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Sadhana Forest

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Environment


Sadhana ForestAuroville, 605101India India

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Our main project is the reforestation of 70 acres of severely eroded land. We are working to re-create the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest indigenous to our area. This forest type is found only in Southern India and Sri Lanka and provides a rare biological richness due to its very high species abundance (over 1000 species of trees, shrubbery and liana). The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest is now close to total extinction as only 0.01% survives. This is a last moment effort to keep this very rich and beautiful forest on earth. As part of our reforestation effort we are also working on water conservation and soil management.


Our projects include the work with local children, hosting many groups of people interested in conservation, the UniverCity of Compassion and an animal sanctuary where we care for rescued animals.

We practice an eco-friendly way of life including veganism, alternative construction, solar energy, biodegradable toiletries, and compost toilets.

Volunteers mainly plant, mulch, and water trees during the season, work on water conservation in the forest and around the community, cook, clean, maintain the community area, and spend time with local and community kids.


Would you recommend Sadhana Forest?
33 reviews Write a review
by sanjana S. from IN (September 21, 2023)
Sadhana Forest to me is a home with open doors. A sustainable vegan community with warm hearts and an intention to engineer compassion in every thought process. A day in Sadhana Forest starts at 6:00am where we join in for the morning circle and then choose our sevas (selfless service). Morning sevas could include planting trees in the forest, the Gaushala where we have so many cows who are all rescued cows, kitchen hygiene and cooking meals for the community where we all sit at the kitchen table chatting away as we help the chef. The meals are completely unprocessed, vegan food that will make you crave for a second and also third serving! After breakfast, we choose sevas that help with the general upkeep of the community, like accomodation, compound, toilet cleaning etc till it's lunch time. 
by Vanshika W. from IN (August 31, 2023)
When I first arrived in Sadhana Forest, I knew I was in for a truly unique experience. I have been curious about learning more about sustainable living and veganism, Sadhana Forest felt like the best place to be. This is my first time living in a community and it has been amazing staying with like-minded people who are very open and accepting. My journey at Sadhana Forest began as a fellow for Plant4India, a program that focuses on water conservation and reforestation in different villages in India.The experience was very grounding and I felt really good working with the community in the forest. My stay at Sadhana Forest has been a very healing process for me. The open and welcoming environment provides the perfect canvas for self-discovery. Whether I was participating in sevas, communal activities, attending eye-opening workshops, hosting non-talent shows or simply meditating under the trees, every moment felt like a step toward personal growth. I
by Saathvika J. from IN (July 12, 2023)
If you want to be surrounded by a forest tucked away in Auroville with a bunch of strangers but still feel perfectly at home, then Sadhana Forest is the place for you. I came here for the community values, to be surrounded by nature, to eat fresh organic food and mainly to be a part of a community that valued all these. I got all these and many more, I served my minimum period of 4 days and going back feels like I'm leaving home. I'm so grateful for this place because I'm taking back with me so much more than I could ever even imagine. I hope to come back and join this place for longer and if you're reading this review, I really think you should come here too, I'm sure you'll find something you didn't know you were seeking for.
by Pranitha C. from IN (July 12, 2023)
I'm a 19 year old, who came to Sadhana Forest with one of my friends as a volunteer and I met lot of people from different backgrounds and ages! All the days of my stay here, I did activities while being mindful and calm. I could notice that I became a very interactive person and was patient enough. It is a really great place and the people here are welcoming. I'm excited to share this to my friends and bring them here! I'm sure they will enjoy the little details and funny stories that I will share. But most importantly, they will want to hear about my experience so they can make a more informed decision about whether or not this a good fit for them.
