About Vana | Vana

Our Philosophy

A search for equilibrium, learning and the inner journey are at the heart of Vana. Reflecting on our first few years, we believe that we have achieved something unprecedented in wellbeing.

We strive for equilibrium and wellbeing that is whole, at times by going against the current. Our ambition is to make Vana a place of learning, where all who visit can contribute and share. Vana never intended to exclude; we want all to benefit from our commitment to transform. Vanavasis, team members and friends are invited to walk on the Vana journey with us.

Authentic traditions of wellness, medicine and wisdom have been brought together at Vana with creative thought, deep commitment and personalised support. These exist in spaces that are homage to nature and the sublime. Nourishing cuisine, experiences for all the senses and a kind-hearted team complete the offering that is Vana. Ayurveda, Sowa Rigpa and Yoga have been thoughtfully integrated, yet rooted in their individual authenticity. Vana believes that by aspiring to achieve our best spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual self, we can live life more wholesomely. Know more…


Vana Elements

The Vana logo and name are a homage to nature and the forest. Vana means ‘forest’ in Sanskrit and we take inspiration from its nourishing, nurturing and selfless qualities.

Vana Elements
The common threads woven through Vana are:

  1. Nature (BUTTERFLY)
    Generosity, equanimity, interdependence, compounded existence, impermanence
  2. Spaces (BEE)
    Harmony, coherence, beauty, provocation, community
  3. Team (BRANCHES)
    Effort, selflessness, wisdom, awareness, togetherness
  4. Life at Vana (LEAVES)
    Activity, learning, creativity, joy, just being
  5. Wellness (LOTUS)
    Knowledge, purity, deep roots, empathy, transformation
  6. Cuisine (MANGO)
    Nourishment, healing, inspiration, fun, diversity
  7. You (DOVE)
    Discovery, courage, faith, journey, equilibrium

VANA TREE


BENEFIT TO ALL

Vana exists to serve its Vanavasis, its Team, its growing community of Shishyas, its country and Nature. Everyone with whom our karma intersects and whose wellbeing we enhance in some way, becomes part of the Vana Family. Each of these relationships is different but equally important.  Know more…


VANA TRIBE

Indian wisdom says that this human era is the Kalyug – the degenerate age of downfall. Delusion, greed and confusion characterise this time. But this also presents an opportunity for the fearless seeker. To unravel the mind and transform emotion; the essence of spiritual practice. Some might not have the knowing to articulate this aspiration, but find themselves attracted to places, people or situations that give momentum to their inner journey. Others have the merit or wisdom to conscientiously choose such a path. Vana’s life vision is to be of service and enhance wellbeing and this is what we look for, when we search for a Vana team member. Skills, intelligence, experience and elegance are all desirable. But for us, human qualities and the right intention supersede conventional attributes.

In time, we hope to provide opportunities to Vanavasis and other members of the Vana Family to serve and give of themselves to others, through Vana’s activities.


Reverence to Nature

Humanity’s abuse of nature is rooted in certain misconceptions. First, that the earth, its resources and the beings on it were made for humans to exploit. Second, that nature must be conquered by science and its intelligence surpassed. Third, the perception that nature is outside of us, not that we are within it. These misconceptions lead to ignorance which breeds greed and ego, manifesting in uncontrolled exploitation and suffering, even within us.

At Vana, our starting point is different. We have always tried to keep our impact as limited as possible, taking from nature as mindfully as possible. We usually fall way short of our own ideal standards but that is not for lack of trying. Behind many of Vana’s stories, in fact at the foundation of its existence, is a reverence to nature. Come to Vana to explore and find out more.



Way of Vana

Please click here to know more about ‘Way of Vana’.


Sustainability

At Vana sustainability is a way of life. We are grateful for 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. The Vana team strives at all times to create and maintain harmony between wellness and the natural world. With a gentle hand we cultivate an eco-friendly Retreat that not only aligns with, but also nourishes, the ecosystem that surrounds us.

Vana is especially conscious of energy optimisation, with special efforts put in place to manage water and waste as effectively as possible. Learn more about Vana’s ongoing initiatives below.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Vana has been designed to ensure that all guests practice an energy-efficient means of habitation while on retreat. In order to achieve this we carefully monitor our energy use in all spaces.

Vana achieved LEED Platinum status in 2015 making it India’s first retreat to have attained this standard of environmental design.

From the outset Vana was installed with 99% LED lighting to ensure maximum energy saving. Thanks to ‘Variable Frequency Drives’ on our motors, we regulate energy consumption to be as low-impact as possible. Energy use from our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and plumbing systems are determined on a ‘Revolution Per Minute’ basis.

