Eco Tourism

The township of Auroville stands as a successful demonstration of long-term afforestation efforts. What was parched, barren land in the late sixties has since been transformed into a green zone with millions of trees. Today, Auroville has several communities and projects focussed on reforestation, water conservation and sustainable living, some of which have training programmes, workshops and volunteering opportunities in place. One of the best known of these is Sadhana Forest India, which works to reforest 70 acres of degraded land with indigenous Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest.

Mohanam’s Auroville Bamboo Centre conducts workshops on sustainable bamboo farming and offers visitors a chance to volunteer at their bamboo farms. Similar programmes on sustainable agriculture are organised by other farming-centred Auroville communities.

There are several non-governmental organisations in Pondicherry working on waste management, coastal erosion and other environmental issues. It is possible to intern at some of these.

Travellers can also visit the Botanical Gardens in Pondicherry and the many nurseries spread across the city. PKKVK, a farm science centre run by the Puducherry government, has a fruit orchard, a herb garden, a flower and ornamental plant nursery, and a paddy field open to visitors with prior permission.