Slow down, breathe, reset and restore
The land of Devprayag has been considered sacred for generations. As a former epicentre for Vedantic exegesis and debate, the energy of the sages, scholars, yogis and philosophers who all travelled here to pursue knowledge reverberates across the mountains and through the rivers. Located in the heart of the most powerful mountains on the planet, at the confluence of the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and the mythical Sasarwati where the sacred Ganga begins, Mandala is an uplifting place to pause and go in. Set amidst a mango and litchi grove, it is located in the small village of Rod Gaon in Devprayag.
Mandala allows for ways to connect with the Earth and oneself to create an awareness of how mindful choices can make an experience, even travel, transformational.
Know Your Host
The property was initially owned by a couple who were dedicated to a spiritual life. It was acquired by the Sahni family from Rishikesh a few years back who had been living in the region for generations. The owners, their grown children and their children’s partners intermittently returned to...
The property was initially owned by a couple who were dedicated to a spiritual life. It was acquired by the Sahni family from Rishikesh a few years back who had been living in the region for generations. The owners, their grown children and their children’s partners intermittently returned to India from abroad to support different phases of development. No architects or interior designers were hired from outside and the entire family worked alongside the local labourers and craftsmen to build Mandala. With professional careers in design, hospitality and business, the extended family designed and today manage the business covering sales and marketing, reservations and finally hospitality delivery.
The property was often used by the family as a retreat space especially in times of turbulence and pain to reflect. The energy allowed them to leave with a little more acceptance and a lot less resistance than what they arrived with. This faith and connectivity in the divine presence along with deep benevolence led to the desire to share this space with others. They believe the land holds a very special healing energy that awaits those who come to rest, recoup, recover or reinterpret the unfoldings of their lives.
Since the beginning of time, people have been drawn to places that foster reflection and introspection. Many have travelled to this sacred land looking for spiritual growth and seeking answers and Mandala offers a level of silence and solitude along with contemporary amenities, pristine natural surroundings and artistic craftsmanship. Mandala offers a level of intimacy, privacy and the apropos environment setting needed to foster an exquisite contemplative experience.
With only five guest suites, the property is comprised of a main house, pool, courtyard, yoga shala and shiva temple. In addition to the house’s three main spacious suites, there are two constructed luxurious mud huts. Old traditional building methods were employed that use earthen mud, cow dung, turmeric, lime and wheat husks.
The original existing house was retrofit into the new contemporary building. The house showcases the original pushta and stone walls and narrow staircases that add a sense of history and culture to the house. The existing cemented floors were sanded and buffed and lovingly restored back to their original functionality and beauty. Handmade fabrics were used for furnishings, many of the site’s original wooden furniture pieces were also restored and given a much needed facelift. Hand constructed tile madeleines have been placed at the bottom of the swimming pool, in the yoga shala and on several of the outdoor floor terraces. A waterfall that sits perched above the swimming pool and deck used rocks and stones that were collected from the shoreline of the property’s river. The house has many reading nooks and private meditation spaces and an intimate communal dining space. The nooks were carved into the original stone structure and reinforced with reclaimed local wooden beams. The nooks as well as all the rooms and common spaces have floor to ceiling windows to seamlessly blend with the stunning views of the mango grove, mountains and river. Central heating, attentive service, all the amenities of a boutique hotel like high quality lines, designer toiletries, etc. have all been thoughtfully sourced.
Mandala has five suites, three within the main house and two constructed luxurious mud huts. The Grove suite sits low and long against the ground plain. It integrates seamlessly into the dramatic landscape of the undiluted view of the mountain range beyond. This room has a large private terrace and an adjoining private study that open up onto a river facing garden. A deep soaker tub and rainwater shower add extra indulgent comforts to this spacious suite.
There are two terrace suites – Prana and Ananda, nestled within the main house. These immaculate and spacious rooftop rooms are accented with locally made cemented floors that seamlessly transition into built-in beds. Both rooms have their own ensuite bathrooms outfitted with rainwater shower heads and are tiled with river rocks sourced right from the Ganga.
Nestled deep in the heart of the orchard grove are two aesthetically designed mud cottages – Moksha and Atman. Made of earthen mud, cow dung, turmeric, lime and wheat husks they follow the traditional building methods that have been practiced here in the village for generations. The cottages embody the comfort of a contemporary space but are set against a traditional backdrop aiming to create an experience that provides an opportunity to reconnect with nature. The cottages are surrounded by fruit trees and foliage that attracts birds and butterflies.