Our ‘In Com Control’ system detects whether the room is occupied through motion-sensors, ensuring that lighting and heating are only in use when the guests are in the room. Even at night outdoor lighting is kept to a bare minimum, both to create minimal disturbance to the nocturnal habitat and mindfully preserve energy.

WATER

Rainwater is harvested and our efficient water treatment plant ensures that the recycled water is then used for irrigation over Vana’s 21 acres; ensuring nature is nourished naturally, without extra consumption of resources. Thanks to specially designed faucets on our taps, wastage of water is minimal.

Having our own bottling plant further allows us to reduce the use of single use plastics by a 100,000 plastic bottles per year.

Through Solar heating we are able to heat a sizable amount of water at the retreat for consumption.

CUISINE

Cuisine at Vana connects many aspects of our philosophy. Nature and ecology are forever present in how the seasons and our supply chain influence menus.

Our emphasis is on the procurement of seasonal, local and indigenous produce, which allows us to develop a supply chain that is as sustainable as possible, working with a network of regional vendors.

As a rule we do not airfreight in any ingredients, instead prioritising local food products, occasionally bringing in (seasonal) food by road from certain regions of India.

The sourcing of ingredients is a streamlined thoughtful process, where only after numerous inspections at local farms by our chefs, and an understanding of their processes, we select our Cuisine partners. We support and develop small scale vendors who may otherwise resort to ‘shortcuts’ succumbing to financial pressures; working with them encourages them to keep up their best practices.

Packaged or canned food products are minimal; instead the emphasis is on making almost all our produce from scratch. We make our own version of classic cheeses like cheddar, feta, and haloumi with low sodium and without any preservatives. Also homemade are miso, kombucha, ghee, nut butters and paneer.

Our cuisine practices not only make the food healthier and more nutritious for our Vanavasis, but also reduces our carbon footprint.

CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION

At Vana we practice conscious consumption. From the small to the large we ask in the process how every act can become more sustainable.

We are committed to textiles made only with natural fibres. Our guest clothing and team uniform is made from 100% cotton with no synthetic fibres. We responsibly source the cotton for our retreat attire from an organic cotton farm in South India that adheres to the highest organic standards. Likewise, all bed and bath linen are organic.

Our decision to use FSC-certified wood (bamboo flooring in all our rooms) and disposable cotton inner-wear is in line with our other efforts to lower our overall impact on the surroundings.

We use karess paper (100% post-consumer recycled paper) for all guest stationery and communication and encourage ‘use-one-tissue-at-a-time’ practice with gentle signage to discourage excess.

Green Seal-certified solvents help us minimise harm to the surrounding natural growth and fauna, hence leaving a milder impact on our environment.

Essential oils keep away insects and small creatures around the Retreat without causing them or their habitat any damage. With soy wax T-light candles and biodegradable garbage bags we create minimal stress on the environment.

Vana is maintained with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints and polish, making the space extremely low-risk for one’s health while renovating or conducting maintenance.

RECYCLING AND UPCYCLING

Recycling and upcycling are integral to daily life at Vana. Our practice of upcycling, for example, ensures that our linens are not discarded, but converted into durries. Any waste oils are transported for recycling to Bharat Oil. Our electronic waste is responsibly transported to the certified recycling centers in India. Acupuncture needles and other biohazard by-products are disposed next door at the Max hospital.

Vana is always striving to minimise its environmental impact. We welcome ongoing feedback on ways in which we can continue to improve.


Aesthetics

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 appear as if arising from nature, existing quietly but vibrantly, together with many other creatures for whom Vana has become home.


BEHIND VANA

Vana and Vana Foundation manifest the intentions of its founder Veer Singh. We have always believed that the land where our Retreat exists, the place Vana calls home, is blessed. But it is only through countless hours of work and creative energy, matched equally by willpower and focus,that we have come to make a small positive imprint. This is the beginning of Vana’s journey, intertwined intimately with that of Veer’s and his dedicated and well-intentioned team.

Over these first few years our team members continue to uncover Vana’s real purpose while finding their own. Meanwhile Vana evolves from its aspiration to be of service and enhance wellbeing to being of benefit to all sentient beings and even aspiring for their enlightenment. As the Retreat slowly brings in more facets of life into its fold, our foundation aspires to revive Indian wisdom and India’s greatest gift to the world, the Buddha’s teachings.

