A healing retreat: Kairali
Retreat literally translates as ‘take flight’ or escape. A chance trip to Kairali – The Ayurvedic Healing Village, Palakkad was exactly that and more....
Retreat literally translates as ‘take flight’ or escape. A chance trip to Kairali – The Ayurvedic Healing Village, Palakkad was exactly that and more. It was on the day monsoon hit Kerala coast, and to say that the drive from Coimbatore airport to the ayurvedic village in Palakkad was picturesque is an understatement.
Cloud-laden hill tops flanking the highway with overdose of greenery gladdening the heart as the rain and the breeze smoothens your senses – the great escape began well.
Promoted under the flagship of Kairali Ayurvedic Group, one of the largest, with over 10 decades of experience in the production and practice of the centuries old traditional science of medicine – the healing village promises a holistic approach to detox, rejuvenation and treatment of ailments.
Spread over 60 acres amidst vibrant and varied flora are the 30 villas, each uniquely planned to follow the principles of Vaastu and birth stars. Simple cottages with modern amenities reflect the time of your life you will be spending at this healing village.
A stay at this first of its kind hospital in a resort format begins with a visit to the ayurvedic doctor. From a simple detox therapy, weight reduction, to lifestyle ailments or chronic diseases – patients from across the globe come to the retreat seeking solution. And the doctor suggests a therapy that is a combination of yoga and meditation, ayurvedic massages, medicines, diet. While a stay for simple detox can be for four days, there are guests staying for a month and more aiming for a complete rehaul of their body for better. For complex ailments, it is the doctor who decides the requisite period of the stay.
The day at Kairali begins at 6 am with yoga; for those of us leading a sedentary life where all the excitement that we have is work and related stress, this is the perfect beginning to a day. A quick to intense session will leave you hungry and refreshed. The restaurant has a surprise in store for you.
A glass full of fresh juice, diced fresh fruit followed by healthy breakfast bereft of spices and oil is what your body needs, and with so much of goodness happening around you, one gets used to this simple and organic food. The lunch and dinner too are limited affair, with some wonderfully cooked curries, yummily tossed salads, phulkas and steamed red rice. In fact, Gita Ramesh, Jt Managing Director, has written a book of recipes that goes on to prove that healthy food can be tasty too.
Panchakarma, Abhyangana, Shirodhara and many such treatments come next. Expert masseurs, separate facility for women, scientific approach and the goodness of Kerala Ayurveda – combine to give the best of the experience at the Ayurvedic spa facility, which runs under the guidance of qualified and experienced doctors that makes one feel safe and emerges out of it in a bliss.
Every evening there is a meditation session for the guests/ patients. Kairali also organises nature trails; one can visit the herbal garden or just loiter around the serene and beautifully landscaped grounds, play tennis, take a dip in the pool, enjoy reading a book in the library, play indoor games or just get on to a hammock and enjoy the view of the sky playing hide and seek with the tall coconut trees. Interestingly, one saw young kids too enjoying their time getting acquainted with nature and its many wonders.
As the day winds up, and the noises of the night begin to make their way in, and you head back to your room satiated and serene – you wonder about the busy life you have left behind and wish the Kairali experience lasts longer.