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April 22, 2024

Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta

Ekaanta: A sanctuary of tranquility and holistic wellness

 

Arushi Sakhuja

Nestled on the ghaats of the holy river Ganga in Haridwar, lies a soulful mindversity, Ekaanta – a beacon of luxurious experiential wellness. 3 hours from Delhi, and an hour from Dehradun airport, it is location with the Himalayas on one side and the Ganges flowing on its steps. Being a mind body balance retreat Ekaanta, is a mindversity (University for the mind) that focuses on bringing balance and harmony to the mind and body through a variety of practices and activities including meditation, yoga, mindful movement, healthy eating, and other holistic practices.

Ekaanta
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Ekaanta
Ekaanta entrance
Lobby
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta

A boutique luxury wellness retreat, Ekaanta, promises to be sustainable at its core not only literally but also metaphorically. A contrast to the streets, on the other side of the main entrance is a soothing space jolted in a colour palette of muted tunes, cream, white, beige, blue and a soothing pastel green. The lobby and dining area welcome you with a tikka, welcome drink and graffiti depictions of the Tale of The Ganges. An interesting design element is the ceiling with is made with blue wooden panels that mimics the Ganga while the inverted light bulbs are reminiscent of the floating diyas in the river. A confluence of modernity and culture with spiritual and mindful vibrations is visible across the architecture, experience, food and traditions at Ekaanta.

Ekaanta
Ekaanta, graffiti depictions
Ghaat view
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta

Spread across four floors, stepping into the space it’s a sharp contrast from the bustling streets of Haridwar. On Level 0 is a mini amphitheatre, library, two consultation rooms and one big conference hall for corporate wellness retreats. Level 1 houses the double rooms, on level two is the lobby and the dinning area, moving one floor up you will find the pool side, two therapy rooms and a large open space for fitness, then comes the Yoga room and on the top most floor are the kutirs.

Ganga View Room
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Kutir
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Kutir at night
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Amphitheatre overlooking the Ganga

Under the visionary guidance of three powerful women Shradha Lohia, Saumya Agarwal, and Manvi Lohia, Ekaanta is a sublime and serene escape to connect with yourself in solitude. When asked about the name Shraddha summed it up by saying, “Ekaant means solitude, where you are complete within yourself,” and this is the philosophy the trio has embodied in Ekaanta. The retreat equips individuals to stay calm in a state of chaos. A women led initiative, it is POSH approved and promises the highest standards of safety.

Minimal living gets a new meaning here, with accommodation is both luxurious yet without comprising on the ethics of wellness. Emphasising on the concept of solitude and mindful living across physical activity, mental wellness and nutrition, the tranquil space has a mix of 5 rooms and 10 smaller kutirs inspired by the tents at Khumbh. Housed of Level 1, are the double rooms which overlook the holy Ganga. Each room is named after revered virtues like Samtaa, Advait, Karuna, Samarpan, and Achal. The interiors of the room are elegant with honey oak floor paneling and rattan furniture that accentuate the soothing pastel color scheme of the rooms. On level 4 Ekaanta has hexagonal shaped, single occupancy rooms known as Prasanna Kutirs (Huts of Happiness), inspired by thousand tents that dot the city during the Kumbh Mela but with a modern spin. The idea of the Kutirs is to focus on minimal yet luxurious living, while being at peace with yourself.

Ghaat view
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta

Large open spaces overlooking the ghaata ought to be the key selling point of the property and the open spaces are designed to calm the mind, body and spirit. As Manvi puts it, “Open spaces give you time for reflection and relaxation. The more you have an open space, the more you’re able to reflect and relax.” The beauty comes to life once the sun goes down and you witness the magnanimity of the Ganga Aarti followed by some soulful music by the riverside.

