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Ananda in the Himalayas

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A retreat for the body mind and soul

Just the name is evocative enough to transport one to a space beyond the normal….more serene, calm, and blissful.

Perched on the brow of the early ranges of the Shivalik Mountains in the foothills of the Himalayas, at a height of 3000 feet, overlooking the holy town of Rishikesh on the Ganges, surrounded by thick Sal forest is Ananda.

The name has a myriad of meanings (happiness, joy, bliss, ecstasy, spiritual bliss)
in Sanskrit, all of which come true at some point of your stay or the other. For me, the magic began with the drive from Dehra Doon (the nearest train station or airport) to Ananda – all of 22 km in which you climb 3000 ft. on a steep, narrow winding road which takes you to Gangotri (one of India’s religious towns).  As the turbaned chauffer from the resort tells me “Yahan ke sab raste swarg jaate hain – all roads from here go to heaven.” Metaphorically or not, I certainly felt I was…when I reached there.

India’s most feted destination spa is hotelier Ashok Khanna’s dream project. Winner of innumerable international awards right from its inception in 2000, Ananda has been recognized over the last ten years in every aspect. Conceived  at a time around  10 years ago when the concept of wellness and wellbeing was being discovered around the world, he created a unique concept that would be a first of its kind in India. Based on the age old Indian traditions of holistic living he and his wife Neelam set up a world class spa that reflects international flavor and is rooted in Indian-ness.

Built on a stunning 100 acre property of the Palace of the Maharajah at Narendra Nagar in the Himalayan foothills, Ananda is just the perfect place for a destination spa or retreat. The spa occupies just 25% of the estate with the rest of the area covered by virgin forest. At a height of 3000 ft, you can have breathtaking views of the river Ganges below, and mountains around. The property has been carefully planned to capture the spiritual ethos of its location and offer the most   premium international and Ayurvedic therapies to its guests. And its programmes and facilities promise a complete mind-body-spirit makeover for a guest.

The Philosophy

At the heart of Ananda’s premise is the holistic approach to restoring balance and harmonising energy. Completely committed to help guests discover a wellbeing oriented lifestyle, it offers not only purifying whole body therapies at the spa, but also the integration of Yoga, meditation and Ayurveda to help in create harmony between the mind, body and spirit.

Every guest on arrival undergoes a one-on-one consultation with the spa experts who recommend personalized therapies and activity based on the guest needs and expectations.

According to the owner Neelam Khanna, a visit to  Ananda could be a life changing experience helping the guest  re-discover happiness and self contentment.

 

With as many as 50% of guests returning every year, it is easy to believe that it does.

Architecture & Décor

The architecture and décor of Ananda has been planned keeping the spa in focus. So while the guests to Ananda are given the traditional Indian welcome in the beautifully renovated Palace, it is the spacious 24000 sq. ft. spa that sets the tone for the look feel of the place. Built to the highest international standards, the décor is luxuriously minimalistic yet warm and welcoming.

The long Spa building is central to the property. A large earthen jar at the entrance porch bears the ubiquitous umbrellas seen everywhere on Ananda for the convenience of the guests…it can drizzle anytime.  A Ganesha on a pedestal welcomes you to the large airy double height spa reception and lounge.  Warmed by a fireplace in winter, this is the heart of the spa from which you access the treatment rooms, the salon, the health club, the ladies and men’s changing rooms, the outdoor heated pool area, and the spa boutique.

Large bevelled glass windows capture the lush landscape from every area of the spa as well as every treatment room.  Although the spa is spread over 3 floors, lifts and disabled access allows for guests to get around easily.The treatment rooms are built around a beautiful central atrium with bamboo trees open to sky giving a feeling of being surrounded by nature even when inside the spa

Read the full version of the article at emag.spamantra.in (Issue 3 page 38)

Writer | Sandhya Chipalkatti – Editor

 

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We use Non-PII to enable us to provide our Services to our Publisher partners. We also use Non-PII to enable advertisers to serve more relevant advertisements to their audience.

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Privacy

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210 Srikant Chambers

Sion Trombay Road

Chembur, Mumbai

400071 

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