By Tanmay Sharma
In the morning when the sun was finally shining bright, I picked up the daily newspaper, which was nothing unusual; there were stories of politicians, scams, criminal ratios, etc. With a disappointed face, I decided not to study the details, just the overview. Amidst all these, there was one article that grabbed my attention, and that was related to ecotourism.
The following afternoon in my free hours, I did a proper research about ecotourism, and in the meantime, I contacted my cousin, who is a former alumni of Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment. The facts that she discussed were quite new to me. She even told me that there are many towns in India that are made just for ecotourism. With this article, I would like to share with you all such facts that I came across about ecotourism, particularly in India.
What is ecotourism all about?
In simple words, ecotourism means a sustainable form of tourism that allows the tourist to see the most pristine form of Mother Nature. Ecotourism encourages travelers to spend time in the lap of nature. In ecotourism, tourists are indulged more in activities that are less intrusive or destructive toward ecosystem and more sustainable and supportive towards promoting the native culture of the locals.
Why should ecotourism be promoted in India?
Ecotourism as a concept is quite interesting. It not only allows you to get one step closer to nature, but also encourages conservation initiatives. Promoting ecotourism in India will lead to:
- Preservation of wildlife and animal’s natural habitat
- Platform to bring the local tribal community into the limelight and gain some revenue.
- Development of remote areas surrounding.
- Revenue that earned through eco-tourism ventures can improve the long-term economic prospects of India.
- Not only helps in Conservation initiatives but also helps in raising awareness about political and social issues in developing countries.
- Both local and visitors, become more aware of the surrounding environmental wealth.
Ecotourism gains momentum in India
India is one of the most diverse country in the world, and that spells magic. Ecotourism in India is a thriving industry owing to the fact that country has managed to save its resplendent natural beauty.
The country has a biological park, zoological parks, tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, mighty mountains and lush green jungles in its kitty. Being popular for its exclusive nature and tribal population, India is nature’s bounty and the best place to stay in the world (in my humble opinion).
In this context, I would like to state a fact that was quoted by my sister: Thenmala in Kerala was the first ecotourism destination in India. Other than Thenmala, there are multiple ecotourism destinations in to choose from: Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, etc.
Best ecotourism destinations in India
From the dramatic deserts of the Rajasthan to the lush green forest of Cherrapunji, from the mighty Himalayas to the majestic deep blue beaches of the South, India throughout the decade has been a favorite ecotourism destination which hosts the rich flora and fauna. I asked my cousin about all of these ecotourism destinations, and she mentioned around 50 such places in India. So far, I myself have explored 30 ecotourist destinations.
Keeping in mind my experience, I listed few places that may serve as stop-offs for your next vacation. Let’s go for a holiday through some of the best ecotourism destination in India.
Kerala: Munnar, Backwater waterways, Thenmala, Thodupuzha, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar National Park, Kodaikanal
Karnataka: Coorg, Nagarhole, Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur National Park
Goa: Galgibaga Beach
Andhra Pradesh: Tyda, Maredumilli
West Bengal: Sunderbans National Park,
Sikkim: Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
Assam: Kaziranga National Park, Majuli
Nagaland: Jotsoma village
Arunachal Pradesh: Namdhapa National Park
Ladakh: Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve
Madhya Pradesh: Kanha National Park
Ecotourism in India will take you to some of the cleanest villages in Asia, famous wildlife sanctuaries and other famous territories where you have never been before. So, go green and pick a tourism hot spot for your next holiday.
Ecotourism activities in India
India has the makings of one of the best ecotourism destinations in the world. Slowly and gradually, India is developing infrastructure without destroying natural surroundings. Mentioned below are ecotourism delights that every tourist should experience on an eco-tour to India:
- Trekking and cycling
- Nature study and bird watching
- Village homestay
With all these facts, my sister ended our discussion about ecotourism. She also further told me that ecotourism is flourishing at a tremendous pace in India. But right now, the initiative is very fragile and sensitive because, due to human interference, India is losing its natural bounty. The government of India has formed a 13-member community, called Ecotourism Society of India, which focuses on creating awareness about ecotourism and helps in framing guidelines.
For our part, what we in India can do is to promote ecotourism as much as possible. If you ever have an interaction with tourists, tell them how diverse our country is. India has a lot to offer, especially in terms of terms of wildlife, flora and fauna, which is why ecotourism is growing so popular.
My next article will be all about the eco-tourism destinations in India that I have experienced. Stay tuned folks; I will soon get back to you guys with my travel diaries.
Tanmay Sharma is a wildlife enthusiast and a traveler, who is fond of exploring various national parks and adventurous places across the world. His passion and love for wildlife has led him to travel in every nook and corner of India. Besides being a travel lover, he is blessed with flair of writing. He combines both his passion and flair, so as to share the unmatched travelling experiences and expertise with the world.