by Gargi S. from IN (July 5, 2023)
The commitment to prioritise low-impact living practices, implementing off-grid systems, vegan gaushala, dry composting toilets, and solar energy solutions is what initially drew me towards Sadhana Forest. After coming here, I realised it’s completely true. The most beautiful thing here to experience was a sense of being in a family. Having support from volunteers, from all around the world, who have come together and share their experiences, values and skills. Working in a vegan gaushala, cow sanctuary, was a unique experience. From learning their traumatic past experiences about how they have been rescued; to earning their trust and knowing they can communicate with you, be it in any language. They know their names, and will come to you as you call them. I assumed it would be difficult and a very long process to build a connection with all the cows and bulls, but talking to them gently, giving them space and loving them is the key I learnt.
by Thibaud H. from FR (July 4, 2023)
I heard about this place a long time ago, and was finally able to come volunteer a few months ago. I was expecting a lot, and yet I wasn't prepared for all that I experienced here. The most incredible thing about this place in my opinion is the community. Living with people who all share the same values, are here for each other in the most compassionate way possible, and all striving for the same purpose is the one thing that was truly missing from my life before. The second best thing is nature. Living here is not living in nature, it is being a part of nature, just as much as any other animal living in this forest. You can directly see the consequences of every action. Every action helps in making the forest greener, denser and full of life. We are nature, and nature is all around us. I would recommend this place to every single human being on Earth.
by Dhruvi S. from IN (June 5, 2023)
I’ve know about this selfless pocket of green for a long time but to actually experience it in person is like eden. The serenity of the forest washes over you, inspiring you to be the best version of yourself. Growth Is a corner stone of Sadhana Forest. Personally, the city life just got too overwhelming and I needed a space to escape to which would allow me to self reflect and grow. This community, their ideology, and my interactions with like minded people and the forest itself really helped facilitate this. To be a part of nature in such an intrinsic way, and to give back to the community and forest felt transformative. Apart from the self development, to really feel part of a community (even within the short span I was here) and work towards something so much bigger feels really fulfilling and nourishing to the soul. Coming here was a truly transformative process for me and I would urge everyone to visit at least once in their life.
by DIVYA V. from IN (June 5, 2023)
1. Safe and easy to go for solo female travellers. 2. Eco friendly, close to nature 3. Vegan friendly 4. Slow living 5. Unschooling 6. Community living. We all look forward in life exploring and experiencing different things. And that's how I initially reached Sadhana Forest. This place felt more like a place where I belong to. The people here are the warmest people I have ever met. This place helped me connect to nature better than before, it helped me connect with myself more deeply and with the community too! Living in Sadhana forest helped me understand nature, the vegan food that Sadhana Forest offers helped me connect with my body and health much better. Definitely recommended for everyone
by Harika C. from IN (June 1, 2023)
Sadhana Forest has been an awakening to the absolute truth of conscious living, which created such an incredible sense of awe within me. Here, I get to awaken my senses and use my eyes and ears to see the raw beauty of nature and to listen to the sounds of native wildlife and experience it by living in the present. This creates such a sensation of amazement throughout your day and it gets your adrenaline pumping by doing seva. One learns how to actually live their life to the fullest. This is something that I have always looked forward to, and now I have found a place where I can give all of me to Mother Nature.
by Lasya K. from IN (June 1, 2023)
At Sadhana you get to experience life at its purest form. I have always wanted to learn and understand the ways of living sustainably and with all of the constraints in a city life, I wasn’t very happy with the lifestyle I was leading. Sadhana has taught me so many ways of making green choices while un-learning all the non-sustainable lifestyle choices that I had consciously and unconsciously made. Life at Sadhana is very grounded. You work for yourself, community and the nature. I wish to visit Sadhana again and contribute more towards projecting and nurturing nature.
by Marialuna W. from PT (May 27, 2023)
Sadhana Forest was an amazing and unique experience where I got the chance to deepen my knowledge regarding sustainable living and also be surrounded by the kindness & wisdom of so many like minded people! The food is a dream and the community is based is amazing values such as non violence, compassion, gift economy and non competition. I highly recommend to anyone interested in reconnecting back to Mother Earth and nourish it in a regenerative and sustainable way. I know I’ll be back for sure eventually one day and I’m so grateful that I had this experience.
