Svanir is a small, family-owned eco-home on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. As Indrani Mukherji, who owns the property along with her husband Soumya, explains it: “After escaping the concrete jungle of Delhi, both of us are trying to create our own little pocket of heaven surrounding ourselves with indigenous trees and greenery.”
Sustainable tourism in India is in its early stages of growth, but by embracing environmentally responsible practices and employing local villagers who too often lack opportunity, Svanir is a shining example of sustainable tourism done right. Though the state of Odisha doesn't receive as much international attention as hotspots such as Mumbai or Goa, it may soon become one of the leading ecotourism destinations in India — with your help!
Read on to learn more!
Svanir Ecostay boasts spacious, air-conditioned rooms with orthophedic mattresses — so make no mistake: you won't be roughing it! Soumya, Indrani, and the Svanir team also offer breakfast, lunch and dinner made from fresh ingredients from the on-site garden and nearby village market. When you're not lounging at the ecostay, you'll be free to explore the surrounding area, which includes an elephant reserve!
The Svanir team reduces wastage through drip irrigation, rain water harvesting and shared shower facilities. They also collect all solid waste and carry it into the city for recycling. Additionally, the owners of Svanir have embarked on a mission to plant 1000 trees and plants on their land in hopes of offsetting the carbon footprint of visitors and travelers across the world.
Svanir shares its address with Dalua Village, home to a community that still suffers from the consequences of India's caste system.
According to Indrani: “Mostly the women here do the back-breaking work, either at a local brick kiln or in the forest. Through tourism, I've been able to employ and train a few village ladies. With more guests arriving, I hope to involve more. We also do mushroom cultivation on a small scale and if we are able to scale up, sharing our knowledge, these ladies will get access to another source of revenue. I am also training the local village ladies in hospitality and two of them are working as chefs.”
Convinced that you need to add Svanir Ecostay to your upcoming travel plans? Click on the link listed above to contact their team directly!