‘Sringaar’ spa ritual at the Taj Vivanta, Surajkund

I was invited to visit Taj Vivanta Surajkund recently.

I assumed Surajkund was very far from Delhi but in reality it is about forty-five minutes from Delhi airport, flanked on one side  by the stark and stunning Tughlaqabad fort and tombs.

tuglaqabad tombs
Ghiasuddin Tughlaq’s tomb AD 1324. You can read about the fort in William Dalrymple’s book City of djinns or http://www.nikhilchandra.in  a Delhi blog I enjoyed reading.

Suajkund is also home to one of the biggest folk art fairs in India held every year in winter.

Taj Surajkund ( earlier Claridges) tucked into a slice of road between these two, is ideally poised for a weekend getaway from Delhi. Or a destination wedding. (more about that in my next blog)

exterior of hotel
Taj Vivanta Surajkund -view of rooms with terraced gardens that look like a baoli or step well

But this is about the Jiva Grande spa.

Jiva spa which is the Taj group’s signature spa across all their properties or most of them anyway, features traditional Indian spa therapies and ayurvedic purvakarmas and panchkarmas.

The spa has also revived many royal bathing traditions in its pursuit of creating a world class Indian brand.

While the essential spa menu is the same you can enjoy the signature rituals at different destinations. There is hot stone therapy in Bhutan, Mangal snanam in Gwalior, Alepa in the Maldives, Abhishek in Varanasi, Pehelwaan maalish in Mumbai.

For a full spa menu and to see more signature rituals go to http://www.tajhotels.com/jivaspas/‎

The spa at Surajkund spread over 185000 feet is one of the largest Jiva Spas the Taj has.

I tried the Sringaar ritual -traditionally meant for brides getting ready for their big moment.

It is two and half hours long and includes a traditional ubtan or scrub, a milk and rose petal bath , an aromatherapy massage and a mini facial.

You can end with a pedicure and blow dry at the adjoining salon to step out looking princess perfect

.

spa entrance baoli design
The entrance to the Jiva Grande spa echoes the same baoli /stepwell design inspired by local architecture . Love the petal strewn pool, lamps and serene ambience
details of the baoli design
Details of the spa interior
footbath taj
I dipped my  feet in a copper pot  infused with essential oils and rose ,jasmine and mogra to begin the Shringaar ritual. My therapist bathed my feet and wrapped them in hot owels to get me  relaxed and ready for an Indian style arti welcome and the start of the ritual.
welcome thali taj
The arti is a salutation and I am marked as an honored guest 🙂  . Basically you relax further as the therapist welcomes you with some more rose petals and a lit diya . And you get a sindoor and turmeric  tikka on your forehead as well.
ubtan ingredients
Traditional ubtan or scrub ingredients that made up the freshly prepared scrub for my ritual -multani mittI or fuller’s earth (tightens skin),  turmeric ( anti inflammatory) vetiver and sandalwood (cooling, good for sunburn), besan chickpea flour ( detoxifying exfoliant) , saffron (for brightening dull skin ). In the centre tulsi or holy basil leaves (anti inflammatory).The scrub is both exfoliating and toning .
rose milk bath
After the whole body scrub it was time  for a milk and roses bath . The milk is really hot and copper is supposed to be a good carrier metal for food and water so I guess its part of the therapy. Even the  pouring mug is copper . There is a  shower cubicle within the room. You wash off the scrub- a messy procedure but hopefully you are rid of toxins. Then  bathe in milk so the milk lipids soften the skin . I am told not to shower after that but head back in to the room for an hour long aromatherapy massage…blissful!
deep tissue massage blend
Jiva has its own retail and spa line .These are some of the therapy oils. I had jasmine in my aromatherapy ritual which was  fragrant and heady. I felt very feminine !
bangles and gajra
After the aromatherapy massage another  shower and then the goodbye arti. This time I got to take the betel nut leaf and fresh turmeric with me as well as beautifully handmade glass bangles (made at the local folk studio) and my very own garland of mogra flowers for my hair. Yes, I got another sindoor tikka. Felt totally renewed but skipped the blow dry and pedi  and opted for a delicious lunch instead 🙂

So as you can see I averaged three baths in two and a half hours and was totally detoxified and relaxed at the end of it ☺

The milk lipids left my skin really soft and the hour long aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil totally opened up my stiff back and neck muscles.

My only quibble – I would have preferred the ubtan laid on thicker like a lepa or mask in consistency.

I hadn’t had the ice shower or steam in the wet area prior to this but I recommend you get there fifteen minutes before to kick off the relaxation. Price Rs 9500 plus taxes.

If you are a real life bride –to- be you can sign up for the Bridal Bouquet which is a four week bridal prep programme.

There are some interesting weekend spa packages on the Vivanta Surajkund website so do check them out for Diwali and winter. www.vivantabytaj.com/Surajkund_NCR‎ 

NB : all pictures belong to geetaslist.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for mentioning my blog…I am honored indeed. BTW have you been to Bhutan, Gwalior, Maldives, Varanasi and Mumbai. I mean have you really indulged in these spa sessions. If you have than its really enviable 🙂 Nice pics and post!

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      Nikhil so glad you liked my blog. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Yes, I have tried the treatments in bhutan, mumbai and varanasi.I have not been to gwalior or the maldives though i have featured mangal snanam in vogue which is why i can talk about it 🙂 i have treid alepa though not in the maldives alas.

      1. Wow!That’s amazing…lucky you 🙂 Since you have been to some awesomeplaces I wonder…do you also cover travel as a topic in your blog? Or is it just the lifestyle… As in fashion. Well I have a dream that I’d spend a month holidaying in Maldives Bora Bora will be awesome 🙂 Let’s see when it materializes 🙂

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