Adyanadka, Mangaluru, India
7 days, 6 nights
Live on Land
Living Soil

Nisarg Niketan

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About the experience

What will I experience?

At Nisarga Niketan, you'll engage deeply with sustainable farming, learning firsthand about growing vegetables organically and preparing natural manures. The retreat focuses on practical experiences, allowing you to actively participate in planting, grafting, and various farm operations. You'll stay in eco-friendly treehouses that exemplify living in harmony with nature. Complementing your farming education, daily yoga sessions and nature walks will enhance your mindfulness and deepen your connection to the natural world. Each day culminates with meals crafted from fresh, organic ingredients harvested directly from the farm.

Benefits of this experience

Participating in Nisarga Niketan allows you to cultivate mindfulness by working directly with the soil, planting and nurturing crops. This hands-on interaction fosters a deep, meditative connection with the earth, making you acutely aware of the life cycle of plants and the rhythms of nature. Such activities ground you in the present moment, enhancing your attentiveness and appreciation for the intricate details of the natural world around you.

Incorporation in daily life

Start by dedicating a small section of your home for growing herbs or vegetables, using the organic methods you learned during the retreat.

About the destination

At Varanashi Farms, where Nisarga Niketan is hosted, you’ll immerse yourself in a haven dedicated to sustainable wellbeing. This 100-acre property blends untouched forests with organic crop plantations in a biodiverse ecosystem. Engaging directly in the soil through hands-on farming—planting, nurturing, and harvesting—you develop a profound bond with the earth. This tactile experience enhances your mindfulness, connecting you deeply with the cycles of nature. By participating, you not only witness but also contribute to the sustainable practices that make Varanashi a model of eco-conscious living, reinforcing your personal connection to the soil and the environment.

About the Specialist

Partha Varanashi, the host of Nisarg Niketan retreat, epitomizes a profound connection to sustainable living, rooted in a family farming legacy spanning over two centuries. He expertly melds traditional agricultural wisdom with contemporary sustainable practices, fostering a unique wellness environment. His stewardship at the farm offers a holistic retreat experience, emphasizing organic farming as a foundation for overall wellbeing. Partha's approach ensures that visitors not only learn about organic agriculture but also engage in practices that promote physical and mental health through nature-based activities.


Place of experience

Adyanadka, nestled in the Western Ghats, is a serene locale characterized by lush greenery and a biodiverse landscape. This tranquil region boasts rolling hills, vibrant forests, and rich soil, making it ideal for sustainable farming. The area's cultural heritage, influenced by local traditions of conservation and agriculture, complements its natural beauty, providing a perfect setting for wellbeing retreats like Nisarga Niketan, where visitors can reconnect with nature and rediscover the rhythms of a life aligned with the environment.

Most suitable time to visit

The most suitable time to experience Nisarga Niketan at Varanashi Farms is during the monsoon season, from June to September, when the rain nourishes the soil and fully activates the lush landscape, enhancing the farming activities and the overall retreat experience.

Ancient & modern provenance

Ancient texts and treatises:

Ancient text name: Kashyapiya Krishi Sukti (ca. 800 AD)

  • Context: An agricultural manual attributed to Sage Kashyapa, focusing on traditional farming techniques and plant management.
  • Mention of Organic farming: It advocates for the use of organic fertilizers and describes holistic agricultural rituals that integrate spiritual practices, promoting a balance that enhances peace and mindfulness.

Ancient text name: Vrikshayurveda (ca. 6th to 12th century AD)

  • Context: An ancient Sanskrit text on the science of plants and trees, discussing various aspects of botany and horticulture within the Ayurvedic framework.
  • Mention of Organic farming: Vrikshayurveda details practices for nurturing plants organically to ensure their health and productivity, linking the health of soil and plants to human health and spiritual wellbeing, thus fostering mindfulness and holistic wellness.

Ancient text name: Krishi-Parashara (ca. 400 BCE - 100 AD)

  • Context: An early treatise on agriculture attributed to Parashara. It offers guidelines on farming practices, suitable crop selection, and seasonal farming activities.
  • Mention of Organic farming: This text outlines organic farming practices such as crop rotation and the use of animal manures, emphasizing the balance of natural elements, which nurtures self-awareness and stability through a deep connection with nature.

