A hot aromatherapy soak while live musicians play melodies from the Mughal era.
A massage on board a spa boat as you lazily circumnavigate an oasis.
Malavara explores these pockets of well-being and a world of wellness in North India through our Wellness on Wanderlust series. Here's a journey through the best of North India.
Begin where all journeys should begin – at the Rambagh Palace in Jaipur.
Rambagh was the favourite palace and residence of Maharani Gayatri Devi, said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. It is an oasis of utter serenity amid the hustle and bustle of this erstwhile royal capital. Unwind with morning yoga as peacocks flit from one corner of the garden to the next. Step into the canopied spa pavilion for a relaxing massage from the Jiva Spa specialists.
The Malavara Moment: Jagr means “awaken”. The treatment described below is designed to wash away your fatigue and leave you feeling revitalised.
The soothing experience is initiated with a warm foot soak followed by a relaxing Indian head massage i.e. a ‘Champi’. A skilled therapist will ease the knots on your back and shoulders with pressure therapy while reviving your senses. You will feel tension slowly disperse as your muscles enter a relaxed state and your mind goes into a calm mode.
Venture into the rugged countryside and the ancient province of Alwar.
Amanbagh is a pristine dew drop in the desert – a haven of utter tranquility nestled in the Aravalli mountain range in Rajasthan. Once a royal camping ground, this Ayurveda spa retreat is a short drive from Jaipur and and offers unique wellness experiences. An evening nature walk through the forest and boulders leads you to a tranquil meditation spot amidst the ghost city of Bhangarh. Discover the art of pranayama and the mudras, according to the yogic tradition. Amanbagh also offers 4 to 21 night Ayurvedic immersion programs with the latter designed for total rejuvenation and transformation.
The Malavara Moment – Pranayama and Mudra: The Body In Balance
Pranayama are a series of breathing exercises that encourage you to breathe correctly and deeply from the very core of your body. Pranayama cleanses the nadis or different channels in the body, and stimulates blood circulation and the flow of oxygen. It has a lasting effect on your organs, especially the heart, as well as the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems. It helps to relieve chronic stress, hypertension, cardiac disease, depression, neurological disorders and digestive malfunctions.
Mudras are subtle hand gestures that help to balance the elements and energy flow in our bodies.
They are usually done in conjunction with Pranayama, and may vary depending on your goals. Certain mudras have a direct impact on our doshas, i.e. our constitution according to Ayurveda. For example, the Varuna Mudra helps to balance water levels throughout your body, and is particularly helpful if your skin is dry. The Vaya Mudra helps to balance air and soothes the digestive and nervous systems. It controls the Vata dosha in the body and induces a state of calm.
Udaipur is a city of extraordinary romance. Every wall tells a story and it’s magnificent architectural heritage is reflected in the many lakes that dot the landscape. Take a boat out to the iconic Lake Palace in the middle of Lake Pichhola, now a boutique palace hotel that is run by the Taj Group. Exquisitely romantic, intimate and charming, this is a one of a kind experience.
But what we love most is the amazing spa that reflects the spirit of Udaipur – because it’s on a boat! Lazily circle the waters of Lake Pichhola, the city palace on one bank the Monsoon Palace on the other.
The Malavara Moment: Mewar Khas is a sublime treatment for radiant skin and a healthy glow.
A specialty of the region of Mewar, this spa treatment is a pre-bathing ritual of the royalty in preparation of their wedding day. The body is scrubbed with a mixture of popular natural ingredients like sandalwood, turmeric, rice grains and a multitude of Ayurvedic herbs. This process of exfoliation ensures that you’re left with beautiful, soft skin. Towards the end, your body is treated with a soothing massage using a herbal oil so your skin remains cocooned in the goodness you just experienced.
Plunge into the steep Ravines along the River Chambal and cross into the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh, to visit the ancient kingdom of Gwalior. Gwalior is known for it’s Maratha splendour and the Gwalior Fort is one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture – a stunning stone fortress with Jain Tirthankara sculptures and Chinese dragon motifs!
But Gwalior was also home to one of the most famous men in Indian music, the legendary composer Tansen, who was one of the jewels of the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court. Enter the understated elegance of the Usha Kiran Palace, an Art Deco gem.
The Malavara Moment: The Mangal Snaan is an exquisite immersion for all your senses.
Historically only experienced by the royalty of India, experience an award winning signature treatment, Mangal Snaan, from the house of Gwalior. This treatment was known to be undertaken before an important coronation or wedding ceremony and comprises numerous anointments followed by elaborate bathing rituals.
Deep cleansing, exfoliation and massage with traditional spices, herbs and oils, transports you to a state of complete relaxation.This is enhanced with music therapy since music is known to have a soothing effect on the nervous system. This is the only treatment in the world that brings you the pure joy of Tansen’s Indian ragas by live musicians to compliment your royal experience so that it is nothing short of spectacular.This is followed by the grand and auspicious bath with saffron, an excellent body conditioner, and an exotic blend of the rarest of Indian spices like Mogra - Indian Jasmine, which is both sensual and spiritual and Gulheena to ensure inner clarity. For women, the lavish treatment ends with a henna hand design.Truly an experience to cherish, the Mangal Snaan can be relished as an individual or as a couple looking for a romantic experience.
A short drive up from Agra takes you through the town of Bateshwar, known for its amazing ancient temple complex of over a hundred Shaivite temples, before you arrive in Agra. Head to the luxurious and utterly serene Oberoi Amar Vilas and relax until your evening visit to the Taj Mahal as the sun sets.
The Malavara Moment: Wake up for early morning yoga overlooking the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
The Oberoi Amar Vilas’ serene environs are the ideal backdrop to stretch your mind, body and soul. Watch the awe inspiring beauty of the Taj Mahal come to life as the sun rises.
From Agra, head to Delhi and the Indira Gandhi International Airport for your flight home.
A NOTE FROM US…
We’re oil-obsessed, fragrance-freaks, passionate about natural Indian ingredients. But we know true beauty isn’t just about Ayurveda or Aromatherapy. It’s about embracing life in all its vivid, seductive intensity – and that’s just what our Wellness On Wanderlust programs are all about.
To learn more about Malavara’s Wellness On Wanderlust experiences on the ground in India visit www.malavara.com / www.malavara.co.uk and drop us a line today and we can help you plan your Indian wellness getaway.