View from our bedroom window in Udaipur
At the beginning of April 2012 I and three lovely women from my yoga classes boarded a flight for Delhi. Di and Tina had never been to India whilst Louise and I had. We were off on a whistle-stop tour of Rajasthan….we had a week and in that time saw the highlights of Delhi including a hectic rickshaw trip round Old Delhi, gazed upon the beauty of The Taj Mahal, drove many miles along the highways and byways stopping off in Jaipur, Ranakpur and finally, after an immense day of 8 hours driving we reached Udaipur. So much to take in, so many sights, sounds…oh and the smells, lots of those! It is said India assaults the senses and after three visits I can only agree. For me the whole experience was wonderful, I loved the energy and vibrancy.
Everywhere there was colour whether it be a glimpse of women walking in the distance wrapped in folds of yellow, crimson, gold or the posters that adorn the shops or the vividness of an exotic (for me anyway) flower on the side of the road it served to awaken inside me a sense of joy and aliveness.
My favourite place….impossible to say. The Taj takes my breath away and even after seeing it three times it brings me close to crying. Jaipur, where we stayed in a quirky haveli is big and bustling and the dusty pink capital of Rajasthan. We stayed right in the centre but within the walls of our haveli it was quiet and peaceful and it mattered very little that my laundry went missing! We took a large detour to visit the Jain Temple of Ranakpur and very nearly didn’t get there in time. I believe that for all of us this felt to be a very special place. The peace and quiet were wonderful and its setting in a valley give it a sense of timelessness….a place separate from the world. Udaipur, the Lake City is glorious and our haveli looked out onto the lake.
The view of the pool at Basunti
We then flew to Amritsar and travelled by road to the wonderful retreat, Basunti which is situated in the Kangra Valley.
We were finally able to unpack and take a breath, in fact many breaths as we were here to spend a week being taught by Sandra Sabatini and Michal Havkin.
Slowly, slowly……..we breath, we feel and we go slowly, slowly. Sandra was taught by Vanda Scaravelli and I have had the joy of being taught by her several times. I always feel calm and peaceful in her presence and have that rather elusive opportunity to stop and simply be.
Michal leads us into a slightly more energetic yoga practice but always we are encouraged to do all that is asked of us slowly. The week passes gently and there is time to swim and sleep, read and chat with others who are there. Maybe there is more to say about Basunti in another post but for now it feels ok to leave you with the tranquility of it all.
Sandra teaching on the roof at Basunti
We travelled to India with Skylord Travel who booked our flights, organised our visas and arranged our tour round Rajasthan. All went smoothly and we stayed in some fantastic places and had great guides. I would highly recommend them.