Healing In Kerala
Condé Nast Traveller India|August/September 2017
Healing In Kerala

From pristine beaches to palace retreats, god’s own country offers ayurvedic resorts for every kind of traveller.

Jyoti Kumari


Be prepared to let go of all worldly traps when you sign up for a detox programme here. This 20-room property prides itself on following the rules of ayurveda without exception. A team of senior vaidyas supervises your diagnosis, treatments and therapies, which may change depending on your reception and reaction to them. While the majority of patients come for treatment of serious conditions like arthritis, psoriasis, post-chemo and post-cancer care, the retreat also offers packages for weight loss and beauty. Guests can walk around the property and help in looking after the vechur cows that yield milk used in medication. The food is completely organic, with most of the vegetables grown on campus and served on copper, zinc and tin plates and bowls, which are believed to have medicinal value. And if you need more incentive, this is where South Indian cinema’s superstars, from Rajinikanth to Mammootty, come for their annual rejuvenation. CNT TIP: The retreat closes every summer for renovations, so plan your trip accordingly. (www.  ayurvedamana.com; from 5,450 per person per night) 


This island property is set in the middle of picture-perfect rice fields. All 16 wooden cottages are built in the traditional Kerala style, facing a herb garden. Athreya is one of the three centres in the country that offer a highly specialised form of ayurveda called the Kutee Praveshika Rasayana, in which your treatment takes place in a hut with almost no light, and minimal contact with the outer world. This treatment is essentially a combination of rejuvenation therapies and herbal medicines that are believed to slow down the ailments associated with ageing by increasing the body’s immunity and strength. It is meant for those who have already undergone a complete detox of the body and mind with two to three weeks of Panchakarma. The idea is to help you focus, contemplate and come out with a completely relaxed mind and body. Additionally, the resort offers personalised treatments and services depending on the needs of the guests after a thorough discussion with the physician. CNT TIP: There is no pool or beach at this property, but the views of the rice paddies more than compensate for it. (www.theathreya.com; from 1,37,200 per person for the 14-day programme)


Set up in 1997, this is India’s first ayurvedic resort, which provides a combination of treatments in a comfortable surrounding. All treatments, whether the most basic cleanse or a highly refined Panchakarma and Rasayana ayurveda, are taken equally seriously. From front desk to treatment room, the stafftakes time to understand the cause of the problem before explaining the finer points of ayurveda and finalising a treatment plan based on your needs. Everybody, whether there for a short course or a longer stay, is assigned a customised plan depending on their physical, emotional and spiritual state as well as medical history. For best results, we recommend yoga on the beach in the morning, an ayurvedic therapy in the afternoon and watching a music or dance performance in the evening. The property offers a number of scenic spots where you can catch the sunrise or sunset while perfecting your asanas, and the open-air restaurant is a great place to meet other guests. CNT TIP: Make sure you carry comfortable walking shoes as the property is built on a hillock and the treatment rooms are at a distance from the cottages. (www.somatheeram.org; from 63,100 per person for a minimum week-long programme)


With 30 villas spread over 60 acres of lush greenery, Kairali is the place to go if you want complete peace and privacy. In addition to cleansing and healing treatments, it also offers training courses in ayurveda and yoga. Solo travellers will especially appreciate learning concepts such as ‘mindfulness’, that promise to change your life from the inside out. Whether it’s the way you eat or breathe, every action has a direct impact on your emotional and physical health and at Kairali, you’re taught to control that through daily meditation and yoga along with your treatment. If you do feel like taking a break, sign up for the village tour to see local life up close. Or take a trip to the Kairali factory to watch the making of ayurvedic medicines. And if you don’t want to leave the property, go for a walk to the orchard and vegetable garden. CNT TIP: Ask for a villa away from the pool as most guests end up coming for a swim around the same time and it can get rather noisy. (www. ayurvedichealingvillage.com; from 23,100 per person for a three-day stay).



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August/September 2017