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Author: Helen_K

10 Indian Desserts You MUST NOT Miss During Your Next Travel to India

Okay! Let us begin with a caveat as it is. 
‘This blog is only the itsy-bitsy tip of the colossal iceberg that ‘dessert’ is in India’.

Every region, throughout the length and breadth of this subcontinent, has huge stacks of different forms of sweet treats up its sleeve. From the juicy apricot-y delicacy of Qubani Ka Meetha from Andhra Pradesh to sixteen layers of Goan goodness of Bebinca, every state of India will stun you with their delectable goodies.

But for the first-timers to India, we have curated this list of some top desserts from around the country which can act as a beginner’s introduction to Indian sweets. After all, desserts are stressed spelled backward and we don’t want to stress you out with the sheer magnitude of Indian mithaisi (sweets).

And guess what, some of these scrumptious sweets you will find in the Garden Restaurant of Bamboo Retreat Hotel as well.

Okay! To let you in on a little ‘kitchen secret’ of Bamboo Retreat Hotel

The Kitchen Team here often whips up desserts that are not always mentioned in the menu. Since our food philosophy revolves around procuring fresh organic ingredients with special emphasis on seasonal produce, cutting down on artificial flavoring and focusing on traditional recipes, which is the reason why there are sometimes last-minute additions to the day’s offering.

A word of advice: always enquire before placing order. Before venturing further, let us check out what is the ‘desserts – scene’ in Sikkim like!

Sweets in Sikkim

Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "10 Indian Desserts You MUST NOT Miss During Your Next Travel to India" 1
Sweets in Sikkim – Source: Bamboo Retreat

If you thought Sikkim is only famous for momos (steamed Tibetan dumplings) and thukpas (noodle soup), then think again! Apart from these savory items, there is a formidable array of sweet notes in the Sikkimese meal spread. Traditionally in Sikkim, sweet tea and fresh fruits were served as dessert.

Our kitchen sources fresh fruits from our own permaculture gardens like kiwis, guavas, and plums. Guests relish them with their breakfasts or in fruit salads.

Apart from these, Sikkim has several deep-fried snacks that can be prepared sweet, such as the Tibetan/Sherpa biscuits called Khapse which are slightly sweet and intensely addictive fried dough made with flour, butter, eggs, and sugar during Tibetan Losar festival.

Other sweet deep-fried snacks are Bhutia-snacks like Zero and the famous Nepali rice-flour fried dough ring, Fox Bread or sel roti which are prepared by Nepali households during the festivals of Tihar or Dashain.

You can taste some ‘sel’ roti as part of Nepali Ethnic Cuisine at our restaurant. So without further ado let’s unleash this sugar rush on the rest of India!

Gulab Jamun

Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "10 Indian Desserts You MUST NOT Miss During Your Next Travel to India" 3
Gulab Jamun – Source:




No festive feast in India is complete without these fried khoya balls (dried whole milk shaped into balls) dunked in saffron laced sugar syrup! A plate of slightly warmed Gulab Jamun will bring a smile to even a grumpy face. To know it’s real magic, order away at our kitchen. We dare you to stop at just one!


Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar Ka Halwa
Gajar Ka Halwa – Source:


The ubiquitous vegetable of every Indian winter, gajar or carrot is now found around the year. Grate a kilo, reduce it on fire with some whole fat milk, add sugar and ghee and then sprinkle some cardamom powder to flavor it. When it is ready, just dress it with chopped nuts and some gold foil if you are feeling fancy. Voila!

The traditional Indian carrot pudding is ready. It’s decadent and rich and will warm you up on any chilly winter night. Our kitchen cooks it with 100% organic carrots bought from the nearby farms or farmers market. And that takes the freshness up to another level altogether and zero harmful chemicals too. Total, win-win!


Soan Papdi

Soan Papdi
Soan Papdi – Source:


This flaky sweet made from gram flour, milk, sugar, and ghee is a very intense one. Just like a sugar-bomb exploding inside your mouth! Though the exterior is crispy, one you put some in your mouth, it melts down in no time. Owing to its dry texture, it is quite portable. You will often found it sold on the trains or shops in packets.

But if you haven’t had the fortune of coming across this nugget of absolute divinity, then do find some in our restaurant.



