Recently, I have started going to the gym and for the first time in my life started focusing on strength training. There is just one word to describe my current state of mind – PAIN. I am up at 4 in the morning and while I try to get up I could actually feel every muscle and joint of my body. To alleviate the pain from the mind, I daydream. I dream of going back to Uttarkashi, sit by the Ganges and just laze around. I had the good fortune of exploring an offbeat home stay and a perfect Himalayan retreat in Uttarkashi known as Anand Ganga.
Befitting the name, this place is a piece of heaven with turquoise blue, crystal clear Ganges gurgling past the compound wall. Built and managed by a Krishnaji, a humble school teacher and a trained Yoga expert, Anand Ganga is a shining example of juxtaposition of passion and aesthetics.
He says, “In 2004 when I completed my Teacher training course in yoga, I found my dream place, near Sivanand Kuteer, Netala. The motive behind starting Anand Ganga is to encourage people from all around the world with different talents, love and affection, to congregate and share their talents, love and affection among each other and to help learn and grow to live a joyful and blissful life. Anand Ganga gives me this opportunity to bring together Yoga, music, theatre and Nature.”
There is a meditative silence around this place with no other voices except that of Ganges and chirping birds. The yoga room perched on the roof is made of glass and has some panoramic 360 degree views of the Himalayas. Just close your eyes, focus on your breathing and life energy starts to flow. Fantastic way to start your day! I fell in love with Yoga at this very place.
Food is organic, simple and yet tasty with local Garhwali cuisine flavours. Homestay in Anand Ganga is a holistic experience. A lot of foreigners come here to practice yoga and undergo a cleanse phase under the expert guidance of host Krishnaji.
Infact, Krishnaji narrated an interesting anecdote when a couple from New York expressed their desire to get married by the holy Ganges. Their wish was his command and in no time a soulful marriage ceremony was arranged as per Hindu rituals in Mukhba village. The couple was delighted and felt blessed. You can trust Krishnaji for arranging anything and everything. His knowledge about local culture and history, expertise in Yoga, socio-cultural engagements and humble nature makes your stay fun and comfortable.
Enjoy the scenic beauty of Uttarkashi, go for treks, learn Yoga, practice music by the Ganges or simply enjoy the serene ambience – Anand Ganga, the perfect Himalayan retreat is sure to revitalize the body and mind.
While recounting my experiences at Anand Ganga I am convinced that I too need a break. Away from the gym I must reach out to Nature for balancing my body and mind. Yoga, here I come!
For more on Anand Ganga Retreat have a look at their website.
You may also check Tripadvisor reviews if you are planning a trip.