Morning, washed by night monsoon showers, India is divine. The eternal Indian shanti is poured in the air, and the soul sings from a glass of masala tea, which the driver treats us on the way. 3.5 hours from Dabolim Airport (Goa) to Gokarna (Karnataka). And by the way, this is the only time you can try masala chai. For at the Swaswara hotel, food is more than serious … However, this is not a hotel at all, but a real eco-resort.
It belongs to the Сghearth network, and the word EARTH in the name of this network is quite justified. The experience of living here allows you to really take root in the Indian land, well, or it will quietly sprout in you. The emphasis is on eco-lifestyle.
SwaSwara occupies 11 hectares, is located on a hilltop above Om Beach, which is so named because it consists of two bays fringed by rocks, which, when combined, formed the sign of Om. According to legend, it was here, on Om Beach, that God Shiva and Goddess Parvati spent their honeymoon.
In Sanskrit, “Swa” means one’s own “I”, and “Swara” means “sound”. The sound of being is lost in the noise of everyday life. It can only be heard when everything around is quiet. So in SwaSwara, all the extraneous sounds of modern life turned into a whisper.
I settled in one of 24 beautiful Konkan-style villas. The first thing I did was to prepare a fragrant tea for myself, adding to it the herbs that I found in my own inner garden. Water for tea (and for everything else) is taken here from a local lake with rainwater. It is preliminarily cleaned here by means of a multi-stage environmentally friendly filtration system. The water is very tasty and perfect for drinking and cooking.
And then I took a shower with the same water – right in the open air, because the bathroom is also in the inner garden. A frog, a regular guest of SwaSwara, took a shower with me. It is in order, God forbid, not to step on the frogs that feel at home in SwaSwara, especially during the monsoon season, at the villas you can always find lanterns for night walks. SwaSwara respects everyone’s privacy, from guests to frogs.
In addition to flashlights, in the room I found a set of Ayurvedic cosmetics, a pair of comfortable bathrobes and a yoga uniform, as well as incense and candles.
Yoga, pranayama, meditation, eco-walks with a naturalist along picturesque paths (to see the birth of a butterfly or a rare bird), art therapy, Ayurveda – this is still an incomplete list of those “tools” that SwaSwara used to restore my body, unbalanced by the bustling life of the metropolis and also the soul. On the third day of my stay in SwaSwara, I enjoyed being silent so much that I gladly put on the “Day of Silence” badge I found in the room and allowed myself to completely immerse myself in the silent contemplation of what enlightened Indian sages call in two simple words – “I am”.
Swa Swara is a large ship where each passenger can choose their own course or their own program. The minimum is calculated for 5 days, the maximum – for 21 days. It depends on the purpose for which you came here: just take a break from the bustle and enjoy the inner silence, go through a detox program and lose weight, or get rid of any disease.
Having no special requests, I entrusted the choice to the hotel staff, and I was prescribed yoga, Ayurvedic oil massages, meditations and art therapy. The latter delighted me already by the very fact of how the space for my creative processes looked like. A huge glazed gallery, equipped with everything necessary for spontaneous creativity – from all kinds of pencils, paints and brushes to clay – disposed to silent contemplation of swaying flowering trees and monkeys periodically jumping over them, which then somehow migrated to paper, on which I slowly drove with a brush. It is especially nice to create here when the monsoon rain sings outside the windows, and the watercolor spreads over the paper with pastel stains.
Once again in India, I met in SwaSwara and with Ayurveda. This word is translated from Sanskrit as “the science of life.” Science originated in India in ancient times and considers man as a microcosm living in constant dynamic interaction with the Universe (macrocosm), because they consist of the same “materials”. Massages of the body, head, face, feet with special oils, which are also selected individually, depending on what the body needs at the moment. All procedures are so relaxing and healing that it is difficult to give preference to any one, but perhaps the most unusual is shirodara. Warm oil is poured into the area of the third eye in a thin stream for a long time, bringing spiritual and physical relaxation. Other treatments include herbal inhalations, steam baths, flower and herbal baths, acupuncture and many others.
Eating at SwaSwara is a long and beautiful Indian song, or mantra if you will. His concept in SwaSwara originates somewhere deep in the soul and goes beyond the boundaries of the kitchen itself. Here they cook from natural products grown in harmony, in wildlife, naturally ripened on good soil and properly cooked. Diet promotes the development of “prana”, or life-giving energy and peace of mind, inspiring the development of calmness, love and humility. Fresh produce from SwaSwara’s local vegetable garden makes for delicious meals every day. By the way, if you wish, you can attend master classes from the hotel’s chef and learn how to cook Ayurvedic dishes.
In SwaSwara you can really get to know yourself, with your true essence, with inner silence and love. Simply because every moment is filled with living “here and now”. SwaSwara believes that being here, your soul overcomes the next distance, and at this moment allows you to get acquainted with the inexplicable and inexpressible that you truly are.