by Fida Y. from IN (May 10, 2023)
Sadhana forest was an amazing experience for me. The lifestyle, food and volunteering here were all interesting and unique . From the Sadhana community, I have met many people from all over the world, that was an interesting experience for me. Sadhana forest was an alternative style of living. I was able to get more into nature. I loved how they prepared and served food, bringing people together. I had some very beautiful and unique days in the Sadhana community. I really recommend this place for those who want to do such service and volunteer work.
by Tanay S. from IN (May 10, 2023)
Great experience of sustainable community living in harmony with nature. Diverse set of people from all over the world. Wonderful setting to practice veganism, experience different cultures and get insight into eco-friendly living.
by Ananya K. from IN (May 10, 2023)
Although I wasn't mentally prepared to begin with, given the kind of alternative living this involves, once you do get used to it, it's really completely fine. There is a built-in community here, with many people to guide you through the volunteering process. The place is quite pretty, too - being a proper forest with a lot of different species of birds and a mud pool to cool off in after seva. Eventually, you do begin to realise how a lot of different everdyday things can not only be recycled, but upcycled. It is a self-sustaining place where all waste goes back in through a different process that makes it useful somewhere else, at least as much as is possible, which I find interesting.
by Sreedevi A. from IN (May 10, 2023)
This is one of the few places that focuses on living a more sustainable life. In the process they are also reviving the biodiversity around the place. The food is completely vegan and is prepared entirely by the volunteers themselves. The volunteers here do a variety of chores everyday making the community an almost independent community. They also practice other values like unschooling that makes you time here an entirely different experience. Overall, they practice a very healthy lifestyle that might be hard at first but worth the experience!
by Siddharth G. from IN (May 10, 2023)
Working at Sadhna forest Pros Give you a chance to quit cigarette Great experience to live in a community and forget your past traumas Meet various people around the globe and and interact with them Get a sense of living a minimalistic life style Spend time away from your routine and spend it in the nature Highly sustainable living and zero waste CONS More than 5 hours of hard labour Harsh and humid climate and away from the main city of Pondicherry. Don't expect any luxuries as there are no fans and lights .Which gets makes sleeping at night very frustrating due to extreme humid and hot climate.
by Abirami S. from IN (May 10, 2023)
It's a great getaway from the world for a sustainable living.
by ANANYA A. from IN (May 10, 2023)
For people who need a retreat from their daily lives, volunteering at Sadhana can provide to be a great experience. The place gives a sense of living with the nature, so do not expect too many modern facilities and be prepared for the hot and humid weather. A lot of selfess physical labour goes behind its community's functioning, called Sevas, which you will get to be a part of. You will also get to meet and socialise with people from all around the globe and experience being part of the Sadhana community.
by Gouri A. from IN (May 10, 2023)
We came here as a group of 11, with my college friends. Definitely an experience. We had a lot of fun cooking and playing in the mud pool in the Sadhana forest. There are tonnes of birds for budding bird watchers and insects for biologists. We were pleasantly surprised with the aesthetic huts and the bamboo architecture. It gives a lot of space for beautiful pictures and videos.....good ig content. There are couple of dogs and many cats which make wonderful companions throughout our stay here. Overall it was a memorable experience.
by Kalpika S. from IN (May 10, 2023)
Sadhana Forest as an organisation is a great place to learn the value of self service or seva, sustainability goals, veganism as a lifestyle as well as community living. The organisation emphasises on their core values as well as creates pathways to put it in to effect in reality. It's an ambassador of an alternate way of living that protects nature. Although the heat can get to you as there are no fans because of lack of any sort of machinery, the values learnt are worth the sweat. One has enough opportunity and space to engage with different forms of physical labour and reflect on the morale behind. Overall, a 10/10 experience. There's a 24/7 operating banana counter as well!
by Ravi S. from IN (May 10, 2023)
This is a place for people who want to enjoy and experience a minimalist and forest life. You will get to work in the forest, goshala, kitchen. You will also get to stay in the huts. You can play in the mud pool that they have. In order to experience these to the fullest, you will have to come here without any work commitments. This is because everyday you will be having community sevas for a minimum of 5 hrs a day. I feel like a week should be fine to experience the community. But you are free to extend your stay, here in Sadhana forest !!
