“This is my 4th stay at Devaaya and love coming here every year. Earlier I used to come for 2 weeks, now I come for 3 weeks. This is like staying in one quiet corner of the world that lets me spend time with myself. While I tend to my body, mind, and soul.” Says a middle-aged woman who lives in Nottingham, the United Kingdom as we chat over lunch overlooking the swimming pool and Mandovi backwaters. We are at the Devaaya Ayurveda Nature Cure Centre at Divar Island in Goa.
The lady was wearing a blue-green batik cotton gown that adds the extra ease to her body language. Her face is glowing as she prepares to go for her next therapy session. Organic vegetarian food does not excite the tongue too much. But it’s so easy on the stomach that does not feel an iota fuller than it should.
Devaaya Ayurveda Nature Cure Centre, Goa
I walk around the 5-acre campus that has water all around. Divar is a river island, surrounded by water on all sides. This property additionally has a layer of backwaters around it, especially if you visit it during monsoons. To me, it seemed like a re-creation of a Goan village with its multi-colored houses that are never away from water and its open spaces that touch the waters. Each room overlooks the fields or backwaters.
A therapy center stands on top of a small mound where the resident visitors are given Ayurveda and Naturopathy consultations. They undergo various therapies based on their problems or their inherent nature. A typical day starts with Yoga in the open if weather permits. Followed by breakfast, treatments, lunch, therapies, meditation and some entertainment. I liked their focus on doing it the right way by not allowing walk-in visitors or easy options like day packages. They insist on a minimum stay of 7 days and 2 weeks is the recommended duration as it is what the visitors need to see an impact. Most of their clientele is European women who come here to de-stress and detoxify. But I was told many Indians have started joining the bandwagon.
Therapy huts overlook the greenery. A Kriya center has been aesthetically built around the trunk of an old tree. We could spot so many flowers and butterflies on the campus. Incidentally, a lot of artwork in the gardens was covered to protect it from the rain.
This place is so much of a quintessential quaint Goa. Yet the antithesis of what is perceived to be Goa – as you get to eat only vegetarian food and no alcohol or smoking is permitted.
Check it out when you are in a mood to detox and spend some time with yourself in an idyllic location.