The wisdom of the land- Architect designs a Unique Bamboo Village in Tripura to promote Eco-Tourism

Led by architect Manna Roy and a team of eco-enthusiasts, nine acres of fallow land is turned into a thriving eco-tourism spot in Bashgram, Tripura which is flourishing with ponds, a yoga centre, a playground, pathways and bridges, and more, all made from around 14 different species of bamboo.

‘Bashgram’, created in western Tripura’s Katlamara just along the India-Bangladesh border after the development of nine acres of barren land by some youths led by bamboo architect cum expert Manna Roy, has commanded the attraction of thousands of tourists including foreigners and environmentalists from across the country.

The eco retreat was constructed to promote sustainable tourism in the state. For the project, Roy spent Rs 60 lakh to efficiently make use of the local and natural resources.

Tourists here will also find cosy cottages, hostel facilities, a school, and more. Officials are also set to build a museum to house “endangered, obsolete, old and new materials made of bamboo”.

It is an approach that prioritises local skills and materials over technocratic solutions, working in harmony with natural cycles and using indigenous knowledge to intervene with minimal means, without “the roaring noise of architecture.

Bamboo forests in India occupy approximately 10.03 million hectares and comprise about 12 per cent of the total forest area of the country. Bamboo is also known as “green gold” in the mountainous northeastern region.

The Tripura government in 2009 had developed India’s first Bamboo Park at Bodhjungnagar industrial growth centre in western Tripura at a cost of Rs 30 crore on 135 acres of land to help expand bamboo-based industries.

As per Officials of Tripura Industrial Development Corporation (TIDC), “many entrepreneurs established factories out of which one big industry has been set up for producing bamboo flooring tiles (Bamboowood), bamboo laminated board, furniture made of laminated bamboo and round bamboo, partition wall, home design materials which is very attractive.”

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