A man who abandoned city life during the coronavirus pandemic showed it's possible to build a sustainable home even among the rough terrain of Uttarakhand, India.

Ashish Verma, a consultant for Radisson with vast experience in the hospitality industry, was so happy to wake up with nothing to do that he made his move to the village of Jilling in the Kumaon Himalayas permanent, The Better India reported in January.

In the years since, Verma, 42, has constructed a 2,000-square-foot homestay, which he shared with about 55 select guests in 2023. They took in local customs as well as surrounding wildlife, plant life, hills, and mountains, including Nanda Devi, the second-highest peak in the country.

Nearby waterfalls and streams provide a perfect setting for fishing and bird watching, and Verma constructed a 20,000-liter rainwater harvesting system to address intermittent water scarcity issues, as the outlet detailed.

The house was made with natural materials such as reclaimed wood. It features two stories and three bedrooms, and Verma spent a year constructing it with a friend and others.

"We did not use cement at all," Verma said, according to The Better India. "We used a mixture of mud, bhusa [hay], and cow dung to make the walls. Additionally, I also adopted age-old practices of lipaai [painting walls with cow dung and water]. This provides good thermal insulation and keeps the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

"We used stone slates to make slanted roofs with large sunroofs that let in a lot of natural light during the day. Sunroofs help us save energy as we do not need any power between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. These sunroofs also allow you to see the stars at night."

Verma stumbled upon the beautiful location in a magazine 12 years ago. He visited and fell in love with it, citing "the slow pace" of living and the "secure" environment of the village, which contrasted greatly with the city lifestyle he had always lived.

"I wanted to build a home where I could look at the serene mountains every day," Verma said, per The Better India.

He started making three trips to Jilling each year until the pandemic halted global travel and spurred him to build the cottage, which is part of a sustainability movement that is reshaping living spaces. From cob houses to those made of bamboo and hemp by college students, sustainable homes everywhere are turning back the clock to ensure a greener future.

"This experience changed me as a person," Verma told The Better India. "The life in the hills mellows you down. You start looking at your problems differently, you start respecting and sharing your spaces. It helps you grow as a person, and for me, it was such a beautiful journey."

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Man deserts city life and modern construction methods to build hand-sculpted mud dream house in the mountains: 'This experience changed me as a person' first appeared on The Cool Down.

2024-07-08T00:30:01Z dg43tfdfdgfd