An eco-tour does not mean exploring the best that nature has to offer, for that could harm the environment inadvertently. An eco-tour is a trip to a destination, or an environment, exploring it, and studying it without harming the ecological balance of the place. If you are passionate about learning about new environments, cultures and traditions, and are equally passionate about maintaining the natural equilibrium, here is a list of top 10 eco-tours in India.
1. God’s Own Country, Kerala
Kerala is an eco-friendly hotspot of the country. It is not without reason that it is referred to as “God’s Own Country.” There are treks to be taken through lush plantations, houseboat cruises to be enjoyed through backwaters, and pristine beaches to be explored. All that is done while keeping sustainability and the good of environment in mind.
2. The mysticism of Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Ajanta and Ellora Caves comprise of 29 interlinked caves which date back to 1st century BC. These natural caves are of religious and cultural significance too, as the walls of the caves are adorned with paintings which date back to hundreds of years ago. An eco-tour through the caves lets you take a peek in the intellect of the early man while enjoying the mysticism of nature.
3. Corbett National Park- the wild side
Corbett National Park is one of the oldest national parks of India, named after its founder Jim Corbett. It is also one of the most successful tiger reserves of the country. Only certain parts of the national park are open to tourists for a wildlife safari. That ensures that tourists get to enjoy the diversity of the forest reserve without disturbing the natural habitat of the animals that inhabit the region.
4. Valley of Flowers National Park- an ecological delight
Valley of Flowers National Park isn’t just about its exotic species of flowers. It is also home to rare species of animals such as the snow leopard and the Asiatic Black Bear. You can take a tour of the national park under strict tourist guidelines which are meant to preserve the ecological diversity of the park.
5. Taj Mahal- the epitome of love
Taj Mahal is probably the most recognized of tourist attractions in India. The Taj Mahal itself, together with surrounding monuments and gardens, tell you a lot about the culture and architecture of the times gone by. In order to protect the beauty of these monuments and the cultural significance that they hold, motor vehicles have been barred in the area, making it an eco-friendly spot of the country.
6. Sariska Tiger Reserve- another wild side
Situated in Alwar, Rajasthan, Sariska Tiger Reserve is about 200 km from the capital city of Delhi. Spread across an area of 866 square kilometers, the reserve has deciduous forests and is rich in copper and other mineral resources. Apart from being a tiger reserve, it is also home to other species of wild animals including wild boar, hare, striped hyena, golden jackal etc. A wildlife safari through this eco-reserve of the country makes for a great eco-tour.
7. Dandeli- adventure and more
Dandeli in Karnataka is a well known adventure hotspot of the country. It is also a popular bio-diversity region, thanks to the wildlife sanctuary. While in Dandeli, you can take a wildlife safari, go kayaking, go boat riding under the moonlight or take a trek through the lush greenery of the region.
8. Andaman and Nicobar Island- of turquoise waters and marine life
Andaman and Nicobar Islands may not be a mainstream vacation destination for most, but they definitely form an important part of the ecological diversity of India. The 100 km coastline of the islands has the most diverse marine life in the country. Apart from beautiful coral reefs, the seas of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have several endangered species of sea turtles and more. An eco-tour of Andaman and Nicobar Islands gives you an opportunity to go snorkeling or scuba diving and explore the rich marine life of the region.
9. Keoladeo National Park- bird paradise
Whether you are a keen ornithologist or just like to observe birds as a hobby, you will love this national park. Unlike other national parks of India which offer a wild experience, this one lets you watch birds for hours on end. There are more than 360 different species of birds found in this eco hotspot, which is also home to more than 370 different species of trees and flowers.
10. Elephanta Caves- cultural and historical hotspot
One of the several regions of India which hold historical and cultural significance is Elephanta Caves. These are basalt caves which have Hindu and Buddhist sculptures dating back centuries ago. A new set of guidelines have been formulated to protect this cultural and historical hotspot of the country. You can take a tour of these caves under the guidelines and be rest assured you are not harming the environment in any way.
About author: Divij is an adventurer, a budding photographer and a writer. He has been to various trekking trails and to many offbeat destinations in India. His passion is to explore all the offbeat destinations in India. Currently, he writes articles on travel for www.Thrillophilia.com