Heavy deforestation , reduced rainfall, and global warming took a heavy toll on our ability to grow enough organic food to keep our kids healthy. Our growing seasons became shorter with each passing year until we had to seek an alternative growing site. We spent over a year searching every nook and corner of the Himalayas in our area to find the former king of Tehri’s abandoned, crumbling hunting lodge and orchards nestled deep in the oldest conifer-pine forest in our state. With another year of struggle, and a lot of help from friends, including late Sonia Gandhi , who created an amendment in 1948 that forest property lying in waste should be allocated to social purpose.Yes! Finally it was granted on least to Ramana’s on condition we would operate the lodge as Eco-tourism. With help of Leap Now students we renovated it into what was rated as Top Eco-tourism destination in our state. Over 800 friends new and old visited our first year making the venture a huge success.
The orchard was revitalized and the vacant terraces put under cultivation producing heaps of yummy organic veggies to supply not only our kids but our Organic Café.
We share our forest with plenty of wildlife, mostly endangered by what was previously rampant poaching. Leopards, mink, mountain goats, deer, quail, bears, fox, and the ancient trees were at risk . We set up our own vigilante team to help protect them and stop all poaching. Conflicts arose with the poachers that ultimately led to the loss of the old bungalow but not before we had constructed all we needed down in the Orchard to keep hosting all the kids for summer camps when it is scorching hot down in Tapovan and even still host some Leap Now and other Meditation groups.
Read more about our Ambiya Paradise in our 2012 Newsletter.