Updated May 25th, 2024 at 12:12 IST

How To Be A Sustainable Traveller? Must Visit These Eco-Friendly Places In India

Eco-tourism stands as the imperative solution to preserve the local ethos and culture while providing sustainable development alternatives for the locals.

Sikkim | Image:Sikkim I Pinterest
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As the Earth is facing environmental degradation and climate change, we need to make lifestyle changes even while travelling. Sustainable travel is especially important in India, a land of incredible diversity and natural beauty. Sustainable traveling isn't just about reducing our carbon footprint, but also about immersing ourselves in the local environment and preserving its innate qualities. As we enter the vacation month, let's explore some eco-friendly destinations in India that are a must-visit.

Why to adopt eco-tourism in India?

India, as a developing nation, exhibits significant diversity and development disparities. The surge in tourism has exerted immense pressure on the local economy, culture, and environment. Numerous hidden gems in India that were once off the beaten path have transformed into popular tourist destinations due to the widespread dissemination of information via travel bloggers and social media.

However, this surge in popularity has resulted in detrimental impacts on the local environment, culture, and economy. Eco-tourism stands as the imperative solution to preserve the local ethos and culture while providing sustainable development alternatives for the locals, thus ensuring the preservation of these pristine places.

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(A representative image | Image: Unsplash)

How to be an Eco-friendly traveller

Be respectful of the local culture of the place.

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Don’t litter the area, especially plastic.

Prefer homestays over hotels.

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Don’t disturb nature or the trails.

Try local activities and culture.

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Prefer local consumption of foods and other necessities to support the local economy.

Eco-friendly places to visit in India

Sundarbans, West Bengal

The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage Site inscribed in 1987. The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

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Sikkim

Sikkim is the first state in India to be declared an 'Organic State'. Located in the North East region of India, Sikkim is increasingly becoming a popular tourist destination. With its pristine hills, pleasant weather throughout most of the year, and rich cultural diversity, Sikkim has captured the attention of discerning travellers worldwide. Sikkim is a key destination for ecotourism in India. Recently, the Khangchendzonga National Park was recognized as one of the Natural Heritage Sites in the world by UNESCO for its incredible biodiversity.

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(A representative image | Image: Unsplash)

Kerala

Kerala is blessed with immense biodiversity due to its location between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. This makes it one of the most attractive eco-friendly destinations in India. Thenmala, located in Kerala, is India's first eco-tourism destination. It has 10 eco-tourism spots that cover the hill ranges of Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, and Kollam districts. Thenmala was chosen by the World Tourism Organization as the foremost eco-tourism project in the world.

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Assam

Assam, located in North East India, is a prime eco-tourism destination. Kaziranga National Park is home to a significant population of Royal Bengal Tigers, as well as over 200 species of fauna. Some of the most eco-diverse places in Assam include Kaziranga, Majuli, Manas, Orang, Nameri, Kamakhya, Tezpur, Nambor, and Namdhapa.

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Published May 25th, 2024 at 12:12 IST