BIR, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA: Earthville’s Dharmalaya team is happy to report the completion of the foundations for the Dharmalaya Institute, an eco-friendly service-learning campus in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. The Institute is being constructed in a style based upon the traditional vernacular architecture of the area, known as “Kangra style,” using eco-friendly materials and non-mechanized building methods.
The foundations will cure in the monsoon rains, which last until mid-September, after which they will be strong and settled, ready to be built upon. Construction of the mud walls atop the foundations will commence in the autumn, using diverse techniques including rammed earth, compressed earth bricks, and traditional sun-baked mud-and-straw bricks.
The site is an awe-inspiring hill on the outskirts of the village of Bir, about two hours by road from the bustling town of Dharamshala in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh. When completed, the Dharmalaya Institute will serve as the new base for Earthville’s sustainable village development projects in the Himalayas and will also provide volunteer service opportunities for international visitors as well as programs for the study and preservation of traditional wisdom.
Would you like to support this unique East-meets-West service project? Dharmalaya is in need of cash contributions, grants, and other material support. Dharmalaya is a project of the Earthville Network and is also a registered charitable society in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, so all charitable donations are tax-deductible in India and the US. For details, visit the Dharmalaya Institute website.