Responsible Travel Policies in
Ulpotha is run as a self-sustained village, where
the vast majority of staff are from immediately surrounding local
villages and who live in and largely run Ulpotha themselves.
Our resident Ayurveda doctor provides training in
Ayurvedic massage and therapies for the treatment centre staff,
who are also from either within Ulpotha or from neighboring villages.
Nearly all the food consumed in Ulpotha is grown
on site. In addition to growing rice, fruits, vegetables
and timber trees, we have recently started growing medicinal plants
and trees used for making Ayurvedic medicines.
We source many of our other supplies and building
materials from the immediate locality. Similarly, all the Ayurvedic
medicines used in our treatment center are made especially for
Ulpotha regularly invests in services and amenities
for the local community (rebuilding and maintaining the reservoir
that is central to local agriculture, creation of a free Ayurveda
clinic for the surrounding villages, donations to the local hospitals
and temples, all which are done in the lowest profile way possible - ie.
without acknowledgements, notices, quid pro quo demands, plaques,
The Ayurvedic treatment center within Ulpotha, which
serves paying guests, is used to fund the year-round Free Clinic
for the surrounding villages.
Only local products and services are made available
Before their arrival, guests are given an introduction
as to what to expect through information provided via our website
and a guest information pack.
Once in Ulpotha, we encourage guests to learn more
about the local culture and customs through immersion and interaction
with the local villagers.
Guest participation is encouraged in local ceremonies
and traditional gatherings, while keeping them informed of locally
acceptable behaviour and appropriate dress.
We encourage our guests to visit social projects
within the community (such as the Free Clinic) or in surrounding
villages (schools for handicapped children, etc) and to support
We regularly hold meetings with and seek feedback
from local community leaders.
Ulpotha is run by a committee of villagers with help
from one of the owners, himself a local.
NGOs have participated in Ulpotha for the benefit
of the local community (e.g. stocking the lake with fish for the
Ulpotha restricts the number of guests at any one time to 23, though the actual number of people visiting Ulpotha at a given time may be more if there are friends and family of the founders present. In any event it is very rare for there to be more than 30 in total. Ulpotha also limits the time it is open to guests to a maximum of 30 weeks in any one year.
Protection of natural areas
Only natural materials are used in the construction
of guest and villagers' accommodation, the Ayurvedic treatment
centre and Free Clinic (wattle and daub huts with palm roofing).
Much use has been made of clay, stone, wood, pottery
and fabrics which reflect traditional village practices and aesthetics.
We protect the native vegetation within the property
(by replanting thousands of local species of trees, replanting
of heritage strains of rice, vegetables, rare medicinal plants,
Ulpotha only uses organic farming practices that
follow the lunar cycle and use no mechanical means.
All crops are hand planted and harvested, while the
fields are ploughed and the rice is threshed by buffalo.
We protect the local wildlife by ensuring that their
natural habitat is in the least possible way altered and that poachers
and hunters are kept away.
The local environment is also protected by maintaining
the lake and sluice and natural water flows.
No cars are allowed within Ulpotha and guests are
encouraged to use bicycles when exploring the surrounding areas.
Use of resources
By design there is no electricity in Ulpotha and
life is lived by the rhythm of the day. Paths and accommodation
are lit by lamps and lanterns. A small solar power panel
provides electricity for recharging hand held devices.
Food is cooked on open fires and there are no fridges
(which were deemed by one of Ulpotha's founders as simply being
a means of eating un-fresh food).
Water comes from spring-fed wells and guests are
encouraged to use it sparingly.
Sewage is treated onsite and no raw sewage is released
directly into the environment.
Waste is separated and sorted and recyclables
(metals and glass) are removed. Guests are encouraged not
to bring plastic waste onsite, or to take back what they might bring
to their home country when they leave.