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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Gokarna could be your next getaway amid COVID blues- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

It’s been an open secret for ages now: SwaSwara, the CGH Earth property in Karnataka’s coastal town of Gokarna, is quite the gold standard for Ayurvedic resorts. Now, it has revamped itself in these pestilential times. Since Ayurvedic treatments are off the table due to Covid-19 fear, SwaSwara is open to visitors looking to spend a weekend or a few days away from, well, you-know-what.

The stately banyan awaits its daily complement of yoga practitioners beneath it, trees arch serenely over the water body that winds its way through the spine of the place, even the birdsong seems to have upped its game. The books in the airy library have been dusted off, and the cool tiles of the meditation hall, as well as the meditation hill, which overlooks the sea, beckon those who would spend time getting in touch with prakriti, as well as their inner selves.

There are mouth-watering fragrances wafting down from the Cocum restaurant on the first floor of the resort. The SwaSwara kitchens continue to serve food sourced from the in-house organic farm and cooked with no oil, sugar or flour, and minimum spices and salt. This kind of food usually means bland, barely edible stuff elsewhere. Here though, you look forward to tasting dishes on the daily differing menu because they really put a great spin on sattvic fare.

SwaSwara, in its pre-Covid avatar, was a neat meld of luxe detox and serious Ayurvedic treatments, drawn up after the doctors met guests and probed into their health backstories. Ailments ranging from arthritis, back pain, sinus-related problems, sciatica and skin disorders, were all deftly treated at SwaSwara, and will again be, once the Ayurvedic clinics are given permission to open.

Currently, guests get to avail of The Spirit of Life programme, which comprises a bouquet of activities: attending cooking, yoga, meditation, pottery and art classes, chilling out by the pool,  though swimming is still not permitted. For the more restless, there are nature walks and bird-watching expeditions. Also on offer are special stay packages.

We totally recommend doing the town walk. Gokarna, six kms away from SwaSwara, is a temple town with a distinct character. You walk down narrow lanes, past snake shrines, Vedic institutes, stop to gaze the ancient Kotitheerth tank and the famous Mahabaleshwar temple with its sunken Atmalinga (entering may not be a good idea in these virus-ridden times), go to the promenade at the main Town Beach and watch the sun descend into the waters most dramatically.

However, chilling out is the greatest attraction. Nothing quite beats sitting on Om beach to stare at the sea, observe fishing vessels that chug past, try to take a clear snap of the white-bellied sea eagle that usually perches itself atop the casuarina trees and to take snapshot after atmospheric snapshot for all your media platforms. And after your blissful R&R stint at SwaSwara, you are ready to head back home, masks firmly in place, mentally and emotionally recharged to do battle with the virus once again.

Guests get to avail of The Spirit of Life programme, which comprises attending cooking, yoga, pottery and art classes



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