The seed of Vana was sown in Veer’s mind through his deep interest and respect for farming, traditional wisdom and nature. Spheres that we continue to nurture within Vana and beyond through Vana Foundation. We aspire to put the Indian farmer at the heart of India’s society once again, to make India the beacon of light for spiritual wisdom and to provoke a rebirth of some of its most meaningful and elegant traditions.

Behind Vana is the generosity, guidance and blessings of its founding family, nature and the sublime Gurus whose kindness are a motivation to Veer and the Vana Team.

Vana has unflinchingly set course on a path less travelled, yet far reaching and necessary for these times.


WAY FORWARD

As Vana crossed its third birthday, we began to conceptualise a fuller palette of activity for the Retreat that would express Vana’s vision more holistically. Wellness has been our centrepiece, with cuisine, aesthetics, nature, music, art and human effort wrapped around it. Now, we wish to evolve to a new paradigm, where wisdom is both the foundation and the fruit, co-existing together with wellness, learning and giving.

The inner journey is the most challenging but essential aspect of one’s journey to greater wellbeing. In fact, it is beyond wellbeing, outside any definable references. As Vana, we cannot contrive someone’s journey beyond a point, but we can create opportunities through teachings, techniques, environment, people and resources. These must be rooted in the deepest wisdom traditions and offered only in their most authentic and undiluted form.  Know more…



FAQ

  • Where is Vana?
  • How do I get to Vana?

    We recommend flying to Dehradun airport, from where we can organise personal transfers that are included in your retreat price.

    There are multiple daily flights to Dehradun from Delhi and at least one flight from Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Amritsar, and Ahmedabad.

  • What is it like to be there?

    Everyone will have a different answer to this question. In the past, some of the more profound attempts to describe Vana have included a Zen university-like campus, spiritual oasis, and what we call ourselves – a retreat and institute. Though these descriptions are distinct, there are some consistencies that underpin these highly personal experiences: Vana is peaceful, serene, lush, a place to think and be, and a place that slowly aids self-transformation. It is not a highly regimented, restrictive, or pedantic place.

    It is also, definitely, transforming itself. Many who come to our retreat in Dehradun on a frequent basis, find a palpable sense of change. To some extent, we are drivers of this transformation, as our goal is to become more inclusive over time.

  • Why should I go?

    This is a good question to ask, from our perspective, as it indicates self-reflection, which we believe is a core characteristic of wellbeing. Initial reasons for coming to Vana vary amongst our visitors – they range from simply trying to get in a few nights of good rest to a full body detox, when deemed necessary by our medical experts. Often however, the ‘reason’ for coming to Vana is quite different at check-out than it was pre-arrival: Vanavasis may have come for a detox, for example, but left with new ideas about their emotional health, or if lucky, the beginnings of an unexpected lifelong friendship. We can also safely say that anyone coming here for a quick fix is likely to leave disappointed.

  • When should I go?

    Vana is a wonderful place, year round. The winter is cool and draws many visitors; the Spring is when our retreat is in full bloom, and the summer is when we feel most blessed to be away from the soaring temperatures that char most of North India. Monsoon is a fantastic time as well, both visually and for wellness purposes. To determine the time you should come, we suggest first looking at what you want to achieve, and the amount of time you have. We urge you not to worry too much about the ‘crowd’ or ‘season’ –we never allow more bookings than we can manage, and can assure you that there is something special about each season.

  • What happens once I’m a Vanavasi?

    Once a Vanavasi, always a Vanavasi. We are a community of like-minded thinkers who are linked by a common spirit, philosophy, and goal that extends over a lifetime. This is part and parcel of our definition of wellness: it is work in progress, and achieved in tandem with others, rather than something that happens ‘somewhere else,’ as an exclusive stint amongst a small group of very wealthy people.

  • What is the philosophy behind Vana?

    We have four major pillars that underpin our philosophy: wisdom, wellness, learning, and seva. We established Vana to show how these pillars – whether experienced in the form of Ayurveda therapies or Buddhist teachings — are for us, the keys to living a more evolved mental, physical and spiritual life.

  • How “difficult” or “serious” is the retreat?

    This is also a difficult question to answer, because sometimes, confronting your inner-self – which we really encourage you to do here – can be quite difficult. However, whatever it is that comes your way, we do our best to make living and being here a nourishing and comfortable experience.

    In terms of seriousness, yes – we are absolutely dedicated to our goals and committed to our philosophy, but this certainly does not mean that you won’t hear laughter in our halls and casual banter over dinner. People become Vanavasis, but Vanavasis don’t become people: this is what allows people to take the insights they learn here back home.

  • How much does it cost?

