UlpothaUlpotha, Sri Lanka
Journey to Ulpotha and unwind with the traditional art of Ayurveda. A site of pilgrimage for thousands of years, the Sri Lankan village welcomes guests from around the globe who hope the hands of Dr Srilal Mudunkothge can balance their body's energy. He’ll massage you with oils, slather on herbal pastes and douse you with a milk rice poultice. Wash the balms away in steamy herbal baths before graduating to the next step: elimination. Ulpotha’s program is light on the more challenging traditional excretions associated with Ayurveda, like vomiting, enemas and bloodletting, but you'll partake in inhalation: a pleasant process of sniffing fragrant steam.
Practise yoga by the lotus-ringed lake and embrace the mantra that indulging in leisure and rest leads to a balanced life. The retreat runs an organic farm and reforestation program, and the Ayurvedic clinic treats more than 100 villagers a week, providing healing and medicine free of charge.
- The seclusion, peace and the feeling of being at one with nature
- The delicious home-grown organic meals cooked on open wood fires and shared in the ambalama (resting place)
- Optional yoga classes, massage and Ayurvedic treatments,
giving your body a boost
- The huts are functional and comfortable but simple and Spartan
- By design there is no electricity. All the lighting is provided by candle flares and oil lamps; the luxury here is nature itself
The retreat is in the heart of Sri Lanka at the foot of the Galgiriyawa Mountains – off the beaten track. It’s about a one-hour drive north from Kurunegala or two hours’ drive northwest from Kandy, and three hours’ drive from the airport.
- Twice daily yoga classes
- Ayurvedic clinic including traditional herbal steam bath
- Bikes for exploring the surrounding villages
- Dugouts for paddling in the lake
- Communal ambalama (resting place) for socialising and sharing meals
- Hammocks, lake hut and lake ambalama for seclusion or relaxation
Bookings are subject to a one-week minimum stay, but the usual programme runs for a fortnight and starts at US$2,940. This includes twin share accommodation, all meals, snacks, drinks, two yoga classes a day, a one-on-one consultation with an Ayurveda doctor, a full-day excursion each week, one massage per week, laundry service and the use of bicycles, sauna, steam bath, hot water bathing area and taxes.
Ulpotha is only open for half the year, generally from November to March and June to August. The rest of the year Ulpotha reverts to its primary role as a traditional rice-growing village. Tipping is not accepted at the retreat.