Wild Earth Journeys
In Ayurveda, all bodily processes are said to be governed by a balance of three elements called the doshas. The 3 main doshas (medical humours) are Vata (resembles the classical element air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water). Each is present in every individual, but the extent varies, creating hundreds of differing constitutions. Whichever dosha appears to dominate a person's behavior and physique is called his constitution type. Each constitution type has particular strengths and susceptibilities.
Day 01: Arrival Cochin
Met on arrival and transferred to the Malabar House. Placed in colonial Fort Cochin, the historical part of present day Kochi, the backwaters and the plantation hills, each of the Malabar escapes gives you a distinct experience & flavour.
Day 02: Cochin
A day to enjoy the Fort Cochin area, the synagogue and the Mattancherry market place.
Day 03: Cochin – Kumarkon – Cocunut Lagoon
You will be transferred today to the Coconut Lagoon. There are so many facets to the Coconut Lagoon experience. The heritage of the old fuedal villages of Malabar. The vast frolic of the Vembanad lake. The shimmering waters of the canals that criss-cross the property. Together, they become an experment in ecological living that remains startlingly different.
Day 04: Kumarakom
Water and history are the defining elements at Coconut Lagoon. Water surges in clockwork rhythms on its shores, through its canals and pools. And history stands watch from the grounds above. From the centuries-old beams of the heritage mansion to the carved woods of the reception, the past comes alive as liquid reflections, mirrored in ripples and shards wherever you look. Fittingly, Coconut Lagoon can be reached only over the water. The great Vembanad lake, an inland sea that stretches clear across central Kerala, forms a breeze-laden watery highway. Your coach transfer happens via a generously clunky wooden boat with a little inboard motor (so as not to disturb the fishes). And the lobby, when you arrive, turns out to be a reconstructed 19th century mansion with a stone jetty attached. Your boat putters sedately through a narrow canal, its banks covered with flowers. Tiled-roof bungalows peer through the foliage. And with a reviving coconut cocktail in one hand, you step off the boat and up to the reception desk, all ready to check in. Conde' Nast Traveller once described Coconut Lagoon as one of the 25 best destinations in the world.
Day 05: Kumarakom – Periyar
Imagine a resort where less is really more. No air-conditioning or television or nightclubs. Just a mirror, held up to an age old culture and a living harmony. This is the tribal village, reborn for the modern traveler. Wait for a clear, clear day. Then, wherever you might be in God's own country, just look high to the east, above and beyond the paddy fields and the palm tops. Pitched and standing like pavilions against the horizon will be rows of faint blue smudges, fading into the sky. These are the highlands of Kerala, and they are another world. A few hours inland from the coast are places of cool mists and sun-dappled, silent valleys, home to vast plantations of teak, cardamom, tea, rubber and coffee.
Day 06: Periyar
Home also, to an astonishing biodiversity, preserved today in some fine wildlife sanctuaries. For centuries, tribal cultures built their own unique habitats in these mountains. Empires ebbed and flowed across the plains, but they left the Mannans and the Ooralies untouched. Here continued an ancient wisdom, a way of living that sustained itself from nature, yet respected it and left it uncorrupted. Spice Village Resort is our tip of the hat to this wisdom. A timeless experience in ecological living, recreated for the modern traveler.
Day 07: Periyar – Cochin
We return to the Brunton boatyard today. Moored on a historic stretch of Cochin's famed harbour, the Brunton Boatyard Hotel was resurrected from the remains of a Victorian shipyard. Today, it gives the modern traveller a unique opportunity to dwell amidst the shadow plays of 19th century history. The 16th to the 19th centuries were the time of the great sea voyages, an age when civilizations met. Cochin is the product of one of history's great tugs-of-war, as the powers of Europe struggled to dominate the spice trade, and the pepper of Kerala became, gram for gram, as precious as gold. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the Jews and the English came in turn, and the port of Cochin became a crossroads. Carried on wings of wood and sail, lifestyles and beliefs commingled; new cuisines, art forms and societies were born. The Brunton Boatyard Hotel is a looking-glass held up to this era. It's our attempt to capture the soul of a colourful and romantic age that remains one of history's most charming conjuring tricks, nurtured by Kerala's tolerant spirit.
Day 08: Cochin – Goa by flight. By road to Gokarna
By road 3 hours to Gokarna (Swaswara) - SwaSwara is the inner voice of the Self. A journey into the exuberance of your own being, powered by yoga and meditation. For the next five days, you experience sheer bliss in simple yet effective healing ways for the body, mind and soul. Walk down the pathway that meanders from the gardens at SwaSwara and feel the first spray of the sea. Stretch your arms out into infinity and say the word ‘Om’ aloud and feel it enervate every negativity.
