Our Philosophy

Mahalaya creates the kind of experiences that inspire travelers and bring positive change in the world. We believe all businesses can take less and give more, and we seek to do this through actions, big and small, each day. It is an intuitive part of how we operate and the reason our guests find their experiences with Mahalaya more rewarding.

 

Whether it is pioneering the preservation of forgotten sites through our collaborations with local communities, or simply managing the vegetable peelings from our kitchens, we seek ways to leave a positive legacy for the sites and the communities in which we work.

 

Sustainability at Mahalaya is all about creating a company that can show meaningful and lasting benefits for these sacred cultural sites and the communities and landscapes that surround our operations.

Our Philosophy

The Mahalaya team places an order with a local bamboo craftsman in Darap, West Sikkim

Engage The Ancient

The communities of the Himalayan region are vulnerable to rapid development and environmental degradation. From the start, Mahalaya aims to be a pioneer of bio-cultural conservation and rural community empowerment.

 

Bio-cultural heritage refers to the relationship between the knowledge, and practices, of indigenous people and their natural environment. It is held collectively, sustains local economies, and is transmitted from one generation to the next

 

We take care to source locally ensuring that the value of these communities’ bio-cultural resources—that provide income and food security, and support their cultural identity and spiritual wellbeing—is maintained. In this way, we aspire to improve management of sacred spaces, create a more resilient landscape that can survive increasing tourist flows, and direct business opportunities that allow the local community to capture more revenue from tourism.

 

We are similarly mindful to use materials that are recyclable or compostable in every component of our operations.

Get a taste of organic subsistence farming in Hee-Bermiok, West Sikkim

Inspire Innovative Development

The tourism industry is not just for tourists: As tourists we want enriching holidays, but often the most alluring, remote, and attractive destinations are often home to underprivileged, indigenous cultures, whose customs and traditions are vulnerable to the over-bearing culture of tourists. And sometimes the landscapes that enchant visitors are fragile ecosystems that cannot support large numbers of tourists. Mahalaya believes that the tourism industry is, first and foremost, a means for these remote local communities to earn a livelihood and sustain their natural and cultural heritage: We are simply their guests.

 

Our responsibility as tour operators is to minimize the negative effects of our intrusion. Tourism has the capacity to effect positive change by bringing economic growth and supporting development and conservation efforts, but it needs to be managed properly. We work with operating partners, suppliers, and businesses that share our philosophy in fair and responsible travel.

Abundant in Sikkim, bamboo is often used as a sustainable alternative in construction