River of Dreams
Discover India|March - April 2021
Leave the hustle of the city behind and embrace the slow life on a riverbank. On the outskirts of Rishikesh, The Glasshouse on the Ganges serves up a unique recipe of well-being.
RASHIMA NAGPAL

IT'S A LITTLE PAST 8 AM. I sit cross-legged on a yoga mat, with my eyes closed and hands in gyan mudra. I try to focus on the rhythm of my breath but it’s almost impossible. The sound of the river running beside me is distinct, and it doesn’t help that I was given a fair warning about monkeys in the area. I am at The Glasshouse on the Ganges, a boutique nature retreat from Neemrana Hotels. It’s a cold January morning, and I wasn’t foresighted enough to wear socks—yet another reason for the lack of focus.

The Glasshouse on the Ganges is a riverside property with 20 accommodation units scattered on a manicured orchard of lychee and mango trees. The owner, Mira Kulkarni—also the founder of Forest Essentials—inherited this land from her father, who bought it from the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal aeons ago. She could have expanded the operations in the past two decades of running it but she chose not to, says the property’s general manager, Makrand Bhardwaj.

In its recently refurbished avatar, The Glasshouse on the Ganges is a pleasant combination of minimalistic design and neutral colour palette. All of the stay options— including two state-of-the-art tents—feature river-facing glass windows. They are all named after rivers; mine is called Krishna.

Back at the property’s yoga pavillion, I ease into the stretches and feel more present in my surroundings, but not enough to ignore the rumbling of my stomach. Soon, I’m dreaming of breakfast.

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