Modern scientific researches:

Title: Evaluating care farming as a means to care for those in trauma and grief

  • Main author: Joanne Cacciatore
  • Date of publishing: 2020
  • Abstract: The interrelationships between nature, health, and wellbeing are increasingly recognized and incorporated into therapeutic interventions. Care farming, the concept of utilizing agricultural places and practices for providing care, therapy, and rehabilitation, is a paradigmatic example of this shift. This mixed method study empirically evaluates the efficacy of care farming as an intervention for individuals affected by traumatic grief, a complex experiential condition. Both quantitative and qualitative results suggest this care farm intervention was beneficial, yielding significant reductions in subjective distress to grief intensity. The study's findings add to the growing body of evidence on care farming and support green care as a therapeutic potential for individuals affected by traumatic grief.
  • Link to the paper

Title: Growing wellbeings: The positive experience of care farms

  • Main author: Christopher Leck
  • Date of publishing: 2015
  • Abstract: Care farms enable people who are in some way vulnerable to engage with agricultural places and farming activities. This study investigates how this impacts on the health and wellbeing of service users and explores associated processes and outcomes. A mixed methods design was adopted that allowed for the integration of quantitative measurements of change with qualitative descriptions of this change. A pragmatic approach provided sufficient flexibility to support the investigation of complex contexts. Statistical analysis of wellbeing measure scores identified significant positive relationships with the length of time people had been attending the care farm. Questionnaire and interview data presented health benefits as being enabled by the farm environment, the positive experience as supporting personal development, and associated social interactions as becoming increasingly influential as time progressed.
  • Link to the paper

Full plan of experience

The following schedule provides a general outline of the duration and activities aimed at facilitating the integration of the retreat's teachings into your daily life.

At the place
Adyanadka, Mangaluru, India
7 days, 6 nights
$875 / person

Experience schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Orientation

  • Morning: Arrival at Varanashi Farms. Welcome session with refreshments made from farm-fresh ingredients.
  • Afternoon: Orientation tour of the farm, introducing the various crops and systems in place. Check into your eco-friendly treehouse.
  • Evening: Introductory session on the principles of organic farming and its benefits. Welcome dinner featuring a variety of organic farm produce.

Day 2: Soil Health and Composting

  • Morning: Yoga session at sunrise. Breakfast with a discussion on soil health.
  • Afternoon: Hands-on workshop on preparing and using organic manures and composts.
  • Evening: Casual talk on the impact of organic practices on crop yield and farm sustainability. Dinner prepared from freshly harvested crops.

Day 3: Planting and Crop Management

  • Morning: Guided nature walk to observe local flora and fauna. Breakfast followed by a session on seed sowing and planting techniques.
  • Afternoon: Practical experience in grafting and planting with special focus on cashew and cocoa.
  • Evening: Discussion on pest management using organic methods. Organic dinner at the farm.

Day 4: Water Management and Sustainability

  • Morning: Morning yoga session. Breakfast followed by a workshop on water harvesting techniques and their importance.
  • Afternoon: Tour of the farm's water management installations like catch pits and percolation pits.
  • Evening: Free evening to explore or relax. Dinner with a focus on aquatic and rice crops.

Day 5: Learning about Biodiversity

  • Morning: Breakfast followed by a discussion on the benefits of multi-cropping. Visit different crop areas (arecanut, rice, cocoa, coconut, etc.).
  • Afternoon: Hands-on activity in inter-cropping and maintaining biodiversity.
  • Evening: Cooking session using ingredients harvested by participants. Dinner showcasing the diversity of the farm's produce.

Day 6: Health Benefits of Organic Living

  • Morning: Sunrise yoga session focusing on mindfulness and connection with nature. Healthy organic breakfast discussing nutrition.
  • Afternoon: Workshop on the health benefits of organic foods and lifestyle. Free time for personal reflection or optional farm activities.
  • Evening: Farewell dinner featuring a traditional Indic meal.

Day 7: Departure

  • Morning: Closing session reflecting on the week's experiences and learnings. Breakfast and preparation for departure.
  • Afternoon: Checkout and farewell.

This itinerary blends educational sessions on organic farming with practical, hands-on experiences and wellness activities to provide a comprehensive understanding of sustainable agriculture and its benefits to personal health and the environment.


Partha Varanashi

Sixth generation farmer and molecular biologist

7 days, 6 nights
$875 / person
Upcoming next:
1st week of Aug, Sept & Oct 2024
Interested? Get in touch
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