Spanning India are some of the most splendid and flamboyant destinations that have attracted the attention of sustainable travellers.
Sustainable travelling goes beyond the actions we take to reach and be at a destination. The place that we travel to also determines significantly the level of the carbon footprint we leave behind for the generations to come.
When trying to enlist the destinations you can visit to leave a light footprint, certain criteria are taken into consideration such as if the place has a governing body to manage sustainability, a commitment by the habitants and the governing body towards protecting the natural resources, it’s people and heritage; reduced energy consumption and many others.
With all that said, here is a list of the eco-friendly places that you can escape to every so often:
Kanchenjunga National Park, Sikkim
Khangchendzonga National Park, which got its status on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2016, is home to stupefying biodiversity, ranging from rare orchids to the endangered red panda. It gives us a glimpse into how humans and nature can dwell harmoniously side by side.
Khangchendzonga National Park covers almost 30% of the total land of Sikkim in northeast India. It houses exceptionally high and rugged Khangchendzonga Massif and other peaks surrounded by old-growth forests, spectacular glaciers, lakes, rivers, valleys, caves, and plains that make it an exceptional panoramic landscape to behold. A trek across Mt. Khangchendzonga is an experience you can not miss.
Awarded the title of the cleanest Village in Asia by Discover India, Mawlynnong is a place marked by alluring fruit orchards, galloping streams, swaying palms, and the well-preserved traditions of the Khasis.
The entire process here is imbibed to ensure cleanliness and harmony with nature. The streets are lined with bamboo dustbins, with every house having a functional toilet and, unlike in most parts of India, there’s hardly any litter to be found.
To add to this are the guest houses crafted out of bamboo. Composting and nourishing tree plantations are also common practices in the village. The Living Roots Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see structure, is at the neighbouring Riwai Village, which is a short hike from Mawlynnong. The Khasi tribes of Meghalaya have intertwined the roots of Ficus Elastica tree to curate the signature natural bridge.- the Nohwet Living Root Bridge.
Lambasingi, Andhra Pradesh
Kashmir of Andhra Pradesh, Yes you heard that right. Lambasingi is located at an elevation of 1025 metres, Lambasingi is a quaint hamlet in Andhra Pradesh and one of the must-see hill stations near Visakhapatnam. Surrounded by hills and dense forests, this is a fabulous hideaway for rejuvenation and owing to its chilly weather and cold breeze, November to January is the best month to visit this holiday destination.
Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh
Popularly known as Ooty of AP, Araku Valley is a comparatively unexplored hill station mostly visited by locals as a weekend getaway and is situated some 120 kilometres away from Visakhapatnam. If you're a tourist looking for exclusivity and tranquillity, the Vistadome train leaves Visakhapatnam at 6.50 AM, making way through 58 tunnels and passing over 84 bridges making way through the breathtaking landscape to reach Araku in approximately 5 hours.
This destination is quite famous for its exquisite coffee, whose subtle aroma will have you craving for a cuppa. In addition to being a beautiful vista point, you can also try your hand at a number of adventure sports here, which include trekking and swimming as well. If a holiday to the hills is your call but you think you've seen it all, maybe you should wait till you visit this one.
Khonoma Village, Nagaland
Soak up the views of Nagaland’s Khonoma for long lasting memories , famously known as the ‘first green village of Asia’, where hunting is banned and the warrior tribe of Angami is committed to protecting nature.
The village is situated near the Indo-Myanmar border, in the Indian state of Nagaland which is 20km away from Kohima.
It is a beautiful quaint little place which is a perfect getaway from the maddening crowd.
The village has a tourist centre, from where one can take a guide to show you around. You'll get to live your life as a local. The clear night sky view and the other visual treats add a great kick to the whole package. Once you start living as a Naga, you'll start enjoying life in a different way.
Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
India’s First Heritage Village , Located in the scenic Kangra Valley, the Heritage Village of Pragpur will take you on a ride back in time with its unique architecture, cobbled stone streets and intriguing history.
Prag means “pollen” in Sanskrit and pur means “full of”, so Prag-pur means “full of pollen”, which rightly describes the area when it is ablaze with blossoms in spring.
Tiny Pragpur, home to just a thousand-odd people, is now famous for being the only place in India where an entire village has been deemed a Heritage Village. The Sood mansions, temples and serais. Kangra’s sloping roofs of shining blue-black slate sit atop the local mud-and-lime walls with Rajasthani-haveli-like fretwork windows and the odd British architectural whimsy are the defining attractions.