The rising concerns about our environs, climate change and community-centric issues have been pivotal to the spurt in sustainable travel across India. Eco-friendly destinations and programmes are very much the trends and service providers in the industry have been quick to pick up the vibe emerging from all levels of society. From organic food to eco-centric activities, from e-vehicles to local-friendly interactions, India is very much in sync with this global movement.
Pastoral Interlude in Kerala
Kerala’s backwaters are an abiding narrative of delights for visitors, but this one has a bit of twist to it. Your host this time has a farm that fosters a better tomorrow, nestled on a tiny island in the backwaters by Vembanad Lake in the legendary Kumarakom region, the family-run Philipkutty Farm throws up many surprises for visitors.
Delve into an up-close and very personal experience of an at-home in Kerala with a caring and deeply knowledgeable family about this unique ecosystem. The canoe ride takes you deeper into the network of waterways than a houseboat, which is bigger, would, so there is much joy to be had in your explorations here. Birding enthusiasts will be particularly thrilled by the awesome avifauna attracted to these waters. Back on the farm help cook a traditional Syrian Christian lunch with organic produce and then dress up in the attire worn at home by locals and enjoy the general camaraderie over a delicious meal. The walk along the ridges by the canals will lead you on to farms that grow several crops.
Off-beat Jaipur jaunt
Take a day out of your perambulations in Jaipur and head out to its outskirts to the tranquil vistas of Ikaki Bagh for a lovely back-to-nature, back-to-basic experience in the heart of village India Rajasthan-style. This wonderful immersive rural farm experience is sure to leave you with many memorable moments. Abandon yourself to all things country as you explore the wonders of organic farming and the improvements implemented in running this working farm. The rationale behind its operations is to inspire small and marginal farmers to adopt organic farm practices, sustainability initiatives and environment conservation. The idea is to chase and promote the concept of minimalistic living – to paring things down to the essentials to glean the benefits of good, clean, organic lifestyles. Ikaki Bagh encourages visitors to even volunteering in the organic farm practices, experience the local village life by interacting with school students and imbibing the natural ways of energy conservation, community empowerment and promoting local products.
When you plan your next visit to India, keep in mind there are many exciting sustainable ways to enjoy all kinds of interesting experiences in its rural spaces and its urban landscape. There’s so much going on now in this arena you’ll find drawing up new plans is half the fun.