Permaculture Design Certificate Course


The Permaculture Design Course is an internationally recognized, 12 day resident course resulting in a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC).  Credit for this course is now accepted by a growing number of universities around the world.

The course provides an introduction to Permaculture design as set forth by the movement’s founder, Bill Mollison in 1978. The word ‘Permaculture’ is a contraction of “Permanent Agriculture” and also of “Permanent Culture”. The aim of Permaculture is to create systems that are ecologically sound, economically viable and self sustaining.

The premise of Permaculture is based on observation of natural systems, the wisdom found in traditional farming practices, entwined with modern technological and scientific know-how to create a conscious design and a cultivated ecology. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox that covers agriculture, water harvesting, renewable energy, natural building, agroforestry, waste management, animal systems, appropriate technology, economics and community development.


Permaculture offers a solution based approach to conscious design. It alters how one lives their life, their relationship with Mother Earth and all her life-forms. Therefore, this course is for anyone who would like to live an ecologically balanced life and contribute towards a sustainable future.

We encourage participants from all walks of life, professions and countries, as more varied the batch, the richer the take-away. The PDC is a great way to meet and learn from a variety of individuals thus creating a community around people with similar interests. Students who attend PDC usually end up keeping in touch, building strong bonds where they support, encourage and celebrate each other.

The PDC is conducted in English. Translation of tough/vernacular words are tackled with the help of students and the instructors. In case a local expert (farmer, healer) is invited for a session, translators are made available.


The Permaculture Design Course is a detail oriented, enriching course that is a blend of practicals and theory. It will cover the following topics:


Narsanna Koppula is India’s most renowned permaculture practitioner. Trained by Bill Mollison and Robyn Francis in the 1980s, Narsanna has worked tirelessly for the last three decades to bring ecological and sustainable agricultural to thousands of farmers across India.

His permaculture begins with helping farmers develop water catchment systems that allow them to be self-sufficient with their water (Jala Swaraj). He teaches them to diversify their crops and to leave no ground fallow and to develop a self-sufficient farm. This allows for the formation of Mahatma Gandhi’s final goal of a self-sustainable community (Gram Swaraj).

Raya Cole is dedicated to holistic, integrated permaculture design, social justice, and mentoring students.

She believes in the importance of learning old traditional ways from local people of how to care for and live gently on the Earth; and enjoys investigating new ideas and adventures in appropriate technologies.

Raya is the coordinator and co teacher of the Living Ecology internship program, which aids the work of Aranya Agricultural Alternatives, an effective development organization in India.  She teaches permaculture consultancy to students, as they work with a poor village farmer in implementing a transformational functional farm design. Her work provides crucial examples of alternatives to GMO monocropping, and solutions to drought, dry wells, malnutrition and farmer suicides.  Raya brings her skills and experience in working with groups, communities and diverse cultures to the internship, deepening the sociocultural aspect of the program.

She teaches PDC’s and advanced courses on permaculture topics, such as, rainwater harvesting earthworks and mapping to scale and landscape graphics.

Raya was the site permaculture design coordinator for the 2017 International Permaculture Convergence (IPC) in India.  She was a co teacher in the Advanced Stream Water and Earthworks of the pre IPC PDC.

Raya is a teacher of wilderness, primitive and nature awareness skills which are essential to observation, learning from ecological systems and living lightly on the land.

She is an herbalist who grows and wildcrafts herbs for her medicinal herbal product business, Simply Being Botanicals.  She teaches herbal medicine workshops.

Raya provides permaculture consultancy and implementation on farms in the United States, Costa Rica and India. She has developed two of her own farms with permaculture principles in California and has just begun the fun of designing her third farm in the Sierra foothills.

Guest teachers are often invited to share their expertise and experience in specific areas of Permaculture, thus diversifying the learning source.


The course will be conducted in one of the following farms:

Aranya Farm – The ideal learning ground for Permaculture, this 10-acre farm sits near Zaheerabad and has been developed following permaculture principles by Aranya Agricultural Alternatives’ founders to become a functional model. It is an oasis of green and an excellent example of rainfed agriculture in the dry lands. Indigenous perennials keep the farm supplied with tropical fruits 365 days a year. Aranya is the perfect location to learn about Indian Permaculture, water harvesting, plant identification and uses. It is a warm, welcoming, constantly evolving place with one motto: (almost) everything should come from the system and remain as long as possible within the system.

Polam Farm –Situated by the Singur reservoir near Andole village in Sangareddy district of Telangana, two former students of Narsanna, highly inspired, decided to become the custodians of this 96-acre farm and apply what they’ve learnt. This young farm (2 years old) is being developed under the guidance of their teacher to make it a regenerative, eco-friendly and sustainable.


“Despite growing for 3 years on my roof top, I had a lot of gaps in my knowledge which this course was able to bridge. I am more confident about creating abundance via microclimate and managing rain water on my and my friends’s roof tops and balconies.” – Deepa, Sustainability life coach, Delhi

“The content of the course and the way it was presented was definitely a big motivation. The entire experience of learning by doing was very enriching and holistic. I look forward to applying these learnings on my farm.” – Sampada, Content developer and teacher trainer, Pune

“This was a very different but very good course. The practicals were very helpful and unique compared to other permaculture design courses. I will apply this learning first in my backyard and then in my future farm.” – Clare, Student, Australia.

“15 days ago, I felt like a stranger to the soil and land but now there is more than just acquaintanceship, there is love! I am so glad that through this course, I’ve been able to connect and get a deeper understanding of the earth. I wish to start a farm soon.” – Ramya, Strategy Consultant, Hyderabad.