India is an incredible destination, and I think it makes for the most special ladies trip! The culinary experiences, the shopping, the yoga, the cooking school, the spa and Ayurveda treatments – pure heaven! Here my mom and I are taking off for our Southern Indian Wellness Adventure!
Most flights arrive at Indian Airports in the wee hours of the morning, so Mom and I landed at 2am in Bangalore and were met at the airport by our driver who took us to the outskirts of the city for 3 days of detoxing at Shreyas Retreat.
Bangalore – Shreyas Retreat
Situated just an hour’s drive from the Bangalore International Airport, Shreyas is a sprawling oasis of green. With only 12 different accommodations spread over 25 acres of landscaped greenery, water bodies, and organic gardens, guests are able to commune with nature and benefit from its healing power. Shreyas is a seamless blend of the modern and the timeless, luxury and simplicity, indulgence and enlightenment. The private, serene and “simply” luxurious accommodation has been structured to make the guest feel like they are living in the middle of nature. The architecture and interiors are a confluence of traditional and the modern – tiled roofs, antique doorways and stone pillars give way to contemporary interiors and state of the art facilities.
Shreyas is dedicated to promoting the authentic spiritual tradition of Yoga in a holistic manner and is recognized as one of the finest Yoga retreats in the world. What makes Shreyas unique is that, while Yoga is taught in traditional ashram style (daily yoga, meditation sessions, chanting classes, a strict vegetarian, no alcohol policy and community service), our guests live in a luxurious environment normally associated with a star hotel. They enable their guests to integrate the manifold facets and benefits of Yoga into their daily lives without the austerity and rigor usually associated with ashrams.
They offer a private, tranquil haven to pamper, nourish, detoxify and recharge themselves; and if they have the desire, to provide a road map to guide them down a spiritual path of self-discovery. Every aspect of our resort is dedicated to this purpose:
- Yoga Sessions to rejuvenate and cleanse the body
- Meditation sessions and other yogic practices to calm the mind
- Spa treatments to rejuvenate the body and remove toxins
- Nourishing, organic vegetarian food to detoxify and heal the body
- An environment and accommodations, which allow the guest to benefit from the positive energy of nature
- Community service to experience the joy of giving
- Discussions on yoga philosophy and scriptures
Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India.
It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease.
According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe — living or not — is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness.
For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional wellbeing can cause you to be out of balance with the universe.
What you eat very much affects your health and we ate so very well here!
Ft. Cochin – Malabar House and Trinity
This charming and historic port town has wonderful shopping, restaurants and beautiful colonial architecture and history. The vibe in this part of Kerala is relaxed and tropical fun.
Purity Hotel located on Lake Vembanad was a very peaceful retreat with a unique art collection and delicious food and absolutely fabulous Ayurvedic spa treatments. This is a launching point to cruise the back waters for many.
Houseboat tourism is the most popular activity in the backwaters of Kerala, with several large Kettuvallams (traditional rice boats, now converted into floating hotels).
Backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 km of canals both manmade and natural, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes extending from one end of Kerala to the other.
Backwaters is one of the major tourism product of Kerala, being unique to the state. Traditionally used as one of the main transportation alleys, today backwaters offer a rejuvenating experience for tourists visiting Kerala.
The backwaters can be explored by hiring a boat for one or several days. If you go for more than a day, the boat usually comes with a navigator and a cook, which provide you with various facilities when exploring the backwaters.
Surya Samudra, Kovalam – Final stop at Niraamaya
We saved the best for last!
Surrounded by lush greenery and the Arabian Sea, Surya Samudra’s 31 heritage cottages are traditional Keralite heritage homes which effortlessly blend weathered wood with contemporary luxury. They offer a perfect balance between old world charm and modern day comfort.
The best adventure of all was visiting the fish market at 5am and watching the local fisherman bring in their catch and auction it off to the highest bidders.