Wilderness project and off-grid farm in the hills near the town of Madikeri, South India




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 Min stay requested: at least 1 month

  • Description


    We are an off-grid organic farm and private Buddhist retreat located in the South western Mountain range of Coorg district in South India. It is located at the edge of a forest with natural spring and pristine environment. A large part of the property is a wilderness project hosting seasonal wildlife from elephant, boar, small animals like civet cats, rabbits, reptiles and numerous birds.

    We are a Indo-Japenese couple who have chosen to be closer to nature and enjoy the benefits of co-habitation in a wilderness environment. Ours is a simple life with enough time to appreciate what nature provides. We are comfortable with people of all ages. Our family consists of two Indian Mudhol hounds -Sufi & Koi and a black cat Kurosan.

    The result of a passion for nature and wildlife, the past 11 years has been spent converting most of the property from a coffee plantation into a private wilderness sanctuary. The forest has expanded from a small footprint of 1 hectre a decade ago to about 4 hectres today and continues to expand into the farm. The rice fields have become marsh land and a water ecosystem.

    Volunteers are required seasonally to help with the maintenance of the coffee plants, the organic vegetable plots and forest paths. Volunteers are also required to document the trees and traditional medicinal herbal plants that are emerging in the spreading forest cover.

    Before you make a commitment do consider a few things below that would make the interaction mutually comfortable & rewarding.

    Please do check for schedule of work listed in the profile, it may change depending on the work for the season. The farm work requires hard physical effort so please take this into consideration. Working clothes will be provided. Do check for local weather conditions during the duration of stay.

    Farm animals: Goats, chickens & ducks.

    Our food is locally grown or from other local markets. We refrain from industrialised food so variety is limited to seasonal locally available produce only.

    We do not discriminate between vegan, vegetarian or natural eaters and try our best to provide a balance. Volunteers are expected to respect the preferences of others and coexist in harmony.

    Food and accommodation is free: Cuisine is south Indian. Breakfast is millet porridge with available fruit. Black tea / black coffee is provided twice a day. Lunches are vegetables and lentils. Eggs/ Meat is usually once a week.

    If you have dietary allergies, please discuss it in advance. Food is generic and common to all so special cooking for individual preferences is not possible. Volunteers are expected to help clean up or assist in kitchen chores. Volunteers are not allowed to cook or use the kitchen for their own purpose.

    The place is completely off grid and by intent completely isolated to ensure quiet harmony with nature. Interaction with nearby farms and humans is kept to the bare minimum to keep human footprint to minimum. The place gets no visitors and volunteers are expected not to invite friends.

    The forest is an integral part of the property and volunteers are expected to respect the right to life of all living things that coexist here. Because of the focus on encouraging wildlife to co-exist, there is no loud noise or loud music. Smoking of any kind is prohibited. If you are a smoker then this would be a good place to kick the habit! Alcohol is prohibited.

    Phone/Internet: International volunteers are advised to get a local mobile sim at the airport itself. Jio & airtel are two telecom operators that have good data access in all parts of the country. If required a hotspot can be provided each day for an hour.

    Medicines: In case you are on any specific medications we suggest you stock up for them but do not bring generic medicines as they are all available here.

    Vaccinations: Taking into account the Covid 19 pandemic please check with the government regulations on health requirements. we will keep you updated on any local regulations at time of travel.

    Solo female traveller: Be assured that travelling in South India is quite safe even for solo female travellers, BUT common sense and awareness is a must for all travellers, solo or otherwise.
    Language: English is widely understood in South India. Kannada is the local language.

    What to bring:
    A pair of house flip flops
    A good rechargeable torch or headlight
    A happy attitude

    How to reach here:
    Direct buses are available from the Bangalore international airport and from other bus terminus in Bangalore city. Check schedule on ksrtc.in or redbus.in. It takes about 7 hrs to reach Madikeri town from Bangalore international airport. A pick up will be organised from Madikeri town.

    There are buses every hour from Mysore city or from Mangalore city; both take about 3 hrs to reach. There is also a direct daily bus from Goa to Madikeri.

    Thank you for the patience in reading this far; hope it induces you to join us.


  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    -Volunteers can participate in a farmer's way of life, learn & experience natural farming methods.
    -Get involved with an off-grid life and learn how we have managed for almost a decade being self reliant with power & water.
    - Participate in the wilderness project and discover if there is a forester inside you.
    - Learn foraging and help in documenting the natural herbs.
    - Escape from the crowded towns of India, it is perfect for those who seek solitude, peace and complete isolation from humans and reconnect with nature.

  • Help


    These are the things that we need help on.

    1. Clearing the forest paths & clearing bush from the stream.
    2. Fence repair .
    3. Dog care & grooming.
    4. Making Water channels.
    5. House maintenance.
    6. Landscaping & garden.
    7. Weeding & pruning (requires using weed cutters and chain saw)
    8. Coffee & pepper plantation maintenance
    9. Goat, ducks and chicken care

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    Volunteers will share our home & be part of the family. Accommodation is shared room with basic comforts. If there are more than two volunteers then it will be a dorm accommodation.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Volunteers can go onward to learn yoga at Mysore town which is 2 1/2 hours away. The Buddhist monasteries and golden temple of Bylakuppe where his Holiness, the Dalai Lama comes to teach is about 30 km from town. There are buses every hour, a shared day trip could be arranged for volunteers staying beyond 2 weeks. There is a direct bus to Gokarna & Goa. Please note that due to the covid 19 pandemic many tourist sights may be shutdown or have restricted access.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 247352421128