Hands-On + Online

Immersive 5-Day Combo Natural Building Workshop

Note: Please follow the registration procedure after reading the entire terms and workshop details

Immersive 5-Day Combo Natural Building Workshop

1. January 26th – 30th, 2024 (Status: House-full)

2. August 10th – 14th, 2024 (Status: Open)

If you’re excited about joining this year’s 5-day Hands-on and Complete Companion Natural Building Combo workshop, you can now sign up for the waiting list in case all seats are filled. If there are any cancellations or openings, we will notify you promptly. To ensure you have a reserved seat, please send an email to thannalroots<@>gmail.com

Time- 09:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Venue: Thannal Campus, Tiruvannamalai, TamilNadu

Tamil Nadu 5 Day Combo Natural building workshop India


Opt for the optimal blend of hands-on practice and online learning to master natural building.

Due to popular demand from many earth lovers, we are introducing a Combo workshop. Here’s what you’ll receive:

Why Should You Choose a Combo Workshop?

Envision participating in our interactive, hands-on workshop. This experience isn’t just enjoyable; it’s a comprehensive immersion that sparks your passion for building. However, numerous questions arose before the workshop and in the months following it. This is where the combo workshop truly stands out. It merges the hands-on workshop experience with an accessible, self-paced online course, greatly enhancing your learning journey. It’s like having a personal guide at your disposal, ready to answer all your crucial questions before and after the workshop. Take advantage of this invaluable opportunity!

Fee Structure

The workshop fee is 37,000 INR per participant, which covers both the Hands-on Workshop and the Complete Companion of Natural Building Online Course (Parts 1-4). To confirm your spot, you need to make an advance payment of 22,000 INR. You can pay the remaining 15,000 INR on the first day of the 5-day hands-on workshop.

For families, if a spouse or a child wishes to join the hands-on workshop, there’s an additional charge of 18,000 INR. Please note that this fee provides access to the hands-on workshop only; the online course access remains limited to one account. Children under 10 years old can participate for free. Kids aged 10-16 years are eligible for a 50% discount on the workshop fee, making it 9,000 INR. Any additional family members should also pay 50% of their fee in advance as a registration deposit.

Participants who have previously purchased the online course and wish to attend the hands-on workshop can do so by paying a fee of 20,000 INR. It’s important to note that there are only 5 extra seats available for these participants, and these will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. This fee includes lunch & refreshments during workshop days and excludes accommodation & food & travel expenses.

Note: Our policy generally accommodates seats for husbands, wives, and children as family members. We offer a total of 15 full tickets, along with 5 seats for family members.

5 Day Hands-On Workshop

Day 1
Thannal and Team Introduction, Participants introduction, Introduction to Natural Building (Theory), Material Library (Theory), Thannal Lab Natural Building glossary (Theory), Mud Class (Theory and Hands-on) | Break | Mud Sampling (Hands-on) || Lunch || Lime Class (Prototype), Bamboo and its types and treatment (Theory and Prototype)| Break | Cob Mix (Hands-on)

Day 2
Admixtures (Theory and Prototype), Wall systems (Theory) | Mud Mix (Hands-on), Adobe bricks making (Hands-on) || Lunch || Mud Mix(Hands-on), Cob wall making, Niches, Window placement (Hands-on).

Day 3
Cob correction(Hands-on),  Wattle and Daub mix (Hands-on) || Lunch || Wattle and Daub (Hands-on), Sculpting in Wattle and Daub (Hands-on)

Day 4
Dry Mix (Hands-on), Earth Bag making (Hands-on), CSMB (Hands-on) || Lunch || Plasters theory and hands-on application (Theory and Hands-on)

Day 5
Roofing (Theory and Prototype), Lime wash, Clay paints (Prototype)|| Lunch || Doubt clearing session (Theory), Campus Tour, Group Photo

No. of Theory sessions: 10  | No. of Hands-On sessions: 13 | No. of Prototype: 5

Online Course

Part 1: Essential Materials of Natural Building – Introduction to Natural Building, Mud, Bamboo, Lime, Surkhi, Admixtures – 1

Part 2: Natural roofing techniques – Introduction to Roofing Techniques, Flat Mud Roof, Madras Terrace Roof, Limecrete Roof, Khiru Roof, Adobe Roof, Pot Tile Roof / Country tile roof, Sandwich Roof using Terracotta Tile

Part 3: Wall Systems & Foundation – Foundation, plinth and plinth beam, Different Wall systems, Wet mixes, Cob, Wattle and Daub, Adobe, Dry mixes, Earthbag, CSMB, Openings, Masonry and mixes

Part 4: Natural Finishes & Flooring

Click here to know more about the Natural Building Online course library

Total Duration: About  20 hours | Learn at your own pace | Validity: Lifetime

Workshop Location:
Thannal campus, Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu

The fee covers lunch and refreshments exclusively during the workshop days. However, it does not include accommodation, travel expenses, or any costs associated with site visits.

