Other sustainable / alternative places to stay in India
- Agra: Friends Paying Guest House: Located 10 minutes walking distance from the Taj Mahal, this guesthouse is run by a very friendly family. Its homely feeling just reminded us of a European youth hostel. Their restaurant serves beautiful, homely food.
- Delhi: Bed & Chai: Run by a French woman, this is a cozy and modern accommodation located in one of the most affluent areas of Delhi, to enjoy the best chai (Indian tea) of the city. This guesthouse also endeavours to be involved with the cause of environment preservation and social responsibility.
- Kasar Devi (Almora): Baba Cake: The best cafe for yummy cakes, quiches, and more in this gorgeous, peaceful mountainous setting. Its Indo-European owners also have a guestroom in their house.
- Orchha: Friends of Orchha: This home stay gives you a chance to delve deep into India to experience life in an ordinary Indian family, away from the beaten tracks of commercial tourism. They also welcome students and volunteers who wish to study various aspects of Indian society or to contribute to sustainable development.
- Rajasthan: Home Stay in a farm, in a small village located 45 minutes away from Agra (Uttar Pradesh) and 45 minutes away from Bharatpur (Rajasthan) – this venture was started by another Indo-French couple. They offer volunteering options (WWOOFERS welcome!) and organise tours for up to 8 people for an authentic Indian experience off the touristic tracks.
- Varanasi: Saraswati Education Center: This homestay was founded in 2004 in a charming old Banarasi house, whose owner Somit also runs an education project for unprivileged and slums children. Guests are welcome to volunteer in one of his free schools during their stay in Varanasi (one school is run on the ground floor behind the reception and another in a slum further away in the city), and part of their room charge is dedicated to the project.
Ashish Cafe is an excellent restaurant with great Indian food (their thali is great!) as well as all sorts of yummy Western food, including home-made brown bread. The owners are good friends of ours. Located on the banks of the Ganges on Assi Ghat, they are also a great and safe place to stay for foreigners. They have lovely, comfortable rooms on the top of their family house, with a terrace and Ganga view.
Associations / non-lucrative companies
- Centre Prana (France) – Indian healthcare & yoga for all in Vienne.
- Devidine Association (France, Italy) – education of children, protection of women, economic and sustainable actions since 2004, in an indigenous village about 10 km away from Khajuraho.
- Ganpati Norway – to improve the living conditions of poor people in and around Khajuraho. The assistance provided should be sustainable and respectful of people’s right to govern their own lives.
- INTACH Belgium (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) – restoring the Lost Gardens of Khajuraho to turn them into training centers for sustainable, organic agriculture.
- The Rural Changemakers of Janwaar – a learning adventure around a skatepark. It’s a social experiment which has transformed the village of Janwaar (near Panna) into a wealthier and more prosperous place.
- Taaro ke Bacche (Switzerland & India) – a school for children with autistim & Down’s syndrome in Varanasi, India – Vio acts as Responsible for Media Communication for this association.
- Sangeet4All (New-Delhi, India) – the first Indian music curriculum for young learners by world-famous musician couple Saskia (Indian cello) and Shubhendra (sitar) Rao.