Indian Sweets Salesman - Roadside hawker selling jalebis in West Sikkim
Indian Sweets Salesman – Roadside hawker selling jalebis in West Sikkim – Source: Bamboo Retreat


If you thought the pretzel is of curious shape then you have not experienced the twists and turns of a jalebi! The ingredients are simple but the circular confectionary will light up any breakfast table with its sugar-coated crunch.

It is quite a popular Indian sweet and is devoured in different ways. Up in the North of India, you will see people pairing it up with curd for their breakfast or jazzing it up with creamy rabri (unsweetened milk reduction flavored with saffron) for celebratory banquets.

For weight watchers, a simple combo of jalebi and warm milk would do, toned or not. Down in the west of India, in the state of Gujarat, the locals consume it with fafda (a savory fried snack made from gram flour and carrom seeds) to kickstart their day. Some relish the combination of the crystallized sugary sweetness of jalebi and the salty snack.

Very appetizing! Which one would you like to try?



Indian Sweet Kheer
Kheer – Source:


Kheer or Indian rice pudding has many versions. You can have the North Indian kheer or a Bengali payesh or a South Indian payasam – you will be actually eating the same thing with a little variation here and there according to the region it is cooked in. It is an auspicious dessert served on birthdays and as a sweet dish to round off a wedding banquet.

Some, in fact, replace rice with vermicelli or sewai. Even that’s delicious! The taste comes from sweetened reduced milk in which rice is cooked patiently. And Indian spices like cardamom and bay leaves lend a beautiful aroma. Adding to the texture are some crunchy cashews, almonds or raisins and the celebration is on point!



Rasgulla – Source:


Three ingredients and instant magic! If you don’t like fried sweets, you can easily satisfy your sugar cravings with the king of Bengal’s (West Bengal is a state in the east of India with Kolkata as it’s capital) sweet, ro-sho-go-lla. Cottage cheese balls boiled and simmered in light sugar syrup. Yes, you only need whole milk, lime juice to curdle the milk and sugar syrup to boil the cheese balls in.

The outcome of this is mind-blowingly mouthwatering. Spongy balls dripping with deliciousness. We recommend you to have it warm and fresh though you might run the risk of your experiment turning into a binge episode. So beware!



Sandesh Oberoi Grand-Kolkata
Sandesh Oberoi Grand-Kolkata – Source:


This is another offering from the family of ‘chenna’ sweets or fresh Indian cheese and an ultimate ecstasy just like the rasgulla. But this one here is dry and made in another way. There are scores of flavors available for Sandesh. Once fresh chenna is made from curdled milk, it is drained completely of any residual liquid as a result of the curdling.

Then it is kneaded with crushed sugar and saffron and finally cooked again in a wok. There are several different molds available to shape the Sandesh just like you would do with cookies. With the season, the flavorings also change. Winter in Bengal ushers in the use of palm sap juice to make the great ‘Nolen gurer Sandesh’.

Should you visit a traditional sweetmeat shop in Kolkata don’t miss out on trying these royally luxurious delicacies.


Kaju Katli or Kaju Barfi

Kaju Katli, Indian Sweets, made from cashewnut-paste-kept
Kaju Katli, Indian Sweets, made from cashewnut-paste-kept – Source:


If you have addiction issues, you should probably just stay away from this one. Yes, you can’t just pop only one and escape! The elegance of this diamond-shaped sweet and it’s mild sweetness make it a double-edged sword to your sugar intake. If you are in India during Diwali (the festival of light), you will see a wide exchange of Kaju Katli as a festive gift between families and businesses.

It is an expensive sweet, the reason being its main ingredient – cashews.

The best thing about complex looking Indian sweets is that they are the simplest to make with little to no process involved. Just ground cashew powder cooked in sugar syrup and flavored with cardamom powder and kewra water (pandanus flowers extract used in flavoring a lot many Indian dishes like biryani etc).

Some silver foil or varq to deck it all up with and this, the delightfully rich dessert is ready to rock your world.



Laddu, indian dessert
Laddu – Indian Sweets – Source:


The bearer of good news and companion of happy occasion in every Indian household, laddus are again, one sweet with many avatars. These roundels of reasonably satisfying moist mixture are deceptively simple to create. The recipe offers plenty of versatility.

You can have coconut laddus, boondi (tiny gram flour balls) laddus, besan or gram flour laddus, til or sesame seed laddus.

