STAY AT THE NISARGOPCHAR ASHRAM, URULI KANCHAN

I spent the 7 days at the Nisargopchar Ashram at Urlikanchan and it has stolen my heart. I plan to go there every year for a week at least. It is a naturopathy treatment centre established by Gandhiji in 1946. It has an old world charm and a feeling of being in a place where time has stood still. The tall trees, the old structures interspersed with the new ones, the kind and efficient staff, the clean and organized set up, and the super affordable pricing; all in all make it a place worth going to at least once. Especially if you want to upgrade your health in a natural way and give your body and mind a refreshing and rejuvenating break.

First off plan your trip at least 2 months prior. The summers can be very hot and in the rains it would get a bit hard to take walks though the rains are not heavy. I would personally go from November to February and avoid the Diwali dates but based on your preference and your condition you are dealing with, you can choose anytime that works for you. You can book via their website.

Here is a detailed note on all the info you need.

Where is it and how to get there:

The Ashram is 30 kms from Pune railway station on the Pune- Solapur road.

If you are based in Bombay, you can drive down or take a taxi or the 11301 Udyan express Mumbai to Urli. After getting off the train at Urli, cross over by the overhead bridge and come to the exit. Rickshaws are available to take you to the ashram, right up to office. They cost Rs. 50. Take the rickshaw person’s number so you can call him on your way back to Urli station on the return.

If you are based anywhere else, get to Pune airport/ railway station/ bus station and take a taxi to the ashram.

This is what a usual day at the ashram looks like:

TimingWork
5.00AM
Waking Up
5.15-6.00AM
General Yoga(Yogasadhana Hall)
6.00- 6.45 AM
Disease Specific Yoga(Prerana Mandir)
6.15-7.00AM
Power Yoga(Yogasadhana Hall)
7.15-7.30AM
Herbal Tea
7.30-10.30AM
Massage and Hydrotherapy Treatments
8.00-9.00AM
Juices
10.30-12.00PM
Naturopathy Lunch(Annapoorna)
12-2.15PM
Rest
2.15-2.45PM
Disease Specific Yoga
3.00-3.15 PM
Herbal Tea
3.00-5.00PM
Hydrotherapy treatments
4.00-4.30PM
Juices
4.30-5.30PM
Health Discourses
5.30-6.30PM
Naturopathy Dinner
6.30-7.15PM
Rest And Leisure Time
7.15-7.45PM
Prayer(Yogasadhana Hall)
7.45-8.30PM
Meditation/Trataka(Yogasadhana Hall)
8.30-9.30PM
Recreation and Leisure
9.30PM
Bed Time
What is provided/ accessible:
  • Blanket, pillow, bedsheet on the bed
  • Doctor consultation 2 to 3 times during your 1 week stay (chargeable)
  • **All treatments (some are included and some are chargeable)
  • Daily yoga sessions
  • Devotional singing sessions
  • Meditation Sessions
  • Lectures on various health topics (in Hindi)
  • All food, kadhas, juices (chargeable). The food is extremely simple and served in prescribed quantities only.
  • Fruits are sold just outside the ashram so they can be purchased as per the doctor’s dietary instructions.
  • Walking track surrounded by trees
  • Pebble Pool for natural walking foot reflexology/ massage in the Treatment centre
  • Library
  • Badminton
  • Table tennis
On booking you need to pay an amount of Rs.2000 and on admission you need to pay Rs.7000 (could be more for a higher room category: I stayed in a twin sharing Kutir) for a stay of 7 days which usually covers the room rent and the food and some of the treatments. This amount is per person.
  • Treatments need to be followed as per the doctor’s instructions.
  • Room Rent includes Hydro therapy & Mud therapy charges.
  • Room Rent excludes Food, Physiotherapy, Neurotherapy, Acupuncture, Special Hydrotherapy Treatment and Massage charges.
  • Massage is Rs. 150 each time.
  • The oil for massage is also recommended by the doctor; it differs person to person. That can be purchased from the ***in-house ashram store or from the one just outside.
  • Laundry service is available at Rs. 40 per day. A helper lady comes daily. Need to provide washing powder/ soap. One can wash their own clothes as well.
For treatments:
  • Medical file, recent blood reports and existing medications
  • 2 old bed sheets to use during oil massage
  • 1 old towel to use during treatments
  • A couple of old t-shirts and shorts/ pants OR a kaftan/ gown to wear on the way back from treatments. You can wear these on the way to the treatments too.
For the room and things you may need during your stay:
  • If you prefer a soft pillow please carry your own. They provide cotton pillows which are hard or could be a bit lumpy.
  • 200 ml mug
  • Peeler/ knife
  • Plate for eating fruit
  • Dishwashing liquid / soap and sponge for washing cup, peeler, knife in the room
  • 1 or 2 bedsheets: to line the blanket or use as it is, for covering yourself. Also for the bed if you prefer a soft sheet to sleep please carry your own.
  • 1 or 2 towels for bath
  • Detergent powder and soap for washing clothes.
  • Loofah to scrub yourself after oil massages.
  • Books to read
  • A hat for the sun
  • A cloth to place on the pillow as your hair will get oil on it during massages.
  • A tote bag to carry stuff around for treatments : bedsheet, change of clothes, towel, mug etc.
  • A smaller sling bag for carrying room key, phone etc. during the rest of the day.
  • 1 pair of walking shoes
  • 1 pair of room slippers
  • 1 pair of easy to wear and remove pair of sandals/ floaters or outdoor slippers.
  • Water bottle if you like carrying water with you. There are water dispensers near the dining area and the treatment centres.
  • A yoga mat if you would like your own. The ones at the ashram are kept pretty clean
  • Mosquito repellent
The usual:
  • Toiletries
  • Phone / laptop charger
  • Socks, underwear
  • 2 track pants for yoga
  • Day clothes for duration of the stay
  • Sleepwear
  • Depending on the weather: Winter wear, Rainwear etc.
If you like to be vegan (which I would urge you to be) just refuse the milk in kadha, buttermilk , matha and honey in the lemon water. The rest is Vegan by default.
SHOPS AT THE ASHRAM:
*** Kasturba Silk Emproium: the in – house store has basic necessities.
Sanskar Sangh: just outside the ashram has grains, oils, health food products to take back home.
The Book Shop: can pick up a few books on Nature Cure and Gandhiji
Gpay is available wherever you need to make payments. Alternatively you can carry cash @Rs. 1000 per day approximately for treatments, food, fruits, doctor consults etc.
There is a service to keep extra cash for safe- keeping with the cashier.
Try to keep minimum work planned during the trip. Use this time to be away from screens and media as much as possible and use this time to rejuvenate, exercise, read and introspect.
The ashram does not have great mobile network and in some rooms there can be limited network. So plan accordingly. In the office area the Wifi can be used.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid promotion. I have no vested interest in sharing this information other than to help you get a overall sense about the place. Please cross check any details reg tariffs / treatments etc.