Three stunning eco-friendly resorts in south India for your next vacation

Dreaming of a relaxing vacation by the beach in Goa? See yourself soaking in the sun as you make your way through sleepy backwaters in Kerala, or just need a quick break from the city? Here is a curated list of stunning, eco-friendly properties in South India that put nature first.

1. Yogamagic, Goa

The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, and Vogue Italy have all gone gaga over this eco-chic yoga retreat, tucked away in a coconut grove on the edge of a Goan village. And with good reason. Yogamagic offers beautiful tented accommodation traditionally built using mud, bamboo, stone, coconut leaves. Floors are made of coconut coir fibre; lights and hot showers are solar powered; greywater is reused; all furniture has been built by villagers. But the true marvel is their use of compostable toilets that need no water to flush. A completely eco-friendly solution, all waste is recycled using effective microorganisms (EM) in a hygienic manner.

Yogamagic also lets out suites, reminiscent of Rajasthani havelis, built using local laterite stone. Clay tiled roofs and wooden doors and windows reclaimed from crumbling mansions in India give it a unique touch. All food served at this property is organic, vegan, raw or vegetarian, and plastic use is discouraged. All these practices come together to nourish the body and soul of visitors who immerse themselves in yoga classes and Ayurvedic treatments, administered by mindful teachers. Phil Dane and his partner Juliet Leary run Yogamagic, who are big proponents of new, alternative technologies that intersect with green ways of living and being. And over the past few years, they have managed to create a green oasis that soothes travellers from the world over.

Yogamagic Goa - eco-friendly south india resort

2. Our Native Village, Bangalore

Those seeking a respite from the stress of living in Bangalore city can head out 90 km or so and discover a simpler world and slower time. Our Native Village in Hesaraghatta calls itself ‘100% eco-friendly’ and the idea seems to have caught on with families and professionals from IT firms, who visit the property for all-day activities and stay on their 12-acre property.

Completely self-sufficient, Our Native Village generates its electricity using solar power, windmills, and biogas. They harvest rainwater, and compost all their waste to feed their farm. There is also a natural swimming pool, which is not treated by any chemicals but by aquatic plants, naturally. The rooms are built using sun-baked clay bricks, with mud excavated from the construction site. This helps keep the rooms cool without the use of air conditioners. Visitors can choose to relax at their spa, stocked with organic soaps and ayurvedic oils prepared specially using herbs grown on site, or indulge in idyllic activities like riding a bullock cart, milking a cow, making pottery, or walking along nature trails.

Our Native Village, Bangalore - eco-friendly south india resort

3. Dune Elephant Valley, Eco Farm near Kodaikanal

Travellers can find their happy space amidst 100 acres of green in the hills close to Kodaikanal, at the the Dune Elephant Valley. This ‘eco-farm’ offers 20 eco-friendly bungalows to discerning travellers who care about the planet. Their cottages overlook the Gangavaar river and coffee plantation, and have been built using locally sourced granite and reclaimed wood and pillars from houses in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Cottages are equipped with low-consumption bulbs that run on solar energy.

But the pride of place at Elephant Valley is occupied by their 7-acre vegetable garden and 100-acre plantation and orchard. Sustainable and bio-intensive, the garden follows a crop management cycle in tune with nature, which makes it more resistant to pest outbreaks. Their gardens are organic – certified by IMO Suisse. The resort owners are aware that they are lucky enough to be in one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots around the world and cultivate a rich variety of vegetables all year round. Every acre of the natural forest is home to over 100 unique plant species. All this hard work yields delicious produce and hearty, wholesome meals for their guests. Visitors can enjoy specially prepared Ayurvedic, low-carb, gluten-free meals on request, and sip on a cup of the finest freshly roasted, gourmet Arabic coffee while overlooking the valley.

Dune Elephant Valley, Kodaikanal - eco-friendly south india resort

Keep visiting our blog where we showcase environmentally responsible practices and businesses from around the world. And make an eco-friendly choice while building your next property or renovating your resort, by choosing Palmex as a roofing solution.

Preeti Prakash | Journalist

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