Nearest Railway Stations: Tiruvannamalai, Katpadi and Villupuram.
Nearest Airport: Chennai, Bangalore.

Accommodation & Transportation:

Accommodation is not available within the Thannal Campus. Therefore, participants are required to find and arrange their own guest house. We will provide a list of nearby places to stay. Please note that the accommodation cost is not included in the course fee. Additionally, participants are responsible for organizing their daily commute to the campus, which is located 6 km from Ramana Ashram, Tiruvannamalai, during the workshop days. Many guest houses in the area offer bicycles or scooters for rent at nominal rates, which can facilitate transportation. Alternatively, participants can consider sharing vehicles with other participants.

Kindly read the Cancellation Policy:

We understand that circumstances may arise when you can’t attend our hands-on workshop after booking a seat. However, kindly note that we have limited seats available and finding a replacement on short notice may be difficult.

The advance payment is non-refundable, but in return, you will receive access to the Part 1-4 Complete Companion of the Natural Building Online Course.

If you wish to cancel your booking, kindly inform the Thannal team via email at least 20 days prior to the workshop. In such a case, we will provide you with the opportunity to attend the next 5-day workshop without any penalties (so be sure to attend our next 5-day workshop). It is important to note that seat availability follows a first-come, first-served basis, and only 5 seats are allocated for cancellations. If all 5 seats have been booked, you will have a chance to participate in the subsequent workshop.

For cancellations within 20 days of the workshop, you will be charged an additional fee of 4,500 INR per person. Therefore, the total payment due will be 19,500 INR (15,000 INR + 4,500 INR). If family members are registered with you, this fee may vary. In such cases, you will have the option to attend the next 5-day workshop. However, please note that this option is only available for the immediately following 5-day workshop and cannot be extended to later sessions.

Please be aware that we do not offer refunds for cancellations. Instead, we present these two options to accommodate your needs. We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and thank you for choosing Thannal for your natural building education.


To book the tickets write to us thannalroots<@>gmail.com. The further step-by-step process and payment details shall be informed to you via mail. Kindly note that entry to the workshop is only possible through email; further details will be provided via email.

Prepare for the day:

Please see the link for details of things to carry, the nearest airport, hotels, and other matters of concern- Prepare for the workshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, you’ll find responses to the questions we get asked the most. Should you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always here and happy to assist!

Participate in the Thannal Team’s 5-day hands-on workshop and engage directly in real building projects, supervised by seasoned experts. This workshop not only immerses you in the practice of natural building but also connects you with a community sharing your enthusiasm. You’ll gain exclusive access to an online course, enriching your knowledge from material selection to final construction details. Additionally, it’s a fantastic opportunity to network with supportive peers, including volunteers, architects, and engineers, who can play a vital role in your projects.

Guiding you through the enriching 10-day natural building training are the accomplished team of Architect Biju Bhaskar, boasting 15 years of expertise, and his partner, Sindhu Bhaskar. Complementing them is Architect Dharan Ashok, bringing a new perspective with his 5 years of field experience. Furthermore, your learning will be enriched by local villagers and skilled masons experienced with Thannal, who will share their valuable, hands-on knowledge with you.

The duration of natural building courses can vary, but it’s noteworthy that a 2-day hands-on program can be remarkably effective. This effectiveness is heightened when the program is combined with the comprehensive Part 1-4 online course. In fact, some individuals have even successfully built homes after just a 2-day workshop. For those looking for an immersive, hands-on experience, a 10-day program could be more advantageous. These longer programs provide a more in-depth exploration and thorough engagement with natural building techniques.

If you’ve already purchased the Part 1-4 online course and wish to join the new program, you’re certainly welcome to participate in the hands-on workshop. As an existing online course user, you can enroll by paying a fee of Rs. 20,000. This provides an excellent opportunity to enhance your learning with practical, hands-on experience.

Absolutely, enrollment is essential! Our extensive experience reveals that this online course is incredibly valuable. It equips you with essential knowledge and addresses numerous questions you might have both before and after the workshop. This foundational knowledge ensures that you fully benefit from the hands-on training experience we offer.

A self-paced online course offers you a learning journey that adapts to your individual schedule and preferred location. It gives you the freedom to learn from wherever you choose, whenever you want, entirely at your own speed. While you won’t have a tutor in person, you’re not isolated in your educational path. Our engaging online community is constantly accessible, ready to provide support, clarify doubts, and respond to any queries you may have.

