From coconut palm-and-bamboo huts to mid-forest meditation zones, this forest facility curated by Israel-born Aviram Rozin and his family sets no tariff. (Photo by arrangement)
What once used to be acres of barren land in the heart of Puducherry’s Auroville settlement is now a thriving reforestation and water conservation project that offers visitors a chance to experience Nature. From coconut palm-and-bamboo huts to mid-forest meditation zones, this forest facility curated by Israel-born Aviram Rozin and his family sets no tariff. It’s a pay-what-you-wish policy for stay and food.
Aviram, whose child was born at Sadhana, says, "This is a community focused on water conservation and the indigenous reforestation of 70 acres of severely-eroded Auroville land located inland from Morattandi, off the Pondicherry-Tindivanam Road."
Sadhana Forest depends on volunteers from India and all over the world coming to work there around the year. "A thousand volunteers a year are provided free accommodation in huts built of local, natural materials. Solar energy powers the establishment. Other sustainable practices implemented in the community are vegan organic nutrition, recycling and waste minimisation, biodegradable toiletries, composting toilets, a grey water system, and, very importantly, positive and supportive emotional attitudes," Aviram explains. Visitors who wish to stay on can volunteer for the many activities that include feeding the cows which are rehabilitated and sheltered in a happy goshala. The long paths through densely forested space leading to the mud pool, the electricity generation room, the open-plan kitchen and other facilities need tending to; short-term visitors need orientation; the office of Sadhana Forest can use administrative help – volunteers can contribute in all these areas.
It’s true commune living, with a common theatre space that doubles up as a yoga and meditation centre.
Location: Auroville, Puducherry