Ananda is an award winning luxury destination spa resort situated at the Himalayan foothills in Northern India. Located on a 100 acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate, Ananda is surrounded by graceful Sal forests and overlooks the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges river valley.
Ananda, one of the best luxury wellness retreats in India and the world, integrates traditional Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with international wellness experiences, fitness and healthy organic cuisine to restore balance and harmonize energy.
Located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, close to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, surrounded by graceful Sal forests, overlooking the peaceful Ganga as it meanders into the distance. Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the union of body, mind and soul.
It is not just a retreat that will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings, but assists in redefining lifestyles to include the well-known traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with best of International Wellness Experiences.
In ancient India, holistic living was a way of life. People inherently understood the balance of nature, the ways of the Universe and how the elements affected not just their physical health, but their mental well-being.
It was understood that if they achieved harmony within, they would be at peace with their surroundings. On the fast track to progress, our world changed as did we; but deep within us we have always understood and upheld the beliefs and principles of our ancestors.
To seek harmony, to balance themselves again, to be one with their surroundings, Indians have been known to ‘retreat’ to the peace and quiet of the mountains… to the stillness of the hills and the natural flow of the rivers.
This is the very philosophy which brought Ananda – In The Himalayas into being. More than ever before the New Age individual moving on today’s fast track recognises the need to retreat, find holistic remedies, and rejuvenating locales.
At Ananda we have tried to recreate the synergy of mind body and intellect not just through the natural Himalayan locales and the proximity to the mountains and the river, but through the rejuvenating and ancient processes and philosophies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies which enhance and augment the original.
Ananda believes that each individual is unique. So too are the programmes and experiences that we offer. Individual needs and requirements are assessed prior to the start of your chosen programme, through a personal consultation with our Ayurveda and wellness consultants.
This is an intrinsic part of assisting the individual on his/her private journey to understanding the self.
Named after the great mountain ranges Himalaya and Shivalik and the river Ganga that sustains the people of the Valley, these beautiful Villas are a dreamer’s escape.
Two 2-bedroom villas (1800 sq. ft.) and one 1-bedroom villa (1200 sq. ft), each elegantly appointed with a living room, a pantry for the butler, a dressing room and a large bathroom featuring a private sauna with an unhampered view of the private swimming pool.
The 40 Sq Metres private pools are surrounded with a deck area equipped with comfortable lounge beds. Ideal for a quiet retreat into a tranquil environment.
In the precincts of the Maharaja’s Palace, the Viceregal Suite is a perfect retreat for the connoisseur. It comprises of a spacious sitting and dining area and a plush bedroom featuring a period four-poster bed.
The attached dressing room and bathroom are beautifully appointed with antique fittings and furniture. With its own private terrace and a roof top gazebo seating overlooking the sloping landscaped gardens and the distant Ganga Valley, staying at the Viceregal Suite takes you back into India’s regal past.
Housed on the ground floor and overlooking the valley, the 3-bay Ananda Suite spells luxury and enchantment.
With luxuriously fitted bathrooms overlooking the view and its own private sitting and dining areas, the suite also has a large private garden with a gazebo seating, which is perfect for intimate dinners and leisurely breakfasts. The Ananda Suite also has an extra powder room with a shower in addition the main bathroom.
The 3 Garden Suites face either the Valley or the Maharaja’s palace. These 2-bay suites feature tastefully appointed bedrooms with attached sitting rooms and large bathrooms with tranquil garden views. Secluded private gardens situated to overlook the valley, add to the charm and privacy of these suites.
Deluxe Valley View Rooms
Newly renovated, these 45 sqm. deluxe rooms with a private balcony has views of the Rishikesh valley. Each room is equipped with a luxurious King size bed, a comfortable Settee with a footrest facing the balcony, a 42’ LCD TV, elegant writing and bedside tables.
The large private balcony has a chaise-lounge for complete relaxation and a tea table. Each room features spacious walk-in closets and perfectly appointed bathrooms with life size mirrors and a luxurious bathtub and windows overlooking views of the valley.