To fully benefit from the hands-on workshop, it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with specific key chapters. This isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about laying a solid foundation for your practical experience. Here’s a tailored guide to what you should explore:

  1. Introduction to Natural Building: Start here to grasp the basics and ethos of natural building. Learn More
  2. Introduction to Roofing Techniques: Dive into roofing methodologies, a crucial aspect of any structure. Explore Here
  3. Different Types of Wall Systems: Focus on the first two chapters to understand various wall systems in natural building. Check it Out
  4. Types of Natural Plasters: Discover the various plasters that breathe life into walls. Discover More

While completing the entire 20-hour Part 1-4 course is optional before the workshop, engaging with these specific chapters will significantly enhance your hands-on experience. You can delve into the rest of the course afterwards, enriching your overall understanding and application of natural building techniques.

A prototype session is a vibrant and interactive part of our workshop. Here, skilled artisans take center stage to display their expertise across various crafts. Far from being just a demonstration, it’s a fully interactive learning experience. While these artisans exhibit their skills, mentors provide in-depth commentary on the methods and techniques used. This immersive approach allows you to closely observe, understand, and learn the fine details of craftsmanship, making it a vital aspect of the learning experience. component of the educational experience.

Comparison Table

Our tailored workshops offer a range of experiences to suit your interests and availability. Whether you have just a couple of days or can immerse yourself for longer, we have something for everyone. Compare our 2-day, 5-day, and 10-day hands-on combo workshops to find your perfect fit.

Quick 2-Day Combo Natural Building Workshop Immersive 5-Day Combo Natural Building Workshop Extensive 10-day Combo Natural Building Workshop
Hands-On Sessions 5 13 25
Theory Sessions 8 10 15
Prototype Sessions 6 5 8
Online course access Part 1-4 Part 1-4 Part 1-4
Fees per participant 28,000 INR 37,000 INR 48,000 INR
Fees for additional participants (Family Members only) 8,000 INR 18,000 INR 30,000 INR
Fees for children age 10-16 4,000 INR 9,000 INR 15,000 INR
Fees for children below 10 Free Free Free
Site visits to see Natural buildings No No Yes
Discussions and presentations about various projects No Yes Yes
Doubt Clearing sessions No Yes Yes
Know about materials in natural building Yes Yes Yes
Making walls Hands-on Only cob and wattle and daub in full scale, making of CSEB, Adobe prototype Cob, Wattle and Daub in full scale, CSEB, Adobe and Earthbag block/unit making only All types which cover cob, wattle and daub in Full scale earthbag, adobe unit/block and wall making, CSEB block/unit making only
Roofing Techniques No Theory and Prototype(Mud roof and Limecrete rood) Theory and Hand-on(Mud roof and Limecrete rood)
Foundation, Plinth and Plinth Beam No No Yes, both theory and prototype
Natural Plasters Theory and Prototype only (3 plasters only) - 2 hr session Theory and Hands-on (6 Plasters + Clay Plaster and Lime Wash) - 8 hour session Theory, Sampling and Hands-on (6 Plasters + Clay Plaster and Lime Wash) - 16 hour session
Natural Flooring No No Theory and Hands-on Cow Dung - mud flooring, Lime flooring, Natural tile placing
Testing Participants soil No Yes Yes
Mortar Classes No No Yes
Who can Attend? Everyone Everyone Everyone

*Please be aware that any topics not fully addressed in the hands-on sessions will be thoroughly covered in the online course.*


Click on the name to view the detailed review.

