About Us

Story So Far

Maroon Migrates is a modern version of the zest to innovate the methods of development, to identify sustainable ways of survival which would not alter the present scenario of the natural resources but nurture it in the future.

The Chief Explore, Nischalavalamb Barot was so much in love with his region, his home town that he was not able to accept any degradation or alteration. Narmada is a small tribal region of Gujarat state of India which he left for further studies after his schooling. After finishing his Masters in Environmental Sciences, his soul forced him to go back to the mother land and serve her. His zest to work for the forests-rivers-people-nature-environment of the Narmada region brought him back to his home town after a gap of 8 years. He was taken aback by seeing the degradation of the natural resources of the region; the area was totally discriminated and was under tremendous pressure to cope up with the modernization.

Nischal started visiting villages of the region and met with the community members. The main issue was the livelihood due to which the dependency of the local people on the forest was increasing; its haphazard exploitation was actually degrading the natural habitat. With his knowledge and experience, Nischal started identifying the possibilities of tourism development in the region as he was very well aware about the potential of the region in developing tourism. Soon, the activity of developing & promoting eco-tourism in the Narmada district got started.

We have, informally, been working since 2005 and in the year 2006 we launched our website by the helping hands of Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Narendra Modi on 16th Feb' 06 during the 'Narmada Mahotsav' festival and he also announced that Year 2006 a 'Tourism Year' for the Gujarat. Our zest was initially named Narmada Tourism, region specific and the objects were very clear to involve local community in the activity for their alternative livelihood.

Our goal to identify local activities and convert them into a tourism product was a great success. In the series of our famous Rural/Tribal adventure activities, some are; 1) Tribal Boat Safari; where a local tribal person will ride you in his fishing boat and will take you deep in to the submerged forest of Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. 2) Farming with the Tribal; where you will be allowed to work in the farm with the local. Here you can connect yourself with your roots as you survive on the food grown in these farms. 3) Local Culinary; why would you eat the same food at such destinations what you eat at home when A tribal woman will allow you to enter her kitchen and cook with her what they eat. 4) Archery & Slingshot; Use the tribal survival weapons for fun. Learn to use them and try to be local.

Our work came into notice of the Urban World and we got good response for our activities. In the year 2010, our Chief Explorer, Nischalavalamb Barot was felicitated by the Forest Authority of the region for excellence in the eco-tourism development in the Narmada region. We were encouraged to expand our horizons and we started identifying other destinations in Gujarat to replicate our work. And now we are present in all the corner of Gujarat. We identify, develop and promote Responsible Tourism in Gujarat. Our social enterprise, Maroon Migrates is now a known travel agency for its innovative work and unique experiences, for its zest of community involvement and sustainable development.

People Behind

Nischalavalamb Barot
Khushbu Majithia
Dr Bhavik Patel
Bandit Thakkar
Dipershi Mistry
Shwetangi Purohit
Arya Bhatt
Ashish Parmar

What are we trying to do?

We believe Tourism is one of the strongest tools for environmental conservation and sustainable development. We believe, to achieve sustainable development, we will have to find unconventional ways of development as our current ways of development are not capable to achieve the desired goals. So we are just trying to identify and implement the possible innovative ideas using tourism as a tool to witness sustainable development.

And then? Then world is not enough, we will expand our horizons taking our successful model with us or we will identify new ways for new area. It is not a rocket science, by the way! What we have done in the past is at least satisfactory and encouraging enough for us to work more on the same path with the same zest.

In simple words, we are "creating better places for people to live in and for people to visit"

Our Social Touch & Innovations

Today, we work in all the corners and successfully providing unique & meaningful travel experiences to the visitors. Following are our various activities as a product of unique travel experiences and community involvement.

Revival of Tribal Entertainment

We have identified that the Tribal Belt of Gujarat (a 450 km stretch of remote area of developed state Gujarat from Dahod to Dang region) is facing tremendous pressure of modernization where their traditional art, culture and entertainment tools are replacing with the modern tools, faster than anything else. We are working to revive their entertainment.

Being a tour operator, why would we work on revival of Tribal Entertainment? The answer is very simple, we believe their art, culture & entertainment tools were far more pleasant than what we have now. It is their tradition that their lifestyle is designed on the theme of sustainability through environmental conservation so their entertainment tools were designed on the same theme. We see a tourism product in it which actually can give them an alternative livelihood. Reviving their art, culture, musical instruments, folk music and festival will not only carry forward their ancient knowledge but we can promote it for the tourism activities and amaze the tourists with its story and practical use. We are taking help of Gujarat Vidyapeeth, the University established by Mahatma Gandhi, which is working on Rural Development. Their first hand knowledge of this tribal belt has helped us a lot to succeed in our work.

Elder persons of the communities, having enough knowledge are helping us in spreading their knowledge amongst the identified tribal youth interested in the activities. We have to make least efforts to attract tourists for such activities as the region, its glory and natural history is fascinating enough. In the series of our Rural/Tribal Adventure activities, we have incorporated the entertainment part making the package a complete meaningful unique experience of lifetime.

