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There is no aspiration in Ulpotha to be anything other than what it is - a lovely, playful but honoring folly. The founders and villagers welcome you to enjoy Ulpotha in this spirit. Though Ulpotha has come to be known as an ecofriendly, vegetarian yoga retreat that offers Ayurveda, the founders would like to emphasize that it was not established to be anything in particular. The yoga, Ayurveda, and eco sensibilities are not central to its ethos - Ulpotha is there to be enjoyed as one wishes, and taken for what it is: an enchanting place that sprinkles its magic dust on those who pass through.
Guests are accommodated in one of a number of tastefully decorated traditional wattle and daub huts sprinkled through Ulpotha, where living is by design a communal and shared experience in natures embrace.
There are 11 charming guest huts in Ulpotha, 10 of which are for two guests and one for three.
All of them are built using traditional wattle and daub with comfortable beds, excellent mosquito nets, cupboards, fresh water, towels, and offer a sarong to wear and take home. The huts are of an open, airy design that facilitates the sense of being one with nature. Twice a year, each hut is hand painted using different colored clays, where no designs are ever repeated. Much use has been made of clay, stone, wood, pottery, and fabrics that reflect traditional village practices and aesthetics. With one or two exceptions, Ulpotha adheres to the Sri Lankan village tradition of keeping toilet/loo spaces separate from living spaces. The enchanting showers are open to the stars and the toilets are modern.
All our accommodations are on a Sharing basis, which means that a Solo traveler will be automatically allocated, in a spacious double hut (Twin beds), with another like minded guest of the same gender. Guests booking, and coming together, will be allocated in a Double hut (Double bed, or Twin beds, if not a couple). Sharing with someone is more welcome than one might usually expect, though ultimately soothing to the ears, the unusual jungle noises can take some getting used to and its quite reassuring to have a companion sharing ones space. The guests will anyway find that they end up spending very little time in their hut, except, at night.
Ulpothas natural charms lend themselves readily to a deeply satisfying experience of Yoga Sri Lanka. If ever there was a place made for yoga, Ulpotha is it. Though Ulpotha was not planned at the outset as a Yoga Sri Lanka center, yoga very quickly took its central place in the Ulpotha experience through a series of serendipitous events. Having done so, it is hard to imagine a place better suited to the practice of this ageless discipline.
Yoga Sri Lanka is practiced in the Yoga Shala, which is essentially an open-sided hall that lets in natures charms, from gentle breezes to bird song. On occasion, classes are conducted further afield: beneath the splaying branches of a Banyan tree, or on top of Monkey Rock, or below the neighboring temple - or wherever else takes the collective fancy of those present.
For the tailored ayurveda treatment packages, we do a very simple traditional Panchakarma, which depending on one's dosha-type (determined via consultation with our in-house doctor), involves oleation (oil application to the body), herbal baths, steam baths, saunas, inhalation, rice milk packs, facials, etc, nothing too heavy. It is a great detox and combined with the yoga and Ulpotha's delicious food, leaves one feeling super relaxed, toned and cleansed. Dr. Srilal leaves a couple of days for the guests to acclimatise, before starting a treatment.
For your info, our little Ayurvedic clinic offers a limited amount of Ayurveda packages/per day (8, for women & 3, for men), therefore, to avoid any disappointment, we recommend for the guests to pre-book and pre-pay their Ayurveda package, at the time of their booking, and prior their arrival at Ulpotha as we will give the priority to the guests who will have pre-booked and pre-paid their packages.
For your info, the holiday cost includes two daily Yoga classes of 1 & half to two hours/per day, one class in the morning, around 7:30am, the second class, in the afternoon, around 5:00pm. Please note that the Yoga starts on the 1st Sunday evening and finishes after class, on the final Saturday night, to allow guests to check out, by 10:30am, in the final Sunday. There is no Yoga, on the afternoon of the 1/2 day excursion trip (week one), Nor, on the day of the excursion trip of week two.
Ulpotha is located in the heart of Sri Lanka by a lakeside at the foot of the Galgiriyawa mountains - off the beaten track. About 1 hour drive north from Kurunagala, 2 hours northwest from Kandy, and 2 - 3 hours from the airport. The first thing that was done when Ulpotha was re-inhabited was to address the aridity of the land that had resulted from the years it had been reduced to a mono culture coconut plantation prior to its abandonment.
This was done through the management of planting patterns, as well as the building of ponds and bunds, all of which were designed to increase the soils water retention capacity and protect its fertility. Ulpotha then later on transformed into the self-sustaining, bio-diverse organic farm it is today; one where the practice of farming is holistic and includes paying respect to the land and its resources as well as to the deities protecting it.
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Ulpotha will be providing tasty vegetarian meals and snacks. The food at Ulpotha is simply delicious and very healthy. It is almost entirely vegan, naturally wheat free, with an abundance of fresh vegetables, organic red rice, and tropical fruit freshly picked from Ulpothas gardens. A good opportunity to detoxify your system without fuss.
The western massage treatments range from Thai, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy, to Shiatsu. They are done by fully qualified massage therapists from Europe. Massage styles change from month to month, as Ulpotha uses different massage experts each month. So, if you yearn for a particular type of massage, its wise to ask when its available before booking your holiday. Guests can expect one free massage from visiting therapists per week. Any further massages can be arranged with the therapists subject to availability at a cost of 60 USD per hour. Ulpotha also has an exciting program of Ayurveda treatments and, by the very definition of "holistic", possesses the ideal climate and environment for the practice of this deeply therapeutic and traditional art.