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Indulge in Ayurveda at Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village ? Spa

A very well written and descriptive review of Kairali- The
Ayurvedic Healing Village was published in the January- February Issue of the well-known
magazine Spa mantra. SpaMantra is the first Indian magazine aimed specifically for
the leaders of India?s Spa & Wellness Industry. This magazine is published
6 times a year and is circulated among 3000 of the top spa directors,
investors, international brands, and some key chains of spas as well.


Kairali- The Ayurvedic
Healing Village offers authentic treatments in the lap of rustic luxury

Traveling through Kerala is a reward unto itself. Driving through acre
after acre of coconut plantations or enjoying the emerald of rice fields where
herons like jewels shine, one realizes why the place has earned the sobriquet
of ?God?s Own Country.? So, there were only wonderful things to expect as we
charted the 2-hour long road journey from the Coimbatore airport. Outside the
car, culture flashes of Kerala passed me by, and inside, lilting Western music
played on. It represented well the harmony of ancient traditions like Ayurveda
being preserved and practiced in these modern times.


Established in 1989 with their first centre in Delhi by K V Ramesh (MD)
and Gita Ramesh (Jt. MD), the couple poured in their legacy of Ayurvedic
doctors within the family into Kairali. Since then, around 60 Kairali centres
have been born and are working towards delivering people from diseases with the
help of pure Ayurveda. Of these, six centres are managed directly by the
Kairali group, while the others are franchisees. From resorts to day spas to
research labs to medicine units, Kairali today has an umbrella of activities
that takes care of all the health needs of a spa goer. Kairali centres are
spread across 23 nations but most are in the day spa format. The three major
resorts are in India, with the main one being in Palakkad and the other two in
Gokarna and Karwar. It is the Palakkad resort that is the brightest star among
all Kairalis.


Situated in the Palakkad district of Kerala, Kairali ? The Ayurvedic
Healing Village is a little haven for people looking for both ? authentic
Ayurvedic treatments and luxurious setting. Unlike most other austere Ayurvedic
resorts or wellness set-ups found in India, Kairali offers a comfortable
ambiance that is especially preferred by foreign nationals. The resort proper
is 15 acres; however, adding the rice fields and the organic vegetable gardens
that surround it, it adds up to a magnificent 50 acres. Conceptualised by the
famous architect Laurie Baker, the resort has 30 cottages built in the manner
of traditional Kerala houses. The types, in order of luxuriousness, include the
Maharaja, Royal, Classic and Deluxe varieties. Landscaping architect, Dr.
Randave, made sure the cottages melded into the natural setting. In fact, not
one tree was cut during the making of this 12-year-old resort. Of the 1000
trees within the property, some even grow right through the cottages! All
cottages are unique in design and have been built as per the principles of
Vaastushastra. In fact, every cottage has been named after its ?birth star?.
Internally, every cottage is shaped like a pyramid, which apparently helps
circulate positive vibrations. A special conch shell placed in each cottage
also helps spread good vibes. The use of natural materials is abundant in these
cottages. The walls mostly have the exposed brick finish, although in some
places, one also notices the use of stone or sandstone. The flooring is done
with traditionally-used red oxide. Apparently, walking barefoot on such
flooring helps detoxify the body. The materials and labour for construction was
mostly sourced locally. The roofs are all made with locally-sourced tiles, or
so it seems on first glance. They are actually three layered-roofs, with the
top layer being tiles, the mid-layer being concrete and the last being
tile-concrete. However, the entire resort is eco-friendly and has been the
recipient of the Green Leaf Certification ? the highest level of classification
for Ayurveda centres ? by the government of Kerala. In fact, Kairali is touted
as the model Ayurvedic health resort by the state body. Apart from the
cottages, the resort has many other facilities. The resort?s reception area is
part of a three-level building, the other two being the meditation/Yoga hall
and the administrative centre. That apart, there is a swimming pool, a tennis
court, a leisure room with pool, card games and dart, a gymnasium cum library,
two restaurants, a curio shop and last but not the least, the Ayurvedic


