Learn about our Earth hand building Team

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” – Gandhi

Biju Bhaskar

Biju Bhaskar

Founder

His roots were from a traditional farmer’s family. He stopped his studies from a conventional architecture college and travelled extensively in different parts of Indian villages. After quitting his college one and a half year worked under a tribal master making driftwood sculptures in Khajuraho. In his journey he met and worked with master sculptors, painters, spiritual teachers, and photographers to uplift his knowledge in making shelters. In 2009 he was granted a degree in architecture from Indian Institute of Architecture. Same year he submitted himself to nature and started living under the foot hills of Arunachala. He founded Thannal Hand Sculpted Homes in 2011 and continuing his journey in self-study and earthen shelter.

Sindhu Bhaskar

Sindhu Bhaskar

Co-Founder

initially worked with organic clothing, plants and animals together Co-Founding Thannal Hand Sculpted Home with Biju in 2011. She is totally involved with most of the activities in Thannal including soft furnishing, handmade accessories, plants & herbs and continuing her experiments in natural finishes. She is from a village near Western Ghats, north part of Kerala and has been living in Tiruvannamalai since 2010.

Adhya and Bodhi vriksha

Adhya and Bodhi vriksha

Little coordinators

Vriksha means ‘Tree’ and Adhya means ‘First’. Both Vriksha’s are keen helpers in making of Thannal Homes. With friends in nearby alternative school they help the mountain by planting seeds and help Thannal by keeping mud.

Sriraman Gouthaman

Sriraman Gouthaman

Admin

Being an inherent nature lover, Sriraman moved to the foothills of Arunachala in 2014 after a long reluctant life in different cities.A self-taught programmer and technology enthusiast, Sriraman believes technology should never take mankind away from nature. Now continuing his journeys in Thannal Natural Building School and Alternative renewable energy solutions using elements.

Sundar Rajganesh

Sundar Rajganesh

Apprentice/ Thannalate

Young architect from Salem, Tamil Nadu, who found his interest in natural buildings after his explorations about old monuments and temples. Began a journey in natural building from roots through hands-on practice, currently serving as the design head for all projects in Thannal. Aims to take natural buildings to the common people in his native by actively practicing through Natural Builders of India.

Akhil Shajan

Akhil Shajan

Apprentice/ Thannalate

After getting introduced to Natural Buildings through workshop, he joined Thannal to pursue his journey in building close to earth. Involved in documentation, writing about various natural building methods and co-ordinating workshops, believing in the slow learning process of getting adapted to be an architect sensitive to material and space.

Gughapriyaa Elango

Gughapriyaa Elango

Apprentice/ Thannalate

After years of formal education in different cities, she is pursuing to be close to nature by un-learning and involvement in organic farming from more than a year. Strongly believes that making food without polluting nature is as important as living in a house made without harming earth. As an architect by profession, she co-ordinates organic farming activities and documentation at Thannal simultaneously learning about natural buildings.

Dawood Ibrahim Muwal, Abdul Razak Muwal & Liyakat Muwal

Dawood Ibrahim Muwal, Abdul Razak Muwal & Liyakat Muwal

Master masons in Lime & Trainer

Being a mason for decades in heritage conservation in Mumbai, Dawood ji later associated with Thannal from 2016. With him we revived the Thappi-Lohi Plaster after series of experiments on site like the underground grey water tank & lime tank. His brothers, Razak ji and Liyakat ji have co-ordinated the Revival Workshop in Thappi-Lohi Plaster in Sardarshahar, Rajasthan. They look forward to bring back the dying craftsmanship back into practice, by training more people.

Munuswamy Anna, Arunasalam Anna & Taniasalam Anna

Munuswamy Anna, Arunasalam Anna & Taniasalam Anna

Local Farmers

Three brothers from a farming family, they are active in our natural buildings from more than two years, in Earth-Bag home, Dervish Studio and Learning Center. They have also assisted numerous natural building workshops in the campus. They are also part of many experiments done on-site with master masons.

Islamuddin Muwal

Islamuddin Muwal

Lime & Mud Mason

Currently learning more about techniques in Mud and Lime, Islamuddin have left his home in Rajasthan to work with us full time, in natural materials. He is part of many new experiments done in our campus to find better solutions to challenges in natural buildings. He co-ordinates workshops and is an instructor in Thannal Natural Building School.

Dinesh Singh

Dinesh Singh

Student

He is the first student of Thannal Natural Building School from a rural background from Khajuraho, as we believe mud buildings can be absorbed easily by them. Belonging to a family of driftwood sculptors, he intends to learn more about natural buildings and be the first "Desitect" from Thannal.

Chidhambararaaja

Chidhambararaaja

Natural Farming Consultant

After studying Art and Animation for graduation, he was influenced by Nammalwar ideologies for farming and living in the natural way. After learning farming, he now works to promote natural farming in the villages through his work. He is coordinating the farming works within campus and teaching our local farmers about Natural farming.

Seth Anna & Serena Akka

Seth Anna & Serena Akka

Local Farmers

Seth Anna have been with Thannal for many years now, handing various building activities and farming within campus. He is also an active farmer who is now trained in natural building techniques. He has also worked with master masons in our site.
Serena Akka assists with natural building workshops in the campus and preparing many natural building ingredients for various uses in home making.

Dharan Ashok & Prashanth P.S.

Dharan Ashok & Prashanth P.S.

Film Maker & Music Composer/Singer.

Along with his studies as an architecture student, Dharan is exploring other art forms like film and music. He helps with documentation and video editing and has helped in the conceptualisation of Natural building music like ‘Adobe Girl’ and ‘Khoj’.
Prashanth is working in the magazine section of Sri Ravishankar Ashram for 10 years and is the musician for our Natural building songs.

Shalini Nadar

Shalini Nadar

Intern.

Currently pursuing her architecture studies from Mumbai University, Shalini is working in many documentation series and coordinating workshops. She aspires to be a Natural Builder in future.

Aparna Bansal

Aparna Bansal

Film Maker

Experienced in working for various films & documentaries for Doordarshan (Earth Matters) and other independent projects, she is working on tutorial and documentary videos on various Natural Building techniques used at Thannal, so that more people can be made aware of such methods. She intends to contribute to revival and promotion of various indigenous crafts and methodologies with her skills in film making.

Narayana Swami

Narayana Swami

Master Roof Thatcher

A professional thatcher from a village in Tiruvannamalai. He started his carrier in thatching when he was very young. His hand has touched almost all the thatched roof of Thannal Homes. When he understood about the fading thatched shelters in south India, he started dedicating most of his time in Thannal and started experimenting with us in different types of thatch roof like Palm, Reeds, Coconut leaf etc in different dimensions