The Spirit of Jageshwar

Jageshwar – First time

While visiting Kasar Devi about 4 years back, I heard about Jageshwar from one of my believer friends. The place is famous for it’s 108 Shiva temples all in one vicinity that are dated as old as 10th century. Half-heartedly, I agreed to go there on the condition that we return in an hour’s time. A sharp turn from the Almora highway led us to this amazingly gorgeous heaven of a road, lined with pine forest on either side and a stream running along. Stop there and you can hear the forest. Pause and you will find it hard to resume.

Jageshwar, India

An empty three kilometre, one of the most beautiful roads I have ever seen, leading to one of the most magnificent temples I have ever been.
Well, obviously I didn’t admit it then!
But who knew, Jageshwar has plans to see me over and again.

Jageshwar – Second time

A couple of years later my dear friend and flatmate, Anna who has a responsible tourism company in India called Open Eyes Project, got an invitation from an eco-resort located in Jageswar to visit them. We were invited to their 5-day yoga retreat and have an experience that would later result in an impact so deep that we would always long to go back there. A retreat packed with yoga sessions, yogic detox cleansing, sattvic food, deep meditation, bird watching & hiking, chanting and temple visits.

Welcome to Jageshwar

It wasn’t easy in the beginning, mainly because we were deprived of our morning tea, our regular food, milk, parathas and on top of that, we were waking up at 4 am every morning for meditation, one time at 3 am to visit the temple in pitch dark and freezing cold, but what a night it was.

We reached the temple in pitch dark. There was no light on the street and as you look up, you see a dense cluster of stars shimmering from between the silhouettes of the pines that were kind of making and identical path in the sky as the road below. The temple was magical. In the wee hours, it dimply lit up by the subdued hues of the night sky and of the fire that the pandit has light to keep his people warm. The chanting started as it the sun began to rise and so did the pouring of pilgrims. On our way back we saw people, entire families who were there to perform the last rites of the deceased relatives, living in caves, surviving the cold with a small bonfire. We crossed them and took a trail up the stream to find a better view of the sun and to find birds. In general, explore the valley.

The amazing discovery of sattvic food left us mesmerised, so much that we still use the same recipes at our home. None of us has ever had food so pure before. Cooked by the local staff, sourced locally and uncooked mostly.  The rule was to eat the food using all your senses. Which means eating with hands.

Know more about the retreat by clicking the link below.
Wellness Retreat Jageshwar

Jageshwar – Third time

The third visit to Jageshwar was a result of the impact that our last experience had left on us. It moved us in so many ways that Anna decided to create a wellness retreat around it. This retreat is crafted for single women travellers looking for a rejuvenating experience. The core objective of this retreat is to introduce the blind women masseurs,  trained in Japanese medical massage into the mainstream tourism. These women have magic in their hand. The retreat was crafted so beautifully that when Anna told me about it, I wanted to put my best to help promote it. We reached out to all our friends and after a lot of struggle managed to set up an entire team who voluntarily wanted to get involved in this noble project. This was the result of it.

Can’t thank Anupriya Kapur and Cindy Attaman enough for joining us for this experience. Also my dear friends Aman and Chaman for taking out time from their lives to come help us with this project. Amrita for facilitating it. Purnima to come in at the last moment and give this project a voice, Deigo for constantly guiding the project from another end of the world and our dear Suraj for being the star of the show. 

Know more about the retreat by clicking the link below.

Wellness Retreat

Wrapping up a shoot in 2 days of time is a humungous task. With almost no sleep and more than 30 hours of shooting it was more than just exhausting. Somehow, we pulled it across in time and had some fun along the way too. The staff at Van Serai were more than supportive and helped us in every which way. Apologies to our travellers for stealing their retreat time for the shoot. And lastly, our dearest Laxmi and Neha for being such sport at the shoot and massaging all the tensions out of our exhausted bodies.
Some behind the scenes moments.

Experience the magic of retreat in Jageshwar

Wellness Retreat

 

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