“Save Earth”. We have nowhere else to go. Its not my slogan and I dont know whose it is. The stark word of Carl Sagan – an astronomer drills in the need for a clean environment – a clean earth. One excerpt from his – “Pale Blue Dot”. Dont read it, just feel it.
“Look at that dot. That’s home. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. Every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer, every king and peasant, every mother and father, every “supreme leader” in the history of our species lived there – on a spec of dust suspended in sunbeam…….. Our planet is a lonely speck in all this vastness, no help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves……… this is our last stand.”
Frightening? Perhaps. Truth? Absolutely. In Toshali Resorts, long before eco tourism became fashionable and government started to support initiatives we have been travelling the green path. The idea was to be in harmony with the surroundings. Toshali Sands had a great advantage. It was next door to a pristine beach, with 30 acres to spare. The area has been forested since 1989. Some 40 thousand trees and shrubs have been planted. Coconut, betel nut, bottle palm, ashoka, mango, casurina- mostly local fauna. They survive better and gel seamlessly. The idea was to compliment the Balukhanda reserve. The ‘view’ is definitely greener now. Solar energy use is in. It will continue to be a priority and the windy beaches may see a few windmills too- nothing definitive yet, just a thought. From the sea to the hills – Toshali Royal View Resort in Shilon Bagh, Shimla, is nestled on the pine slopes of the Kinnor Hills overlooking the snow clad peaks of the Himalayas. It is just half an hour from Shimla down the Kufri-Chail road. The building has a quaint old world feel. Frankly a gaudy building block on a dense pine slope would be an eye sore so the architects got us a design that blends with the surroundings. Planting trees is a not a special ‘drive’ here it is part of the ‘job’ – the overall attempt to blend in – environmentally, culturally and visually. Deodar, Himalayan fir and spruce are some of the species we have planted.
Toshali Jungle Lodge, Simlipal, is a unique resort. It is situated in one of the original 14 biosphere reserves of India and near a tiger reserve. It offers the visitors a unique ‘wild’ environment. A resort in a biosphere has to adhere to the strict guidelines – no littering, no trash, no activity disturbing the wildlife – just blending in – unobtrusively. We are bystanders watching life in the forest go by. We are lucky to have the privilege of watching ‘nature at work’. Without trying to sound too pompous Toshali is the only quality accomodation in the ‘neighbourhood’. And the quality does not come at the cost to the nature. The idea is – to leave things as you found them when you came.
Eco tourism is not fashionable, it’s a necessity. In Africa the Masais were educated on the need to preserve the big cats – tourism and conservation efforts succeeded. Eco friendly tourism is here to stay. Local inclusiveness is a must and today we would like to renew our pledges of being one with the nature on the World Environment Day, 5th June
We appeal : Plant one sapling a day, lets every day be the World Environment Day to “Save Our Planet”
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