I’m back from my Panchakarma treatment at Kadaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Resort for two weeks now. Last week, I told you guys already how much I enjoyed my time at the resort and all the treatments I got. Today, I want to talk about the little adventures I went on, when my recreation timetable allowed it .
Kadaltheeram lies close to the town of Varkala, which is famous for it’s cliff markets and the beaches underneath. Varkala is a 45 minutes stroll away from the resort,…
…or a 10 minute ride with a tuk-tuk, a motorbike-rickshaw famous for India and other Asian countries.
I went to the cliff markets a few times. Even though I really enjoyed the calm, relaxing atmosphere at Kadaltheeram, it was nice to get out from time to time, into a more vibrant place. Plus, let’s face it, I just love shopping when the trousers cost you no more than 6 Euros!
One of my favorite shops belonged to Sheik:
He had a huge assortment of scarves and also lovely trousers, dresses and all sorts of other stuff. What I really liked about shopping at his place was his friendly, unobtrusive personality. He gave us time to have a look at everything and even left his own shop when one of my friends wanted to try something on.
But it’s not only lovely visiting the cliff markets during the day, it’s also worth going there after the sun has set. There’s one restaurant, the Trattoria, I can really recommend. I went there on my last night because after all the vegetarian food at the resort, I wanted to try fish, fresh from the Arabian Sea.
And man, was the fish, grilled in a banana leaf, good!! Mmmmmmmh!
Another place in Varkala which I visited was the pilgrimage center Sivagiri Mutt, where the tomb of the social reformer and Hindu saint Sree Nārāyana Guru Swami is located.
I was fortunate enough to be in Varkala when thousands of pilgrims from all over the country came to Varkala to pay homage to their guru. The people of Varkala had decorated their houses with yellow ornaments and the street to the temple resembled a fun fair.
It smelled so good because food was offered in all the little huts and stands.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the temple itself but believe me, it was a great experience to celebrate with all the pilgrims.
But I didn’t only stay at Varkala, I also went to the Amma Ashram one day to get a hug!
Mata Amritanandamayi, simply known as Amma (mother), is a very famous guru and respected as a saint by her followers. From a very young age on, she knew poverty and was surrounded by suffering people. One day, she started hugging them, which was very unusual for a girl to do. And she never stopped. By now, she is known all over the world and goes on tour regularly.
I don’t know many Indian gurus but I knew Amma from an article I read last year. And as one of my friends wanted to go see her, I grew interested and went, too. The Amma Ashram is a two hours drive away from Kadaltheeram and quite a huge place. I had expected a remote, historic building but I found a complex with two high buildings, a hall where Amma meets the people, several shops and other houses. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to take pictures in the Ashram, too. So I can only show you what the garden in front of it looks like.
I found out later that we were very lucky that we got to meet Amma as she’s on tour a lot. So if you want to visit the Ashram and get a hug, too, you should definitely check if Amma’s there, before you go!
There’s one more activity I recommend doing while in Varkala, even though I didn’t do it. A tour on a boat through the backwaters, a chain of lagoons and lakes parallel to the Arabian Sea! I had planned to go on one but then got sick on that day. Big bummer . But the other guests showed me pictures of their trips and it really looks nice. So if you visit Varkala, that’s something you might not want to miss – I can tell you by experience… !
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