Creating an off-grid jungle living community in Sakleshpur, India


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  • Description


    We are a British-Indian couple with a four year old and three dogs. Venetia and Uppu (and the dogs of course) right now live on the farm, while Gautam commutes there on the weekend from Bangalore. Our hope is that this piece of land, a few acres straddling jungle and meadow, will eventually be home to an eclectic community of residents and volunteers where we and others can live and learn.

    We have spent the last two years focusing on the basic infrastructure necessities using alternative building techniques - earthbags, mud blocks, compost loos, shipping containers. We now want to open the place up as a blank canvas for all kinds of projects from the artistic to the horticultural, from creating a jungle gym to setting up log bee hives, to make it more beautiful, more comfortable and more fun. Ideas and enthusiastic volunteers most welcome.

    We are now more or less self sufficient for vegetables and will soon have banana and papaya. We like to forage as much wild food as possible, and also make our own bread, jam, chutney, sweets, savoury snacks and so on. We hope to start growing some grains and pulses later this year. Almost all of our toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste etc) and cleaning products are also home-made.

    We are fairly remote. There is no other house in sight and we are a good kilometre from the village. We get plenty of visitors from the jungle, including snakes, foxes, wild boar and elephants. There is no internet and very little mobile signal, which is for us a massive blessing. We spend our days outdoors and our evenings by the campfire under the stars. We also now have a huge pond with a swing (for the brave) where we swim as much as we can.

    Very important:
    Please call / text message me (ask me for contact) to coordinate and confirm your travel plans, apart from sending a workaway mail. The farm has very limited access to internet (which, for most times seems to a blessing).

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help with Eco project
    Art project

  • Help


    There is always plenty to do on a day-to-day basis and we invite all volunteers to pitch in with cooking, gardening, general maintenance etc if they would like to. There are several urgent tasks we want to focus on: rainwater harvesting, increasing our food self-sufficiency,

    In addition we have all kinds of ideas for new projects including a rocket mass heater, grain fields, bamboo furniture, sourdough bread (baked in our wood-fired pizza oven) which we would like help with. We really welcome new ideas that our volunteers bring too and have implemented several things, including a banana circle, which volunteers suggested.

    We prefer that volunteers work on things they are interested in and enjoy, and are totally open to people working in the way they prefer and when they prefer. Often we find volunteers like to take on a project (sometimes their own idea) from design to execution and then work on it at their own pace. All we ask is that everyone participate and contribute to community life.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Hindi, Kannada, Sanskrit

  • Accommodation


    We have converted two shipping container into three basic rooms. We also have compost loos, bathrooms with hot water and a fully equipped off-grid open kitchen with a wood-fired bread and pizza oven and a bicycle blender.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in the Western Ghats, an incredibly rich and biodiverse area and one of great beauty. There are walks galore among the coffee plantations and paddy fields and also proper expedition treks in the thick jungle of the Ghats. Sakleshpur is also one of the off roading hubs of India.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    There is plenty of opportunity here for seeing how life in a typical indian village is and we have many friendly neighbours. We are learning new things every day, from the people around us and from the place itself - lots of trial and lots of errors too... Experimenters and explorers welcome.

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My Photo Album

the mud pond in summer
hauling some ripe jackfruit home
crossing a bridge in the paddy fields
mixing mud for the wood-fired bread oven
painting the guest rooms
the outdoor communal kitchen
the round house built of earthbags
the round house with swings and hammocks for relaxing in the heat of the day
the path through the coffee plantation
flowers among the coffee bushes
the bicycle blender/juicycle for juices, smoothies and chutney

Host ref number: 416495665398