Just outside the small but bustling city of Coimbatore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is an Ayurvedic healing community called ‘Vaidyagrama‘.
Known locally as the ‘hospital’, Vaidyagrama is an educational, green, authentic healing village where doctors live amongst patients and sustainable, earth-centered living is the way of life.
I visited Vaidyagrama one morning this past September. Warm, genuine service, knowledgeable and kind doctors and intentional natural surroundings filled me with a wonderful sense of ease. This was a place where every cell in your body could simply breathe.
When travelling to Vaidyagrama, bring the office phone number with you so you can call with any questions. My cab driver and I struggled in finding the center even with the exact address. Roads are not well marked outside the city and construction at the center made it difficult to find the entrance. Kind villagers and staff gave us a hand though and soon I was greeted by Dr. Om Prakesh, junior Ayurvedic doctor.
He immediately brought me to a guest room for some personal time to rest and within five minutes an attendant arrived at my door with a cup of steaming hot chai, both brilliant gestures. The room contained a small kitchen from which meals were taken, a personal bathroom with shower and western style toilet, two single beds and a veranda with outdoor seating. House made candles, saffron orange cotton drapes, a stone floor and brick walls created a relaxed, comfortable and natural setting. Towels, telephone, mosquito net and laundry service were also available. Outside on the veranda were wicker style blinds for shielding the hot sun and a plush cushion to sit on.
Dr. Om Prakesh gave me a tour of the facility. It doesn’t suffice to say that Vaidyagrama is ‘green’. They are working towards complete self-sufficiency, experimenting with renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, charcoal and bio-gas. They have every substance coming into and going out of their hands accounted for and anything synthetic is avoided. Buildings at the center were built with bricks made from their own soil. Rainwater is harvested. Grey and black water is treated and recycled. Natural ventilation is favored over air conditioning. Farming on the land is completely natural and all waste from the facility is reused in some fashion. Their drinking water has even been medicated with herbs, making it safe and healthy to drink.
Naturally, there is a warmth and earthiness to the center that is completely comfortable and relaxing. Covered walkways guide you from building to building and a variety of trees and plants fill the open outdoor spaces. Patients are housed in ‘blocks’ that include a treatment area as well as the doctor’s own living quarters. Patients see the doctor on a daily basis, and each doctor has one to two assisting doctors, all of which are present during your daily consultations.
I was fortunate to meet with two of the senior vaidyas (Ayurvedic doctors) during my brief visit. They come from a long line of Ayurvedic doctors (fourth generation) and also hold their Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery (BAMS). They were kind, warm and encouraging. I left with some herbal remedies that worked like magic. I was so taken by the environment, the sincerity and the way of life, that I’m already planning my next visit for the recommended three weeks.
A daily schedule at Vaidyagrama also consists of Ayurvedic body treatments, educational activities such as preparing one’s own herbal medications, vegetarian meals suited to your constitution, and meditation/contemplation. Spending time in silence away from the distractions of media is recommended and gentleness is encouraged on all levels to facilitate the healing process.
Three weeks is the average length of stay, but longer stays are possible. The vaidyas will give their recommendation based on your medical history and need, and planning your visit can happen from there. Single accomodations with meals are about $35- per day. A double room with meals for two are about $25- per person, per day. Consultations, treatments and herbal medicines are additional, averaging another $45 to $80- per day.
Students of Ayurveda should inquire about the experiential training programs available. Vaidyagrama is unique in that doctors, staff, students and patients are living and learning the lifestyle together, in harmony with nature.
What could be better than that?
See it for yourself. Check out their photo stream on flicker.
Vaidyagrama, Ayurvedic Healing Village15(1), Rottikaranur Road Thirumalayampalayam Post Madukkarai via
Coimbatore 641105, Tamilnadu INDIA Admin OfficePunarnava Ayurveda
A‐21, Parsn Galaxy, Nanjundapuram Road
Coimbatore 641036, Tamilnadu INDIA.TOLL FREE – 1800 2000 086 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org