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October 30, 2015

Verve Wedding Diaries #13: How to Keep Calm

Text by Nisha Jhangiani

Brides-to-be may recharge their energies and enhance that natural glow with a visit to Ananda in the Himalayas that offers treatments and rituals to cleanse and rejuvenate

Hectic schedules, manic planning and typical wedding stress — most Indian brides don’t have it easy when it comes to preparing for their big day. A quick rejuvenating fix for mind, body and soul is just the antidote that Ananda in the Himalayas offers….

The calming ritual begins even as you drive past the gently swirling waves of the Ganges river along Rishikesh’s coast; if you’re strapped for time, Ananda’s helipad is on standby to welcome chartered flights. Enjoy the aarti at the Ganges — quieter and more intimate than the Varanasi version, it leaves you feeling auspiciously blessed.

The 75 deluxe rooms are luxuriously expansive but if ultimate me-time is what you require, the villas with private pools or The Viceregal Suite with its wrap-around terrace and outdoor Jacuzzi could be just your cup of tea. The 100 acres of forest provide ample space for peaceful walks and private meditative spells.

Then of course there’s the 20,000+ square-foot spa; the therapy rooms create a serene oasis of their very own, although even the common areas for steam, sauna and hydrotherapy hum a soft tune of tranquillity. Be sure to walk around the footbath that is studded with various sized pebbles from the Ganga river and is quartered into different temperature zones — it offers a paradox of relaxation and refreshing therapies for your soles.

While there’s no denying that the spa will fulfil any bride’s beauty build-up regime with its range of facials, massages, wraps and specialised treatments, this is also the place to come to if you’re deliberating over a healthy lifestyle change (or planning a marital life for that matter!)

You can start with a comprehensive Ayurvedic consult to determine your dosha, which will consequently dictate the foods to incorporate and avoid in your diet. And while you’re at it, a quick lesson with the spa’s chefs will ensure that the principles of right eating make their way into your kitchen. It’s only here that even a rich chicken curry can be light on the stomach and still be lip-smacking delicious. The gluten-free and sugar-free menus are equally palatable but special mention must go to the fresh fruit marmalades that are prepared from scratch every morning.

Another regular practice that could owe its inception to your stay here would be a yoga routine that can be personalised for you. Opt for one-on-one intensive sessions or try a morning session at the Yoga Pavilion with a group, surrounded by an open-air setting and a softly gurgling water body to leave your senses soothed
by nature.

And it’s not all about slowing down if you don’t want it to be. The adventurous sort can take their pick from trekking, nature walks, white-water rafting and more. If you’re lucky with the weather, then an evening at the Hill Theatre (with the Himalayas providing a magnificent backdrop) is a truly special memory to bring home.

Although Ananda offers a beauty salon where you can groom yourself for a leisurely evening ahead, it’s probably a better idea to lose the frills while you’re here and just lounge around in the wonderfully comfortable cotton pyjamas provided by the spa. After all, there’s no getting out of the primping and preening in the days to come.

An ideal stay here would be for a week (or two) but even a long weekend may suffice to give you some respite from the overwhelming buzz of social engagements. Recharge your energy, fortify your chakras, cleanse your mind and waltz into your new world with a fresh inner and outer glow.

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