5 Sustainable Holidays To Take In India

From a green trail in Ladakh with local women to picking vernacular architecture skills, these getaways tick all the right eco boxes
Greening your holiday is good for the planet        Photo credit Maxpixel
Greening your holiday is good for the planet Photo credit Maxpixel

Hang Out A Forest Farm

A mere 100 km from Mumbai, this regenerated, natural &lsquoforest-farm&rsquo &ndash more forest than farm &ndash with its pristine, unpolluted environment, is ideal to pick up lessons in biodiversity and sustainable living.&nbspTucked at the edge of a remote village, Vanvadi lies in the foothills of the Sahyadri range in the Western Ghat mountains. A three-hour drive from Mumbai, it is a sprawling 65-acre land with over 90 per cent tree cover, a small organic farm, and waterbodies. But what makes it special is the story behind it &ndash a lesson in forest regeneration, rainwater harvesting, and offering a home to over 120 traditionally useful plant species, including 52 varieties of forest food.&nbspVanvadi offers a range of participatory programmes and workshops. One of their popular events is the forest walks with experienced Adivasi elders to learn about traditionally useful plant species and forest foods.

Green Your Life

Want to enjoy a stay in a natural setting and use your holiday to learn a thing or two Then explore the options offered by Tieedi. Learn about sustainable living, pick up tips about natural farming, or do a course in permaculture. Tieedi is an environment conservation organisation located in Sonada neighbourhood of Darjeeling, West Bengal. According to the organisation, their work revolves around experiential environment education, regenerative tourism, natural farming, decentralised waste management solutions and sustainable land and building design consultation. From dwellings built on cantilevers to give you a house among the clouds feel to a house in the herb garden to a basic backpacker hostel, all the buildings are based on principles of eco-friendly living.

Conservation Trips In The Himalayas

Tucked inside the high mountains of Himachal Pradesh, Spiti is known for its natural and spiritual attractions. However, unplanned tourism can harm its fragile environment. Therefore, if you have Spiti on your travel bucket list, then do plan for an eco-friendly holiday. Ecosphere&nbspconducts trips into Spiti alley which merge conservation and sustainable development. Their carbon positive trips create additional livelihoods and revenues for the local communities.

An Art Workshop In The Hills

The mesmerising hills of Kalimpong are home to the School for Natural History Art, run by award-winning botanical illustrator Hemlata Pradhan. You can gift workshops and classes on botanical, and other forms of art, against picturesque views of the hills and valleys. It&rsquos a colourful voyage about nature, and into nature. For more information, email hemlata.pradhan@gmail.com.

Learn About Tribal Folklore

If you are looking to know more about forest foods, foraging, and adivasi food systems and culture, sign up for an annual kokum harvesting festival organised by BuDa Folklore. An organisation dedicated to conserving the rich biodiversity and folk tales of the indigenous people of Uttar Kannada, BuDa&rsquos harvest festival constitutes a movable feast, which sees many people from different cities flock to their Angadibail Forest House, located in the evergreen woods about 30 kilometres away from Gokarna. 

More about it here.

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