Most of us must have come across the term Ecotourism at some point of time during our days while travelling. However, most people have a very brief idea of what exactly it is and how important it is to understand and what it actually means and entails.
In simple terms, it is a form of tourism with an ecological conscience, which involves visiting fragile, peaceful and relatively untouched natural areas with an intention to support the conservation of these places. It is about observing the various kinds of flora and fauna in their natural habitats, which would actually reduce the impact of the ecological imbalance. Ecotourism is often implemented on a small scale and forms as a great alternative to the mainstream commercial tourism.
Large-scale development has triggered an invasion of the green areas, which makes the survival of other species difficult, and this change directly harms the food cycle along with the habitats, which leads into a vulnerable existence in the ecosystem.
Ecotourism isn't about staying in luxury resorts, dumping wastes in the streets and lakes, feeding wild animals, travelling in AC cars, destruction of habitats, which in turn disturbs the entire balance of the ecosystem, etc. We are talking about responsible tourism which asks you to trek, cycle, stay with the local tribes and experience the real jungle and learn how to conserve this.
It is a brilliant way to experience the charm of an unadulterated natural bounty of the country and reduce the gap between the rural and urban India. So, take a look at some of the ecotourism places in India.
This is the first planned ecotourism destination in the country. Thenmala offers you a combination of organised activities in the evergreen forests of the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and makes sure that every visitor has a memorable vacation here with activities such as trekking, rock climbing, jungle camping and much more.
One can find a dedicated adventure zone, butterfly sanctuary, deer rehabilitation centre and a children's park area. Thenmala offers a one-of-a-kind holiday experience to those who love nature with its unique concept cleverly executed.
Bisle Rainforests, Western Ghats
The Western ghats is one of the major biodiversity hot-spots in the country. The Bisle rainforest is home to numerous snakes, birds and mammals. The dense forest area is covered with fog along with cool breeze, which is added on further by rains.
Leeches are one amongst the creatures which you would come across and one should be prepared to have a face-to-face encounter with Wild elephants, Leopards and Wild dogs here.
Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve, Ladakh
Located at an altitude of 14,836 ft above sea level, the reserve showcases the best of Ladakh's beauty and its bounty.
The place is thriving with an ecosystem which hosts many endemic species of birds and animals, in which many fall under the endangered category, making this place a unique habitat.
The reserve is fed by the melted snow and natural springs and is surrounded by the majestic mountains. The Tsomoriri lake and its surroundings are untouched by the human settlements and it is a place to be visited for its beautiful scenic vistas.
Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka
Located amidst the beautiful landscapes of Coorg, the national park is blessed with an unmatchable scenic beauty and is rich in wildlife, which makes it an ideal place for the wildlife enthusiasts.
It is a place which is less crowded, but has plenty to offer. Nagarhole is one such place which is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, etc., and it forms an excellent combination of dense forests along with open river banks.
PC: Dhruvaraj S
Sundarban National Park, West Bengal
Well known as the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Sundarbans is a swampy delta which can be found at the meeting point of Brahmaputra and Ganga rivers.
The place also hosts a beautiful tangle of mangrove forests along with a number of jungle islands, which is home to large number of exotic animals and migratory birds that make it a very unique biosphere reserve.
PC: Kingshuk Mondal
The village is an excellent example to showcase the relationship between humans and threatened birds like the Spot Billed Pelican and the Painted Storks.
The villagers allow the birds to build their nests atop trees and even on the roofs of their houses and treat them as a member of their own families.
The residents here utilize the bird droppings as an organic manure for their crops and one would come across many stories which narrate the sustainable living conditions here.
PC: Niranj Vaidyanathan
Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Great Himalayan National Park is a place which showcases some of the most outstanding natural resources and is also home to some rare species. The scenic park allows visitors to hike through its landscape, which is filled with the tall Deodar and Oak trees.
If you are lucky enough, you could have an encounter with the majestic snow leopard, musk deer, Nilgai and many more such beautiful creatures.
PC: Tambako The Jaguar
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
The largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayas is Namdapha and is well known as a wildlife sanctuary that is considered as home to a large variety of wildlife.
The place is kind of remote and is considered to be inaccessible by many of them. Namdapha is one such destination which would offer an immense satisfaction for the nature and wildlife lover.
Mawlynnong Village, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong is a beautiful village which is known for its natural beauty. Located in the East Khasi Hills, the place is covered by widespread greens and breathtaking views. The village was awarded as the cleanest village in Asia in the year 2003. The major attraction here is the living root bridge and a boulder which balances itself on a rock.
PC: Sai Avinash
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
A World Heritage Site, the Kaziranga National Park is home to a large number of tigers and also to the endangered species of the one-horned Rhino.
The national park has a beautiful success story to narrate when it comes to conservation. It is one of the many protected places in the country, which is closely guarded, and one can witness nature at its best here.
PC: Subharnab Majumdar
Silent Valley National Park, Kerala
Nestled in the folds of the Nilgiri ranges in the Western Ghats, the Silent Valley National Park is an expanse of green, which is rich in varieties of flora and fauna.
Here, visitors get to travel through the myriad forests that range from moist deciduous to evergreen ones. One can trek through the forest patches and reach the banks of the river Kunthi and witness its beautiful water flow.