Really, you are just limited by your imagination. And if you want to try a divine laddu, do head down to Tirupati Temple that even has a GI tag (Geographical Indication)to their laddus! From Ayurveda to Indian mythology, historical texts are replete with the journey of laddu from being a medicine to the ghee-dripping sweet spherical wonder that it is today.


Shahi Tukda

Shahi Tukda
Shahi Tukda – Source:


If Petha belongs to the kitchen of Shah Jahan then Shahi Tukda graced the kitchens of the Nawabs before taking Hyderabad by its deliciously royal look and rich taste. Also known as ‘Shahi Toast’, this sweet is made in a few very simple but exotic steps. White bread is deep-fried in ghee or clarified butter.

Thereafter, it is dunked in a saffron and cardamom flavored sugar syrup for some time. Later it is topped with rabri or reduced milk and sprinkled with chopped nuts bits to pep up the crunch and dressed in gold/silver foil. The taste comes from the fried bread and the milk cream. It’s a riot of deliciousness and decadence in your mouth.


Indian Sweets
Indian Sweets – Source:


Vegan traveling in India

With the copious amounts of dairy in every dessert, vegans traveling to India should not feel left out. Our treasure trove of sweetmeats made from jaggery, coconut milk or simple fruits is enough to give non-dairy consumers a lot to look forward to as well. Take, for instance, Tilkut or Til Katri. Tilkut is a dry sweet of pounded sesame seed and jaggery mixed together and rolled out into a thin disc and is delightful and crispy.

They come in sugar and unrefined sugar variety also, only their color will change, white for the former and light shade of beige for the latter. The jaggery one is deep brown in hue. It comes with hordes of health benefits too.

Other crave-worthy vegan traditional Indian desserts will be Chikki or Indian nut brittle, a lot like the granola bars. Backpacker’s delight, it is super easy to store and munch on when you feel a little hungry or need a quick energy punch.

And if you’re in Agra taking your mandatory romantic couple selfie with the Taj, don’t forget to pack some Pethas from a nearby shop. These sweet chunks are made from ash gourds dipped in sugar syrup.

No dairy intervention and healthy to boot, it should be made a stable dessert in the travel bags of both the vegans and not-so-vegans!

So, follow our list and take your tastebuds on a taste trip of India and explore its sweet-side on a plate of delectable and decadent desserts.


By Shreya Nandy

Working Holiday at Bamboo Retreat Hotel, Sikkim – what you can expect

A week at Bamboo Retreat Hotel on a working holiday

By Mutha Renu Sanja  – Spring 2019

Introduction about the author:

I went to Bamboo Retreat Hotel in Sikkim, India for a working holiday, where I spent a week. It’s been everything I had hoped it would be. The food is incredible. The people are hospitable, the scenery is just…! I was thrilled to be at the Retreat. Here at Bamboo Retreat Hotel I had a routine. Great way to start the day by walking in the garden followed by breakfast and then activities in the garden like weeding, cutting, harvesting, welching which was totally enjoyable and an adventure itself.

Working Holiday at Bamboo Retreat Hotel, Sikkim - what you can expect
Bamboo Retreat Hotel & Permaculture Garden Estate, Sikkim India

The dreaminess of this place increases more in the evening where I got the opportunity to conduct yoga sessions for a day or two. Sometimes I went sightseeing in the evening.

Overall experience working with Bamboo Retreat Hotel & Permaculture Estate was a pure delight. 

It awakened a deep desire in me for more.

I definitely want to come back.

It is said that nature is the best therapy and I have witnessed it here at Bamboo Retreat Hotel & Permaculture Estate.

The word “Retreat” touches upon your health. The whole concept is transmitted from the garden to the monastery-inspired stay with matching furniture and colour coding themes in the rooms. To name the one I stayed in, “Amber”, its colour-theme is yellow which belongs to the element of earth. This room comes with plenty of sunlight and light yellow walls to give it bright sunny look with snow-peak mountain-view.

Natural beauty, paradise, peace and tranquillity surrounded by lush green trees, foggy mountains, the chirping of the birds, the kissing of the winds combined with the cool climate is like natural therapy. It has the effect of a retreat for your for your mind, body and soul which are all interconnected.