All rooms are equipped with DVD player, tea coffee maker, well stocked mini bar with healthy options, electronic safe and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi internet access.
At Ananda, Health Resort in India, Ayurveda forms an intrinsic part of the wellness regime for the guests.
From massages and specialized diet programme to fulfill personal goals to the more rigorous transformations in lifestyle, the Ayurveda experience has been designed keeping in mind the individual’s desire to heal, cleanse, relax and revitalize.
With qualified Ayurveda doctors and therapists to administer treatments ranging from therapeutic massages to more rigorous modes of toxic elimination, the Ayurvedic therapies at Ananda are strongly rooted in ancient traditions, while keeping in mind contemporary preferences and comforts, making it the best Ayurvedic retreat in India.
The authenticity and our commitment to this ancient life system are evident in the use of age-old powders; oils, vessels, wooden beds, treatment rituals and qualified therapists trained in traditional Ayurvedic schools.
Ananda Ayurvedic Therapy programmes are prescribed by the resident physician after a detailed consultation, which specifies daily routines, diet and wellness activities.
Ayurvedic and Wellness Consultation
The Ayurvedic consultation explores your physical, mental and emotional health to help you understand your unique energetic constitution or combination of Doshas (the three dynamic living forces) that determines your body type and your current imbalances.
The Ayurvedic physician then prepares a sequence of experiences and a programme of diet and exercise according to your body type that will help bring more balance, energy and peace to your entire being.
Ayurvedic Tri-Dosha Theory
According to Ayurveda, the universe is made of five primordial elements, namely earth, air, fire, water and ether.
These elements themselves are inanimate, but in combination, give rise to three main biological forces or principles in the human body, called doshas – , and, as every human being has a different balance of elements, one dosha is typically predominant in our constitution and ascertains our personality.
The Tridosha Theory
When the five eternal substances – space, air, fire, water and earth combine to form the human body, they do so by creating three vital energies, or doshas. These are the forces that govern all psycho-physiological functions in the body and mind respectively.
They construct the body and serve to maintain it in a dynamic state of health. However, when these vital forces are aggravated, due to improper gross or subtle factors, the body- mind connection begins to suffer and the disease process begins.
It is the most powerful among the doshas. Formed by the interaction of space and air, Vata is movement, the body in motion.
Warm food, moderately heavy textures, added butter and fat; salt, sour, and sweet tastes; soothing and satisfying foods, All are good for settling the disturbed Vata. Use food such as: warm milk, cream, butter, warm soups, stews, and hot cereals, fresh baked.
Formed by the interaction of fire and water…the polarity of these two elements plays an important role for Pitta, which regulates the body metabolism and transformations in the body’s form.
Cool or warm but not steaming hot foods; bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes, are what are perfect for this body type. Take cool, refreshing food in summer. Reduce the consumption of salt, oil and spices, all of which are “heating” to the body. Salads are good, so is milk and ice cream.
It is formed by the structural properties of earth, with water in its role as a lubricant to different tissues of the body, which also aids strength and adds stamina to the body. Warm light food, dry food, cooked without much water, minimum of butter, oil and sugar are recommended for this body type.
Stimulating foods with pungent, bitter and astringent tastes and deep fried foods are best avoided. Eat lightly cooked foods or raw fruits and vegetables. ‘Eat’ spicy, bitter and astringent foods. Watch out for eating that little bit extra, a typical Kapha tendency
A complete range of authentic Ayurvedic treatments are available at Ananda, each addressing a specific aspect of mental, and physical well-being.
A traditional synchronized full body massage given by two experienced Ayurveda therapists using Sesame oil; also known as the “four-handed-massage.” Abhyanga improves physical consistency, helps to liquefy toxins and induces relaxation, whilst normalizing blood pressure and eliminating impurities.
