Discover India|March - April 2020
Wellness in the Himalayas
Yoga on a hill, organic brunches, and forest bathing—opt for this wellness itinerary that goes beyond spas.
Duration 7 Days
Starting point Delhi
Ending point Dehradun
Delhi to Nainital
Although India’s long coastline o ers spiritual and physical therapy, a wellness vacation in the foothills of the Himalayas is unparalleled. Spend a day in Nainital if your idea of healing involves taking idyllic strolls or paddling on pristine waters. Nainital, 330 kilometres from Delhi, allows you to experience nature at your own pace. Around Lake Naini, a web of walking tracks is ideal for long strolls, with the distant Himalayan peaks adding to the serenity. Make yourself at home at The Naini Retreat, a luxury heritage resort overlooking the lake from the Ayarpatta Slopes (starts from ₹13,450/ USD182; leisurehotels.co.in). The resort o ers various experiences like excursion to an apple orchard, golf games, forest walks, spa sessions, and more. You can fly from Delhi to Pantnagar Airport (two hours from Nainital) or take an overnight bus to Kathgodam, 35 kilometres from Nainital.
Jim Corbett National Park
After taking leisurely walks in the lap of the Himalayas, pack your bags for some nature therapy and head to Jim Corbett National Park, around two hours from Nainital. Jim’s Jungle Retreat—an eco-conscious boutique resort tucked away on the southern end of Jim Corbett National Park—is for those who believe that a wellness retreat doesn’t have to be austere (starts from ₹8,400/ USD115; jimsjungleretreat.com). It is an eco-conscious wildlife speciality lodge where cycling tracks are surrounded by herbs and medicinal shrubs, and thick foliage blankets rustic cottages. Go on nature walks along the organic farms, take safari rides in the national park, get therapeutic massages at the spa, and try forest bathing in the silent woods around the property.
Jim Corbett National Park to Rishikesh
Rishikesh, the yoga capital, is 129 kilometres from Jim Corbett National Park. Here, meditation centres and ashrams thrive, and chants fill the crisp mountain air. Stay at Ananda in the Himalayas—an award-winning luxury spa resort that mixes Ayurveda and yoga with global wellness experiences, fitness routines, and healthy organic cuisine (starts from ₹26,000/ USD352; anandaspa.com). Indulge in one of Ananda’s signature therapies and attend gourmet ayurvedic cooking classes.
There is no better way to start a day in Rishikesh than rising early and meditating by the River Ganga, temple bells ringing in your ears. Take a dip in the holy river and then, make your way to the Beatles Cafe that serves healthy breakfast plates, including vegan and glutenfree options (60sbeatlescafe. business.site). Drop by the Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram (akhandayoga.com), an uplifting East-meetsWest retreat that blends traditional yoga with aroma therapy, crystal healing, and relaxing music. Later in the evening, join the thousands of devotees and tourists at Parmarth Niketan Ashram by the banks of the Ganga and witness the luminous Ganga Aarti.
From Rishikesh, Dehradun is merely 47 kilometres, and easily accessible by taxi. Vana, an incredibly impressive wellness retreat, is your journey’s end. Located on the road to Mussoorie, Vana, with a simple design aesthetic and neutral palettes on the walls, evokes a sense of calm and well-being the moment you step in (starts from ₹29,000/USD399; vana. co.in). There are forest and garden rooms, and ancient practices of Ayurveda and Sowa Rigpa find space here.
Spend at least three nights here to get used to the healthy lifestyle—no phones, sessions with experts for better self-understanding, bespoke treatments, yoga classes, aqua therapy, meditation sessions, and bu ets and à la carte meals made from organic produce.
Cast Away in the Andamans
If it is an under-the-radar holiday that you seek, go island hopping in the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar.
Duration 4 Days
Starting point Port Blair
Ending point Neill Island
Begin your island adventure at Port Blair, which is a two-hour flight from Kolkata or Chennai. With a shoreline stretching along the Andaman Sea, the lively capital of the archipelago has a number of luxury resorts like Sinclairs Bayview Resort (starts from ₹10,200/ USD138; sinsclairshotels.com) and Fortune Resort Bay Island (starts from ₹10,000/ USD135; fortunehotels.in). Spend your day strolling in the Aberdeen Bazaar or drop by the Sagarika Government Emporium to shop for pearl and seashell jewellery, sarongs, bamboo cane craft, and carved wooden furniture. For lunch, gorge on fresh seafood at the The New Lighthouse Restaurant (Marina Park). Later, take a 45-minute drive to the Chidiya Tapu beach (17 kilometres from Port Blair), which oÅ¾ ers one of the best sunsets on the island along with a mini-zoo where you can spend time birdwatching. In the evening, catch the Light & Sound Show at the Cellular Jail that narrates the story of India’s freedom struggle every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (₹100/USD1.3 is charged per foreign national as the entry ticket; the show ticket is priced at an additional cost of ₹100/USD1.3; andamantourism.gov.in).
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March - April 2020