The best place in Sikkim - terrace with a view at Bamboo Retreat Hotel Sikkim, India
The best place in Sikkim – terrace with a view at Bamboo Retreat Hotel Sikkim, India

Facilities and Wellness Treats

The meditation room with adequate natural lighting with, fresh air and sufficient space to sit comfortably, the wood-carvings on the wall, the paintings on the ceiling, the statue of “Buddha” gives energetic and positive vibes to enhance your mood in harmony and balance. Needless to say I’ve experienced deep state of calm and composed mind and felt totally relaxed when meditating in this room.

Yoga therapy with sun salutations, floor exercise, “asanas” (movements), inversions and pranayama (breathing practices) and relaxation techniques is offered through an instructor to transform your body and calm your mind upon prior reservation.

The Gardens

The retreat-hotel has a variety of gardens in which grow a variety of plants: from spices and medicinal plants and herbs such as curry-leaf-tree, cinnamon-tree, chili, ginger, curcuma (haldi), cardamom (aleichi), mints (pudina), basil, stevia, etc. to vegetables such as squash, potato, sweet potato, yams, broadleaf mustard, coliflower, carrot, cabbage etc to fruits such as lemon, banana, guava, kiwi and physalis-berries to colourful flowers and decorative leaf-plants all to create contrast in shape and colour. All are grown totally organic.

The Bamboo Retreat Hotel’s Garden Restaurant

In the bamboo retreat hotel’s restaurant authenic sikkimese cuisine is served such as bamboo sprouts prepared as an exotic and delicious vegetable dish. It was delicious.

Authenic sikkimese cuisine in the Garden restaurant, Sikkim
Authenic sikkimese cuisine in the Garden restaurant, Sikkim

The nettle soup is another typical food-preparation of Sikkim and was much appreciated. It has many health-benefit, one of them being the lowering of blood pressure. These varieties of ethnic food-dishes are cooked straight from the garden: healthy and organic food on the table daily. These food-preparations come with immense health benefits as most of the ingredients are freshly harvested and grown chemical-free, without pesticides or chemical fertilizer – instead fully organic with its real taste and well supported by staff. The staffs here are friendly and available on call and give guidance and direction on local sightseeing if needed. Evenings and dinner are spent by indoor fire which makes the atmosphere quite cosy. 

Working Holiday at Bamboo Retreat Hotel, My breakfast - love it!
My breakfast – love it!

The benefits of engaging in garden work

Here gardening is done with the help of locals who are quite expert in designing and maintaining them though a lot of it is physical activity. Timely weeding, watering of plants, cutting, mulching, trellising and harvesting is done from time to time. Studies have shown gardening helps lower cholesterol, reduces stress and depression. Researchers also say merely looking at garden is enough to affect your blood pressure, heart muscles and even endorphins of the brain and I’ve witnessed and experienced the same staying at Bamboo Retreat Hotel and Permaculture Estate.

Plants are important for survival; they release oxygen after taking in carbon dioxide thereby generating cleaner and fresher air. Bamboo Retreat Hotel & Permaculture Estate is located in this perfect location, free from the hustle bustle of outside and traffic noise. Most importantly its proximity to important religious monasteries. 

Plants also prevent soil erosion because their root system holds the soil in place. Rain garden allows you to collect rain water and prevent pollutants from mixing with lakes and streams. Bamboo Retreat Hotel & Permaculture Estate being an Eco-hotel maintains the same and contributes towards creating more biodiversity. It contributes to environment responsibly while enriching our table.

A rejuvenating Retreat Hotel

This rejuvenating retreat is one of its kinds. One step into the heral bath room and you find yourself surrounded by scented candles, a bath-tub with mixture of colourful flowers served with herbal tea. This is where a melange of luxurious therapy awaits you. The specialists carefully identify treatments suited for your unique body type. From mystic body massages to ancient ayurvedic rituals and relaxing therapies each experience is sure to resonate with you on a deeper spiritual level. The results range from increased blood circulation to removal of bodily tension and stress with full mental relaxation. So come and soak yourself in eco friendly Bamboo Retreat. While the herbal bath can be booked short of notice, ayurvedic massage therapy and the outdoor hot-stone-bath must be booked a day ahead.