    Costs vary depending on the retreat type and room you choose; we do our best to keep prices as fair as possible. Profit is a word we avoid here, even when we are urged to use it, say, in a business context.  We encourage our guests to choose their retreat type not based on cost, but on what they would like to accomplish while at Vana – i.e. their intent.  It is not necessary that the more you spend, the better you will feel.

  • How does it compare to other retreats around the world?

    Although many places may claim that they are like nowhere else, we have truly found it hard to find a similar place in the world. Sometimes, people compare us to a luxury spa before they come; thankfully, when they leave, they usually find this definition both inaccurate and inadequate. Our mission is large, and ambitious, and we are doing our best to achieve the unprecedented in wellbeing.

  • May I bring younger members of my family?

    Guests at the retreat must be 16 years of age and above.

  • Is alcohol and smoking permitted at Vana?

    Our selection of alcohol is limited to wine and champagne, available at our restaurant, Salana, on a chargeable basis at dinner time. Guests on specific detoxes or panchakarma, or if advised by their wellness consultant, must refrain from drinking alcohol at the retreat. Smoking is restricted to a single designated outdoor space and is not permitted in guest rooms, guest balconies, shared spaces or any other outdoor space.

  • Are electronic devices allowed at the retreat?

    Mobile phones, iPads, tablets, smart phones and personal computers may be used in guest rooms but are not permitted in any shared or outdoor spaces. Photography is not allowed at the retreat. Our endeavour is to protect guest privacy and personal space, and create an environment conducive to wellbeing.

  • Is There Mobile Connectivity And WiFi In Guest Rooms?

    Yes. We do not charge our guests for WiFi.

  • What Are Your Check-In And Check-Out Times?

    Check-in is at 2:00 pm and check-out at 12 noon. For early arrival or late departure requests, guests may contact the retreat directly at [email protected] or at (+91) 135 3911114.

  • How Do I Make A Reservation?

    You may send us a reservation request online, via phone or by e-mail. To send us a request online, please click here. You may e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at (+91) 135 3911114 to request a retreat. Should you have any special preferences such as non-allergenic pillows, special dietary considerations and so on, please inform our reservations team while booking your retreat.

  • Please Tell Me More About The E-Tourist Visa. Can I Apply For One From My Home Country?

    The Indian Government recently introduced the e-Tourist Visa for certain countries including USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore. This facility allows individuals to apply online for visa on arrival in India. To apply, please click here and select ‘Online Visa Application’. It is essential to carry a print out of your electronic tourist visa at the time of travel.

  • Does Vana Offer Airport Assistance To Guests?

    We realise that airports can be tedious, tiring and at times intimidating. Airport assistance is offered as an optional service through a reputed global service provider, operating at the New Delhi Airport at an additional charge. This assistance can be availed by guests, requesting the same while booking their retreat and sharing flight details well in advance. To learn more, please click here.

  • Where Do You Recommend I Stay In Delhi?

    Vana has a special relationship with The Lodhi hotel in New Delhi. For guests transiting via Delhi before or after their retreat at Vana, we recommend this independent hotel for its location, design and spa. For guests wishing to stay near Delhi airport, we recommend the J W Marriott New Delhi Aerocity. To read more, please click here.

  • All Enter As Equals.

    Vana is a space for all beings. It is our endeavour to provide harmony, nourishment and wellbeing for those on the Vana journey. While we all play our roles in life as well as on the Retreat and are designated by labels, these are only relative truths. Perhaps one gets closer to the ultimate truth if all beings, people, plants and animals alike, are perceived equally.

    From this notion arises Vana’s belief that it is a leveller for its guests, where material differences are left outside and people connect to each other and nature equally.

    It is also our hope that everyone who enters Vana does so with a generosity of spirit, faith in what we do and an ability to forgive us for our mistakes.

  • Due To The Nature Of My Profession, I May Require To Bring A Member Of My Staff When I Come On Retreat To Vana. Is This Permitted?

    At Vana, each guest is important to us. We do not conform to political, cultural or social benchmarks where certain people are designated as VIPs. The Retreat is therefore unable to welcome any guests that require personal security, pre-arrival inspections or other security protocols that disturb our guests, team or life at Vana.

    We are also unable to allow any personal attendants or staff accompanying guests.

    Our guidelines and restrictions apply equally to all and our vision, mission and values take precedence over individual beliefs. We encourage potential guests with public lives to leave their skin outside Vana. The Retreat is for those who seek it as a refuge of wellbeing.

    We humbly request all guests to be conscious of the privacy and peace of those around them.

  • What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Come On Retreat To Vana?

    Dehradun enjoys good weather throughout the year except a few days in the Grishma/Summer, Varsha/Monsoon and Shishira/Winter. Our summers are short and comparatively more pleasant than Rajasthan and most of North India.