An indulgent, rejuvenating experience, during which lukewarm herbal oils anoint the entire body. The anointment is very slow and rhythmic with light pressure. Pizhichil strengthens immunity, lubricates the joints, liquefies toxins, increases flexibility and strengthens immunity
Following a full body massage with dosha specific oils, therapeutic sweating is induced by the application of warmed herbal poultices.
Choornaswedana is commonly known as “the bundle massage”. It increases circulation, speeds up the elimination of toxins, relieves muscle pain and stiffness, rheumatism, arthritis and sports injuries
Luke warm herbal oil is poured in an even stream on to the forehead to pacify and revitalize the mind and the body. As well as its intense rejuvenating and anti-aging effects, Shirodhara improves memory, normalizes sleep patterns and addresses other neurological disorders
A calming experience where cool medicated buttermilk is poured onto the forehead to bring relief to those who suffer from insomnia, depression, gynecological psychological and stress related conditions.
A deep, dry massage using herbal powders which stimulate the hair follicles assisting to break down the body’s excess subcutaneous fat. This massage aims to address obesity and mobilizes toxins. Beneficial for firming and toning.
For centuries Mukha Lepa has been used as a beauty ritual for Indian women. Traditional herbs are used to cleanse, exfoliate, tone and finally hydrate. A specialized dosha specific herbal lepa or mask is applied to the face to bring out the beauty within.
This stimulates the natural cleansing and healing abilities of the body. Following a medicated herbal oil massage a dosha specific full body mask is applied to the entire body that aids in drawing out toxins and relieving aches and pains, leaving your entire body refreshed and calm
Treating the eyes by applying ghee is known as “Akshi Tarpana” or “Netra Vasthi” in Ayurveda. Whilst lying on the droni table a ‘ring’ of flour paste is made around the eyes. Medicated ghee is then poured gently into the ring over the eyes.
After sufficient unction has been poured, the eyes are intermittently opened and closed for a period not exceeding five minutes. This experience is good for treating tired eyes as well as other eye disorders.
This experience involves the retention of medicated oil or decoction in the mouth for a few minutes. Gandusa is good for cleansing, detoxifying and aids in mouth, voice, gum and tooth disorders. Gandusa addresses bad breath, whilst improving the flexibility of facial muscles.
Requires the retention, movement and gargling of medicated oil or decoction in the mouth for few minutes. This simple and soothing treatment is highly beneficial for disorders of ear, nose, throat and mouth whilst improving the voice.
Practiced to ease lower back pain. A small circle of paste made from black gram or wheat flour is placed strategically on the lower back. Warmed oil is then poured into the depression created by the ring of paste. This soothes muscular tissue, alleviates pain and lubricates the discs and nerves.
A herbal headpack applied to relax the mind, which in turn brings peace to the body and soul. A cooling application that helps relieve insomnia, stress, migraines and brings overall balance to the being.
An experience that balances the Heart Chakra and helps reduce stress to alleviate future problems of the thoracic region. Warmed, medicated oil is gently poured into a reservoir made from gram flour, placed strategically over the chest area. This soothes muscular tissue, alleviates discomfort and balances the mind-body connection.
Ayurvedic Head Massage
A powerful calming and relaxing massage over the head, neck, shoulder and upper back. Conducted in a sitting posture using Ayurvedic medicated oil. Traditionally known as “Shiroabhyanga”, this treatment is ideal for anyone who carries stress over their shoulders and neck.
It helps to improve quality of sleep, nourishes the hair roots and also is helpful in managing recurrent headaches.
Pada Abhyanga: Ayurveda Foot Massage
Pada Abhyanga is regarded as a highly specialized therapy in Ayurveda. It is a holistic therapy that works towards effective healing by using medicated oil and focusing on nerve points on the entire foot.
This treatment helps in relaxation, improves blood circulation, promotes better sleep, reduces anxiety and helps improves the texture of the skin.
The Marmas (vital points) are a very important part of Ayurvedic anatomy and surgery. A marma point is an anatomical spot where flesh, veins, arteries, tendons, bones and joints meet up and prana (life force) is situated.