The best Hotel in Sikkim and perhaps one of the best Boutique Hotel in North East India
For me:
The best Hotel in Sikkim and perhaps one of the best Boutique Hotel in North East India

A bio-diverse permaculture farm

Bamboo retreat is an example of bio-diverse permaculture farm where you can experience the varieties of plants and living organisms and savour nature during your entire stay. Every plant here gives you the touch of nature with their medicinal goodness and natural beauty. Indigenous plants like lightening weed, oxalis, dandelion, black fern (kaali sinka) could be seen in every corner. While touring in garden, one can see many edible flowers. Nasturtium, Nakima (Sikkim edible lily), physalis, sun-artichokes, marigold, hibiscus or black turmeric. Each comes with many healing treats, for example black turmeric is beneficial for many types of problems like menstrual overflow, toothaches and also it is used as a anti-aging product applied in skin. 

Bamboo Retreat Hotel and Permaculture Estate is surrounded by the integrated farm where every plant could be seen as resource to human beings and other plants and shrubs. Timber like chilaune (needle wood), Dhupi (juniper), coral tree (phaledo) surrounded the area. These are home to squirrels and a variety of birds.

Mutha Renu Sanja, Sikkim 2019
Mutha Renu Sanja, Sikkim 2019

Experiencing Bangladesh!

Bangladesh, Mangroves, indigenous people and nature in an incredible variety

I enjoy this morning’s silence, that hazy, almost misty air, as I sit comfortably with my guide and a hot cup of tea on the thick cushions of the riverboat sitting area. Apart from the constant call of the cicadas and the beautiful songs of the birds, only the gentle sound of the waves tapping on the boat’s hull can be heard, while our boat glides further and further through the impressive mangrove forests of the Sundarbans.

Experiencing Bangladesh

It takes me to a deep calm and serenity.

Experiencing Bangladesh

Individual Journey to Bangladesh

It is the fourth day of our individual journey to Bangladesh,  this Asian country where a stranger – a “Bideshi” is still a peculiarity and is greeted curiously and friendly by the locals. Let’s start by saying: We feel secure at all times and have been advised and looked after so individually and comprehensively by our travel guides that it was easy to learn to love Bangladesh in all its facets. So, if you plan your trip to the new tourist destination Bangladesh with such a competent partner as Terralaya Travels, nothing stands in the way of experiencing pure Asian lifestyle, untouched nature and fascinating wildlife.

Bangladesh with unique natur

Bangladesh has a lot to offer: a unique nature with the world’s longest natural sandy beach and the world’s largest mangrove forest, the bustling metropolis of Dhaka, deep green tea plantations, the impressive architecture of the ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples and a mountainous region populated by various small tribes in the border area with Myanmar. In addition to incredible hospitality, these are good reasons to pack your bags and travel to this country, which is still unknown on the tourist map.

Let me especially highlight two aspects of this diverse and perfectly organized journey today:

Bangladesh is home to the largest mangrove forest on earth

The secluded Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forests in the world, covers a wide area of ​​Bangladesh’s southwest. The mangrove forests are located in a lower estuary and flood area. The two rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra – together about 5700 km long – coming from the Himalayas, unite here in Bangladesh, bringing lots of water water: It is a blessing and a curse for this country. In the monsoon season in June, July and August there are always floods, which has made it difficult to build a tourist infrastructure in recent decades. The fresh water of the inland is mixed with the salt water of the Bay of Bengal and provides a spectacular, diverse ecosystem with good fish supply.

A large part of this unique ecosystem is protected in national parks and bears the title of UNESCO World Natural Heritage.

These natural conditions create a place of unreal beauty in the Sundarbans: often covered in fog, largely uninhabited, wild and swampy. Wild boars, deer, ganges dolphins, monkeys, reptiles and maybe even a Bengal tiger may be seen with some luck.

We enjoy this unique spectacle of nature and the mystical landscape of the Sundabarns on our river boat and cross the river arms in various directions, passing fishing villages and mighty mangrove roots. Unforgettable moments we experience when we drive shortly after sunrise with a dinghy deeper into the side arms and explore the area. We marvel at special bird species such as kingfishers, herons or Brahminenweiher and listen to their singing. Unfortunately, the legendary and threatened Bengal Tiger did not show up.

