Discover Mowgli

(A programme for children and families)

We all know Mowgli of Jungle Book. What if you had a chance to portray that character in your life?

We may be the last generation able to have real jungle experiences. Modern life has limited our world within cities, keeping us glued to TV, mobile phones, or computers. Luckily, we still have some beautiful forests where we can explore and rediscover the Mowgli inside each of us.

Discover Mowgli is a programme for children over 5 years old and their families. It will provide you an opportunity to learn about various aspects of nature, and to experience the peace and beauty of all creatures. We have some amazing ideas and activities which will help you to use all your senses, explore nature differently, and create beautiful things with natural materials.

  • It Starts With a Seed (Jewellery Making)

    Everything starts with a seed! All seeds (seeds of plants, cultures, wisdom…) are endowed with unbelievable potentials. We all are born to “serve” and “preserve” (pre-serve)! Where did we come from? What possibilities/potentials do we have to grow into? As humans, what should we be serving and preserving?

    This exploration will take you into the forest where we will be identifying and learning about trees, collecting seeds, barks, twigs, feathers, fungi, and different kinds of natural materials and exploring their importance in the eco-system. We then will use our imagination to create beautiful jewellery, dream catchers, and other decorative items, as well as plant some seeds into the soil around our campus.

  • Food Finding in the Forest

    All creatures find their food in the natural world. Many tribes today still collect their food from the forest. In fact, we also use a lot of forest produce today, supplied to us by these people. Modern science also has proven that forest foods are much more nutritious and healthier than the food produced by humans. During this interactive workshop, like Mowgli, we will have fun finding our own food and eating it either raw or cooked right there in the jungle!

  • Oops! Learn about poops!

    Don’t be shocked! We all love it until it comes out in the world! There is a lot you can tell by looking at animal poop through its smell, texture, and consistency! You can tell the name of the species that created it, their size, food habits and even behaviour! For example, thick, fibrous excreta maybe from a big herbivorous mammal that fed on tall, thick grass, or a bad-smelling poop may indicate the food habits and health conditions of the animal. You might wonder why human excreta smells the worst!

    “Poop Walks,” led by naturalists, will take you on the trails through the river, grassland, shrubs, and giant trees. By examining the droppings and understanding the habitats, you can learn a lot about the entire eco-system.

  • Story of Shooting Stars!

    You might have heard stories about shooting stars! Here you will have a chance for stargazing and storytelling. While sitting on the banks of the Ramganga River, surrounded by beautiful hills and trees, looking at the stars, constellations, and moon, we will weave stories together! The star-lit valley and the shadow of giant tree canopies will provide a sacred backdrop for an experience of a lifetime.

    Telescopes, binoculars, astronomy charts, and books are available for you to learn more.

  • Man Changa at Ramganga!

    It’s hard to find clean water in cities and even many tourist places. That water is either dirty or chlorinated. We are based by the side of Ramganga River, with silvery sandbanks, beautiful rocks and grass.

    We have designed some games to play by the riverside and some activities for sensing nature, like listening to the sounds of flowing water and birdsongs, and painting pebbles.

  • Careful Cleansing

    Most cleaning products and cosmetics are hazardous for our body as well as the planet. The purpose of soap is to clean our body, but instead we apply harmful chemicals to our skin and pollute the water. There are several natural ways of cleansing, but our conditioning hinders us from feeling ‘clean’ until some kind of white foam is made!

    A few decades ago, there were no soaps, but instead different kinds of clay, herbs, soap-nuts, gram flour, ‘ubtan’, etc. were used.

    Let us explore the hidden treasure of ancient wisdom and beauty! We will make natural soap with locally available materials and have lots of fun playing with clay and refreshing natural ingredients to create small hand-made soap sculptures (We don’t use any moulds)!

    We will also learn to make some other natural cleaning items like hand-wash, shampoo, dish-cleaner, and antiseptic cream.

  • The Story of My Forest

    The story of my forest is a slide show of images and videos captured by trap-cameras at night. It may surprise you that wildlife is more in action during the night and how differently animals behave in the dark when they have no fear of humans. Their curious look into the camera and the expressions can tell you what stories they might have to share with us.

    It also includes a presentation on birds and a dialogue on the flora and fauna of our landscape.

  • Make Masks to Un-Mask Your Hidden Artist

    Humans are considered the most evolved species on the planet, but we still have a lot to learn from our animal friends. We seem to have forgotten the basic natural behaviour of our species. Don’t you sometimes feel like being an animal? What animal would you like to be if given a chance? While understanding our natural behaviours and likings, we will be making masks of our favourite mammals or birds by using old newspapers/recycled papers and making papier-mâché!

    It’s fun to make papier-mâché pulp in traditional style, using a mortar & pestle. No Fevicol or any chemical binders are used, only natural and commonly-used ingredients. This pulp becomes exactly like potter’s clay, but much lighter in weight, stronger, and durable after being sun-dried.

  • Pet a Puppet!

    You can’t pet a wild animal, but you can pet a puppet! Using the same material from mask making, you can make a puppet of your favourite animal. It takes a couple of days to dry, and then you can paint them. If we choose different animals, we can do a puppet show and create our own jungle book!

  • Design Your Jungle Book

    Books can be only significant if they lead you to experience things meaningfully. Here you will be designing your own book for writing stories, and creating drawings of the plants, flowers, insects, mammals, and birds we discover, and binding them with our own hands.

    You will be guided by a facilitator to do technical stuff like cutting, pasting, stitching, binding, and making a beautiful cover! We try to use natural materials as much as possible.

    Bring your creative ideas to write your very own Jungle Book and discover your inner Mowgli!

  • Play with Clay

    Getting hands dirty should be the first lesson for your child. Play with Clay is not just a pottery workshop, but a multipurpose programme, where kids will learn about different types of soils and their uses.

    Making clay tiles and sculptures and painting murals on mud-walls are some of the special activities facilitated by various artists.

Stargazing

Curious about grandma’s stories and fascinated by ancient science of astronomy, we often wonder about the mysterious night sky. Astronomy is one of the few sciences where amateurs still play an active role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena.

Observing the Stars and Constellations in the night and incredible Wildlife during the day, will keep you excited the whole time!

Stargazing includes the understanding sky by both, naked eyes as well as through telescope. We will share our information about sky, star constellations, planets that we can see during that particular time, as well as star clusters, nebulae and nakshatra along with scientific and mythological concepts.

As the sun goes down, the forest turns into a mystery. While listening to alarm calls, we start searching for owls and nightjars in the low light through the telescope. Soon… the entire valley lights-up with an infinity of stars, and the campfire spot at Vanghat becomes a “Chaupal” (a space for sharing stories).

We will provide you various adventure activities on Astronomy, Birding, Wildlife Safari, Nature Walks, Riverside Walk…and a beautiful Nest for your stay. Telescopes and binoculars will be available, but you are welcome to bring your own too.