There are 107 marma points throughout the body. Each point has its own intelligence and consciousness, which co-ordinates between the mind and body. This ancient form of treatment uses the fingers to stimulate the marma points, thereby promoting physical and mental recuperation.
This therapy strengthens the organ systems and tissues, relieves physical and mental blockages of energy, improves lymph drainage, relaxes muscles and improves quality of sleep.
Prista Vamsha Therapy: Complete Spine care and Back therapy
Prista Vamsha refers to the entire spinal column. It is a complete spine therapy, which involves three systemic procedures prista-vasti, prista-abhyanga and prista-swedana to strengthen the spine and supporting tissues.
The prista vamsha therapy starts with the process of oil pooling, (prista vasti) in which the warm medicated oil is retained inside a herbal paste crevice on the entire spinal area of the body for some time; followed by a deep massage on the entire back (prista abhyanga) ending with rhythmic tapping and then a massage using warm poultices over the spine and back.
This intensive treatment strengthens back muscles by releasing the stiffness, lubricates the joints to make them flexible and pain free. It also alleviates lower back conditions like lumbar spondylitis, inter vertebral disc prolapses, lumbago and sciatica.
The traditional science of Ayurvedic Panchakarma offers the most natural and complete cleanse. It is the ideal method of detoxifying and rejuvenating the body and mind and healing from within.
Overlooking the spiritual Ganges river in the Himalayan foothills, Ananda creates an idyllic setting for a holistic cleanse. The Panchakarma programme is for 21 nights and follows 3 distinct stages. For those with time limitations, a shorter introduction version of Panchakarma can be customised for 14 days as well.
The first stage is Purvakarma or pre-purification measures.
Before purification begins, there is a need to prepare the body with prescribed methods to encourage it to let go of the toxins. The program starts with improving digestion both at the cellular and gastrointestinal level through digestive juice stimulants (dipana), and digestants (pachana).
This is followed by Snehapana or consumption of medicated ghee for three to seven days in different doses depending on strength and nature of an individual. In the shorter 14-night program, Sadhyo-snehapana includes 1 or 2 days with fixed dosage of medicated ghee.
Next is Snehana which is the application of oil to the entire body with a massage technique that helps toxins move towards the gastrointestinal tract. Alongside this is Svedana or therapeutic sweating and is given every day following the Snehana.
The second stage consists of cleansing Panchakarma processes
which includes Vamana – emesis, Virechana – purgation, Basti – oil and decoction enema and finally Nasya – elimination of toxins through the nasal passage.
The third stage is Paschatkarma
which focusses on special diets to rest and rejuvenate the cleansed system, along with natural herbal remedies to replenish the digestive enzymes and immune system. Lifestyle changes are prescribed following return from Ananda.
Panchakarma is a very special Ayurvedic procedure and requires proper guidance from a highly trained and skilful Ayurvedic practitioner. At Ananda, Panchakarma is performed under the supervision of our expert Ayurvedic Doctors and customised for each guest with their specific constitution in mind.
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga at Ananda, luxury hotel in The Himalayas, is completely pure and traditional in form, stemming from the roots of Hatha yoga and adapting it to suit individual needs.
It is a disciplined science teaching the techniques of the renowned Bihar School of Yoga encompassing all aspects of life in different ways and levels to balance the mind, body and spirit. Our experienced Yoga teachers are trained to understand your personal objectives and goals during your stay at Ananda and beyond.
They will then design a specific yoga and meditation program for you to assist you through your journey of life, balancing your being and assisting you to achieve health and well being.
A commonly used yogic practice to cleanse the digestive tract. Kunjal helps to expel impurities and reduce acidity.
‘Neti’ simply means the practice of cleansing the nasal passages with salted lukewarm water. Neti helps to relieve sinus problems, improve eyesight and counters environmental pollutants.
Laghoo Shankha Prakshalana
Laghoo Shankha Prakshalana (yogic cleansing of the intestines). This is the non invasive Hatha Yogic technique of complete intestinal wash or cleansing. Laghoo Shankha Prakshalana is a very simple, natural and effective procedure to encourage a good bowel movement.
