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Is India calling you?
Imagine immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of incredible India on this journey of self-discovery when you join us for a Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat and Cultural Tour to Kerala in South India. India is the birthplace of Yoga and has been a place of deep spiritual practice for millennia - a retreat in India is a journey to the deepest reaches of the self.
Fragrant Nature, Kochi (a boutique five-star hotel) features contemporary styled rooms with magnificent views of the harbor. Located in the erstwhile office of East India Company, the majestic facade with a clock tower is a landmark. The hotel features period trompe-l'œil art work by two popular English artists in the lobby, emphasizing importance of art element in the boutique design.
Loose yourself to the breathtaking luxury, underlined by world-class hospitality and service. Explore a range of cuisines at the famed specialty restaurant, a dining experience conjured with choicest flavors. Watch your stress and little niggles seep away with the luxuriant Ayurvedic massages at the state-of-the-art Spa, its leading highlight.
The Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat will focus on expanding your Strength, Courage and Wisdom. We all require strength, courage, and wisdom to fully engage with the important aspects of our lives, whether that be our relationships, work or wellbeing.
Over 14 Yoga, mindfulness and meditation sessions we will draw from the vast wisdom of yoga practice using Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing practices) and Meditation to evoke the strength, courage, and wisdom that is already within.
We will draw on the element of Earth in our daily practice and we will build the strength and resilience we need to embrace change and take advantage of the opportunities that life offers us. We will connect with the element of Fire. Fire is the great transformer that clears away the obstacles that stand our way so we can see clearly and allow creativity and wisdom to be revealed.
In our morning session, we will practice strength building asana and pranayama that will enliven our energy and prepare up to be inspired by the beautiful landscape and culture of Kerala. The afternoon practice will be restorative, quieting and calming, leading us to a period of stillness and reflection to move into the deeper realms of this ancient and sacred science.
Within each one of us is a vast resource of strength, courage, beauty, and compassion. Our essential nature is empowered, wise, inspired, confident and joyful.
Kochi (colonial name Cochin) is a vibrant city situated on the south-west coast of the Indian peninsula in the breathtakingly scenic and prosperous state of Kerala, hailed as 'God's Own Country'. Its strategic importance over the centuries is underlined by the sobriquet Queen of the Arabian Sea. Informally, Cochin is also referred to as the Gateway to Kerala.
A town with picturesque canals, backwaters & lagoons with a wonderful past & it owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century. The Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of Kerala, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha region had trade relations with ancient Greece & Rome in the pre-Jesus era. Alleppey is now the hub for backwaters tourism in Kerala.
This afternoon you will ply the canals of the massive lake where you can witness the people going about their daily routine.
Today you will visit the Matha Amritandamayi Ashram (50 Km) where you will inspect the ashram, take a meditation session and also lunch at the ashram
Trivandrum also called Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. It is an ancient city with tradition dating back to 1000 BC. Thiruvananthapuram became the capital of Raja of Travancore in 1750. The name is derived from 'Tiru Ananta Puram', the abode of the Sacred serpent Ananta, upon whose coils Vishnu lying in the main temple.
Padmanabhaswamy temple is a famous Hindu temple of Lord Vishnu located inside the Fort in the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam, the holiest abodes of Lord Vishnu. The main deity, Padmanabhaswamy, is a form of Vishnu in Anananthasayanam posture (in eternal sleep of yoga Nidra). Only Hindus are allowed to enter this South Indian Temple - the men are required to remove their shirt while entering the temple; however, its architecture is worth viewing.
Napier Museum is an art & natural history museum situated in Thiruvananthapuram. The architectural masterpiece was designed by Robert Chisholm, the consulting architect of the Madras Government and the construction was completed in 1880. Napier Museum is a landmark in the city with its unique ornamentation and architectural style with gothic roof and minarets. The Indo-Saracenic structure also boasts of a natural air conditioning system. The museum houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artifacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings.
Sri Chitra Art Gallery located near the Napier Museum, the Sri Chitra Art Gallery of Trivandrum is an art lover's paradise. Only a true admirer of art will know the joy of visiting this beautiful art gallery that has some of the best paintings of famous painters of India. A very famous landmark in Kerala, Sri Chitra Art Gallery of Thiruvananthapuram has a vast collection of paintings not just from India, but also from countries like Japan, China, and Indonesia.
This morning drive to Kalimalai (1 hr coach/jeep each way) & hike to the peak (30 mins), a beautiful pilgrimage spot and which offers local foods on a Sunday. Drive from Anantya Resort through scenic lake countryside & rubber plantations, viewing the dam en-route, to the base of Kalimalai – the abode of Mother Kali for Hindus and Jesus Christ for Christians. Ascend the tropical pathway to the peak on foot. The altitude at the top is just over 800 meters. From your vantage point, you will have splendid views (on a clear day) and can see the resort far below.
Take your yoga mats and enjoy either a mediation and/or yoga session at the local temple before returning for breakfast in the resort from 9.30am
Depart at 10.45am to Thiruvattar Temple; a typical Kerala styled temple patronized by the kings of Travancore (erstwhile Kerala), this temple is the model on which the Padmanabhaswami temple – the wealthiest temple in the world in Trivandrum is built. This is a simple and yet grand temple for Adikesava Perumal god Vishnu.
The sanctum sanatorium is placed within a building that is surrounded by long stone corridors with very high stone pillars and stone roof. As you walk down the corridor, you will notice the sculptures of the salabhanjikas (feminine forms holding a lamp) on both sides of the corridor. There are 222 of these and each one has a unique hairstyle! For women Indian clothing only is permitted. This can be more informal ‘salwar kameez’ style dress. Indian clothing appropriate for the temple visit is available for purchase at the Anantara resort.
Learn of the legends and folklore that surround this temple from the temple authorities. Continue to Padmanaphpuram Palace (along with a private historian) and Thiruvattar Temple;
The palace which is inside the Padmanabhapuram Fort is the former capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Travancore. It is about 30 minutes from the resort. The palace complex is inside an old granite fortress around four kilometers long. The palace was constructed around 1601 AD. This non-ostentatious palace is a fine example of Kerala architecture. When you visit, you will be struck by the simple, but yet the aesthetic appeal of the palace. Learn the ways of the matriarchal Kerala society, which is unique, as Hindu families in other parts of the country are patriarchal. Hear the stories of the Travancore Kings.
India can be a challenging place to visit. Language, culture and, crowds can make traveling to India intimidating. We make it easy for you to enjoy the best of South India in a safe and fun way. Come see the real India with us.
Please arrive at Kochi International Airport on 4th Jan 2018
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