Stepping out of the airplane at Dehradun airport, seeing the hills faintly in the landscape, always brings me peace. No matter how short a period I leave Dehradun for, or how many times I return, its always the same feeling. Slightly more than a one-hour journey to Vana, what one sees is a snapshot of every aspect of India; busy roads, bits of chaos, urbanity piercing through the ancient, quaint farms, tracts of forest and even village life.
One enters Vana almost unexpectedly. A quick left turn from the main road and slowly a transition into the experience of being on retreat begins. A short while and a buggy ride later, emerges the Kila. Some say it is the heart of Vana. I won’t describe the experience of walking through the Kila, but en-route you will find some of the key spaces where you will spend time while at Vana. I will say that we consider the Kila to be a sacred space; it has that quality of serenity, sincerity and confidence that one sometimes finds in spiritual places. Know more…
Vana’s design and every element within it were created with love. Each space and object was honoured by considering its mission to evoke wellbeing, be coherent with nature, respect ecology, endure and refrain from indulgence. Antonio and Tomeu Esteva, Veer Singh, Siraj Saxena and the Vana Team gave everything to manifest Vana as we know it. This emphasis on design continues and has become a source of learning and a practice of discipline at Vana.
Our approach to design was to take inspiration from nature and be in harmony with it. Some now describe Vana as being contemporary and its energy as special, even transformative. Vana never wished to align to a specific aesthetic identity, but its spirit and DNA are most certainly Indian, as is most of what you find at Vana.
It is our wish for the Retreat to one day appear as if, immersed in nature, existing quietly but vibrantly, together with many other creatures for whom Vana has become home.
Vana is located on Mussoorie Road, Dehradun, India. It is a 1 hour 15 minute drive from Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport and approximately a 45-minute drive from Dehradun railway station.
Our recommended mode of transport to Vana is to fly to Dehradun airport, from where we organise personal transfers that are included in your retreat price.
There are multiple daily flights from Delhi to Dehradun, one direct flight from Mumbai and several hopping flights from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Four airlines operate flights to Dehradun: IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet. Jet Airways and Air India operate from Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, and are therefore most convenient for guests transiting from international flights. IndiGo and SpiceJet operate large jets from Delhi’s Terminal 1D which are more comfortable during rainy season. Of these carriers, we find that IndiGo and Jet Airways offer a more punctual service.
There are 2 day-trains and 2 overnight trains from New Delhi Railway Station. Both trains take about 6 hours to cover the distance between Delhi and Dehradun.
The drive from Delhi to Dehradun can take anywhere between 5-8 hours depending on traffic.
For guests who wish to travel between Delhi and Dehradun by road, we can assist in arranging a vehicle with driver through ECO Rent A Car.
Vana is a journey. One of deep intention and personal transformation. Our Retreat is a place for those that seek wellbeing and what lies beyond conventional understanding. As such, we aspire to create a thoughtful balance, between what is necessary to prescribe to you individually or to Vanavasis as a whole, and what is left to you and your sense of oneness with all beings. There are certain guidelines and restrictions below that create just the right amount of self-discipline and an environment for comfortable coexistence, between everyone that forms part of the Vana journey; Vanavasis, Team Members and others. These will also help you achieve your retreat objectives better. Know more…
We value the environment we exist in, and what it provides us with. Since the retreat’s very conceptualisation, sensitivity to ecology has played an intrinsic role in our thinking. Vana’s design upholds high standards in sustainability and energy optimisation, with special effort to manage water and waste as effectively as possible.
In March 2015, Vana achieved its LEED Platinum Certification from the US Green Building Council, making it India’s first retreat to have attained this standard.
We use certified organic bed and bath linen and bamboo flooring in all our guest rooms. Our bottling plant will help us save up to 100,000 plastic bottles each year. We use 100% post consumer recycled waste paper for all our stationery and biodegradable materials wherever possible. We harvest rainwater, grow organic herbs and salads, buy only what is seasonal and try to source locally.