The rising urbanization has caused an increase in demand for the Eco Tourism industry. India’s diverse geography offers huge opportunities for eco-tourists across the world. Eco-tourism can be summed up as a nature based, ecologically sustainable tourist program where the local people as well as the tourists are benefited. There are varied ways to rejuvenate and enjoy Mother Nature across the length and breadth of India.
Have a look at the top ten eco-tourist spots in the country.
The beauty of the Himalayas, a treasured cultural heritage combined with the variety of activities like trekking, white-water rafting, makes this one of the most sought after destinations in India. The country’s only cold desert boasts of diverse flora and fauna. The Nubra valley, in particular, is home to many bushes of yellow and pink wild roses and wild lavender spread across various seasons.
The geographical proximity to Tibet brushes off on Ladakh through its food, music and religion. Low level of atmospheric oxygen takes a little to get used to it. Nonetheless, it is one of the top ten destinations for its picturesque routes and beautiful culture. Witnessing the magic of a glorious sunset and sunrise on the foothills of the Himalayas is indeed a treat.
The misty hills, the blinding fog and the green forests make this quaint town in Karnataka, the ‘Scotland of India’. Coorg is known for its coffee and tea plantation and the orange groves. This place is known internationally for its rich and diverse flora and fauna. Situated in the Western Ghats, Coorg is a popular destination for most eco tourists, looking for an escape from the urban jungle. The Nagarhole National Park is the most famous sanctuary and Coorg is also known for the beautiful Iruppu and Abbey Falls.
Coorg is mostly known as a relaxation spot and Madikere, in particular is a hill station in Coorg known for its scenic beauty and tranquil environment. Originally an English settlement, the coffee estates provide scenic surroundings for the travelers.
The first planned eco-tourism destination in India, this village is located in the forests of the foothills of the Western Ghats, the most famous mountain range in South India. The Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary promises a wide variety of thriving flora and fauna.Tourists can either take on road vehicles or navigate through the sanctuary on a boat.
Thenmala has been given the status of a culture zone dedicated to the culture and heritage of Kerala and is the perfect place to experience the quintessential customs of Kerala. The Culture Zone holds various events and activities in connection with the eco tourism in the village. The restaurants, hotels and amphitheatres are perfect platform for the rich heritage of Kerala, to be showcased in front of the tourists.
The once independent kingdom, thriving in the cozy north-eastern corner of the country is one of the most sought after eco-destinations in the country. Sikkim has a thriving eco-tourism industry, all thanks to its mystical aura and legendary mountains. There are a lot of treks and adventure sporting options to its visitors.
A haven to unique fauna found only in the state and nowhere else in the country, Sikkim is home to the revered musk deer and the exotic snow leopard. Khangchendzonga National Park is beautiful biosphere reserve housing various animals found in the state. The state is also known for white-water rafting. The mystical aura of beautiful state is due to its rich cultural heritage and ancient history. Sikkim is one of the biggest eco-tourism successes in India.
Rann of Kutch
Situated in the western tip of Gujarat, the Rann is surrounded by the Thar Desert on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. The hill at the border of Kutch is 1515 feet high. The area is a seasonal terrain as during the dry season it ends up turning into dry and arid salty isolated mud islands. The monsoon turns this place into vast areas of grasslands. The desert is unique as it is covered entirely by salt and has no sand on it.
The landscape, interesting history, the rich cultural heritage and the vibrant colors, capture one’s heart instantly. During monsoons, the Kutch becomes an island detached from the Kathiawar peninsula. Most tourists treasure the tranquility of the desert in such close quarters.
Andaman and Nicobar island
Andaman and Nicobar islands have been discovered as the most beautiful tourist destination, offering a plethora of opportunities to the nature lovers. The deep waters of Bay of Bengal are a home to the very rich marine life. The tropical rain forests in the islands are home to a thriving flora and fauna.
Adventure camps like scuba diving, island camping, trekking, make these islands the perfect place for tranquility and fun. The roads are well maintained making this one of the most connected eco tourist destinations. The fresh air, clean environment and the beautiful beaches beckon those wishing to escape the loud cities. Each island is covered by dense jungles, surrounded by coconut trees. The forests cover more than 84% of the land, making it the home for one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.
Sundarban is the world’s largest natural delta. The wildlife sanctuary, the bird sanctuary and crocodile projects are the biggest attractions. Home to the national animal of India, the Royal Bengal Tiger and the elephant safari through Sundarban sanctuary, promises to be a trip of the lifetime. The tidal rivers, water channels and mangrove trees exude a feeling of adventure combined with an innate freshness.
The delicious food and the natural drink welcome visitors from all over the world. Sundarban is eco-tourism at its best. The biosphere gives the travelers a chance to breathe easy and is the nature’s school for eco-tourists. While the tiger is the biggest treasure in the trip across the sanctuary, you can also spot deer, the estuarine crocodiles and many such exotic animals that make the trip worthwhile.
Lahaul and Spiti
These two valleys in Himachal Pradesh are one of the most tranquil spots in the state, and one of the best places to go for a vacation. The valleys greet tourists with the beautiful green meadows and even mountains filled with snow during the summer. Rated the most beautiful alpine territory in the Indian sub-continent, the trek around and across the valley is quite an experience.
Spiti is actually barren mountain desert while Lahaul is a glacier spot and known for some of the most dramatic glaciers like Bara Shigri and Chota Shigri. The trek is made memorable by the difficult terrains, the friendly people and mountains.
Far in the north-east corner of the country, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most intriguing destinations for eco-tourists because of the mysticism attached to the state’s natural beauty. Our own ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ has many offers for eco-tourists. From snow capped mountains to free flowing streams and rivers to tribals with their rich cultural heritage and interesting customs. Most of the villages still house tribals following their historical traditions and it is this lifestyle that provides certain mysticism to the world of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Namdapha tiger project in Changlang district and Sela lake near Bomdila with its bamboo bridges across rivers. With over 500 rare species of Orchids, the dense forests of Arunachal Pradesh are a perfect vacation spot. The state is known for its misty hills, pristine rivers and waterfalls.
The “God’s own country” promises to dazzle you with its rich and diverse natural habitats. One of the world’s richest biodiversity thrives in its famous backwaters along the 600 km of coastline. Picturesque beaches, dense tropical forests with a large number of wildlife sanctuaries, attract nature lovers all over the world. Kerala also offers some of the most beautiful hill stations in South India like Munnar and Nelliyampathy, famous for its tea, coffee and cardamom plantations.
The National Parks like the Nilgiri Mountain Range and Rajamala National Park are home to several animal species and thousands of plant species. Elephants are an integral part of the Kerala tradition and the national parks are the shelter for the famous Indian Elephants and bison’s. A vacation in Kerala can range from a wildlife safari in the dense tropical forests to a tranquil stay in one of the houseboats cruising through the backwaters.