All rooms are filled with traditional woven rugs, hand-carved furniture and cane wicker artifacts that celebrate the unique culture of the Himalayas, and along with cotton duvets, sheets and towels are sourced locally. The toiletries have been made with natural ingredients, many are organically sourced and sustainably produced.
Eating is considered a sacred event at Mandala and thus guests eat together in the communal dining area. There is also a self-serve kitchenette which is always stocked with snacks and goodies and guests may help themselves to them any time they desire. The host is an amazing cook and overseas the preparation of all meals that further reflect and celebrate the forgotten heritage and culture of this land. Ingredients (grains, vegetables, milk, ghee, etc.) are all locally sourced and sustainably produced and the property offers up a bounty of fruit – mangos, litchis, avocados, limes, jackfruit, bananas, jamun, amlas and guava. Meals are prepared in clay pots that also infuse food with additional minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and sulphur which are vital to good health.
Meals served here are vegetarian.
Many of the experiences are centred on the spiritual and inner growth. The hosts work closely and thoughtfully with the guests to tailor design highly personalised experiences, rituals and visits that best serve their intentions and desires. There are three elements at the heart of the Mandala experience. Spending time in silence, engaging in meaningful conversations and sharing time exploring nature and the culture.
Days typically start with either a sunrise meditation by the river, or a yoga kriya at the shala. Afternoons can be spent reading or journaling in the courtyard or take a contemplative walk through the orchard grove. Go fruit picking if you desire a little more movement or book a private Vedanta class with one of the guest teachers.
Only a short walk away from the property, the birth place of the Ganga is to be found with the confluence of the rivers Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi. Visit any time of the day or arrange a private ceremony with one of the ?r?ma?eras (novice monks) from the nearby Sanskrit University. Pilgrims have travelled here for centuries and still do to bathe in the river and offer prayers of gratitude and adoration.
Explore the hundreds of kilometres of natural trails and footpaths that run parallel to the river and the property. Ask for directions or have one of the resident guides accompany you. Most of the day hiking trail treks are between within four hours in length and are an easy walk.
Take Heritage Walks exploring the temples of Devprayag that span thousands of centuries with the oldest standing temple here being built in the 8th century. A temple visit is an opportunity to explore the historical religious architecture of the area but also a chance to experience the reverence and power of this sacred land.
Village Explorations are an ode to slowing down and simpler times. If you desire a more hands on experience, join one of the neighbours for tea or drop in on the milkman at his cow shed.
There is an onsite yoga shala for self-directed practice. The swimming pool overlooks the Alaknanda river, is shaded by mango trees and lies below a handcrafted waterfall that was built with rocks sourced from the Ganga's shoreline. The rocks were carried up from the shores of the river below and were not filed or altered in any way and painstakingly arranged in a symmetrical pattern.
Mandala is ideal for those looking to explore the mythical stories of India and for those looking to focus and deepen their spiritual practice and bring a deeper awareness of the self. Children are not allowed at Mandala keeping with the theme of self-practice and self-reflection and the activities centred around this idea. A mild level of fitness is needed for the walking trails.
Mandala is open all year.
At Mandala, all rooms are filled with traditional woven rugs, hand-carved furniture and cane wicker artifacts that celebrate the unique culture of the Himalayas, and along with cotton duvets, sheets and towels are sourced locally. The toiletries have been made with natural ingredients, many are organically sourced and sustainably produced.
Ingredients for the meals are sourced from their own organic garden or locally. There are plenty of fruit trees within the property and are offered to guests. The two Mud cottages have been made with earthen mud, cow dung, turmeric, lime and wheat husks and follow the traditional building methods that have been practiced in the village for generations.
by gargprashant07 on 07/19/2021
Symbolizing the power to transform, the resort truly goes with its name. Perched above the mystic river of Alaknanda, the retreat house offers a unique space to transcend from one life to another and...
by sanchitamalh0tra on 04/17/2021
Went with high hopes for a holistic experience. Not sure to call it a boutique property or a home stay ... Hosts are very warm , however do not make up for poor staff attitude / no cleaning of rooms...
by Sagorika K on 01/05/2021
Mandala is the most peaceful haven if you are looking for some time off from the chaos and noise of your busy life. Beautifully done up by owners with lots of thought to keep the space as sacred and...