Part 2 of Kula’s Indian Adventure.

We left our Delhi hotel at Sunrise and headed for the train station. When we arrived it was quiet, almost peaceful, but it didn’t take long for the hustle and bustle to begin. We were in Dehli after all. A five hour train journey took us to the base of the Himalayan mountain range. It was a lovely way to travel. We were served chai and snacks regularly, we got to know each other a little more, and watching life outside the train was entertainment enough—the locals sat squatting by the side of the tracks drinking steaming sweet chai, bright saris hanging from the trees, chilli’s drying in the sun, lush green fields and make shift shacks which seemed to house whole families. We were beginning to get a taste of this beautiful country.

In no time, we were off the train and met by our mountain guides with jeeps which would take us high up into the Himalayas. After securing our luggage on top of the cars (there was quite a lot as we were mostly women who hadn’t packed light) we set off on our adventure into the mountains. On the drive we saw temples galore, the most breathing taking views and mountain villages. Stopping regularly for Chai we ate more amazing Indian food and it became apparent that we wouldn’t go hungry on this trip.

Arriving at the Dunagiri Eco Retreat we were greeted by our hosts chanting the Vedas, a conch shell being blown, and our foreheads marked with red and orange powders representing Solar and Lunar qualities. What an amazing welcome! All the locals knew we were arriving so there was a real excitement in the air. We spent the evening exploring out new home, settling into our lovely rooms and taking a well-deserved goddess bath in water from melted glacier ice caps.

Not only is Dunagiri a beautiful place to visit and practice yoga but it also has a strong social purpose. The money we pay for the retreat helps local families, employs local people and is tackling alcoholism in the local area. A school is also run within the retreat—teaching children about the old mountain ways and local traditions which could otherwise start to die out.

We had arrived in the home of the yogis—India as it was 100 years ago.

Part 3 coming soon—Living among yogis.