Shops That Rock ~ Himalaya, India…

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Himalaya is one of the most popular brands of health and beauty products in India. Around 200 million Himalaya products are distributed around the world each year.

Himalaya started in 1930 with one man, Mr M Manal and his hand-operated tablet making press. Since then it has grown to a huge company with numerous products and stores.

Himalaya’s herbal Ayurvedic tablets and medicines cater for over sixty different ailments from heartburn to osteoporosis. My family and I have tried many of these remedies with great success.

Himalaya also have a wonderful beauty range with cleansers, soaps, shampoos and many other products. They are extremely well priced and are made from all natural ingredients such as saffron, neem, pomegranate and walnut. Recently they launched a range of Ayurvedic products for pets so now the whole family is covered.

It is very easy to find Himalaya products in India as they are sold at most small pharmacies and supermarkets. They also have Himalaya specialty shops in many towns and cities. I visited the store in Mysore last trip and it had an amazing range.

Cure your hiccups the Indian way…

Vaayu mudra...

Vaayu mudra…

I just adore mudras. The Vaayu mudra is a very easy mudra to master. To complete this mudra you place the tip of the index finger on the base of the thumb. Then apply gentle pressure with the thumb on the index finger. Hold the mudra for 15 minutes.

It is a great mudra for calming the mind and our nervous system. It can help with sleeplessness, irritability and restlessness. It is especially helpful in getting rid of hiccups…just try it next time…

Crazy for Cochin…

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The Tower House Hotel…

Yesterday Padma and I had a huge day in the car travelling between Mysore and Fort Cochin in Kerala. So it was great to have a restful day today.
It is 12 years since I was in Fort Cochin last and despite a few new shops it has lost none of it’s laid back charm. We are staying for two nights at the lovely Tower House Hotel. It is part of the boutique Neemrana group of hotels. It is an old converted manor house and is filled with amazing antiques and collectibles.

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More information on this beautiful hotel will follow in further posts.

As we left the hotel this morning we found that they were filming a Bollywood film across the road in the park. Manu, the lead actor, was miming with his guitar with an adorable group of children.

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It was a real highlight watching them go over the same scene again and again to get it exactly perfect.
I had a fantastic pedicure at the Cochin Ayurveda Centre (1/620 Santa Cruz School Road, Fort Cochin). The ladies there were so sweet and pinched my cheeks and smiled.
Padma and I then shopped up a storm at Anokhi ( Lily Street, Fort Cochin)…for clothing, tablecloths, jewellery and material covered notebooks.

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We had a tasty lunch at the Kashi Art Cafe (Burgher Street, Fort Cochin). It has definitely stood the test of time as it was here 12 years ago and still going strong.

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In the afternoon we returned to the Cochin Ayurveda Centre – this time at their branch at the Hotel Fort House (2/6A Calvathy Road, Fort Cochin). Here I had the Udvarthana massage. It is a dry herb massage to aid detoxification and nourishment of the body tissues. My skin felt divine after it.

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For dinner we went to the Old Harbour Hotel (located just near our hotel). We had a delicious meal there in the garden listening to traditional music on the sitar and tabla drums.

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Fort Cochin’s relaxed and peaceful atmosphere makes it the perfect place to unwind. The vast array of Ayurvedic clinics allows for health and beauty treatments. By the end if the day you’ll be blissed out like Padma and I and never want to leave…

Hills, thrills and lots of pills…

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Pilgrims climbing Chamundi Hill…

Today was our second wonderful day in Mysore. In the morning we travelled just out of Mysore to one of the eight most sacred sights in India – Chamundi Hill. Here devoted pilgrims climb the 1000 plus stairs to visit the Sri Chamundeswara Temple. The truly holy place a small dot of kum kum powder on each individual step.

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Placing the kum kum powder…

At the top of the hill near the temple is an avenue of flower sellers and trinket merchants. Flowers and coconuts are taken as offerings into the temple.

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On the way up Chamundi Hill is the huge five metre high Nandi bull statue. It is carved out of solid rock and is one of the largest in India.

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While looking at the Nandi statue today we also met a gorgeous little fellow dressed up as the monkey God Hanuman. For ten rupees he gave us his best god-like poses…

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After Chamundi Hill we travelled back to town. We had a quick look in the brand new Mall of Mysore- a huge new shopping centre (MG Road, next to Mysore Golf Course).Not all the shops are filled yet but there are already some well known names there such as Shoppers Stop, Hidesign, Bata shoes and many more. Of course Padma shopped up a storm and we left with a few less rupees in our purses!
We then visited a fantastic Himalaya Ayurvedic shop which sells herbal remedies for nearly every ailment you could possibly have. It also sells beautiful shampoos, face cleansers, lip balms and toothpaste. The address is 108 Devaraj Urs Road, Mysore. We left with a bag full of pills to improve our health.
Next door we bought some more of our favourite Mysore sandalwood soap.

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We had a quick bite at the popular Parklane restaurant. Padma and I giggled at the one-of-a-kind smoking cabins they had there…

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When we returned to the Green Hotel we went with one of the friendly employees on a tour of the upstairs of the hotel. The view from the top was amazing.

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We finished the day off with a delicious dinner at the hotel of navaratna kurma, vegetable rice and butter naan. A perfect end to a lovely day in Mysore.

Use your hand gestures for good not evil…

THE GYAN MUDRA India is home to many amazing therapies and alternative treatments. One area of Ayurvedic tradition is mudra therapy or hand postures. The Ayurvedic tradition believes the body is made up of five simple elements. These are space, … Continue reading