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  • Alexis Beard

ITC Grand Bharat

Mark Twain used to say that "India is the land that all men desire to see, and after seeing it once, although they have only glimpsed it, would not give that glimpse for all the wonders around the world combined."

India is the country of a thousand nations, a thousand religions and two million gods. It is a place one falls in love with and wants to return over again and again.

Capital city of a thousand nations, Delhi is a city that unites two different worlds. Old Delhi, once capital of Islamic India, is a maze of narrow streets and formidable mosques. In contrast, the imperial city of New Delhi created by the British Raj is composed of spacious, tree-lined avenues and imposing government buildings. Delhi has been the seat of power for almost a millennium. It is a city that has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt over the centuries.

ITC Grand Bharat is located in a secluded wooded estate along the ancient Aravali mountains in Gurgaon (40 minutes from Delhi), where the hotel’s extravaganza opens like a mirage. A majestic sanctuary of peace, its 100 suites represent the best of the heritage and culture of India, and these include luxury suites with private pools and extravagant Presidential Villas.

This majestic resort honors the ancient architecture of India, with its many domes and intricate carvings on the wall in shades of pink sandstone. It covers an area of ​​1.2 square kilometers and is designed as a 'mandala' - a spiritual symbol and ritual in the religions of India, which represents the universe. The Spa offers Ayurvedic treatments, yoga classes, and holistic food in 300 hectares of meadows bordering the Aravalli mountains. The bustle of New Delhi may be just 30 minutes away, but ITC Grand Bharat seems to be in a distant world, hundreds of kilometers away.

Quite recently, this luxury retreat in Gurgaon has created and launched a new well being cuisine, called Swasthya Cuisine.

Swasthya Cuisine is atheresult of a decade of research and development by ITC Hotels’ chefs and nutritional experts. The new cuisine draws on ancient Indian principles, Ayurvedic texts and forgotten ingredients to offer dishes that enhance both body and mind.

Swasthya cuisine, a Sanskrit word for health, focuses on a fresh ‘farm to fork’ concept. The hotel is currently offering three different swasthya menus, Indian, Western and Oriental. Indian dishes include Charra Aloo, potatoes with raw mango powder and fenugreek seeds, Soyabean Daal and Mahi Pudina Tikka, full of protein; omega 3 fats and served with mint, which is great for digestion. The Western and Oriental dishes are healthier versions of classic dishes with an Indian twist.

All ingredients are sourced locally, ancient India’s earliest diets always focused on using produce only available from within the immediate environment. This ensures only the freshest ingredients are used, while reducing the impact on the earth and investing back into the local community.

Swasthya cuisine is the latest addition to ITC Hotel’s innovative culinary programme. Other recent initiatives have included SunyAqua, drinking water that is sourced and bottled on site at ITC Hotels and infused with herbs that boast various health benefits. ITC Hotels is also working with the WWF’s choose wisely campaign, which aims to encourage the consumption of sustainable fish in hotels.

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