Though Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year as an international day, it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating wellness any time of the year, in your own special way.
It’s not too hard to adopt the aims of GWD at any point in your life that you choose. You can incorporate these values as an intrinsic part of your outlook on living a healthy, fruitful life: Recognize the value of your life; to pause and think, even if for just one day of the year; to be free from the stress of everyday city life and bad habits; to make peace with yourself; to raise awareness about living well and increasing motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year.
Take time out from your everyday world and lose yourself in the lush and healing environs of this pretty hill station in the Western Ghats in Kerala’s Idukki district. Surrounded by the incredible splendour of one of the world's ten biodiversity hotspots, Munnar, with its swathe of tea and coffee estates, spice plantations, forested hills and evocative natural beauty, is a haven of serenity and sustenance for body and spirit.
Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, bird calls and cicadas hidden in the tree, as you ditch the pings of WhatsApp messages and Facebook allurements with a digital detox for at least a few days in these idyllic surrounds.
Watch the tendrils of mists rise from valley floors to wrap themselves around the Cardamom Hills, transforming them into magical, ‘mistical’, mysterious entities of otherworldly enchantment. On clear mornings, send out a prayer of thankfulness as you soothe city-weary eyes with the canvas of an awesome sunrise. Take deep breaths of unadulterated oxygen and herb-scented breezes to revitalize lungs messed up with city pollutants. Sip on late cocktails and watch the stars step in one by one onto the theatre of a velvety night sky.
Re-set your mood to the rhythms of the calming pace of life in the tea gardens and spice plantations. The sensorial pleasures of days spent in the expansive vistas of these great outdoors are as healing as any spa treatment you might sign up for.
Reconnect with Nature with the immersive delights of slow and sustainable travel as you pace out your days with various therapeutic activities such as gentle walks along forest trails, birdwatching, picnics by itinerant waterfalls created by the rains, go biking–and if you are feeling lazy- just reading a book in your place of stay.
Munnar serves as a wonderful ‘book of knowledge’ of many unique aspects of Nature’s ways. On your wanderings by mountain streams, keep your eyes peeled for the endemic purple frog. While walking around the forested hills around town, look out for the native Nilgiri wood pigeon, the Malabar Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri flycatcher, and the Malabar whistling thrush. Every twelve years the unique Neelakurinji flower comes into bloom, transforming the hillsides into a canvas of blue. The last flowering was in 2018. Its fabulous gift of Nature and an unforgettable sight. The unique shola forest ecosystem in Munnar supports several rare and endangered species. A visit to a tea garden offers insights into the growing of tea and the culture of the tea-plucker community in the region, which differs from what you would encounter in Assam in Northeastern India. At the Tea Museum you can even try your hand, or rather. ‘palate’ at tea tasting, just for a lark!
In the shops abandon yourself to some heady retail therapy with garden fresh tea, coffee and spices, aromatic oils, hand crafted knick-knacks including boxes and snake boats from Johnson’s Wood Craft, organic jams and preserves, handcrafted chocolates and jazzy ornamental lanterns.
Wrap up your days of leisure by stocking up on these local souvenirs to remind you why you enjoyed your breakaway from your everyday life and why you should definitely come back.