Otter Fishermen

On the 6th day of our journey, we follow the Bhairab and Chitra rivers and finally arrive at a village of otter fishermen. This form of fishing, where trained otters are used on leashes to catch fish, crabs and crabs, is rarely practiced anywhere in the world because the method is considered ineffective. We have the opportunity to watch the fishermen and their otters in their daily work.

fisher in otter fishing village

Folklore diversity and tradition in a confined space – the hill tribes of Bandarban

After another stopover in the bustling capital Dhaka we fly to the southeast of Bangladesh, to Chittagong. Upon approach we enjoy the fascinating panorama of the region crossed by several mountains and dense forests, on the border with Myanmar and India. These remote mountainous regions are – due to the neighboring countries – characterized by a large diversity of peoples and traditional tribal treasures. Not far from the summit of the third highest mountain in Bangladesh, Mt. Chimbuk (2,500 m), we visit one settlement of the tribe of Murong, who also live in nearby Myanmar. A Bawm settlement, the smallest minority of Bangladesh, gives us insight into foreign and interesting ways of life, as well as visiting a Tripura settlement. This tribe comes from the former kingdom of Tripura in what is now northeastern India. The small town of Bandarban invites you to take a stroll through the bazaar and visit the Buddhist “Golden Temple”.

End of the journey in Cox`s Bazaar

On the longest natural beach in the world and Bangladesh’s most popular seaside resort we reflect upon the rich experiences we have made during this journey.

General information:
Especially for a trip to Bangladesh competent planning, preparation and professional guides are immensely important. Terralaya Travels was always our point of contact, and thus the organizer of this individual journey, from the entry requirements, through information on behavior, to an individually tailored travel program with particularly experienced and competent travel guides.
Information about Bangladesh

Best travel time
In Bangladesh, during winter, from October to March, we have a well-tolerated, mild and pleasant climate. Adventurous travelers may want to try the special charm of high monsoon in June and August.

Of course you can book this trip with a similar course as a group tour. The next dates are already fixed and that from 20.01. – 01.02.2019 and from 17.02. – 01.03.2018

Bangladesh individual tour:

from / to Dhaka airport. For details see also


Source: Terralaya Travels and Wikipedia



Experience our Wellness Highlight: ​​The Hotstone Bath

Our Wellness Temple

Once you arrive at the Bamboo Retreat Hotel, you soon realizes that you find yourself in the midst of a paradise garden. A walk through our garden is already a small wellness experience in itself.

A colorful potpourri of various plants, shrubs, vegetables, fruit trees, giant ferns, grasses and flowers rounded off by the smell of herbs awaits you.

In-between you can discover beautiful butterflies, birds singing and smiling faces of the people who care for this garden.

In the middle, well hidden in a large bamboo hedge, is a small hut. Here we offer you a wellness experience of a very special kind, our hotstone bath.

Out traditional Hotstone-Bath

In this bamboo nest, well shielded from prying eyes, there is a large wooden bathtub. A few hours before the start of the bath, stones are heated on an open fire. They then find their place in a separate compartment of the bathtub, which meanwhile been filled with mountain water. The stones transfer their energy to the water while heating it up.

Enjoying Hot Stone Bath with Kowri Soup dok
Enjoying Hot Stone Bath with Kowri Soup dok

Herbs are now added to the water, such as a bunch of lemongrass – or a herbal decoction made up of different herbs. Some Sikkimese families have their own “secret recipe” of soothing herbs and healing barks. The plants used in Sikkim for these winter spas include mugwort, dwarf rhododendron, juniper and many more.When the desired temperature is reached – the bath is ready for you to enjoy. 

The atmosphere is unique in the evening at dusk or in the dark.

The bamboo hut is beautifully decorated with flowers, the hearth is glowing, crickets are chirping and you almost have the feeling of being in the rainforest – man in harmony with nature – and in the midst of it the energizing interaction of earth, fire, water and air. During the approx. 20-minute-soak in the water an employee of the house acts discreetly in the background. In between, hot stones may be added to keep the water temperatureand a traditional vegetable soup will be served while you can feel completely at ease.

If we have aroused your interest, contact our reception. You are welcome to make an appointment with us. You get a bathrobe about an hour before the appointed time. It’s best to rest a little longer to get in the mood for this outdoor wellness bath. Once all the preparations have been made and the correct water temperature is reached, you will be escorted to the hot stone bath area.If you wish you can have a look at our hot stone bath-area in the garden beforehand. 