The quality of treatments and services offered at the Ayurvedic
Hospital is what makes people come back year after year. The hospital has three
resident Ayurvedic doctors and several therapists. The protocol for every
client is that once they arrive, a thorough check-up is done and a brief
medical history obtained. Based on the assessment of a patient?s Dosha or
Prakriti, a treatment program is prescribed. The prescription may include
permutations and combinations of various kinds of massages, Panchakarma, diet
and medicines for a duration of one, two or three weeks. The most popular
treatments include the Panchakarma or Detoxification package, the Weight loss
package, the Diabetes package, the Arthritis package and the Rejuvenation
package among others. The resort sees a lot of repeat patients for arthritis in
particular, as treatments via the Ashtangahridaya system of Ayurveda offers
noticeable relief. Ayurveda is known to be greatly effective with problems of
bone & neurological health and some lifestyle diseases. Kairali does great
business in the retail of Ayurvedic medicines, some even patented, through
their pharmacy. A modest estimate of sales per month can be pegged at Rs.
80,000 per month. The pharmacy retails traditional concoctions in the forms of
pills, syrups, oils and powders, as also herbal cosmetics. Kairali famously
produces its own medicines in its three factories. Two units, located at
Palakkad and Pollachi respectively, produce classical medicines, while the Spa
Labs unit in Bangalore makes the patented medicines. One remarkable thing about
Kairali-manufactured medicines is that they are not marketed the usual way.
Only ethical promotion of the medicines is allowed, whereby only a qualified
Ayurvedic doctor who knows and understands the product fully can prescribe and
endorse a product.


Treatments at Kairali are based entirely on Ayurveda. Within the
Ayurvedic hospital are two wings ? one for men and the other for women ? that
comprise five treatment rooms each, where traditional treatments like
Abhyangam, Shirodhara, Pizhichil, Udvertanam, etc. are administered. Treatments
and medicines prescribed at Kairali are, as mentioned above, according to the
Ashtangahridaya school of thought. Under this school, no metal-based medicines
are prescribed, thus putting at ease many clients about the one controversial
aspect of Ayurveda. The treatment rooms are rather Spartan, in keeping with the
simplistic Ayurvedic philosophy. Each room has the standard exposed brick
finish look, and typically has one Dharapathi (a wooden Shirodhara bed), and
one Shirodhara stand. Incense and traditional music playing through speakers
placed in handis add to the ambiance as therapists go about their treatment.
There are no attached steam or shower chambers. One has to go to the bath area,
but since the areas are gender segregated, privacy is not a problem. Yoga,
meditation and diet are other aspects that support a treatment and improve its
efficacy. The diet is of special import at Kairali. There are two restaurants
in the place, the main one being an Ayurvedic canteen. The canteen has
pre-fixed menu for every meal, and serves wholesome, Ayurvedic vegetarian
cuisine. While ?casual? visitors like me get to have at least one slightly rich
dish, those on prescriptions get moderated diets. Breakfast is typically a
serving of fruit, a glass of juice, one South-Indian snack like idlis or dosas,
followed by tea or coffee. Lunch and dinner begin with a soup, a salad, papad,
chapattis, choice of two vegetables and dal, rice and a sugar-less dessert.


There are six male and six
female therapists at the resort, who are all highly experienced, and have been
recruited from reputed learning centres. Three years ago, Kairali started its
own academy to ensure authentic treatments. Now, most of their recruits come
from their own academy. These Kairali-trained therapists are also sent to
franchise centres so that treatments across the centres are uniform. The
Academy offers several short and long term courses, especially for Panchakarma.
The 6-month course is preferred by locals, who want to take up Ayurvedic
therapy as a full time profession; the 3-month course is preferred by
foreigners who want to take away the essence of Ayurvedic practices; while the
1-month course is popular with physicians who wish to learn the basics of
Ayurveda to supplement their general practice.


Brand Kairali has grown so big and so trustworthy within a few years,
thanks to their rapid increase in the number of franchisees. In fact, Kairali
owes its global footprint to franchisees. All franchise centres are built on
the day spa model. There are so many takers for this prestigious tie-up because
the franchisee has only to provide infrastructure. The parent company supplies
the franchisee with equipment, staff and medicines. A day spa will usually have
one Ayurvedic doctor and 5 therapists. All therapists are trained and certified
by Kairali. Characteristically, a franchise centre should have 3000 sq. ft. of
carpet area that would accommodate at least two treatment rooms. The initial
investment amounts to approximately 30 lakh INR. Kairali charges an initial
franchise fee, but thereafter, the centre can operate independently without
sharing profits. It has only to pay a small royalty of 5% of the annual revenue
or a maximum of 1 lakh INR. The franchise model works so well, because it helps
take Kairali?s authentic treatments and quality service all over the place, and
the franchisees, in turn, act as mouthpieces for the main Palakkad centre.
Patients in need of long-term treatments are advised to go to the resort in
Kerala. Kairali also has tie-ups with many travel agents, which explains why so
many international health travellers prefer Kairali.


Places like Kairali ? The
Ayurvedic Healing Village
have a way of getting under one?s skin. While you go
there to detox, to get rid of your addictions, and realize that you are
intoxicated by and addicted to the clean, simple and healing way of living. It
is little wonder that 70% of Kairali?s patrons are return visitors, who keep
finding their way back to the little haven. I suspect I will too.

Published on: January- February 2013

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