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Ananda Spa : Ananda Spa Resort : Ananda in the Himalayas : Destination Spa in India

 
 
About Ananda Spa Resort

Ananda Spa Resort Located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, near to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, surrounded by graceful Sal forests, overlooking the peaceful Ganga as it meanders into the distance, Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the union of body, mind and soul. It is not just a retreat that will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings, but assists in redefining lifestyles to include the well-known traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with best of International Wellness Experiences to bring about the union of mind, body and soul

Swirled in the sacred mists of time, nestled in the Himalayas is Ananda, a world class Destination Spa. Ananda Spa Resort which is once the residence of Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, it is dedicated to today’s traveller , who is looking for innovative ways to restore and rejuvenate his energies. Grounded in Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies which enhance and augment the original, Ananda is the ultimate escape from the mundane to the spiritual, where every corner spells harmony and every colour soothes the senses.

In ancient India, holistic living was a way of life. People inherently understood the balance of nature, the ways of the Universe and how the elements affected not just their physical health, but their mental well-being. It was understood that if they achieved harmony within, they would be at peace with their surroundings. On the fast track to progress, our world changed as did we; but deep within us we have always understood and upheld the beliefs and principles of our ancestors. To seek harmony, to balance themselves again, to be one with their surroundings, Indians have been known to ‘retreat’ to the peace and quiet of the mountains… to the stillness of the hills and the natural flow of the rivers.

This is the very philosophy which brought Ananda - In The Himalayas into being. More than ever before the New Age individual moving on today’s fast track recognises the need to retreat, find holistic remedies, and rejuvenating locales. At Ananda we have tried to recreate the synergy of mind body and intellect not just through the natural Himalayan locales and the proximity to the mountains and the river, but through the rejuvenating and ancient processes and philosophies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies which enhance and augment the original.

Ananda believes that evey individual is unique. So too are the programmes and experiences that we offer. Individual needs and requirements are assessed prior to the programme being selected, through a personal consultation with our Ayurveda and wellness consultants. This is an intrinsic part of assisting the individual on his/her private journey to understanding the self.

Discover the richness of Indian Art and Culture at "Ananda - In the Himalayas". Propelled by the concept of a holistic lifestyle and well-being, the spa rests on the healing philosophy of physical, mental and spiritual health. While the vast menu of spa programmes and adventure activities energies the body, serene yoga and meditation sessions uplift the mind. The inclusion of art and culture into the regime of the guests is carefully orchestrated to elevate the human spirit.

Ananda Art and Culture involves the coming together of the rich and varied forms of Indian classical and folk traditions, performing and visual arts, traditional and contemporary cultural ethos. Whether it is a classical performance of Bharatanatyam - one of the oldest classical dance forms in the world, originating in the South of India, or a soulful evening of Ghazals - poetic love songs, culture at Ananda becomes a self reflective statement.

Concealed by the resplendent façade of the palace of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal, lies the luxurious reception area of Ananda. Popularly known as the Viceregal Palace, it has played host to some of India’s most renowned heads of state, during the Maharaja’s reign. Completely restored, the Viceregal Palace is the ultimate statement in subtle style.

The reception area warms your heart and soul, as you are welcomed into the Ananda family by your courteous and efficient front desk staff. Far from any ordinary hotel check-in area, the splendor of the palace takes you back in time to the era of royalty. Relaxation and Rejuvenation at Ananda begins right from the moment you check-in, sipping the refreshing spa signature welcome drink. Whether it is the traditional ‘aarti’ welcome or the contemporary professionalism of our staff, your first impression of the Viceregal Palace will leave you reminiscing about kings and royal splendor.

Adjacent to the reception area, is the grand Viceregal Tea Lounge. Care has been taken to retain the old-world charm and understated elegance of the lounge, an ideal venue for a splendid cup of Darjeeling tea. Enjoy a quiet afternoon alone or with friends, as you admire the life size portraits of the erstwhile Maharaja and of other famous guests.

Also located in the Viceregal Palace is the Maharaja’s billiards room, housing the oldest billiards table in India, dating back to a 100 years. Stunningly crafted in wood, the table has the unparalleled distinction of witnessing some of the most famous political personages, all of whom were guests of the Maharaja. The walls of the billiards room are adorned with pictures of some of these guests. Whether you are a billiards enthusiast or an antique lover, the billiards table is sure to satisfy your quest for the historic.

