A Rejuvenating Weekend At Shathayu Retreat, Bangalore

Imagine waking up to the melodious chirping of birds, amidst hills and greenery. To witness the chunky clouds float above a lake casting photographic reflections in it. To relax and reconnect with yourself; to experience peace and tranquility, as you take a step towards wellness with Ayurveda. Well, I’m just back with all this (and more) after spending the most relaxed weekend in a while.

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Sunrise behind the Meditation Hall at Shathayu Retreat. PC: Shathayu Retreat

I was at this beautiful location on an invitation from Shathayu Retreat, an Ayurveda & Yoga retreat set at a picturesque location, about 36 km from Bangalore. The retreat is located very close to the popular tourist destination of Nandi Hills and is just about 12ish km from the Kempegowda International Airport.

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Sunset, hillock & the entrance to the retreat. PC: Shathayu Retreat

On a fine Saturday morning, we started from Bangalore. As we crossed the toll and took a left turn, following the signboard for Nandi Betta, we left behind the sounds of highway and the hustle-bustle of the city, entering a quieter place. Following the directions on maps for the last bit, we reached at the sole structure standing in the middle of a sprawling piece of land, surrounded by hillocks on two sides. At first it looked like any other resort, but in no time we realised it was more than what meets the eyes.

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Statue of Lord Dhanvantari, at the entrance

At the entrance, one can see a huge brass statue of Lord Dhanvantari – the divine God and founder of Ayurveda. And I couldn’t help but think about how amazing it is that this field of medicine is so widespread in the world attracting people from not just India, but worldwide. As the world has come to accept and recognize the potential and health benefits of Ayurveda and Yoga, I feel Shathayu Retreat is a perfect place to experience the journey to good health with it. I haven’t been to any other Ayurveda facility before, but this one surely caught my attention with its simple yet elegant architecture, location and great vibes.

After sipping on a glass of the cooling welcome drink, we went around to look around the property. The place offers a comfortable and luxury stay with options to choose from standard, deluxe and studio rooms. There’re consultation rooms with certified doctors & a number of, well-equipped, therapy rooms, with experienced, well-trained and courteous staff. The restaurant serves a decent variety of healthy food, no non-veg or liquor is served, for obvious reasons. I’m a vegetarian so this worked perfectly for me, but my husband gorged on the egg dishes (eggs are served, yes) whenever the menu had it.

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View of the little lake and resort from the hilltop. PC: Shathayu Retreat

We woke up at the crack of dawn to watch a beautiful sunrise, and needless to say, clicked a lot of pictures while admiring the play of colours in the morning sky.  So while a typical day at the retreat begins with meditation and yoga sessions facilitating a great and positive start to the day, we skipped that routine. I was more interested to go on a small hike to the rocky hill opposite the retreat. This place is also the venue for many adventure activities, like cross country race, Downhill Mountain biking, etc. Recently, the retreat was the venue for the Bangalore Mountain Festival.

I must confess, I wasn’t quite sure about what to expect before going there. But I’m so glad that the weekend turned out even better than what we had imagined. Plan a visit to Shathayu Retreat and embark on a journey to wellness with Ayurveda. Watch the magical sunrise & sunsets, eat healthy, indulge in yoga and meditation for peaceful and calmer mind, connect with your inner self, relax and just be.

 

Blooms And Blossoms: Lalbagh, Bangalore Flower Show 2017

It was a good day for a walk in the city. The day was clear and not too hot, and since I wasn’t doing anything significant (apart from lazing around on a Sunday afternoon) I decided to stroll off to the Flower Show happening in Bangalore. Every year, on the occasion of Independence Day, Lalbagh hosts a flower show. This year the garden city is celebrating the 206th flower show and it’s dedicated to the great Rashtra Kavi (national poet) Kuppali Vekatappa Puttapa who is fondly called as Kuvempu.

Flower Show Bangalore

A gallery showcasing the poet’s photographs, literary works, books, etc., can be visited. Stalls showcasing flower, fruits and vegetable arrangements can be seen around the area. You will see a huge arch welcoming the visitors to the flower show. Do look out for the 3-D visualization of the poet’s portrait on the left-hand side as you walk inside the arch.

The road from the arch leads to the glass house which is inside the Botanical Garden. Here is where the many beautiful flowers and plants are exhibited. One can see a huge replica of Kuvempu’s house made out of flowers at the glasshouse. There are beautiful flower arrangements inside the glasshouse. One can also see Cymbidium flowers here, that are grown in Sikkim and Darjeeling and which are originally from Australia and Netherlands. My favourite was the Gerberra and Pansy gardens and the colourful cacti pots.

Flower Show Bangalore

Outside the glasshouse, several stalls and booths are set up. Stroll past these or shop for the varieties of seeds, plants, gardening products and more. I chatted up with some of the exhibitors who gave informative insights about agriculture, horticulture, along with the unique/useful products they were exhibiting. For the first time, I tasted Areca tea and Stevia leaf (Stevia is a natural sweetener and a healthier alternative to sugar).

Later, I strolled off to the Peninsular Gneissic Rock Hill or commonly known as the Lalbagh Rock or Lalbagh Hill. This rock hill is a geological structure that is identified to be billions of years old, by the Geological Survey of India. A tower is erected on the hill top and a placard next to it suggests that it is one of the four watchtowers built by Kempegowda marking the predicted limits of the Bangalore town.

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The Lalbagh Flower Show is celebrated for 10 days. It was inaugurated on the 4th of August 2017 and will conclude on the 15th of August 2017. The flower show is open to visitors between 9 am – 6 pm. The entry fee per person is Rs. 60 (on weekdays it is priced less) for adults and Rs. 20 for children.

So are you going there? Tell me your observation if you have already been there.