It intends to empty and clean the whole digestive system by encouraging natural peristaltic movement of the intestine, sphincter muscle and nerves of the digestive tract in order to enhance the cleansing process.
A total of 6-8 glasses of lukewarm with dissolved Himalayan Salt which is extremely rich in negative ions, are consumed in 3 to 4 rounds of this cleansing process. In each round after drinking two glasses of saline water quickly a set of 5 dynamic postures is performed for 8 rounds each in a traditionally specified sequence.
Then again it is repeated with 2 glasses of water and same 5 postures for 8 rounds each. This way it is done for 3-4 rounds to finish total of 6-8 glasses of water.
No spa program is complete without the fascinating global combine of complete wellness offered by blending the best known therapies garnered from every corner of the world.
Going back in time, researching ancient texts, the knowledge gleaned from the secrets of Egyptian princesses, the practices of ancient Rome, the rituals of the pagan Greeks, the origins of the first Spas from the practices of Europe, the spiritual teachings from the Masters of Japan, have all been brought together in new ways in the form of revitalizing treatments such as the sensuous Aromatherapy, the deeply relaxing Swedish massage, the gentle healing touch of Reiki, the pressure points and tension release work through Reflexology.
These are but a few of the experiences that help to revitalize and rejuvenate.
The core of all the Tibetan experiences by Ila, is healing. The higher energy or vibration, which is central to healing, is present in Ila’s unique products, which are brought together and blended with love and healing in mind.
Tibetan Ku Nye Massage
Tibetan massage focuses on lymphatic drainage, acupressure and meridian work using Hot Himalayan salt poultices infused with cardamom, lavender and jatamansi over the back, backs and fronts of legs, chest, finishing with a wonderful head massage not forgetting the body’s meridian energy channels.
The aim of this treatment is to restore the nervous system and stimulate a free flow of energy within the body.
5 blends of wild grown organic oils are used to balance the earth, Water, fire, air and ether element. The treatment begins by energizing the meridians with head, hand and foot reflexology. The body is then massaged with hot Himalayan salt.
Despite a rapid rise in adoption of holistic wellness in the last decade, most people still link wellness to the physical self with some recent interest in mindfulness; emotional health and mental health is largely ignored.
A chronic unhealthy mind left untreated, doesn’t just give rise to mental issues like anxiety, depression, and psychotic disorders, but also manifests in the body through unexplained aches and pains, eating disorders, chronic fatigue, indigestion and various other psychosomatic disorders.
Ananda’s fitness offerings are in collaboration with Sumaya, India’s leading state-of-the-art personal training company, which focuses on customised fitness routines with a complete focus on individual lifestyle management.
Guests who visit Ananda on a wellness program will experience Sumaya’s individualized, consultative and goal orientated fitness approach. Using the latest equipment, functional training and the most effective techniques, we will guide you towards a sustainable and effective fitness regimen that suits your needs.
Read more about elements of Ananda’s Active Fitness below. Please note that the individual consultation for this programme will be with our fitness expert.
Fitness Consultation and Assessment
This programme is designed to assess your current fitness level and to recommend an exercise programme that suites your lifestyle.
Our exercise specialist will test your aerobic capacity, heart rate and overall strength. We will assess your weaknesses, strengths and advice you on a complete fitness programme during your stay and beyond.
Body Composition Analysis
A useful, scientifically based tool used to access the composition of your body tissue and recommend your target weight and lean body mass percentage.
Participate in personal training with the fitness expert whom will design a unique programme for your needs and objectives no matter what your fitness level. This programme is designed to complement your home routine and to maximise your use of the Ananda facilities.
Vedanta is the ancient Indian philosophy of life and living. Its eternal principles provide the technique to achieve success, find harmony and reach spiritual perfection. Over 65 years of study and research, renowned philosopher Swami A. Parthasarathy has made this ancient wisdom accessible to modern intellects.
