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In 1926, when J. Krishnamurti decided to set up his first educational institution, this remote valley located near his birthplace in Madanapalle was the site he chose.

Since that time until a few months before is death in 1986, Krishnamurti visited Rishi Valley nearly every winter. His enquiry into the human condition and insights in education were shared with several generations of students, teachers and those involved with the care of the land. Krishnamurti created no 'blue-print' for what a school should be. However, the passionate concerns he articulated remain the basis of the school and all its endeavours.

The educational programme of the school evolved through several phases that include pioneering innovations in educational practices, infrastructure building, a widening circle of students and teachers, and the working out of a meaningful curriculum that is regularly reviewed and updated.

Since the nineteen seventies the school has been affiliated to the ISC school board and offers education to students from class 4 to class 12. Today Rishi Valley School is one of the best-known residential schools in India, with several students also applying from abroad.

Over the past three decades the Centre has built solid bridges to the local village population through our work in rural education, rural health, reforestation, bio-diversity conservation and watershed management. In the 1980s, a fledgling rural education programme was given a boost through a Government of India grant. This enabled the evolution of a multi-grade learning system that addresses many of the entrenched problems of rural education. Finding wide applicability in many parts of India more recently in Ethiopia, the rural education programme at Rishi Valley has become something of a model that various agencies draw upon. Many of them (including UNICEF and various state governments) have collaborated with us in training teachers and propagating this method of education in several regions across the country.