North Goa, has become synonymous with crowded beaches, hippie markets and a crazy nightlife, and it is usually difficult to find a quiet, homely and comforting space around it. And yet, in the milieu is an oasis like no other that intrigues the curiosity of the keen traveler.
In the early 80’s, Ajai Lakhanpal bought a home for himself in the inimitable North Goa, and over the years, has meticulously added science and magic to it, to create a paradise so inspiring and beautiful that he was compelled to share it with the world. Over a decade ago the treasured property, opened its doors to travellers that were looking for a unique escape from the mundane, and ever since, guests have poured in from all over the globe, to experience the harmony within themselves and that of AASHYANA LAKHANPAL.
The property inherited its name from Ajai’s family homes named ‘Aashyana’ in Jallandhar and Mumbai – the meaning of which in Persian is bird’s nest. Just as a bird builds its nest with precision and detail to ensure the comfort and care of its hatchlings, Aashyana Lakhanpal perched on the pristine Candolim beach, is built with utmost care and thought under the supervision of Ajai himself, keeping in mind the comfort of his guests.
It is perhaps the only shaded coconut grove in the world from which you can step directly on to the beach. You can lose yourself they say, in the wonder of its unmanicured ambience, where nature is allowed to be its amazing self while the simplicity and uncluttered décor in the villas bring a touch of finesse to one’s experience. Life imitates art, and Ajai himself curates art from pieces he has found and brought back from his travels around the world. These individual and unique pieces can be found around the property and in each of the rooms, while Buddha statues and 7 hand carved granite altars at the entrance axis of the house, hold place of pride for each day of the week.
While guests are being pampered and taken care of, Aashyana Lakhanpal also takes care of the environment by harvesting rainwater and feeding it back with the help of four aquifers on the property. This has benefited the property and perhaps neighbouring homes too. The garden also employs a permaculture framework that regenerates soil naturally.
“Aashyana Lakhanpal’ beauty has attracted distinguished artist camps with the likes of Bhupen Thakkar, Nalini Malani, Nilima Shaikh, Rekha Rodwitya, Navjot and the late Altaf and many others gracing its spaces to create wondrous art pieces, while besotted loved ones have read their vows under the bows of its fauna and corporate honchos have inspired their teams to have strategy discussions like never before. I believe we have truly created a haven, for the world to experience,” said Ajai as he looked on at the expansive natural habitat surrounding him.
The renowned art curator and philanthropist, OP Jain fittingly described the property after his visit, “Aashyana Lakhanpal has the comforts of a palace and the silence of a monastery; it has the silence of Humanyoon’s tomb and the grandeur of the Taj Mahal“
Indeed the perfect balance of a natural habitat coupled with the attention to detail and warm hospitality makes Aashyana Lakhanpal the destination of choice for many of its visitors, bringing them back for more, to rekindle old memories and create new ones too.