Learning the Dessert Harvesting

Little Rann of Kutch is one of the unique dessert eco-system of its kind, covering more than 5000 sq km of dry land of Gujarat. It is a home of endemic Wild Ass species and many other flora and fauna. This place is mainly known for the dessert safari to see the Wild Ass. But very few people know that a community is also co-existing with the Wild Ass in this region.

The saltpan workers, locally known as 'Agaria', harvesting around 60% of the total raw salt of the country from this non-productive dessert. They have been working here for many generations helping us cook our food tasty.

This might sound simple but their story is interesting enough creating our product to attract tourists to visit them, to learn their life skills and understand the traditional method of Salt Harvesting. They work for 8 months in the dessert and harvest only once. In every monsoon, they lose their land preparation so after every monsoon they have to start from ABCD and at the end of the season they have to harvest the raw salt which goes for processing and packaging. Around 50,000 saltpan worker families spend their life working in this dessert with nothing else but only salt.

As per the Hindu tradition, one the death, the dead-body will be burnt and in the case of this saltpan works, their legs does not get burn for long due to the salinity in their legs. Yes, it might not be funny experience to learn about it but being a tour operator, we are promoting this community excursion to generate opinion amongst travelers for the betterment of this community. And by the way, they will be happy to teach you the methods of raw salt harvesting while you are on a safari to see the Wild Ass.

Live Gandhi for a 'While'

This is our exclusive product in a try to promote sustainable development. Yes, like the saying, we also believe charity begins at home. We believe Mahatma Gandhi was the first and most innovative Responsible Traveler. His values, philosophy and lifestyle were a living book about creating sustainable life. There are many tour operators promoting destinations related to Mahatma Gandhi but we are the only and authentic tour operator to have a product on the values, philosophy and lifestyle of Mahatma Gandhi and that is also to live, that is why we have named it Live Gandhi for a While. In support of the Gujarat Vidyapeeth University which was established by Mahatma Gandhi and which is still stick to the objectives of its foundation. Even today, you will feel to be away from the world when you visit the University where everyone, with education, also learns to follow sustainable lifestyle.

It's one more product on the name of Gandhi! Yes, but not on his name. The students of the University, mostly are from the rural areas, will take active participation in the activities of this tour. We allow traveler to Live like Gandhi, to work like Gandhi, to think like Gandhi, to act like Gandhi, even to wear like Gandhi. We will also allow tourist to stay in the Kochrabh Ashram which was established by Mahatma Gandhi.

Through this product, our goal is to promote simple and sustainable lifestyle. Giving people opportunity to observe the alternatives in life which might change their perception towards life and they might find themselves during the tour. It is not that simple to understand the simple message of Mahatma Gandhi 'The earth has enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed'

The Process is also a Product

The Great Rann of Kutch is extension of the Thar dessert on the west of Gujarat which is now-a-days a famous tourist destination for its Salt Marsh which is also known as the White Dessert. The local people have adapted to this ecosystem and residing with the non-productive dessert since generations. Not only their ability to survive in this terrible condition makes them interesting but their innovation in their Arts, Crafts & Culture have made them variant amongst their own people of Gujarat.

Their textile, wooden art, jewelry or paintings all depicts their uniqueness like their surrounding eco-system. Their arts and crafts are so famous that they are now available in the cities of Gujarat.

But then why would a tour operator promote the stuff available in the Urban Market? Our product starts with such question. We do not promote the products but we promote the process of the production. The magnificent handicraft of the Kutch region is easily available in even metro cities of India but the way of its production is still ethnic and available in its original state in the rural Kutch. We take traveler to understand and experience the process of production, meet the people behind. They have amazing story behind it, we are sure you will be amazed with the history of the product. Learn how do they work on a piece of textile for months and give you the fine product which you buy within a moment without wasting time.

Exposure of these communities gives amazing feel satisfaction of being it original and ethnic to the travelers. For specific art there is specific community and their knowledge of such art is transferred from generations to generations. All their products represent their surrounding, their environment, their eco-system and their tradition. Be believe, process might give you more pleasure than the product.

Rural/Tribal Adventure

Our series of day tours offers to experience Rural/Tribal Life. Our products are day to day life of local people, their instruments, their work, their survival tactic. We have simply converted them into a travel product to give a unique experience to the Urban People. We make sure that the traveler gets involve and perform the same activity as the local is performing, it may be fishing, farming, cooking or playing. Yes, even playing the rural games takes you to the childhood and generates immense values for natural lifestyle in you.

Our effort is to allow both Urban and Rural people spend quality time together and share their knowledge and experiences of life. This might result into sustainability in Urban People's lifestyle. It becomes a lifetime experience for the Urban Traveler and they keep visiting us and opt for different activity to learn the rural lifestyle. On the other hand the local people helps the Urban people understand importance of their activities they are following and also get involve in our activity.

Even in our packages, we try to promote local transport (when we say 'local' transport we mean it), local food and local accommodation and believe us, nothing's better than a Home-stay for a pleasant experience of rural life.