Tales By The Ganges
Photo Courtesy: Ekaanta
Ganga Aarti by the Ganges
Sound Heeling Session

To bring harmony to the mind and body, Ekaanta has curated Ekaanta Experience to help participants reduce stress, increase self-awareness, improve physical health, and cultivate a deeper sense of inner peace and well-being. While it is a haven for a quick 3-day rejuvenation retreat, Ekaanta’s focus on Ayurveda and Manvi Lohia, Head of holistic health at Ekaanta works to curate specialized and personalized programs for specific concerns. A registered dietician and  former attendee of the Harvard Medical School, she has come up with a total of nine program for Ekaanta. With a focus on physical activity, mindful healing, yog nidra and nutrition with menu created in collaboration Vanshika Bhatia, you can choose to commit yourself to a wellness journey from upto three to twenty one days. The 3-day rejuvenation and relaxation treatment is a popular choice with a focus on Yoga Nidra, Sound Healing, Nature Walks and mindful nutrition. It helps to relax and rejuvenate. While programs like the Hormonal Balance, Chronic Pain Management, Mind-Body Balance, Sculpt and Thrive (for weightloss), Detox and Cleanse, Swapn (for sleep), 7 day Transform which focuses on lifestyle changes and more. Each program focuses on a special concern, for instance, The Rejuvenation Retreat (ERR) offers a range of activities and therapies designed to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being and sleep quality. A more specialised program like Ekaanta’s Chronic Pain Management Program is a specialized intervention designed for individuals experiencing chronic pain associated with conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other long-term pain issues. This program, available in durations of 7, 14 or 21 days, integrates targeted pain management therapies, dietary strategies, and lifestyle modifications. It emphasizes not only on alleviating pain symptoms but also on addressing underlying causes and reinforcing the body’s resilience against chronic pain. A popular weightloss program is Ekaanta’s Sculpt & Thrive Wellness program, a comprehensive, holistic approach to achieving and maintaining optimal weight and fitness while promoting overall health and vitality with a focus on Ayurveda. Through personalized treatments, diet, and exercise, Sculpt & Thrive Wellness addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of well-being. Finally, Ekaanta’s Detox and Cleanse is a meticulously designed program focusing on deep internal cleansing and revitalization of the entire body and mind. The program not only aims to detoxify physically but also mentally, clearing negative energies and stress for a more balanced and harmonious life. This program is suitable for anyone experiencing issues related to toxin accumulation, such as slow metabolism, digestive disturbances, chronic inflammation, or general lethargy and lack of vitality. In additional the Hormonal Balance Program works on addressing issues like PCOS and PCOD. During the program, you can expect personalised plans with one-on-one nutritional sessions with Manvi, ayurvedic therapies, one daily yoga session, a session of mindfulness and consults with the Ayuverdic doctors to target your concern. Post the program, the retreat even hand holds their clients with nutrition plans and virtual yoga sessions to help the individual sustain the lifestyle. “The is to give the clients tips and tricks they can follow in their everyday life,” shared Manvi Lohia.

Ekaanta
Morning breakfast including Millet Upma,ABC juice, sweet potato toast
Apple Pumpkin Soup
The Kumaonese Thali

However, what sets Ekaanta apart is its attention to detail and the idea to ensure an individual can sustain the lifestyle. In Manvi’s words, “The aim is to help individuals follow a plan that they can even practice at home.”  With a culinary background, she pays extra attention to the menu that doesn’t deprive you of pizza, pasta, Mexican, thai curry, but also has home cooked staples like dal sabzi and vegetables. Some standouts include Millet Upma, Millet Kheer, the Kumaonese Thali, Bengali Thali, Apple Pumpkin Soup, Carrot Soup with Glass Noodles, ABC juice and Agli Olio Pasta loaded with fresh vegetables.

Ekaanta Gratitude Journal
Secret waterfall nature walk
Nature walk in Rishikesh

Adding to the mindful experience at Ekaanta are its array of unique experiences,  such as Shinrin Yoku'(Forest Bathing), Meditation by the Waterfall a pristine walk in Rishikesh,  meditation on the rocks, yoga on the ghaat, Mindful Cooking Sessions to help individuals take back all they have learnt, nature walks, Sound healing sessions and Tales by the Ganges, Bonfire on the ghaat in the winter and Movie under the stars, a surreal experience of watching a movie in open air. Bringing together traditional with contemporary comforts, Ekaanta is a serene, sublime and calming spaces that is replicated from the architecture to the program. It ties together the outside world and connects you with your inner self. Meditation on the Rocks and Micro Yog Sessions further deepen the holistic experience. The cherry on top is the gratitude journal which allows you to document your reflections on daily affirmations, thus helping you change your mindset.

Ekaanta’s philosophy goes beyond structured programs, promoting mindful eating, regular exercise, and conscious living, it invites you to transform you life in the best way possible.

Address: Hari vishram, Niranjani Akhara Marg, Devpura, Haridwar, Uttarakhand 249401

Know more here 

Arushi Sakhuja

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