Nadine Saidi
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One of the absolute best experiences in 2023. The expertise, research, and knowledge that was shared was invaluable. They also live what they teach, and are innovators and experimenters at heart, which I loved! I came from Lebanon, and they were very welcoming. Although not all materials are found in my homeland, given the invitation to experiment and explore, I was given a strong foundation and tools to apply back home. Very grateful.
Madhuri Kodali
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It was an experience beyond words. While the hands on experience of building a natural home is one great thing - from learning to build mud walls, make plasters and also our own paints - the exposure to the utter simple, conscious living of Biju sir and the whole family is another thing. Thannal natural building is definitely God’s work! I hope more people come to know of Thannal and give a thought to wean themselves away from the material ridden consumerist culture. Thanks to the whole team of Thannal!
Keshav Agarwal
Martial artist
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I am sincerely grateful to Thannal for empowering us with the knowledge and skills to construct eco-friendly homes using mud. Their dedication to sustainable building practices is truly commendable, and the training provided has been invaluable. Thannal's teachings not only promote environmental consciousness but also foster a deep connection with the Earth. I appreciate their commitment to spreading awareness about eco-friendly construction, and I feel empowered to contribute positively to our planet. Thank you, Thannal, for being a beacon of inspiration in the journey toward sustainable living.
Sonali Kulkarni
Architectural Consultant
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Doing this workshop has been a highlight of my year! Doing the hands on workshop along with the online course has been a game changer. As a practicing architect, this was a way to go back to the roots of indigenous building methods, many of them are lost to the advent of modern technology. The Thannal team, Biju Anna, Sindhu Akka, Ar Dharan and their team of skilled workers are doing truly remarkable work of documenting, preserving, practising and promoting these traditional methods. Being aware of these technologies and materials and experiencing them hands on, getting dirty in the mud is required to understand the true beauty of this way of building. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the workshop and got to interact with people with varied backgrounds, all curious about building in a sustainable way. Would recommend this to everyone who wishes to engage in natural building methods out of curiosity or with a view to implement them to live projects.. three cheers to team Thannal!!!
Swapna Salian
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I work in IT industry and come with no experience or background in architecture or natural building techniques. All I have is a keen interest in watching videos on these with whatever Google has to offer. And during one such search, I came across some content on Thannal and I found the videos to be very clear and informative, even for someone like me. Had no reason not to jump on to the online + hands on session that Thannal was offering. The online content is very simple to understand with information on how we can build a house with natural building materials. And the 5 day hands on course gives a live demo and practice of the possibilities one can achieve using natural materials available close to your land and ofcourse with your individual creativity and patience. A lot of respect for Biju sir, Sindhu ma'am, Dharan and every person involved in Thannal. Seeing them being so passionate about their art and pursue it despite the challenges is inspiring. The information they have is vast and doing a great job in documenting it. For all those who are interested in gaining this knowledge and putting it to good use, Thannal is the right platform.
Priyatanu Baruah
Bamboo Specialist
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I am an engineer and into construction business.Bamboo is my passion and I promote low cost housing using Bamboo. I heard a lot about Thannal and finally able to join them for a 5day workshop in October 2023. The course is very interesting and a eye opener for me. A very well designed course with a online study material provided much before the commencement of hands on training.The hard and painful practical portions were made fun filled with music. The faculty members are truely a knowledge banks. Each and every doubt is cleared with a smile. I am sure that the knowledge and skills that were imparted to me during the training is going to change my whole thought process of making houses and holistic living. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Biju sir, Dharan sir and Sindhu mam.
Satyajeet Patwardhan
Architect from Amoeba Design
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This is an institution in itself run by the people who have passionately dedicated their lives to bridge precious missing link between the 'truly sustainable' technology that existed in our own country and the building practice that is followed now. I am an architect myself running my own studio and I am deeply inspired by their knowledge and passion about earth building. The five day workshop is a great overview of the subject matter and I will highly recommend this to everyone whether you belong to design/construction field or not. The overall workshop had a great energy and we all enjoyed putting our hands in the mud and create something with your own hands !! There's a lot to know beyond the knowledge of construction techniques. It is also about cultivating an outlook towards our mother earth and a perspective that we always had in India. A great workshop to learn, retrospect and put your hands in the mud and feel your earth !!!
Ramkumar Venkatraman
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Hello All, I am an IT worker by profession and was looking to build a home. During the search I learnt about natural way of building and happened to come across Thannal. Subsequently, I had a chance to register and attend a 5 day Workshop conducted by Thannal at their campus in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India in Oct 2023. I would greatly appreciate the course structure, broken down into online and offline courses. The online course is structured for anyone to understand the basics so that they get to know on what is natural way of building and their different nuances and styles. The 5 days physical(offline) class is an eyeopener for what you learnt in the online courses. You get to practically implement what was learnt online. There is a detailed explanation again on the offline/physical classes so that people can refresh it again. In the workshop we experimented with mud, lime, admixtures and many more as different teams to prototype different systems like mud samples, adobe bricks, building walls, plastering and many more.
Yashwanth TammineediManufacturing business
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one of the best workshops i’ve attended my whole life. the whole team is an inspiration. the way the worshop has been and the efforts they’ve put to make it happen is just incredible. i’m humble with gratitude to be able to receive the years of knowledge that they have gained.
Jishnu VarakothMarine Engineer
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The best thing I did in 2023!. I completed the 5 day Natural building workshop at Thannal from 1st to 5th Oct 2023. My name is Jishnu, I’m a marine engineer by profession and I have no background in Architecture or Structural buildings. Biju sir and his team were so amazing. They taught us the basics of natural building from the scratch. We had good hands on experiences from day one itself. They served us tasty South Indian lunch and herbal teas during breaks. Biju sir’s wife Sindhu Akka was also so helpful and always answered everything with a smile. I made a lot of friends and everyone was very friendly. The guys in my group were so coordinative and we had so much of fun throughout the week. Last but not the least, how can I end it without telling about Dharan. Everyday I ate his brain pouring my endless doubts and he never felt bored and always taught me extra. I have no words to thank Biju sir and his team for conducting this workshop and sharing your knowledge to us. May god help you do more and more documentation, conduct workshops and build natural homes to keep inspiring people like us. I’ll share few pictures from the workshop…

Completed Workshops

Over 50 +  hands-on training programmes were conducted and 1500+ people trained
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