When you think of adventures in India, what do you dream of?
You might first think of high peaked paradises with breathtaking summit views and pristine mountain air. Similarly you might be thinking about soft adventures to villages off the beaten track with trekking routes all to yourself. Otherwise you may well be thinking of wildlife adventure, trying to catch glimpses of wild elephants or tigers.
But let me ask you, are you thinking of Wayanad in Kerala?
The Wayanad region is awe-inspiringly beautiful. Rich in tropical forests, it is a hidden gem secluded in the Western Ghats, so diverse in nature and wildlife that it will cast a spell on you.
But of course, all well and good being a perfect picture postcard adventurers heaven, but what about its ethical credentials? For those of you seeking a true much better adventure, my friends, we have a winner!
The Bamboo Village
In the heart of Wayanad is an inspirational partnership of a responsible tourism NGO meets sustainable community initiative. I present you with, The Bamboo Village!
The Bamboo Village, set in the tranquil countryside village of Thrikkaipetta, is a truly incredible project and one that I hope inspires you to seek a genuine ethical adventure like this one.
The Bamboo Village concept was set up by a not-for-profit group called Uravu. They were desperately seeking opportunities to generate additional income for local farmers. The problem facing agricultural communities in this area included a declining value in crops, resulting in financial tensions and very sadly, suicides. The need to bring in extra money was crucial for livelihoods and the community to survive.
Passionate about their land, culture and community, the villagers came together to develop a bamboo cooperative. Here they grow bamboo, using it as a material for a host of crafts and building. You can visit their array of craft and food produce shops, and a thriving bamboo factory employing many local people. Not only is the manufacturing element a fantastic source of income, job creation has empowered many locals and the plantations are doing wonders for the environment too.
As this concept has gone from strength to strength, it became evident that there was a real opportunity to develop tourism. Tourists seeking a taste of Indian community spirit and the chance to purchase products benefitting the lives of locals would be drawn by the unique project and tranquil setting. As a result, Uravu partnered with local sustainable tourism campaigning organisation, Kabani.
The Perfect Sustainable Tourism Model
Kabani has helped the project diversify to a thriving ethical homestay community. Tourists from far and wide can come to the village, learn more about the fantastic bamboo initiative as a model for sustainable communities and have a rewarding, authentic holiday.
The homestays are a fantastic opportunity to live with a local family, learn about culture and get a taste of the real India. What is more, 50% of the income from homestays is reinvested into a community fund for local development and training, and to improve the responsible tourism infrastructure.
Thrikkaipettas Bamboo Village is the perfect location for your next adventure. Whether you want to get the adrenalin pumping or just get back to nature. Wake up in the jungle, surrounded by inviting hills, with rich plantations where you can feast on fruits youve never even heard of. Close by you can climb peaks in excess of 2,000 metres, trek through jungles to gurgling waterfalls and be bewildered by wildlife that will knock your socks off.Have we sold this dream to you yet? We look forward to seeing you in paradise!
For more information about the inspirational ethical homestays and community projects in Wayanad, please visit www.kabani.org.