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July 22, 2024

6 writers’ retreats in India to bookmark!

Arushi Sakhuja 
There comes a point when the art of writing simply cannot flourish in the middle of urban chaos. And you feel the urge to get away for some days, to clear the mental fog. Fortunately, there are a bunch of writers’ retreats that are scenic and known to rekindle the literary imagination. Location nestled in the midst of beauty away from the dreary exhaustion of city life, is the perfect escape to reconnect with your manuscript or even start a new one, houses some of the best writers’ retreats in the country, and here’s a list:
Himalayan Writer’s Retreat – Uttarakhand
Himalayan Writer’s Retreat 
Photo Courtesy: Himalayan Writer’s Retreat
Nestled in the midst of the Himalayan range, this writers’ retreat is one worth adding to the books. The Himalayan Writers’ Retreat was started by Chetan Mahajan and the retreat has two main events The Himalayan Writing Weekend and the Himalayan Writer’s Retreat each curated for the level of assistance you may need. The latter is led by author and teacher, Erika Krouse, and is a journey to India. Discussions will be centred on themes and craft, with a special focus on developing strong beginnings, writing effective dialogue, and making the setting come alive. Important literary examples will guide our learning.
Participants will begin their journey in the cities of Delhi and Agra and travel to the rural Himalayas —  a stark contrast to the touristy India. The Himalayan peaks double up as a great spot to channel your writing skill.
Bound Writers’ Retreat
Bound India
Photo Courtesy: Bound India
Bound is one of the first organizations in India to offer writing mentorship to aspiring writers. Participants are taken through every stage of the writing process through editorial reviews and meetings. Offering three programs to writers of all levels. You can pick from the one-month, three months or six months program basis your needs. However, each of the retreats covers the entire process from brainstorming to picking an idea, publishing the book and editing.
Whether you are working on a novel, a poetry collection, a collection of short stories, narrative journalism, lyric essays, a memoir, or even a book-length record of your family history, you can hone your skillset here. They also have two retreats every year.
Panchgani Writers’ Retreat
Panchgani Writer’s Retreat 
Photo Courtesy: Panchgani Writer’s Retreat
Set amid the rolling Sahyadri range, the Panchgani Writers Retreat is a haven to stimulate creativity. Handmade furniture and furnishings, all concealed by abundant greenery make it the perfect setting to spend time reading and writing. The Panchgani Writers’ Retreat brings together writers from all over the world, to write and interact in a serene and peaceful setting, where thoughts flow in a judgment-free zone. Pick your spot to sit and write endlessly – somewhere cosy inside the room or a refreshing exterior location by the pool.
Home-cooked meals and high tea are provided, not to mention the warm hospitality that you receive throughout an immersive writing experience. The six-day retreat also hosts yoga, meditation, nature trails, beach walks, optional poetry, creative writing and memoir workshops and more. Hosted annually around October/ November, the Retreat is your chance to experience the cool Sahyadri wind beckoning your writer’s spirit.
Sangam House, Bangalore
Sangam House, Bangalore
Photo Courtesy: Sangam House
The ethos behind Sangam House is to bring writers from the world over to a single space in order to facilitate the birth of new ideas. They aim to house writers of all cultures, religions and beliefs as they believe that ‘broadens the scope of each individual’s work’. This unique environment is one for the free-thinking intellectual in search of new experiences, friendships, and inspiration. This retreat is for published writers who haven’t yet achieved the level of acclaim to which they aspire. Since 2018, the retreat is located at The Jamun, a spacious bungalow on a green lane in Bangalore. The program also facilitates interaction between the visiting writers and the local communities. Cultivating such an intersection infuses the local communities with inspiration and new ideas while allowing each participating writer to deepen his or her understanding of the diverse emotional and social climates in which literature is conceived and received.
Indian Summer House
Indian Summer House
Photo Courtesy: Indian Summer House
This writers’ retreat is for time to read, write, reflect and relax. From the moment you arrive at Indian Summer House, you will be immersed in a supportive environment of like-minded people taking time out to focus on all that we love about writing. From early morning yoga to invigorating Ayurvedic treatments and nutritious food, it soothes the mind, body and soul.  Within the lush garden surrounding the private villas and shared spaces, writers can choose a favourite place to write in peace and solitude, or change it up throughout the day so that they have their own slice of paradise where they can read, reflect and review. When you need a break from your writing, they can organise full-day or half-day or short visits to the many wonderful tourist attractions around the vicinity.
Alekhya
Alekhya Writers' Retreat
Photo Courtesy: Alekhya
Yet another retreat in the Himalayas. If you yearn to tell a story but are waiting for the right words, Alekhya will help you transcend from the mundane. Seek inspiration from ancient writing practices and supplement them with contemporary sensibilities.A writing retreat flowing out of Parvati Valley in the Himalayas, Alekhya was borne out of love for the craft of writing. The aim is to provide a holistic environment which lets you be so that you can devote yourself towards a singular objective – Writing. The retreat is experiential and designed to satiate your creative urges. From living with a bunch of writers, in a secluded apple orchard to attending bespoke workshops and getting mentored by the best, you will have a dedicated space to write. You can also explore the valley with forest walks and treks.
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Arushi Sakhuja

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