Ayurveda Get away

Ayurveda Get away

Mumbai, Cochin, Marari

Day 1: Mumbai: A Collective Beginning

There is a strange bliss at work as you are welcomed to the eclectic city of Mumbai, where you are blessed and happy to be making a new journey into a world of which you have always wanted to know more. The bustling city is filled with a palpable energy that urges you to explore, calling attention to its diversity, from secret cities to shadowing skyscrapers, modern luxuries to elegant saris that drape people in fabulous color. You are met at the airport by a private transfer and taken to your fantastic accommodation. The Kala Ghoda Art Precinct is a crescent-shaped walkway and is home to the shimmering artwork of the best galleries and museums in the city. The artwork is visible both inside and outside of the buildings where you can find pavement galleries, showcasing local artists whose vibrant and unique styles make the pathways glow.

Day 2: With the Gateway

Welcome the morning with a creamy, sweet, and spiced cup of chia bringing an aromatic brightness to the day’s beginning. After breakfast you will venture away from the Gate of India, the large gateway along the waterfront that was built in the 1920s to commemorate King George V’s visit to India, and find yourself on Elephanta Island. The early bustle of the city beneath towering buildings has been replaced by a group of cave-temples seemingly forgotten by time, each carved into the basalt island and unequaled by any temple carvings in the rest of the country.

Since the fifth-century, the island has housed the remarkable temples within the rock that show religious dedication and architectural artistry all at once. The magnificent statues carved into the walls overtake the earthen scent of the galleries. The pillars are intricate and textured while the statues also help maintain the cave’s structural integrity, bringing extra purpose to the grandeur as large replicate men protrude from the walls, along with the god Shiva. Back in the city you will find the greenery retreat of the Hanging Gardens, a place where the quiet and quaint manicured tulips and hedges bring wildlife, mazes, and tranquility to the ever-present fast pace of India’s largest city. Whether within wondrous caves or fabulous gardens, you will find the pleasures of Mumbai no less than captivating.

Day 3: Mumbai - Cochin

Gates of India to Gates of the West The morning sun soaks the city as it reaches above the horizon. After breakfast you will have a private transfer to the airport and soon be sitting along the Arabian Sea in the city of Cochin, also known as Kochi. The city was once the center of India’s spice trade in the 14th century, bringing the western world to the shores of the east, and is also the most culturally diverse city in India. The metropolis brushes up against the sea where a promenade stretches over the water, giving a misty, sweet ocean scent to the air.

Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace, is a structure that was built in the 16th century and offered as a gift from the Portuguese to secure trade. The Hindu Murals are beautiful and intricate depictions of the Ramayana Mahabharata and other legends that have shaped the regions’ cultures over time. If you look at the ceiling you will notice the exquisite details carved into every room. The evening brings a deeper sense of the traditions of Kerala and Southern India as you enjoy a Kathakali performance. The delicate masks and outfits bring to dramatic life the legendary stories which have been told throughout history. Each movement and article of clothing, mask and eye movement tells another tale, adding together the details that captivate and educate the audience.

Day 4: Stepping into Serenity

The sweet pleasures of breakfast come from the various flavors of Southern India, from guava to banana, and the diversity of citrus and cream, all wrapped up with the cinnamon accompaniment of chai. After breakfast you will leave the brick-lain promenade of Cochin behind and come to the peaceful and inconspicuous Marari Beach Resort, known for its Ayurvedic treatments. It is here you will step away from the outside world and focus on the health and wellness of your being, connecting the mind, body, and spirit along the beautiful coastal waters of the Arabian Sea.

The friendly staff of the resort will help you in a regiment that, for seven-days, will electrify your senses bringing comfort and purity to the three essential parts of your being: mind, body, and spirit.  It is not hard to settle into the resort with the gentle lapping of the waves becoming the soundtrack to your day. A soothing massage will tend to your muscles while a steam bath will rejuvenate your thoughts. This is the beginning of your relaxing days which are meant to put you back in touch with what your entire being desires.

Day 5: Opening Up to Relaxation

There is an art to relaxation that many overlook, and art that requires that you allow yourself to step away from the pressures of the outside world and notice what you actually need. Today is your first full day within the unpressured world of Marari where you can take a breath and settle into the Ayurveda treatment that the smiling staff of the resort has planned for you. The sunshine drapes over the coast and brings back the pleasurable sounds of the gentle coast. Within the comforts of the morning you will once again feel the gentle touch of a massage connected to spiced oils and sweet creams to help rejuvenate your body, while the steam bath can bring clarity to your thoughts. You can feel the buoyancy in your skin already with the rest of the day yours to enjoy the surrounding calm of the beach, scented with palm trees and the sweet and salty aroma of the sea.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation

Day 6: Cruising Along

Bring in the morning with a hot cup of spiced chai on the soft shores of Marari before enjoying another treatment of massage and a steam bath. You can already feel the life coming back to you from the combination of the delicious, traditional, natural flavors of the food, the gentle touch of massage, and the graceful scenery. Once your Ayurveda treatment is finished for the day you can venture out to explore the surrounding backwaters for which the region in known, finding the intricate details that make this part of the world unique.

