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Journey to India

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Aromatic Scrub with Spices and Ayurvedic Massage.

“How much there is to delight in this bright, this beautiful world!… One might be happy for ever in India.” Fanny Parkes, wanderings of a pilgrim in search of the picturesque, 1850

Finally, our train draws slowly into the shade of Victoria Terminus – a monument to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, the Empress of India - and as I step from the carriage, the scene that greets me is surprisingly familiar: the bustling crowd, the whistling engines, the towering terracotta walls and the Gothic splendour transport me briefly back to St Pancras. Through the streets, a blaze of colour and scent, to a sanctuary no less fragrant… A fusion of powdered almond and sea salt buffs my skin so it can breathe again, before vanilla and carnauba wax impart a softness I had long forgotten. Patchouli and nutmeg fills the air, and cinnamon soothes and revives my weary limbs.

In Bangalore, I receive an education into Ayurveda, the ancient Hindu medicine - ‘complete knowledge for long life’ - whose practices restore the body’s natural balance. My healer blends sesame oil (symbolising immortality), neem oil (an elixir with great restorative powers) and boswellia oil (for its calming, softening properties). Her massage is attentive, precise, and targets the zones that can restore prana (vital energy), strength and harmony. I am exhilarated, my whole being elevated by a sense of clarity and renewed vigour for my onward journey. A generous serving of chai tea syrup and sweet carrot halwa conclude my restoration!

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