by Jahnavi E. from IN (May 10, 2023)
I highly recommend this organisation for the one who is trying to be vegan and looking for a community who is in support of it.
by Tushar J. from IN (May 8, 2023)
So I visited Sadhana Forest because I was a little confused about my life and I wanted some time alone to think about all the issues happening in my life. I needed to find an answer to them and I always wanted to have a more minimalistic life that is connected to nature but I never had the chance previously. When I learnt about Sadhana Forest, the life I imagined and never experienced, I finally got the chance to try it. I packed my bags and came to Chennai from Udaipur, Rajasthan. So if you ask me now, if I achieved what I wanted in Sadhana then the answer is YES! Outside of seva, I get my own free time to be explore my interests. I also got the first-hand experience in helping take care of the forest and animals, like the cows and dogs here. The food they serve here is pure vegan and it is very healthy and I feel that my health has improved.
by Keivan N. (May 3, 2023)
The community is the best part of Sadhana Forest. It's a dynamic community centered around compassion and sustainability that expands and contracts all the time. But the friendship and comradery are always constant. It is a place where the east meets the west in perfect harmony. I left my country 44 years ago, and this is the closest I have come to "home." The hardest part is saying goodbye to friends. Sleeping huts are comfortable and rustic. Made of all natural material. My first impression was Robinson Crusoe's hut. Waking up to the sound of birds is the best part. The food is great. Plant based whole food. Just my style. The breakfasts are heavenly with so many different types of fruit. Other meals are a mix of internal cuisine depending on the lead cook. No one goes hungry here. Most people socialize during meals. I usually eat mindfully in silence. The tea hut is the most amazing place. The ambiance is great. It reminds me of the old west.
by neo n. from IN (May 5, 2023)
Sadhana embodies the values it stands for. It reflects in each person, who is residing there, and that's a difficult feat to achieve, And as the name suggests if you wish to truly let go of the self, and engage in selfless practices it's the right space to be. Also personally, I have felt disconnected from my body due to the nature of my livelihood and the kind of highly cognitive livestyles we live in. The few days I spent there helped me to stay grounded with my body, and just forget the daily grinds and be attuned to nature at its rawest. There are few things that definitely can improve, but if I share that you might miss the experience
by Charlotte P. from GB (May 2, 2023)
I have learned a huge amount after spending several weeks in the forest and I believe my life has been changed, in big and small ways, because of it. I learned, firstly, what it means to function as part of a collective. Everyone works together in selfless service to maintain the community and grow the forest. The result is that no matter how much I give, I always feel like I recieve more. Additionally, I discovered a model for living which doesn't cost the planet. I thought I was already environmentally conscious as a vegan who avoids excess consumption etc. But until coming to Sadhana, I didn't consider the impact of my toilet, my hand and clothes washing facilities, my meal choices, and so much more. (Or if I did consider them, I didn't believe I could implement them as I didn't have a model of people who were living this sustainably). I will not be able to continue many of my pre-Sadhana lifestyle choices that are taken as a given in England.
by Anisha J. from IN (December 20, 2022)
A must do for a true nature lover! Sadhana forest welcomes all with a compassionate heart and relentlessly tries to make it a worthy experience for you. You will not regret joining hands with them to make this world a better place! Learn about forest regeneration and sustainable living - experience living in a community, conserving water, eating vegan organic food, nurturing cows, practising Zerowaste, using compost toilets, getting hands on experience in planting/ mulshing/ digging, and even cooking and cleaning together! Day starts at 6am, volunteer till 12.30pm with one hour breakfast break. All three meals are served on most days except no dinner on Thursday, and no lunch on Sat & Sun. Weekends, usually there is no seva (volunteer work) You live in a dorm if you are a short term volunteer. Each day is a different experience - sharing circle, core value talk, non talent show, moon circle, acrobats, meditation and so on!
