Wellness and Relaxation
From where we stand, no other part of the land is developed, leaving it as far as possible in its natural state. Happily, this allows us to live in a harmony with the natural world and we have no intent to control it or ‘manage’ it. To this day the wildlife continues to thrive without too much human interference.
For interested naturalists, the fauna includes: Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Yellow-throated Marten, Red Fox, Indian Fox Jackal, Barking Deer, Musk Deer, Porcupine, Flying Squirrels, Himalayan Civet, Common Mongoose, Common Langurs, and more.
And of course literally hundreds of bird species – including the largest birds-of-prey: Himalayan Griffon Vulture (the world’s longest wingspan at up to three metres), Cinerous Vulture, Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Golden Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard. Parties of Khaleej Pheasants and the beautiful long-tailed Yellow-billed Blue Magpies. Clouds of fiery red and yellow iridescent Minivets and brilliant turquoise Verditer Flycatchers, and the occasional Golden Oriole – a rare bird across the world. Then the loud ones we call sound of the mountain – Great Himalayan Barbet, and the elusive Mountain Scops Owl. All of these can be viewed from the gardens.
Apart from the wildlife, we started to keep our own mountain horses available for riding (and great for children). With no road, there are no vehicles on the hill, which has undoubtedly helped this wilderness to survive mostly intact.
Homemade and organic
We like to make as much as possible from our own ingredients. At our in-house organic garden and greenhouse, we keep experimenting with local vegetables, salads and herbs. Apart from that we use local organic growers, make jams, preserves, pickles and chutneys. Rhododendron flowers are a speciality locally for both jam and a spicy chutney. Wild mushrooms abound in the forest around – mostly capes, and morels – and ‘Lungru’ (Fiddlehead Fern) are collected and cooked. Additionally, a speciality here was our nettle soup, a verdant green, served with a swirl of home-made yogurt or cream – and it’s really good for you.
Adherents of sustainable, ecological living ideals, trying to ensure our impact is minimal – rainwater harvested and saved in tanks, drinking water direct from our own Spring, Solar power assisted hot water, we started using voltaic cells for outdoor lighting. All rubbish is separated – waste food usefully to the dogs, horses or compost, paper for the fires, and a nice local man collected all glass, tin and most plastics for recycling.
In house ‘Wellness in the Wilderness’ rejuvenation programmes in conjunction with local herbal remedies, detoxifying diets, nature walks, Pranayama, Dhyana, spending time at the Dalai Lama monastery, and developing an overall understanding of slow-living. Yoga and meditation when combined with the practice of pranayama forms a comprehensive spiritual practice which opens a path to healing and peace. In Patanjali’s Yoga, meditation is the seventh limb which leads to Samadhi. In Vedanta and Buddhism, meditation forms an important component of the path. Serious students of Yoga require a solid grounding in both theory and practice of yoga poses, pranayama and meditation.
With a view of the valley through deodar trees and clouds enveloping the mountains at our wooden floor Yoga Room for about 15 people, you enter a calm and relaxed state.