Ah, so much can be said about a spa at the base of the Himalayas that was once a stunning princely estate ruled by the Shah family. The previous residence of Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal is now ranked by Conde Nast as the World’s Best Destination Spa and known, far and wide, to be charged with an all powerful “Shakti” energy.
It is said that when Gods left their footprints on the land of Haridwar, they also left “an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu who would later follow their holy paths all across this blessed land.” Of such significance is Haridwar that it’s earned the name among Indian Hindu’s ‘The Gateway to the Gods.’
Legend has it that the holy Ganga, which flows through this sacred city, has actually been sanctified by the trinity of Hindu mythology (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and, in the days of the British Raj, the palace welcomed noble Viceroys and people of eminence – including, you guessed it, Mahatama Gandhi!
Located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills close to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the union of body, mind and soul. As their website says, “It is not just a retreat that will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings, but it will assist in redefining your lifestyle.” Garhwal today remains a land of myth and legend, where every stone tells a story.
The earliest historical references to the region are found in the Vedas, paeans to the purity of the Himalayas. Specific mention of the mountains also exist in the Mahabharata, dated around 1000 BC.
This is when the protagonists of the epic, the Pandavas, are said to have ended their life on earth by ascending the slopes of the peak in western Garhwal called Swargarohini – literally, the “Ascent to Heaven.”
So take all that great Indian history and a spa program grounded in Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies and world class masters and Ananda is truly the ultimate exotic holistic escape.
Rooms from @ $300-$1300/night
Wellness Package Programs also available