Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Travel ECOnomically – It’s No Big Deal
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Be Economylogical, its No Big Deal!
Most popular hill-stations gloat about their past glory – and the past alone, but for no fault of their own.
Its all the non-degradable trash that travellers have left behind for centuries, the cutting down of trees that have left the hills barren unless covered with concrete. And the surge of the crowd on mall road.
For a hill-station skeptic like me, Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh was a refreshing surprise – clean green and concrete free and this town is by no means low on old-world charm.
Red post boxes with Victoria crosses, freshly painted and still functional, green public taps on the roadside planted by the British, old-fashioned lamp-posts that line the winding roads.
It’s funny and sad that the empty stretches on the road and no signs of trash almost left me in shock…
This army cantonment town is not subtle in its ways – there are boards a plenty informing you about eco-awareness - some threatening you with fines that you’ll pay for breaking the rules.
A walk around town helped me build my appetite.
doesn’t sound too bad.
The sweet shop
strains a hot
dripping with sugar syrup – wait the best part is yet to come – it is then sandwiched between two buns for those with a sweet tooth in Kasuali.
How does it taste? I’d rather leave that to your imagination!
The next day I rattled my way to Jagjit Nagar – a Rs 7 bus ride to see a 25-million-year-old rock fossil of a palm tree that I’d read about before leaving Delhi.
There it lay on the roadside. Untouched, undisturbed, probably because it looks like nothing to begin with.
If there was even a single board declaring what it is, tourists would have declared their love on it by now, piece by piece taken it home as souvenirs.
Your choice of stay is of great importance if you set out for an eco-friendly holiday… Uniformed staff, Unlimited hot and cold water and always-on lights certainly don’t help the cause.
So here’s what I found. A homestay run by Mr and Mrs Rampal.
“We supply limited solar heated running water to our guests, and if you run out of the tap water, come out and manually pump it from the rain harvesting pump”.
I figure that if not the awareness of water-shortage, the effort of filling the buckets and carrying them back to the bathroom will keep people from wasting water.
Meanwhile, Mrs Rampal warmly shows me around my parquet-floored room and fully functional kitchen, with
-ration to make the guests feel at home.
Just Rs 700 a day.
Money management means waste management at the Rampal homestay. Without compromising their ethos - this is still very much a business- where even mulch means money.
“First they pay me to collect their garbage and then when my worms convert them into manure they pay me again to buy it,” Says Mr Rampal proudly while showing off his vermiculture set up just above the rain harvesting tank, which, stores 50,000 litres of water if you please."
A savvy scavenger, hot
meals and cool breeze through the pines – now don’t tell me you would expect more than that to be packed in 3 days and 3 nights in just Rs 3000!
This was my ECO-nomical trip to Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.
Courtesy: The Statesman
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