Way back in 2011, The Shilaroo Project (TSP) first sprung up as an exciting idea and with time we nurtured it over many conversations. A year later, in 2012 we first stepped foot in Shilaroo, armed with some ideas, a few dreams, and very little knowledge. With woolens that were not thick enough and knowledge that wasn’t deep enough, our first season at Shilaroo was challenging.
After accommodating and acclimatizing to the terrain and weather, we began the construction of TSP, following a blueprint, that was tailored keeping in mind our interest in nature and its elements.
The next step was deepening our knowledge of farming and adventure activities that were scheduled to be an integral part of TSP. The universe was cooperating with us to that effect- the Horticulture University in Solan, Himachal Pradesh organized a 3-day workshop on natural farming by the illustrious Subhash Palekar, the Indian agriculturist who practices Zero Budget Natural Farming and we jumped at the opportunity. And very soon we began applying the natural farming methods at Shilaroo, and the results were unbelievable.
In 2014, joined by a couple of friends, we undertook a trek to Chanshal Peak, at a height of 4, 520 meters, with the base camp about 5 hours from Shilaroo. Encouraged and emboldened by the thrill and success of that expedition, in 2015 we embarked on a spiritually fueled adventure trek to Shrikhand Mahadev Peak, 18,570 feet above sea level, in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.
We explored, interrogated, intervened, we experienced, we struggled, we learnt together, and individually, till The Shilaroo Project became a tangible reality.
In the end, Shilaroo wasn’t a choice we fought hard to win, it was a calling we followed on a journey homeward, to resuscitate the land left to us by our ancestors. A journey towards a keen sense of awareness of self and our surroundings.
The requisite skills of Shubhangna in Yoga and Virangna in Ceramics turned an exciting idea into The Shilaroo Project. Going from seed to sprout, however, we relied on a team of competent and skilled people without whom The Shilaroo Project wouldn’t ever have been possible.