Best Earth Friendly

Gold Winner: The Goat Village, Nag Tibba

The Goat Village at Nag Tibba is one of three developed by the Green People blending Eco-Tourism, Agro-Tourism and Rural-Tourism to bring sustainable economic development by reviving old traditional forms of farming and bridging the gap between urban and rural India through tourism. This development of 10 Garhwali cottages, at the 2000m midpoint on the trek to Nagtibba, has used a thousand-year-old architectural technique called ‘Koti Banal’ to minimise earthquake damage. The buildings are of mud, cow dung, wood and stone, there is no electricity by design they use candles, kerosene and solar lamps. There is no swimming pool by guests can use the mud pool when there is water enough to have created mud. Guests have to trek 2.3km from the 9km off-road jeep drop off point. If you want to get there, you have to walk or use a mule. Showers work on the BYOB principle, BringYour Own Bucket, no more than half a bucket once per day. The Green People are uncompromising is the application of green “earth-friendly” principles, They have an inflexible policy on plastic and litter – if you bring it, you have to carry it out. The Goat Village is an example of a rural development initiative using tourism and not compromising its earth-friendly principles.

Silver Winner: The Sarai, at Toria, near Khajuraho

Thick walls create traditional village style buildings with eight unexpectedly elegant interiors. The rooms are designed to preclude the need for energy-intensive heating and cooling. The walls, constructed of mud and thatch, are two feet thick stabilising the ambient temperature. The windows are positioned for light and to create a cross breeze when open. Much of the grounds comprises grassland and an area of wild tree cover to provide a diverse habitat for birds. The Sarai has set menus to reduce food waste, and guest soaps and shampoos are sourced from a local women’s co-operative. The Sarai provides accommodation for travellers visiting Khajuraho and the Panna Tiger Reserve. This is an example of an earth-friendly accommodation which provides high-quality accommodation for sightseeing travellers in Madhya Pradesh as well as being a destination in itself.

One to Watch: Hearth Hostel

The Hearth Hostel is a backpacker community hostel; guests stay with other travellers in a remote rural area in a place offering a wide range of facilities and activities for travellers seeking a rural setting. Established in June 2018 it is too soon to be awarded.

One to Watch: Banlekhi Resorts

Established only in May 2017 the judges recognised this new stylish ecologically responsible resort built of local materials by local artisans, with adventure and nature activities, as one to watch.