The Viceregal Palace also features the Viceregal Hall, the original skating rink of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal. Now used as the preferred venue for conferences and management retreats, the Hall also converts itself into the perfect place for an invigorating session of evening Yoga. With natural sunlight streaming into the interiors of the Hall, the atmosphere is one of warmth and cozy comfort. The Viceregal Hall is the ideal venue for large gatherings, comfortably accommodating 140 people.

History
The history of Tehri Garhwal is fraught with drama and pathos. Now a small constituency forming a part of the state of Uttaranchal, it was once a princely state ruled by the Shah family, with Narendra Nagar as its summer capital and the Palace as the official residence – where the vice regal suite of Ananda in the Himalayas, is situated.

The neat little town of Narendrangar, with its charming market, it’s wide central road and its location serving far flung hill hamlets is a tribute to the Maharaja. In the days of the British Raj the beautiful palace was known to welcome Viceroys and people of eminence – including Mahatama Gandhi and Mira Ben and post independence it has played host to several eminent political and religious personalities.

Ma Anandmayi, a well known spiritual guide, whose wise teachings, gentle ways and immensely charismatic presence attracted a very large following from all parts of the world, often visited the Maharaja’s family and her room, quaint, simple and still holding much of her spiritual energy, is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Viceregal terrace, overlooking the valley and the grounds and stands testimonial to the old Maharaja’s close links with the history of spiritual India.

His son, Maharaja Manabendra Shah, father of the current Maharaja, took over from his father, but the changing face of post-freedom India, soon wiped out princely roles and the family turned to politics in order to keep alive their roots.

Mythology
A venture into the Himalayas is more than a mere journey: it is a "yatra" (a pilgrimage). A pilgrimage does not hold more importance than it does in Garhwal and Kumaon, once known as "Uttarakhand" - the 'northern territories' - in the pre Vedic era. This is the domain of the ascetic Lord Shiva, the destroyer; it is a land charged with "Shakti", the power and energy of the goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva and the daughter of Himavat, Lord of the Mountains. Together, Garhwal and Kumaon form a sizable wedge in the Central Himalayas, joining India and Nepal.

Garhwal today remains a land of myth and legend, where every stone tells a story. The earliest historical references to the region are found in the Vedas, paeans to the purity of the Himalayas. Specific mention of the mountains exists in the Mahabharata, dated around 1000 BC. This is when the protagonists of the epic, the Pandavas, are said to have ended their life on earth by ascending the slopes of the peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini - literally, the Ascent to Heaven'. The epic also mentions this region being the home of the Kirata, Puolinda and Tangara tribes.

The Region

Haridwar
It is said that when Gods left their footprints on the land of Haridwar, metaphorically they also left an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu - more so the devout, who would later follow their holy paths all across this blessed land. Of such significance is Haridwar in the thought of India's traditional Hindus that it has earned its sobriquet of honor as The Gateway to the Gods.

Legend has it that the holy Ganga, the holiest of all rivers, which flows through this sacred city, has actually been sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology- Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Down the ages, this special importance of Haridwar as the ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul gained more impetus and today manifests itself in two great events that take place here - the memorable Kumbh Mela which is held every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which is held once every 6 years.

Yet, beyond the mystic aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another magic spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient India scriptures as it weaves through the life and times, from the period of Lord Buddha to the more recent British advent.

Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. In the evening, the Ghats (places built on the banks of the river for the holy dip in the river Ganges) look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (earthen lamps) and marigold flowers illuminate the holy waters at the time of the Ganga Aarti - a much awaited daily ritual, where the river Ganga is propitiated for all the bounty that she bestows on the Indian plains.

Rishikesh
The town of Rishikesh lies in the foothills of the Garhwal region. Located 1160 feet above sea level, it is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point to the Char Dham - four famous pilgrim centers namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri. It is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation.

The Ganges flows through the town and is worshipped here. Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. It has numerous ashrams, some of which are internationally recognized, as places for philosophical studies, yoga and meditation. An international 'Yoga Week' is organized here every year in the first week of February.

Back in the 1960's Rishikesh gained instant fame as the site, when the Beatles came to stay here with their guru, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, famous and well loved exponent of Yoga throughout the Western world and at home in India.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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