World Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 to promote environmental awareness and protect the Earth’s natural resources. It is an opportunity to educate people about the importance of protecting the environment and inspire them to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet. As we celebrate Earth Day in 2023, we need to recognize the impact of tourism on the health of our planet. Travel can contribute significantly to carbon emissions and other environmental issues, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop exploring our beautiful world. In this context, eco-friendly travel has become a growing trend, and many destinations in India offer sustainable and responsible tourism experiences. By choosing these destinations, you can explore the beauty of India while minimizing your impact on the environment. (Also read: World Earth Day 2023: How being a plant parent can improve your relationship )
Eco-Friendly Travel Destinations in India:
Bharat Seth and Simran, co-founders of OneLatitude, share with HT Lifestyle, some of the best eco-friendly travel destinations in India that you must visit.
1. Cheecham, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Perched at around 14,500 feet, Chicham is one of the highest villages in Spiti. With a population of around 400 local residents, this village located in the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary is the place to meet the elusive ghost cat. Its popularity is increasing among photographers who flock here to catch a glimpse of the snow leopard. Accommodation options in this area are usually homestays, where you have the opportunity to experience the life of the locals and stay in mud houses, built in local styles.
2. Turtuk, Ladakh
Most travelers visiting Ladakh will have Nubra as part of their travel plans. About 80 km from Nubra, is Turtuk, a relatively little-known settlement, which came to Indian territory in late 1971! Located on the left bank of the Shyok River, the village is a green oasis in the otherwise barren high altitude desert! Visitors can drive from Nubra for a day trip, or spend the night in one of the guest houses!
3. Tadoba, Maharashtra
The largest tiger reserve in Maharashtra, Tadoba is known for tiger sightings and diverse flora and fauna. The park offers several eco-friendly accommodation options promoting sustainable tourism. Visitors can indulge in eco-friendly activities like morning and evening safaris, bird-watching and jungle trekking. The park also offers opportunities to interact with the local tribal community and learn about their culture and traditions. The administration’s vision is to increase tiger habitat and promote sustainability to protect the livelihoods of villagers in the region.
4. Munsiyari, Uttarakhand
A paradise for trekkers and nature lovers, Munsiyari is a quaint community located in Pithoragarh district where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Panchachuli peaks throughout the year! Munsiari is a base for exploring the surrounding valleys and a base for treks to Nanda Devi Peak. Travelers can enjoy staying at an eco-camp, camping outside or staying at a local homestay.
5. Oroville, Tamil Nadu
Auroville, located in Tamil Nadu, South India, is the perfect destination for eco-friendly lovers who want to explore sustainable living while promoting sustainable tourism. Auroville is an experimental community that promotes sustainable living practices including the use of renewable energy, waste management, and organic farming. Visitors can participate in eco-friendly activities such as volunteering in community projects, attending workshops on sustainable living, and exploring the community’s sustainable infrastructure.
6. Mawylynnong, Meghalaya
Located in Northeast India, Meghalaya is known for its natural beauty, waterfalls and living root bridges. The state offers many eco-friendly accommodations that promote sustainable tourism. Visitors can explore the Nokrek National Park, known for its biodiversity, trek across the area’s living root bridges or visit Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlinong, located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya.
7. Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
Located on the edge of the Great Himalayan National Park, Tirthan Valley can be accessed by tourists throughout the year. There are many treks in the national park that one can choose from. The valley is also known for brown and rainbow trout, and anglers from all over the world come here to partake in the sport of fishing! The Tirthan River is one of the few rivers in Himachal Pradesh that is free from hydroelectric projects, making it a sanctuary for nature lovers. Travelers can enjoy adventure activities, picnic by beautiful waterfalls, and try local cuisine. One of the highlights is visiting the 1500-year-old Chehani Kothi, which has been restored over time by the locals!
8. Kaziranga, Assam
Kaziranga National Park, Assam, is located in the northeastern Indian state of Assam and is known for its tea plantations, national parks and biodiversity. The state promotes ecotourism by providing more eco-friendly accommodations and promoting sustainable tourism practices. Visitors can hire a jeep safari to get up close and personal with the one-horned rhinos. The area has many eco-friendly properties and interested persons can contact a naturalist to know more about the flora and fauna of the area.
9. Kabini, Karnataka
Kabini, in Karnataka, is one of the most accessible national parks in Karnataka. A short 5-hour drive from Bangalore, visitors can spend a weekend at Kabini. The beautiful Bison Resort, on the banks of the Kabini River, is one of our favorite places to stay! Many lodges also offer night walks, and activities where a naturalist will walk you through the forest telling you more about the native plants and animals!
Finally, India offers a wide range of eco-friendly travel destinations that cater to the needs of eco-conscious travelers who want to explore the region’s natural beauty while promoting sustainable tourism practices.