In A Nutshell

The Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary is dedicated to the plants of the Western Ghats, a mountain range running down the western coastline of peninsular India. Founded in 1981 by Wolfgang Theuerkauf, the Sanctuary is a garden of wild plant species grown at the edge of a rainforest reserve. Our intention is to rehabilitate endangered species and restore habitats in a highly fragmented landscape, in which only a fraction of original forest remains and a high percentage of species are rare, vulnerable or threatened by imminent extinction.


The Sanctuary is run by a small group of resident gardeners, naturalists and educators, and supported by a wide circle of well-wishers. Together we offer an approach that is connected to the climate, land, habitats, climate, plants, animals and people of the Western Ghats.

The work at the Sanctuary includes:

People at the Sanctuary:

Founder and late Chief:  Wolfgang Theuerkauf (originally from Berlin, Indian citizen since 1981)

Plant Conservation:

Laly Joseph (Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Balsaminaceae, Gesneriaceae), Suma Keloth (Orchidaceae, Araceae, Zingiberaceae, carnivorous and ornamental plants) and Purvi Jain (Fabaceae, Poaceae, Gentianaceae, Asteraceae, Acanthaceae).

Suprapha, Laly and Suma

Restoration, Education and Outreach:  Suprabha Seshan

Community Base:

Leelamma (chef, kitchen garden and farm); Janu and Sugadha (kitchen support) ; Shailesh Nambiar (dairy and supplies).


Sanctuary migrants:

Abhishek Jain, Anna Theuerkauf, Diba Siddiqi, Sandilya Theuerkauf, , Sruti Yusufi, Graham Doctor, Sora Tsukamoto, Stefi Barna, Lorenzo Castellari, N. Venu.

About this website: