Wandering the main street of Agonda on our day off. Wonderful place. Reasonably long beach on the Arabian Sea framed between two forested headlands. Diverse people, beach shacks and some very good restaurants serving a variety of cuisines (including plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes).
The best part is that everyone is happy and dignified in a way that is refreshing and different to other places in India. It didn’t take us long to fall in fast, crazy love with Agonda. It is such a calm, sleepy place that we knew that as our first stop in our Indian adventure we were off to a great start. Now having stayed for a total of 7 weeks, I look back at some of our best moments:
200hr Yoga Teacher Training at Sampoorna – never before have I experienced a full month immersed in anything so enjoyable – days filled with yoga asanas, introduction to different meditation techniques, in the classroom learning anatomy and philosophy, drinking crazy quantities of cups of masala chai, eating yummy food, walks on the beach. The best bit…. This is a place where every month a gathering of a bunch of likeminded people happens...We can still hear the laughter and vibrancy in the restaurant during meal times. All sorts of conversations taking play – almost everyone is on an inspiring journey of their own. We have made so many friends – friends from all over the world that we hope to see again.
Being a part of the Sampoorna Team as Karma Yogis – this part didn’t feature in our original plan of ‘the Indian adventure’ which is why I think made the 4 weeks so extra special. We didn’t know what to expect or whether we would enjoy it but what a great experience it turned out to be.A little bit more relaxed than being a student but with a far greater responsibility. We were now on the other side, looking after the needs of 70+ students. Our days were filled with a yoga class (some days ;)), admin work, site management, liaising with the super friendly ground staff, assisting the teachers, and lots more drinking of masala chai. The team at Sampoorna, teachers and ground staff are an extraordinary bunch and will always remain close to our hearts. This is when we really got to enjoy Agonda for what it is which brings me on to the next 4 best moments….
Organising a Diwali party at Sampoorna – Diwali is the most celebrated festival in all of India and by Indians all round the world. Diwali was not to pass without a bang of a party, Sampoorna style. The new shala had just been completed, and it was the perfect location for this occasion., except we had one day to organise it! Sudhir (our awe-inspiring philosophy teacher) organised a special menu with the kitchen staff then the three of us set off on the moped, sitting tight for Chowdy the nearest big town in search for decorations and firecrackers. Oh what fun that was! Like little children in a sweet shop, we spent hours choosing our favourite ones (and it was only a small selection to choose from too). Proud of our purchases of colourful light bulbs, candles and firecrackers enough for probably the whole of Agonda we treated ourselves to dhosas at a small, discrete pure-veg restaurant where our entire meal (so yummy!!!) cost us 100 rupees between 3! The shala was beautifully decorated and the party lots of fun. I had the privilege to teach garba, a traditional indian clapping dance.
Visit to Talpuna Beach and Galgibag Beach – stunning, unspoilt beaches 30km south of Agonda that was fun getting to by a hired scootie. No beach shacks, few fisherman and one basic restaurant. Absolutely stunning!
Making friends with Sinar and his beautiful wife Anjali – the couple run their clothes stall across the road from Sampoorna. Their stall is no different to anyone else's along the stretch of the main road in Agonda. But they have secured a special place in my heart for their very heart warming nature. Their little girl, Sanjani whom I nicknamed ‘cheeky cheeky’ as I watched her terrorize her mum on numerous occasions would wave each time she saw me from a distance shouting ‘cheeky cheeky’ with the cheekiest smile.
Dinner round the bonfire at a secret jungle restaurant – Probably Agonda’s best kept secret and discovered by our friends Riccard and Michalea who organised an evening out for the team. The most delicious home-cooked food I have ever tasted was served to us as we sat round the fire under the full moon chatting and laughing. Time stopped for a few hours – it was a magical night!
Fantastic stay in a stunning place having met some incredible people. Agonda is a place no doubt we will return to.