    • Shishira/Winter: 1st January to 28th February
    • Vasanta/Spring: 1st March to 30th April
    • Grishma/Summer: 1st May to 30th June
    • Varsha/Monsoon: 1st July to 31st August
    • Sharad/Autumn: 1st September to 31st October
    • Hemanta/Pre-winter: 1st November to 31st December

    All seasons bring with them their unique characteristics and benefits. At Vana, our cuisine menus include the freshest ingredients of the season. The aromas, essential oils, Vanaveda personal care products, linen and attire at the Retreat also change with each season.

  • What Is The Best Way To Reach Vana From Delhi?

    We recommend that guests fly to Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun. From here, we can organise personal transfers to Vana, included in your retreat price. For details, please click here.

  • Do You Offer Any Discounts?

    Vana does not offer discounts. Our prices remain fixed for the season.

  • What Is Included In My Retreat?

    All Retreats At Vana Include

    • A Retreat Program with yoga, meditation, cuisine lessons, functional fitness, talks, music and more.
    • Arrival and departure wellness consultations.
    • All cuisine including breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
    • Private treatments/specialist consultations/sessions based on 1 – 3 wellness weights per night per guest
    • Attire to wear within and outside Vana, footwear, summer and winter accessories.
    • Airport transfers from Dehradun Airport.
    • No service charge or gratuities added. Our team does not expect tips as appreciation for their work.
  • What Is The Difference Between Ayurveda And Panchakarma?

    Ayurveda is India’s traditional form of medicine, a science, philosophy and an art form. With the basic premise that understanding oneself and a balanced lifestyle are the key ingredients to a healthy life, it aims to restore equilibrium using basic principles, treatments, supplements and nutritional advice. Ayurveda looks at a person holistically, considering their physical, mental and spiritual self, as well as their environment. It uses nature and learning gathered over centuries to understand each individual separately, determine their ‘dosha’ and work towards what they need, thus achieve their highest state of wellbeing.

    Panchakarma refers to a set of purification treatments within ayurveda. It allows one to reach the root cause of imbalance in the body and cleanse, repair and revitalise, thus restoring equilibrium. This is done through a series of ayurveda therapies, supplements, cuisine that suits your body type and program, gentle yoga and meditation where appropriate, a prescribed daily routine and regular consultations with our ayurveda specialists. At Vana, panchakarma requires a minimum of 21 nights.

  • Is The Entire Vana Wellness Offering Ready?

    The repertoire of wellness treatments, consults and activities available is extensive and ranges across all parts of our wellness offering. However, these will continue to develop and increase for the foreseeable future as our team of practitioners and experts grows and the wellness spaces continue to develop.

  • Is Vana More For Sickness Or Wellbeing?

    Our starting point, our way and our end goal is to enhance the wellbeing of all those that cross paths with Vana in their journey. This is what drives us in each moment and led us to create the most comprehensive, sincere and authentic offering of wellness available, perhaps unparalleled to anything else in the world.

    Vana is not a medical center or a hospital. However, an improved state of wellbeing can certainly help reduce the effects of illness and can also equip one with practices and nutritional guidance to deal with or manage health concerns. We can address certain health and lifestyle concerns but we are not a replacement for conventional allopathic medical care.

  • Do I Need To Take À La Carte Treatments?

    Only if you wish to do more than what is included in your retreat. Our team only makes recommendations for your benefit and to derive better results from your retreat; they are never encouraged to do so for Vana’s financial benefit.

  • Could You Tell Us More About Your Wellness Team?

    Each wellness offering at Vana has a qualified specialist as its head. In the case of ayurveda, sowa rigpa and traditional chinese medicine, Vana has qualified specialists trained in these respective fields. Our wellness consultants are also doctors in various forms of traditional or alternate medicine. We have senior practitioners and therapists working under our specialists in each offering.

  • Please Tell Me A Little More About The Cuisine And Restaurants At Vana.

    The cuisine at Vana is mindfully put together to complement your wellness itinerary. We offer guests two restaurants to choose from – salana, that is inspired by a variety of cuisines and is based on our wellness principles, and ańayu, that brings together Indian recipes with ayurvedic principles.

    We believe in using local, seasonal, fresh and organic produce as much as possible and try to source indigenous varieties. On our menus, you will find nutritional information in place of prices. In keeping with our values, we do not use air-freighted food. Our wellness team works closely with the cuisine team to ensure that the retreat objectives of each guest, as well as their palate, are satisfied. If you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, please inform us prior to arrival and we will be glad to help.

