The Story of Malhar

Ten years. 

A decade is a significant passage of time since the inception of an idea, a meaningful moment to review and revisit it, chart its process and reflect on both journey and evolution. I write this from my home in Malhar, during an unprecedented lockdown, with mixed feelings and looking for hope.
This is the story of Good Earth Malhar, a sustainable community of 500 homes in 50 acres of land, located in suburban Bangalore.

Navigating the tensions between parameters of legal requirements, financial institutions, market forces and idealistic ideas on community, craft, architecture and construction, Malhar is the result of Good Earth’s search for alternatives in urban housing. 

Sustainability in the Malhar context involves both conscious design choices and the use of ecologically sensitive materials and methods, and a community of individuals who are invested in maintaining the vision and ideals of those choices. The shared spaces across Malhar are now cared for by the residents, and numerous community initiatives ranging from vegetable farming and waste management,  to a cricket club and a  library, to bird watching expeditions and environmental activism are now a part of the routine here. Over the past seven years, a rapidly growing community of residents has given wings to the idea of Malhar, taking it far beyond our initial expectations.
With the potential to be adapted to fit different contexts and influence the practice of sustainable development, especially in smaller towns, we hope that the idea of GoodEarth Malhar will inspire groups of architects and entrepreneurs to initiate sustainable communities across the country.

This blog is an attempt to share the learnings from the past ten years, in as much detail as possible, in the hope that those learnings will be useful to the interested reader.

children playing, cycling and a beautiful sunset.


 Vision and IntentIdeas of an Indian ecovillage, the Sustainable Neighborhood
Context and Challenges –  Urban Development in Bangalore, migration and the disconnect within communities.
On Gated Communities
Reflections on the genesis of gated communities
The Story of the Land –  The Location, the Site and reflecting on the rapidly disappearing historical context of places.
Planning The Brief, The Initial idea, How the plan evolved, Design development, Features in the Plan.
Typologies and Cluster planningThe Town house, The Cluster Home, The Terraced Apartment, The Walk-up Home
Designing the House
House typesContext and requirements, The Courtyard Home, The Open Plan Home, The Sky-lit Courtyard Home, The Corner Home
Climate and Form – Response to Climate, Passive Solar
DetailsRoof, Terrace, Skylight, Balconies, Verandah, Windows.
Materials and Techniques – Aesthetics and Craft, Compressed Stabilised Earth Blocks, Stone, Timber, Roofing, Flooring.
The  Stabilised Mud Block
StructureFoundation,Walls,Roofs,Staircase, Windows, Toilets.
Water and SewerageConstruction, Services, Water Management ,Sewage treatment.
Energy ConservationPassive solar
LandscapeDesign and Planning, Integrating with the architecture, The Interactive Landscape, Details.
Spaces for the Community – Workspaces, recreation and education
Looking AheadCommunity Initiatives, 

earth, nature and craft

Our dream for Malhar...

We Hope…

that the positive energies of the team that has built will manifest in the community that inhabits.

that the residents will be inspired by the spaces and care for each other and the land.

… that residents  will be sensitive to all those who contribute to the community, within and without.

that as we inhabit the land which is home to birds, insects, reptiles, we will learn to peacefully coexist with them.

that the children of the community will be safe and secure, and grow up with family around them

that the place will be the change we want to see.”

team Good Earth Blog

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Geeta

    Lovely! Makes me proud to have seen the growth up close and personal and for having played a very tiny, insignificant part in the Goodearth journey!

    1. Natasha

      Thank you Geeta

  2. K S Shivaprasad

    Very nicely penned the music of Malhar. The smile of nature shown by way of its colours, the luluby of the birds, the laughter of its inhabitants especially the children are the response to the creation made possible by all the concerned. Our ❤️😚😌 of being a small contributer to this 🏞️🏕️ Hamlet.

    1. Natasha

      Thank you so much for being a part of this.

    2. Anita Choudhuri

      Dreams begin with irrationalities but when it stands as ground reality-it calls for introspection-thanks
      for wanting to document the journey and sharing it-dil mange more …

  3. S Ramesh Shankar

    Well crafted journey. being part of Goodearth community for the past ten years I have discovered perfection in imperfections. Well done Team Goodearth

  4. Sangeetha

    ‘Dream for Malhar’, a beautiful dream 🙂

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