by Gijs V. from IN (December 19, 2022)
Absolutely amazing community. They are doing through selfless service here, serving others, animals, and the environment. They have very high ethical standards: are vegan, practice unschooling and off-grid sustainable living. Anyone is welcome to come and join. There is a beautiful community atmosphere. They are really making a difference in the lives of people and for the environment.
by Mark D. from IN (November 12, 2018)
It's a awesome vegan community, there is not just a sense of doing good by planting trees but a sense of togetherness and of community. The food is Vegan the lifestyle is simple and lovely. The 2 sevas a day along with the community sevas help the functioning of the community. Seva a selfless act in essence is the spirit of the community. We all pitch in to help the community run smoothly. If it is serving lunch or being a runner to bring plates to everyone before meals the community sevas show the togetherness of all. The water conservation techniques used are beautiful and the forest itself is filled with trees and life. Volunteering at Sadhana Forest has enriched me as a human being as I grew with the trees. I wish everyone could experience what I did.
by Mike R. (October 11, 2018)
Sadhana Forest is one of my favorite places on earth! I highly recommend a stay of at least one month to anyone who is looking for a way for humans to live a happy, fulfilling live while giving benefit to animals, the environment, and future generations. I also recommend the Friday Eco Film Club and tour to anyone who doesn't have time for an extended stay. Short stays of a few days or weeks are also possible. Particpants from all over India and the rest of the world (over 1000 people per year in total) come to plant trees, cook meals, maintain structures, care for animals, and sustain the project in hundreds of ways. They come together to form a vibrant community and bond deeply with each other during their time there. This experience of conscious, low-impact living changed my life. It taught me a lot about what really matters, and about all the ways that we can practice compassion and kindness in even small acts. Come see for yourself, you won't regret it!
by Alex A. (October 12, 2018)
“Sadhana Forest surprised me in many ways, I did not expect to develop such a deep connection with the land and with myself. The conservation work Sadhana Forest does is long term and sustainable and the local community really understands the benefits and gets on board wholly. I particularly learned a lot about self reliance, I enjoyed learning how to fix a a 4x4 van, and to upgrade a solar electrical system. Also about living simply, there is free time to read, talk or to improve a skill, away from all the stresses of modern, connected life. The food is amazing, vegan, whole foods were not the main factor for me coming to Sadhana Forest but after eating like this for a few weeks I feel I have so much energy, not to mention every meal is delicious, particularly the chocolate mouse. All in all I would really recommend Sadhana Forest, for growing yourself there is no better way to spend a few months. Also you get a great tan!"
by Aiko B. (September 2, 2018)
Sadhana Forest truly is my dream come true! This organization creates endless possibilities for people with diverse backgrounds to do something meaningful for the world and find joy and purpose in giving back. It is hard to express in words how beautifully compassion is integrated into every detail of the day-to-day life. This place is transformative - to people and the land :) If you want to do some voluntary work to help where it is needed - ecologically and socially - and are looking for an organization that is not profit orientated, which community is living VEGAN and eco-friendly, planting trees, educating on sustainability, encouraging compassion in all forms, enabling volunteers to discover different cultures in a safe environment, reducing waste wherever it's possible, supporting longterm instead of shortterm solutions and practicing an all-in-all conscious, natural and down to earth lifestyle – Sadhana Forest is the organization for you :)
by Greg G. (February 22, 2010)
Volunteering in Sadhana Forest is one of the best things I have ever done. Not just for the amazing work being done there, but for the lifechanging experience it provides. In just two weeks I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I developed a love for working with my hands and not at a computer and met some amazing friends that I still keep in touch with. You go to Sadhana Forest to help the community and find that you can't help but grow internally. Some people there have stayed for months, many return time and time again. I can't recommend this place highly enough! No 1,000 word description can do Sadhana Forest so I invite you to read more at my blog where I wrote essays on the place with photos and videos. http://www.adventuresofagoodman.com/blog/tag/sadhana-forest/ Hope this helps convince you that Sadhana is THE place to volunteer!

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