Day 09: Gokarna
Listen carefully and you will hear the temple bells of Gokarna invoking a blessing for the day. Swim out to the curve of the Om and let your hair down in the sea of mysticism.
Day 10: Gokarna
Walk down the streets of Gokarna village. Bow your head in prayer for a moment and feel the presence of the creator. Stop to admire the adornments of elderly Gowda women .The folds of those craggy faces and shy smiles will reveal the secrets of a thousand years.
Day 11: Gokarna
Walk down unknown trails. If you like, we can walk together and revel in the other beaches of Gokarna… Half Moon, Paradise and Kudle. A little less adventurous? The same can be done by boat too.
Day 12: Gokarna
These are some of the experiences that await you at SwaSwara. Heritage and the ancient, beauty and veracity, wellness and serenity. And the magic of finding, what was already within you. What really matters is the exploration. Journeys that have no beginning or end, just the joy of the moment.
Day 13: Gokarna – Goa by road. By flight to Mumbai
By flight to Mumbai. Mumbai departure.
TOTAL COST: USD 4000
(including internal air tickets from Cochin to Goa to Mumbai)
• Arrival and departure transfers for international flights.
• Arrival and departure transfers for all internal flights.
• An air-conditioned Toyota Innova for all the road journeys.
• Three nights in Cochin at Malabar House in eight double rooms on bed and breakfast basis.
• Two nights in Kumarakom at Coconut Lagoon in eight double rooms on bed and breakfast basis.
• Two nights in Thekkady at Spice Village in eight double rooms on bed and breakfast basis.
• Guided sightseeing at Cochin, Kumarakom and Periyar.
• Entrances for 8 persons.
• Five nights in Gokarna at Swaswara in a double room on full board basis.
THE LIFESTYLE PACKAGE OF SWASWARA INCLUDES
- All Taxes.
- Transfers from and to Goa airport.
- Accommodation in an independent and spacious Konkan style Villa.
- All meals, which are set menus (Fish & vegetables only) & freshly made health drinks.
- Relaxing therapies of 20 minutes duration using Ayurvedic medicated oils to help you de-stress and energise your body.
- 1 Foot & Hand Massage, 1 Head & Shoulder massage & 1 Back massage.
- 1 Manicure or Pedicure session using Ayurvedic preparations.
- Dosas/ Prakruti analysis as per Ayurveda. A leaflet with advice on the foods you should eat / avoid for your prakruti + a days menu with the recipes for an Ayurvedic diet that suits your prakruti.
- Daily group Yoga sessions of Wellness Asanas, Pranayama, Meditations and Yoga Nidra.
- Art Yoga session.
- 2 private Yoga classes of duration of 40 minutes per Villa (irrespective of whether Single/ Double occupancy).
- Interactive cooking sessions with the Chef in our galley kitchen - as many as you wish to do.
- Guided group activities accompanied by our resident Naturalist. Bird watching trips, Nature walks to the nearby beaches, Visit a nearby local village to see the farming and rural lifestyle & an Eco tour of the property.
- A private dinner during the course of your stay, in an exclusive setting with a special menu & 1 complimentary bottle of Indian Wine.
- Set of 3 postcards which can be hand painted / coloured by oneself.
- An escorted visit to the temple town of Gokarna and the local market.
- Art and craft classes taught and guided by our Artist in residence at the Art gallery.
- Wheel pottery session taught and guided by the village potter - subject to his being available.
- A 45 minutes boat cruises to visit the nearby beaches (availability subject to weather conditions).
- A cultural program showcasing a traditional art form.
- A SwaSwara surprise gift.
Our Guide in India
CARROLL DUNHAM is a Princeton University anthropologist, yoga instructor, documentary filmmaker and director of Wild Earth Pvt. Ltd-a cooperative producing luxury Himalayan herbal products in Kathmandu. She has lived in the Himalayas for twenty-five years exploring Asia’s rich spiritual healing traditions, maps of the body and consciousness, sacred geography, plant pharmacopeias and life cycle rituals. As Company Anthropologist for The Body Shop, she explored and documented rites and rituals of body care around the world (and wrote the book Mamatoto: A Celebration of Birth (Viking: 1991) celebrating birthing rite practices of every continent. She continues to work with traditional healers throughout Asia from India to Mongolia. Author of four books, Sacred Landscape and Pilgrimage in Tibet-In Search of the Lost Kingdom of Bon, Tibet: Reflections from the Wheel of Life, The Hidden Himalayas, Abbeville Press, N.Y., N.Y. she has worked on National Geographic, CBC, BBC, and PBS documentaries on polyandry, pilgrimage, sexuality, mind sciences and sacred geography.