In a warming planet, travel is always a moral dilemma for an environmentally conscious traveler. While the decision to travel especially long distances will always be debatable, we at India Someday want to help you travel in the most sustainable way possible.So

We present you with detailed travel suggestions and routes that are extremely sustainable with a low carbon footprint and give you ideas on how you can off-print the CO2 footprint of your flights to India.

Have a conversation with us, we would love to help you plan the most sustainable India Holiday, we promise without any greenwashing.

Five sustainable travel ideas for India

Sustainable travel in India is actually much easier than you think. At a per capita level, India has one of the lowest Carbon footprints in the world, so travel like most locals travel.

Pick the right time to travel to India

If you pick the right time to visit India, you can travel across the country staying in non-air-conditioned rooms and traveling by non-air-conditioned trains.

In general you would never require heating in India, unless you are visiting the Himalayas during the winter. Having said that, North India, like Delhi and Rajasthan, can get down to 5-8 degrees celsius in the winter.

We would recommend traveling to India between Mid November to end February, the weather is fine in both North and South India. You could do all your travel, stay and train w/o ever using air conditioning.

Travel across India by train and local buses

India boasts of one the largest rail networks in the world. Unlike certain western countries, the Indian railway network is primarily built to transport people, not goods.

You can criss-cross the length and breadth of the country using trains. There are trains that take you from the southern tip of India to Kashmir, the northernmost state of India, a journey over 4 days.

There are different classes in each train, and if you choose a non air conditioned class you would be using one of the most sustainable modes of transport possible. Well apart from traveling by foot 🙂

We would love to help you plan a detailed travel route using only trains when possible across your trip in India.

Travel by local buses when trains are not possible

There are certain routes in India which are not connected by trains, especially the mountains. However, they are always connected by local buses.

Using a combination of trains, local buses, some advance planning and a little patience you can travel across India without ever using a plane or taxi.

Stay at home stays/B&Bs and farmstays

India offers wonderful homestays and B&Bs across the country. They are small so offer warmth and interactions with the family but most importantly they are run like an Indian Household.

Most Indian households are sustainable, limited use of air conditioning, wise use of water, food is prepared in small quantities, excess packaging when possible is avoided.

Your environment footprint will be significantly smaller if you avoid staying at hotels and opt to stay at Homestays/B&Bs and Farmstays.

At India Someday, we love family run places and can plan your trip by having you stay at sustainable accommodations all through your holiday.

Avoid meat completely when in India

It is common knowledge that a low meat, or a vegetarian diet is the most sustainable diet for our planet. India is paradise if you wish to avoid eating meat but still enjoy a wide array of eating options.

You will never be hungry in India or bored when ordering food even if you decide to be strictly vegetarian. From Breakfast, Lunch, dinner and an evening snack you will find non-meat eating options everywhere.

Four sustainable travel routes across India

We can plan multiple travel routes across India avoiding using flights and private taxis completely. Given a choice we would always recommend using train travel as much as possible, it offers more comfort, a great cultural experience and is very economical.

We illustrate three travel routes that can be planned using mainly trains and the occasional bus journey, in addition we would have to stay at sustainable accommodations across your trip.

Delhi – Varanasi – Agra – Ranthambore – Jaipur – Pushkar – Jodhpur – Udaipur – Delhi

If you are looking at exploring the highlights of North India, this travel route will hit all the gems. From Varanasi, the cradle of Hinduism to Agra, home to the Taj Mahal. You would explore the highlights of Rajasthan and also visit the National Park of Ranthambore where you can spot the Bengal Tiger

This route, with the exception of Jodhpur to Udaipur where you would need to take a local bus (or a taxi as that allows you to stop and visit the Kumbhalgarh Fort and the marvelous Ranakpur Temple), can be completely traveled only using trains.
You will have take atleast two overnight train journeys i.e. from Varanasi to Agra and Udaipur to New Delhi. Do not fear overnight trains, they are comfortable and a wonderful experience.

Delhi – Rishikesh – Amritsar – Jaipur – Agra – Delhi

If you are starting your trip in New Delhi but wish to visit more spiritual places and explore the foothills of the Himalayas we recommend the above route.

Rishikesh is by the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of gorgeous Ganges. It is considered as the Yoga capital of the world, it is both a spiritual and adventurous destination. They have daily hindu rituals on the river and offer hikes, white water rafting and more.

Amritsar is home of the Golden Temple, the most sacred temple for the Sikh community.

The entire route can be stitched together using only trains. Certain connections, for example Amritsar to Jaipur, do not have a daily rain connection so it has to be planned with a little flexibility.

Mumbai – Goa – Hampi – Mysore – Bangalore

Starting your trip in Mumbai, fancy some time on the balmy beaches of Goa and wish to mix it up with ancient temples and ruins? This is a perfect route for you.

Hampi is a magical destination with wonderful ruins and beautiful countryside. Often ignored by tourists as it is a little hard to reach, however we can highly recommend visiting this gem.

This entire route can be achieved just using the wonderful Indian railways. In addition to your trip being sustainable you will also get to travel on a couple of gorgeous train journeys i.e. Mumbai to Goa and Goa to Hampi.

Should you have time to explore India, from Bangalore you can explore Tamil Nadu or Kerala and we would be happy to plan this for you just using trains and local buses.

Goa – Kannur – Kochi – Allepey – Madurai – Pondicherry – Chennai

Planning to explore South India, we can recommend this wonderful travel route that takes you across different beach destinations, the backwaters of Kerala and then into wonderful temple towns of Tamil Nadu.

The above route can be traveled using only trains, but we recommend booking them well in advance as many of them can get sold in advance. The above route can be expanded to add more destinations along the way.

To conclude, being sustainable is deeply rooted in Indian culture. Most Indians follow a very sustainable lifestyle, even when traveling. Once in idea it is very easy to travel sustainably.

We would love to speak to you and plan your sustainable Indian Holiday.

India Someday partners with a NGO that plants trees to offset CO2 footprint and provide livelihoods to people (Grow Trees). We encourage you to explore their website and look at planting trees using their platform. We can fully endorse them.






Harsh Sonawala

About Harsh Sonawala

Harsh Sonawala is the co founder of India Someday and since his childhood, he has travelled to different parts of India and the world. The thrill of travelling and sharing his experiences with others was the reason behind starting India Someday. Other than the office where he is conjuring up marketing ideas, he can be found scuba diving in the Andamans or relaxing in a chalet in the Himalayas.

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