When you get an offer to relax and rejuvenate, it is folly to decline; especially when the getaway resort comes highly recommended by the team at Lonely Planet. Therefore, to celebrate the launch of their new series of holiday guides, Short Escape, we were off to Shreyas Retreat, a delightful ashram-style resort with luxury facilities, courtesy, the travel guide, of course. The vast green space, divided into organic farm land and lush gardens dotted with cottages and a crystal clear swimming pool. Our agenda began with a nice
tuck into an organic feast made, mostly, from ingredients picked out of the organic garden on campus. Salads, soups, light pastas and eggless tiramisu (the place is completely vegetarian) was served along with a cup of herbal tea (a choice of rosemary, basil, ginger and green ) to help digest it all.
Guests can volunteer to lend a hand in the organic cultural garden plucking vegetables, planting saplings or interacting with the local village school and even assisting with the cooking. An evening class of organic yogi cooking is a great way to take home some tips and simple recipes which the in-house chef will share with you. Next, we headed to the open-air yoga pavilion for a session of ashtanga vinyasa yoga, which involves deep relaxation, meditation and breathing processes. This followed a more energised series of
surya namaskars and other asanas. It is truly a pleasure to be amidst serene natural surroundings, meditating with only the sounds of rustling trees and chirping birds.
With the sun now just setting, it would have been a shame to not use the inviting swimming pool. And since it was all about clearing the mind and strengthening the body, a dip in the pool provided the perfect balm to our slightly tired body (post the yoga session). Squeaky clean after the splash about, we were ready for dinner under the stars. With lanterns strung up on the tress and the gentle lapping of the swimming pool as a setting, we chatted casually over a gourmet Indian meal. From paneer tikka and sautéed mushrooms to heavenly biryani and dal makhani, we indulged in the freshly made food,
rounding it off with carrot halwa and soothing hot tea. Since ‘early to bed, early to rise’ was an unofficial motto here, we retired to our well-appointed tented rooms for the night. We highly recommend a mid-night shower in the open-air bathrooms that open onto a pebble backyard - an experience that’ll truly make you feel one with nature.
Waking up to the sunrise and rustling leaves, the next morning, we made our way to the indoor yoga room, for another session of hatha yoga. Much more rigorous than the previous session, this one had us upping our heart-rate for quite a while before ending in stretches and meditation again. Only, two sessions down, and we already felt lighter and much more in tune with our minds and bodies - a great indicator of how good the instructors at Shreyas are. And how fulfilling the whole experience was.
The writer was invited by Lonely Planet. `20,000 upwards for per night. At Nelamangala, Bengaluru, Karnataka. Details:shreyasretreat.com