    Our nutritionist offers consultations for nutritional advice. Those guests wishing to determine their body type and eat accordingly, can book consultations with our ayurveda doctor during their arrival consult.

  • Is The Cuisine At Vana Vegetarian?

    The cuisine at Vana caters to most palates, preferences and retreat objectives and is therefore not vegetarian. We do, however, make it easy for you to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet at Vana with our creative and elaborate menus. For those guests that do eat meat and fish, we pay careful attention to where we source from. We do not airfreight food and are mindful of food miles.

    Our portions are calibrated with lower salt and careful use of oil. We do not use refined flours, grains, oils or sugar. Most of our produce is local and seasonal and a substantial selection of our ingredients is certified organic.

  • Can I Order Food To My Room?

    We encourage guests to have their meals at the retreat’s restaurants. Our kitchens can deliver food to your room at a nominal charge of Rs 1,000. We do not serve alcohol to guest rooms.

  • Can Vana Accommodate Food Allergies?

    Yes, our wellness consultants work closely with our cuisine team to ensure that your needs and preferences are taken care of. We request that you inform our reservations team of your dietary restrictions in advance.

  • Is The Water At Vana Safe To Drink?

    Yes. Vana bottles its own still and sparkling water. Our water comes from a local reservoir fed by the neighbouring hills, goes through two stages of reverse osmosis and finally a crystal purification system.

  • Is Vana In A Forest?

    We are not in a forest; however, clusters of reserve sal forest are immediately adjacent to more than half of the retreat and most guest rooms and suites look onto it. Over the years, development has occurred around us, and yet, the retreat offers privacy, nature and its own peaceful energy and environment.

  • Do Monkeys Visit The Retreat?

    Monkeys are part of the natural environment and occasionally do visit the retreat. While we do our best to discourage them, guests are requested to keep their balcony doors closed. We have installed equipment on our perimeter that uses sounds at special frequencies and deters monkeys from entering.

  • Is Vana In The Himalayas?

    We project ourselves as honestly as we can and therefore do not claim to be in the Himalayas. Our region is surrounded by the Shivalik foothills which are often incorrectly called the Himalayas.

  • What Is The Climate Like In Dehradun?

    Summers in Dehradun have a maximum temperature of ~38°C/100°F and a minimum of ~20°C/68°F, while winters have a maximum of ~22°C/72°F and a minimum of ~5°C/41°F. During the monsoons, Dehradun experiences medium to high rainfall each day.

  • What Should I Carry With Me?
    • We provide all our guests with comfortable kurta pajamas to wear at the retreat. These are made from organic cotton in southern India and are laundered each day without charge.
    • Rubber slippers in the summer and crocs sandals in the winter will be found in your room. As well as a cloth bag for you to use at the retreat and take back home.
    • To enjoy our aqua therapies and pools, we recommend that you carry your swimsuit.
    • Please bring shoes for sport and hiking if you wish to play tennis, use our gymnasium or experience one of our weekly hikes.
    • Between October and February, we provide guests with woollen capes. Shawls are available in shared spaces. Guests may also bring additional warm clothing.
    • Yoga mats, meditation cushions and tennis racquets are available at the retreat. Tennis and swimming accessories are available in our boutique, dukan.
    • We have a professional in-house laundry.
  • Do I Need To Speak With A Doctor Before My Retreat At Vana?

    This is not a pre-requisite unless you choose panchakarma or have a very specific query about a particular health concern/issue that requires attention.

  • Are TVs Provided In Guest Rooms?

    Yes, we offer a small selection of channels featuring our videos, teachings and movies.

  • Is Vana Conducive To Guests Traveling Alone?

    Yes, Vana provides a comfortable and safe refuge for guests traveling alone. A good proportion of our guests come to Vana on their own. The community table in our restaurant, Salana, allows one to interact with other guests on retreat, and the Retreat’s orchards and reflection pond offer guests the opportunity to meditate with the elements and to ponder. A library in the Kila gives guests another space to spend time reading or conversing with each other.

  • What Is The Electricity Voltage In India? Should I Carry An Adaptor?

    The electricity voltage in India is 220 volts. However, all the sockets in our rooms are universal and the standard two/three pin adaptors will work.

  • What Is Around Vana?

    Like many Indian towns, Dehradun too is slowly expanding and developing. Though this is sometimes apparent, we are fortunate to have a 21-acre retreat with tremendous natural wealth that gives our guests an opportunity to unwind and disconnect.

  • What Is There To Do And See Around Vana?

