With an increase in my burstiness and perplexity, today's Caspian's Chronicles are about eco-tourism in India. Becoming an eco-tourist means preserving the beauty of mother nature whilst embracing cultural diversity. It involves mindful travelling without leaving footprints, both literally and metaphorically! And there is no better place to embark on this journey than India, with her well preserved and sanctified natural treasures. You seek adventure with responsibility? You look no further!
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, home to diverse species of flora and fauna, offer a serene escape from urban hustle. These islands are known for pleasantly warm climates, pristine beaches and marine ecosystems. As an eco-tourist, you’ll be spoiled for experiences. From exploring the giant Robber Crab habitat to watching Bioluminescent Plankton shimmer at night. Oh, did I mention, I once lost my hat to a mischievous macaque there, but hey, it was worth it!
Renowned as one of the world's "hottest biodiversity hotspots", the Western Ghats stretch along the western coast of India. These Ghats house a variety of wildlife in expansive sanctuaries: Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Silent Valley National Park, and many more. However, the real joy is in taking a guided trek through the mountain trails, meeting with verdant tea plantations and the orchestra of bird songs that guide the way. Pro tip: never forget your binoculars when you're here!
Nestled in the Bengal delta, the Sunderbans are a unique maze of tidal waterways, mudflats, and mangrove forests. Home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, they shoulder a significant role in the ecosystem. Visiting Sunderbans is a treat for any eco-tourist, my own experience was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Glide through the calm waters in a steam engine ferry, capturing delightful vistas of the mangroves soaking in the golden hues of sunset. Remember: traveling here requires a responsible and respectful approach towards the ecosystem.
Located on the outskirts of the desert city Jaisalmer, the Khuri Sand Dunes offers a unique eco-tourism experience. Once, on my solo trip, I camped here under a million-star ceiling, felt the music of the desert, and understand the harsh yet harmonious lifestyle of the local tribes. Be mindful of your actions as the desert ecosystem is fragile, and its survival is paramount for diversity.
The Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh is an eco-tourist's paradise. Its freezing winters, barren landscapes pepped with emerald lakes, and occasional pop of wildflowers create a surreal panorama. Try to stay in eco-friendly homestays run by locals— I lived in one, and trust me, the hospitality warms the coldest nights. A journey here is a chance to learn about the region's indigenous culture and the balance people maintain with nature.
These serene backwaters of Kerala make a fantastic sunny escape for eco-tourists. The intensive network of lagoons, lakes, and canals just begs for you to take a peaceful and eco-friendly canoe ride. One can also visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which welcomes migratory birds every year. During my last visit, I spotted Siberian cranes— it was a majestic sight to behold!
The Northeastern part of India is a treasure trove of ecological riches. Mawlynnong, known as the 'cleanest village in Asia,' astounds with its organic waste management system. It beautifully exemplifies harmony between humans and nature. The awe-inspiring 'Living Root Bridges' here—a "living" example of man and nature in perfect synchrony— are generated from the root systems of ancient rubber trees. As an eco-tourist and fellow earthling, this is a gentle reminder of preserving natural harmony.
Be it coastlines, desert, dense forests, or mountains, eco-tourism in India offers an array of experiences. But remember, as eco-tourists, our responsibility lies in preserving this diversity, ensuring that the footprints we leave behind are only those of admiration and respect for mother nature.