The ayurvedic and nature cure resort in Divar is a rejuvenation centre in paradise
I’ve been in Goa for nearly a decade now, but to be honest, have never crossed the river into Divar Island. Only recently did I go, and found myself regretting the slipped opportunities of the past. It’s the absolute ideal in natural wellness, and a stay at Ayurveda and nature cure centre Devaaya is like being shown a new world of holistic treatment.
There was a sense of excitement as I waited in the ferry, and Devaaya certainly stole my heart with its tranquillity. The décor and architecture is distinctly heritage, offering the ambience of a small Goan village with little Portuguese-style villas. The warm staff helped us check in and showed us to our rooms.
Owned by the Alcon Victor Group, Devaaya has a different outlook to rejuvenation and health rehabilitation. While it offers the conveniences of a five-star resort, it never loses focus. There’s even a daily schedule they have drafted out for guests who are availing of the centre’s health programmes. I was visiting on a teaser, but it was such a healthy and wholesome schedule, it would have been silly to spend my day otherwise.
Mornings begin early here, at 6.30am where you can enjoy the sunrise and soak in nature. Divar Island has exquisite hinterland surroundings and the centre is positioned such that breath-taking views are visible at all times of the day, more enjoyable however at dawn and dusk. The noise of bird song and little insects in the bushes are the only disturbances to your day.
All guests are invited to a consultation with the specialists. Devaaya offers Ayurveda and naturopathy to help achieve good health, strengthen the immune system and stay strong. The treatments claim solutions for chronic ailments and lifestyle management without side effects. As part of the treatments, there is a variety of holistic activities offered with the guidance of experts.
Our rooms were very comfortable – one of 60 which feature luxurious furniture, air-conditioning and excellent views of either the river, fields or gardens. Neatly laid out on our beds were the kurta-style house coats that the centre recommends as they are comfortable for yoga.
We joined in the common yoga session looking out to the sunrise, where we were led into surya namaskars and yogasanas. Heading on to the Manos Diet centre, you realise how different Devaaya is from a regular resort. Where most hotels – even the ones that claim wellness – offer you variety and comfort food, this one keeps the focus on holistic health.
It follows the practices explained during the consultation – where the elements of air and space (vata), fire and water (pitta) and earth (kapha) are blended to heal the system from within. Even the food is cooked and served keeping these in mind. It’s all vegetarian, but simply delicious. Other than Manos, they also have the Amboi and Malar diet centres that cater to various ambiences.
The icing on the proverbial cake, of course, is the therapy types on offer. I bumped into a few other guests there and it was heartening to see the loyalty. While some come for a once-in-a-lifetime detox therapy, there are others who return to this award-winning wellness resort year after year!
The Ayurveda and Panchakarma treatments include abhyanga, svedan, antar snehan, virachan, basti, shirodhara, pizhichil, sarvangdhara, navrakizhi, nasya and others, all done under the recommendation of a specialist consultant. The naturopathy treatments are prophylactic, in a way that they aim to treat the cause of the disease instead of the symptoms. It rejuvenates by removing the toxins from the body and alleviating ailments through massage, mud and hydro therapies, diet and exercise.
A host of ailments can be eased through the two. Ayurveda is thought to be particularly effective in dealing with joint pains, rheumatism, diabetes, spondylitis, partial paralysis, arthritis, high blood pressure, ulcers, etc. Naturopathy is believed to treat obesity, high blood pressure, spondylitis, abdominal disorders, uric acid, cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, anemia, sinusitis, chronic constipation, gout, ulcers and more.
Generally, guests are required to undergo treatments lasting a minimum of a week to ensure maximum benefit. I got a small taste with a weekend rejuvenation getaway that I absolutely loved. The consultant recommended I get the udvartanam and traditional pizhichil massages.
Udvartanam is also known as a powder massage in which the body is rubbed down with dry medicated ingredients to reduce cellulite accumulation, improve circulation and enhance the skin’s texture. Pizhichil is a combination of an oil massage and heat treatment. It is a much gentler treatment using medicated oils and enhances muscular tone and retunes the entire nervous system.
It was only a short time, but I was already feeling the benefits of the experience I’d been through. My teaser made me realise how much my body and mind needed it, and left me wanting to return for more.