    We recommend that guests stay at the retreat while on retreat. There is little to see and do in the town of Dehradun. Vana offers two hikes that help build endurance and give guests a chance to experience the outdoors. Guests can also observe the Rishikesh aarti and various pujas. The excursions we offer are special and unique to our sense of place. In addition, special spiritual and seasonal retreats will be available at Vana at pre-defined periods each year.

  • Does Vana Offer Private Workshop Spaces?

    For small groups that wish to combine a bespoke wellness experience with a private workshop, Vana offers three studios in Sketchbook that are meeting spaces for 16, 8 and 6 guests respectively. Also available is the bodhi tree, a sublime space where guests gather for raag therapy, meditation, interactions and more.

  • Does Vana Offer Excursions?

    Vana is a retreat for guests who wish to be ‘on retreat’ and see it as a world in itself. We seek to create an environment that looks within, that seeks to nurture and nourish each person individually and therefore do not offer planned individual excursions. However, our retreat vehicles are available for hire at a per hour charge with a driver, accompanying team member and refreshments. We offer two hikes and group excursions to observe the Rishikesh aarti and various pujas.

    Though we are in the process of crafting additional activities that take guests outside Vana and enrich wellbeing, both physical and spiritual, it is life within the retreat that draws guests to Vana. Read more about our wellbeing activities.

  • Does Vana Offer Tennis?

    Our state-of-the-art tennis courts are available in daylight hours to all guests. Tennis rackets and tennis balls can be provided.

  • Are Non-Resident Guests Allowed At Vana?

    Vana is strictly for resident guests only. Resident guests wishing to meet with someone not staying at the retreat may do so outside the premises, or briefly at the arrival pavilion.

  • I Am Not A Resident Guest At Vana. Can I Still Take A Tour Of The Retreat?

    As Vana is for resident guests only, we do not offer tours or show-arounds of the Retreat.

  • Is There Any Additional Information That Expectant Mothers Should Be Aware Of?

    We recommend that you see your obstetrician before your retreat at Vana. We would appreciate if any details regarding your pregnancy could be shared with us in advance. Please note that not all treatments can be offered to guests during their pregnancy.

  • What Facilities Do You Have For Guests With Special Needs?

    Vana has specific guest rooms that have been designed for guests with special needs.


LEEU COLLECTION

Leeu Collection Logo

INTRODUCING LEEU COLLECTION : FATHER AND SON DESTINATIONS SHARE GLOBAL EXCELLENCE THROUGH FAMILY FOUNDATIONS

Vana and the Leeu Collection share intrinsic features, one of which is the upholding of world-class standards in every sphere of operation.

The Leeu Collection, an international portfolio of luxurious lifestyle hotels and gourmet venues, was founded by Analjit Singh. His son, Veer Singh, created Vana. Both Vana and the Leeu venues reflect the belief that everything contributes to one’s wellbeing, be it architecture and design, nature, art, even cuisine, and these elements are chosen to evoke equilibrium, respect ecology and be in harmony with nature.

Visitors from all over the world head to Vana, a beautiful and serene destination in Dehradun in northern India. Here Veer has created a sublime retreat where guests embark on a personalised journey tailored to suit their needs and preferences.

In South Africa, Analjit’s portfolio of luxurious lifestyle hotels and epicurean venues in and around Franschhoek has achieved iconic status, while the addition of Linthwaite House in the scenic English Lake District adds another acclaimed destination for discriminating international travellers.

Both father and son possess a meticulous sense of detail that comes from personal discipline and practice but also reflects a motivation to always do the best they can for everyone and the environment. The shared ethos in the approach and attributes of these venues to which discerning guests across the globe are drawn highlights their special relationship.

Veer has this to say about the synchronicity between the two entities: 

“Vana and the Leeu Collection have most certainly both been a labour of love. Another quality that connects them is that they attract and inspire similar sorts of people – the wellness seeker, the more aware and discerning, and those looking for something more than just another holiday. Like Vana, Leeu stitches together a wonderful myriad of offerings, places and people – and the evolution and innovation never stop!”

Analjit has this to say about Vana: 

“Generally I am loath to use the expression ‘world-class’ as it is too commonly applied. But Vana is for real, as Veer has focused and epitomised the creation of such a destination. Do experience it!”

Click here for information on the Leeu Collection.


Vana Ambassadors

The Vana Ambassadors are a core part of Vana’s global community. They are individuals across the world that help to build our Vanavasi network. We are grateful for all that they do and would like to honour them briefly by sharing a little more about them.

