredients in this traditional Bengali treat.)
- English teaching. Work with our professional teachers to teach the villagers English to prepare them to work at Panigram Resort.
- Embroidery class. Learn how to do traditional types of Bengali embroidery.
- Organic farming. Spend some time in our organic farm! Learn how to make compost, learn how we use special plants to keep out pest insects and attract beneficial insects, and either plant or harvest fruits and vegetables, depending on the season.
- Date palm juice collection and ghur making. Learn how to collect the sap called “rosh” from the date palm tree and how to turn it into the tasty sugar/ syrup called “ghur“. Available in the early morning (before 8am) and evening (from 6:30-7:30pm) in the winter.
- Honey collecting. Learn how to collect honey from the natural bee hives in the village; guests will get to take a sample of this pure, all-natural honey home with them! Available in February and March.
- Cow milking. Learn how to milk a cow!
- Vangari village tour. Explore the emerald green fields of our village on a traditional vangari (rickshaw truck). See mustard flowers, pea plants, mango gardens, banana orchards, and much more! This activity is particularly lovely to do just before sunset.
- Cow cart tour. Explore the area around Panigram by cow cart! See how the driver steers the cows by tickling and talking to them.
- Mustard oil collecting. Learn how mustard seeds are harvested and turned into mustard oil using the centuries old technique cow-powered grinding. Take home a sample of the mustard you pressed!
- Day time boat ride. Enjoy the pastoral scenery on a leisurely afternoon boat ride on the river.
- Night time boat ride. See the fireflies and jumping fish by moonlight on this not-to-be-missed evening boat tour!
**Please note that all activities may not be available. If there is a certain activity that you are interested in, please mention it when making your reservation and we will let you know if it will be available during your stay or not. We may add additional activities–like mango picking, jute harvesting, etc.–when they are seasonally available.
In addition to the apprenticeship activities, you will also have time to relax in your hammock, read a book, play karam, borrow our bicycles, and explore the village.
Here is a sample itinerary for the Three Day, Two Night package (please note activities may vary based on the weather and activity availability):
||Optional: visit to nakshi kantha workshop
||Drive to Site* (optional quick stop at some archaeological sites on the way)
||Site tour and introduction to the project
||Hammock break and check into rooms
||Optional: English practice with our village students
||Tea and snack break
||Vangari village tour
||Rosh (date palm juice) collecting and ghur making
||Explore village on foot
||Mud brick workshop
||Evening boat ride
||Cow cart ride
||Picnic LUNCH at villager’s house
||Mustard oil collection
||Tea at the resort
||Leave for the airport
*We can either drive directly to the project site (which takes just under an hour), or we can stop at a nakshi kantha workshop in Jessore and/or some small archaeological sites in Baro Bazaar on the way to the site. The nakshi workshop will add 30-60 minutes to the trip, depending on if guests would like to shop or not, and the archaeological sites should add 20-30 minutes on to the trip.
There are three types of accommodation our guests can stay in:
Explorer – stay in our (almost!) finished prototype bungalow with an indoor toilet and hot shower.
Adventurous – stay in a semi-finished bungalow; it has a roof, fan, and basic indoor bathroom, but the finishings have not been completed yet (closer to how the villagers really live!)
Super Adventurous – spend a night under the stars on our local khatia bed with a mosquito net and shared bathroom facilities. (During inclement weather, the khatias will be brought into one of our unfinished bungalows.)
We have a variety of different packages that you can choose from. All prices are in BDT and are per person assuming double occupancy.
|Child Supplement (Ages 6-17)
- Children 5 and under are free.
- A minimum of two adults is required to make a reservation, otherwise a single supplement will be charged. Single supplements may be waived for singles traveling together if rooms are available.
Included in the package price…
- Return airport transfers
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and tea breaks
- Visit to small archaeological sites (optional)
- Tour of the resort
- Orientation to the project
- All apprenticeship activities
- Village tours and boat rides
To reserve your place now, click here.