A kayak tour is a great way to cruise along the tree soaked banks of the salty waterways, beneath bridges, and along the simmering scents of local cuisine. With five lakes, 38 rivers, and over 800 miles of canals, you will even find a floating market passing you by, with over 2,000 different types of groceries, from citrus fruits to tea, drifting along the waterways. In the small details of your time in Marari you can find a slice of peace, if not the whole thing, just by watching the large coconut trees decorating the land and swaying in the wind.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation

Day 7: A Yogi Kind of Life

Here comes another morning of pristine weather and soft sounds, where the ocean waves are always inviting and soothing. After your morning treatment of fabulous oils and massage why not spend the day on the powdery sand stretching away the time. There is no better time or place to strike a yoga pose than with the water rocking back and forth against the sand. The sweet scent of coconut palms mingles with the breeze. Notice the graceful and delightful pull through your legs when you form into pigeon pose or the elegant arch of your back when you push yourself into cobra.  Look out over the sea, listen to the tranquil sounds of rippling leaves, and perhaps watch a fisherman as he casts his net in the distance while the sun seems to drift by, taking the day way before you even know it.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation.

On arrival in Agra, check in at the hotel.

Day 8: Rejuvenating Flavors

Today you decide to watch the sun rise over the trees; the colors wash over the sky filling the horizon with hues that you feel like you have only seen in Kerala and nowhere else. The early aroma of breakfast blends with the sweet palms as the rhythm of the lapping sea is becoming second nature. After you have indulged in your massage and steam bath, the day is yours to luxuriate and rejuvenate in, however you prefer; whether that means enjoying another stretch along the sand or venturing out into the canals once more to discover a new route that had previously gone unnoticed.

You could also indulge in a cooking course with Nimmy Paul. For more than 12 years Nimmy Paul has enjoyed teaching visitors and locals the best combination of flavors and recipes of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine with a Keralan flair. One of the most prominent aromas you will find during your cooking course is ginger, especially within the sweet and sour ginger sauce which has a small zip of spice and great balance of the sweet and herbaceous. From their kitchen to yours, you can take the delicate flavors of southern India home with you, mixing traditions and tastes with a refreshing vibrancy.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation.

Day 9: A City of Water

Alleppey is a city known as the Venice of the East, surrounded by canals and the usual waterways that have made the backwaters of Kerala intriguing and blissful and are wrapped in a diving tranquility. Enjoy the delicate touch of your massage and the comfortable heat of your steam bath before making your way to Alleppey, the oldest planned town in the region. Houseboats line the shallow lagoons beneath the towering palms. One of the biggest surprises is the large Syrian Christian population of the region, seen not only in the exquisite flavors of the food but also in the magnificent churches, such as St. Mary’s Forane Church. The Syrian architecture stands in opulent white, reflecting in the water. One inside you can see tremendous paintings filled with color, displaying pious angels and heavenly saints within a tranquil ambience that spills over onto the canals outside.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation.

Day 10: To The Birds

The sunlight brings with it the final touches of your Ayurveda treatment; the fragrant sweetness of coconut oils and cream brings a silky smoothness to your skin. With the remainder of the day at your leisure you could venture to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a haven for migratory aviaries and a virtual paradise for bird lovers or anyone that enjoys the spiritual colors of nature. Reaching over 14 acres, the plentiful greenery is a stark change from the beachside and sprouting palms.

The rhythmic tapping comes from the Golden-backed woodpecker as it beats at the tree, its bright right hair looking like a Mohawk as its head raps back in forth in quick bursts. You can see Malabar trogon, sparrow sized birds with long tail-feathers and effervescent coloration, from dark blue feathers to rocking-red tips and even florescent orange beak and feet. The natural shades of the bird sanctuary couldn’t be captured with a paintbrush, bringing a new sense of wonder to the internal splendor that has been found through the previous days of your Ayurveda exploration.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapeutics, accommodation.

Day 11: Science of Life

Your time within the calming touches of steam baths and masseurs has come to an end but your relaxed and restored body, mind, and soul have been able to embrace the outside world of natural and man-made splendor, from canals to bird feathers, breaking waves to Dutch Palaces. After breakfast you will make your way to Cochin and transfer to Mumbai where your flight homeward will be ready for you. The connection between the external and internal parts of your life have found balance along Marari Beach and will continue to carry you home.