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



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  • Description


    We are a small off grid community consisting of our family, a collection of animals and many short and long term visitors. Our hope is that this piece of land, a few acres straddling jungle and meadow, will eventually be home to an eclectic group 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 have a decent sized vegetable garden and lots of fruit tree saplings, and we have just got our first chickens. We like to forage as much wild food as possible, including jackfruit, jungle mango, jamun, greens and herbs and also make our our own bread, jam, chutney, sweets, snacks and so on when we can. Most of our medicines, toiletries (shampoo, tooth powder 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, jackals, wild boar and elephants. There is little or no mobile signal and/or Internet, which is for us quite a blessing. We spend our days outdoors and our evenings around the fire. We also have a large mud pond with a swing where we swim most days.

    Our children are unschooled and share our life exactly as it is. We also often have other children, visitors from the village and further afield. Volunteers who like being with children and are open to their company as they go about their tasks will enjoy it best.

    The nearest town is Sakleshpur, a small coffee-growing hill station in Karnataka, South India. Sakleshpur is easily accessible by train and bus from Bangalore and Mangalore; it's about 4-5 hours from either city. From Goa, go to Karwar (near Gokarna) and take the Yeshwantpur-Karwar Express, a direct train which takes about 12 hours. Or travel to Mangalore and take a bus/train from there. From Hampi, take a bus to Hassan and then change onto a bus for Sakleshpur. From Mumbai or Kerala, you can reach us via Mangalore or Bangalore.
    From Sakleshpur, you can take a bus or an auto to our place. If the jeep happens to be going into town that day then you can get a lift back.
    The nearest shops are about 10km away in Sakleshpur so please buy everything you need before you get here. If you need to go into Sakleshpur during your stay here to buy something or for internet access, there are one or two local buses and/or auto-rickshaws that can be booked in advance

    As there is so little internet access it is easiest to coordinate via phone or whataspp - I will send numbers for both when you first get in touch.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Babysitting and creative play
    General Maintenance
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Farmstay help
    Help with Eco Projects
    Animal Care
    Art Projects

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • 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

    There is plenty of opportunity here for seeing how life in a typical indian village is and we have many friendly neighbours. If you happen to be here during the wedding season or a festival you are welcome to come and participate; hospitality here in India is legendary. 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.

  • 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.

    In addition we have all kinds of ideas for new projects including a chicken coop, bamboo furniture, hot composting etc 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

    English: Fluent
    Hindi: Fluent
    Kannada: Fluent
    Sanskrit: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    We have converted a shipping container into two basic rooms. We have some mud huts and tents. 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.

  • 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

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

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

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Host ref number: 416495665398