No guest who visits us at the Tree of Life in Jaipur misses a visit to the Ganesha Abode. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the resort – you somehow manage to find the path to this serene oasis often without knowing what lies at the end of it. Once you turn the curve in the path – the Ganesha Abode manifests in front of your eye like a beautiful vision.
Except that this is reality. Crafted in the eponymous pink stone that gives Jaipur its other name – the partially open-to-the-skies design of the Abode is unusual. An expression of the Tree of Life founder-creator Himmat Anand, who has created this space to accommodate part of his private collection of 220 plus Ganesha idols collected over two decades of travel from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and many other countries.
The idols are in varying size and different materials – ranging from metal to wood to marble to coconut to terracotta and more. Lord Ganesha manifests in different postures and ‘avataars’ – each one more delightful than the other. The Ganesha Abode houses about 70 idols out of the larger collection and has seen guests spending quality time soaking in the peace and quiet the space affords. Yoga and mediation sessions are obvious choices for this space. A guest also told us how she settled down to meditate in one corner of the abode, safe from a torrential downpour and headed back about an hour later when the rain slowed to a drizzle…
And there’s another surprise. The path from the Ganesha Abode leads to the ‘Naun Grah’ Temple (Temple of Nine Planets), which overlooks the vegetable garden. This temple was built by the villagers next door when the Resort opened five years ago. Morning and evening Puja is performed here every day by Maharaj, who is part of the Tree of Life horticulture team and very religiously inclined.
These are amongst the many delightful surprises, Only at the Tree of Life.