Learnings from Thermal Comfort Adaptation of Jain Ascetics During Heat Waves

Jay Dhariwal

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India
Corresponding Author: jay@design.iitd.ac.in

Sonal Gangrade

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India

Shalu Agrawal

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India

Cite this article

Dhariwal, J., Gangrade, S., Agrawal, S. (2024). Learnings from Thermal Comfort Adaptation of Jain Ascetics During Heat Waves. In Proceedings of Energise 2023- Lifestyle, Energy Efficiency, and Climate Action, pp 309–318, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. https://doi.org/10.62576/DXWV7235


  • Severe heat waves are affecting a large vulnerable population in India, impacting their health and well-being.
  • The Jain monks and nuns in India have been leading their lives without electricity use for hundreds of years.
  • This study went beyond the India Model for Adaptive Comfort range for indoor operative temperatures.
  • 90% of the surveyed subjects expressed acceptability of the thermal conditions in the strong heat stress range. of UTCI
  • Improved adaptive thermal comfort range can help bring down the cooling related energy consumption significantly.


Climate change is leading to severe heat waves in India, affecting a large vulnerable population and impacting their health and well-being. The recent adaptive thermal comfort research for Indian climates suggested that the people living in residential buildings can adapt to indoor temperatures upto 35 ℃. The Jain ascetics in India have been leading their life without the use of electricity for hundreds of years, irrespective of the temperatures. In this study, thermal comfort surveys with 20 monks and nuns were carried out during summer for the composite climate of Delhi. 90% of the subjects expressed acceptability of the thermal conditions while the indoor operative temperatures varied between 35 ℃ and 40 ℃. This study should offer hope to people globally that if we can gradually adapt to the rising temperatures, we may be able to move on with our lives without affecting our comfort or health.


Adaptive Thermal Comfort, Ascetics, UTCI, Health and Wellness, Heat Waves


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