1. ALBERT PARAVI WONGCHIRACHAI – THAILAND

Albert Paravi Wongchirachai is one of the founders of the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC), and
has served as a policy advisor to many national initiatives on culture and creative economy, from the
Thailand Senate, to the Office of the Prime Minister. Aside from being one of our key ambassadors, Albert
is also an advisory Board Member and participates in discussions concerning the future of Vana.

2. CHANDAN KASHYAP – SINGAPORE

After completing her MBA, Chandan spent 11 years working with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in their Human Resource department in Delhi. She also has an avid interest in Indian and South East Asian Art and has undertaken a range of projects in Philanthropy and Art, including being a founding member of the Khushwant Singh Literary Festival. Kashyap’s connection to Dehradun dates back far before her first visit to Vana: it was right next door that she attended school at Doon.

3. GEMMA BES PARDOS – SPAIN

Gemma has a degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Barcelona (1997), Master in Nutrition and Sports from the University of Barcelona (1998) and a degree in Nutrition from King’s College in London (2000). An expert in food and sports and children’s nutrition, Bes Padros brings a wealth of knowledge to our wellness component, as she helps build our Vanavasi network in Europe. Gemma has been involved with Vana from our very beginning, due to her husband – Tomeu – being one of Vana’s two architects, alongside his father, Antoni.

4. LUDOVICA FALEZ – MILAN

While Ludovicia is one of our youngest ambassadors, in her 31 years she has accumulated a wealth of interesting experiences. Amongst these is a venture two years ago, when she spearheaded Chef Ritu Dalmia’s new fine dining Indian restaurant in Milan. This catalysed her deep and ongoing connection with India, of which her connection to Vana is central.

5. MARIANGELA SPADA – ITALY

Vana is very close to Mariangiola’s heart. She describes it emphatically, as a “place where to find peace when life changes ryhthm.” Her ambassadorship is premised on spreading what she describes as the “gift” of Vana.

6. REGINE KAEGI – SWITZERLAND, GERMANY & AUSTRIA

Originally from Switzerland, Regine is an expert in Yogic Science and a qualified Yoga instructor. She also has many years of professional experience in the HR industry. These skills, combined, with many others, make her an ideal ambassador for us in Europe.

7. SYLVIA LEE – CHINA

Sylvia is originally from Taipei and has spent more than 16 years working in Shanghai in the commercial real estate industry. Sylvia first came to Vana in 2018; upon seeing notable changes in her health, she returned the very next year with her mother. These personal health improvements have been key to her outreach efforts.

8. TOMOMI KITAMI – JAPAN

Tomomi is a professional photographer and has been a student of Indian classical music for the last 13 years. She is also closely involved with the Deer Park Institute in Himachal Pradesh, and was instrumental in helping us organise Japan Week at Vana: a specialised retreat organised earlier this year.


Vana Board Of Directors

We are pleased to announce Vana’s official Board of Directors. Vana’s board was created by Veer Singh, Vana’s founder. The individuals that comprise the board and its advisors span a range of expertise; they present a cross section of stakeholders, age groups and interests. The board will strive to maintain Vana’s ethos and ethical standards while working towards financial stability.

The following individuals currently constitute the Vana Board:

EXTERNAL BOARD MEMBERS

TARA SINGH VACHANI: Executive Chairman, Antara Senior Living Limited. Tara is driven by the passionto create an enriching and fulfilling lifestyle for seniors that is unique to India.

KARAN SINGH CHADHA: Founder of Farlap Capital. Prior to Farlap Capital, Karan was the Head of Principal Investments at ACPI Investments, a London based multi-family office and private wealth manager.

GITANJALI SARANGAN: Founder of Snehadhara Foundation. Gitanjali is an educationist, social entrepreneur, Arts Based Therapy (ABT) Educator and Practitioner with over two decade’s experience in teaching a diverse population of children and adults.

MANASI GUPTA: Founder and CEO of Mia & J Food Store Private Limited, which is fast becoming known throughout India for its delicious biscuits.

MEHER VARMA: Delhi-based writer, anthropologist and brand strategist.

BOARD MEMBERS FROM VANA TEAM

VEER SINGH: Vana’s Founder and Creator.

VAIBHAV DUBEY: Vana’s Managing Director.

ADVISORS TO THE BOARD

SANJIV MALIK: Vana’s Financial Advisor. Former Chief Executive of the family office at Max Group. Sanjiv has 40 years of Financial Management experience in industries spanning India, Thailand and the USA.

ALBERT PARAVI WONGCHIRACHAI: Thai concept strategist specialising in cultural enterprise start-ups and experience design.

ELIZABETH BOULSTRIDGE: Vana’s Director – Brand & Marketing.

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