Ulpotha offers the ultimate blend of relaxation and ecological commitment" -Conde Nast Traveller

Nurturing Nature

Ulpotha is first and foremost an oasis of nature.

Economic policies

  • 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 us locally.

  • 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, etc).

  • 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 to guests

Social policies

  • 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 such projects.

  • 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.

  • GOs have participated in Ulpotha for the benefit of the local community (e.g. stocking the lake with fish for the local fishermen).

Environmental policies

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, etc)

  • 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.

Waste management