Join senior disciples of Swami A. Parthasarathy for 10 interactive online sessions on Vedanta every Sunday starting in August to begin your journey to Inner Wellness.
The history of Tehri Garhwal is fraught with drama and pathos. Now a small constituency forming a part of the state of Uttaranchal, it was once a princely state ruled by the Shah family, with Narendra Nagar as its summer capital and the Palace as the official residence – where the vice regal suite of Ananda in the Himalayas, is situated.
The neat little town of Narendrangar, with its charming market, it’s wide central road and its location serving far flung hill hamlets is a tribute to the Maharaja.
In the days of the British Raj the beautiful palace was known to welcome Viceroys and people of eminence – including Mahatama Gandhi and Mira Ben and post independence it has played host to several eminent political and religious personalities.
Ma Anandmayi, a well known spiritual guide, whose wise teachings, gentle ways and immensely charismatic presence attracted a very large following from all parts of the world, often visited the Maharaja’s family and her room, quaint, simple and still holding much of her spiritual energy, is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Viceregal terrace, overlooking the valley and the grounds and stands testimonial to the old Maharaja’s close links with the history of spiritual India.
His son, Maharaja Manabendra Shah, father of the current Maharaja, took over from his father, but the changing face of post-freedom India, soon wiped out princely roles and the family turned to politics in order to keep alive their roots.
A venture into the Himalayas is more than a mere journey: it is a “yatra” (a pilgrimage). A pilgrimage does not hold more importance than it does in Garhwal and Kumaon, once known as “Uttarakhand” – the ‘northern territories’ – in the pre Vedic era.
This is the domain of the ascetic Lord Shiva, the destroyer; it is a land charged with “Shakti”, the power and energy of the goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva and the daughter of Himavat, Lord of the Mountains. Together, Garhwal and Kumaon form a sizable wedge in the Central Himalayas, joining India and Nepal.
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 exists 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’. The epic also mentions this region being the home of the Kirata, Puolinda and Tangara tribes.
It is said that when Gods left their footprints on the land of Haridwar, metaphorically they also left an indelible mark on the spiritual ethos of every Hindu – more so the devout, who would later follow their holy paths all across this blessed land.
Of such significance is Haridwar in the thought of India’s traditional Hindus that it has earned its sobriquet of honor as The Gateway to the Gods.
Legend has it that the holy Ganga, the holiest of all rivers, which flows through this sacred city, has actually been sanctified by the powerful trinity of Hindu mythology- Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Down the ages, this special importance of Haridwar as the ever-refreshing mystic venue for the purification of the mind, body and soul gained more impetus and today manifests itself in two great events that take place here – the memorable Kumbh Mela which is held every 12 years and the Ardh Kumbh Mela, which is held once every 6 years.
Yet, beyond the mystic aura and mythology, Haridwar casts another magic spell on the visitor. Being one of the oldest living cities, Haridwar finds its mention in the ancient India scriptures as it weaves through the life and times, from the period of Lord Buddha to the more recent British advent.
Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges from the mountains to touch the plains. In the evening, the Ghats (places built on the banks of the river for the holy dip in the river Ganga) look breathtakingly beautiful as thousands of diyas (earthen lamps) and marigold flowers illuminate the holy waters at the time of the Ganga Aarti – a much awaited daily ritual, where the river Ganga is propitiated for all the bounty that she bestows on the Indian plains.
The town of Rishikesh lies in the foothills of the Garhwal region. Located 1160 feet above sea level, it is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point to the Char Dham – four famous pilgrim centers namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri. It is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation.
The Ganga flows through the town and is worshipped here. Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. It has numerous ashrams, some of which are internationally recognized, as places for philosophical studies, yoga and meditation. An international ‘Yoga Week’ is organized here every year in the first week of February.
Back in the 1960’s Rishikesh gained instant fame as the site, when the Beatles came to stay here with their guru, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, famous and well loved exponent of Yoga throughout the Western world and at home in India.