Try it out and immerse yourself in our bamboo wellness oasis in the bosom of nature! If you do not enjoy sitting in the wild, you can enjoy a herbal- and flower bath in our cozy bathroom in the house.

Traditional bathing in Sikkim:
Even today, this kind of “hot stone bathing” is widespread in the countryside of Sikkim. Especially in the winter months, the Sikkimese also like to go to one of the many hot spring Sikkims to regenerate in the water.

Would you like to soak in a thermal spring?

On request, we organize excursions for our guests to these thermal springs (2 – 5 days) – please consult our management or receptionist. Some of these thermal springs are easily accessible – others only on foot or by trekking for several days. The Hot Stone Bath in the wood bathtub serves as a comfortable alternative at home to Hot Spring visits.

Our Indoor-Herbal-Bath

Our indoor version: The Herbal Bath If you do not enjoy sitting in the open air, you can enjoy a herbal bath in our cozy bathroom in the house. For this bath, fresh herbs are collected in our garden and added to the bath water along with fruit essences and various flowers. The active ingredients of the herbs provide soothing relaxation and in combination with the fruity scents for a new animation. The bathroom is beautifully decorated with flowers and after the bath you can still dream a little with candlelight and a cup of tea and switch off from everyday life.

For this bath, of course, only herbs and flowers are used, which are grown in our organic garden.Also this wellness variant is a blessing for body and senses.

You will also like our indoor pool!
You will also like our indoor pool!

We are looking forward to your visit.


Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya

In the air lies an uplifting herbal scent. The pleasant smell of the smoke creates an environment of devotion, dignity and inspiration that supports our prayers and meditations.

Traditional cleansing and healing in the Himalaya

Later the guide lets us know that the calming of our spirit is thanks to the herb mixture Lawudo.

“Lawudo” is made up of three parts of rhododendron leaves, 2 parts of junipers tips and a small part of juniper berry. This incense mixture is often used during meditate or prayer as it harmonizes, stabilizes and calms the emotions. We can only confirm this.

Spiritual healing by connecting to the divine

The burning of incense has always inspired people to help connect them with the divine. At Bamboo Retreat Hotel,we use the opportunity, to learn more about the traditions of healing body and mind in the Sikkim Himalaya. We try different mixtures to see their effects. WE may find an incense that fits your needs and that can help bring harmony to you. Burning incense can ensure a harmonic way to start the day during your visit at Bamboo Retreat Hotel and at home.


The area of Sikkim with its subtropic valleys and the snowy majestic mountains (in Sikkim Northeast India, with the thrid highes mountain, Khangchendzonga), the diversity in climate zones, is blessed with many different plants used for incense. In the woodlands located in the southern hills,you can find aromatic plants like ginger, galangal, mugwort, costus and ginger lily. The northern hills are in a colder and drier climatic zone. Here powerful incense-plants prosper such as mountain juniper, thistles and meadow violet.

Along the southern mountains, the Deodar Cedar is found, whose resin, pines and bark are also used for smudging. Incense-plants of the Himalayas are praised all over the world since they create a special feeling of expansion and clarity. People say that the location of a plant determines the healing energy it releases when burnt. Get yourself convinced and bring try a variety of our homegrown Himalayan incense-plant mixtures available for sale at Bamboo Retreat Hotel.

  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya" 27


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya" 29


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya" 31


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya" 33


A message to heaven

A life without a noticeable and omnipresent spirituality is not thinkable in the former kingdom of Sikkim. Smudging and the burning of incense are indispensable part of daily prayer and meditation. The rising smoke of incense plants is considered holy and is said to help protect and cleanse the home and its surroundings People have been studying the effects of these scents for centuries and are used not only in private homes but also in many monasteries during daily meditation to ensure a better connection to spirit and the way up to higher truths.


The daily life in Sikkim is inseparably bound with spiritual life. In every home people perform smudging ceremonies while reciting powerful prayers (mantras) to honor gods of protection, the buddhas and nature dieties. To ensure a deep connection to the divine.

All temples and monasteries have incense-ovens built of stone outside in which entire branches of the juniper or cedar are burnt for incense during prayer and special ceremonies.

In their homes people either use incense sticks or burn a small amount of incense-plant material on a piece of hot coal inside an incense-container. People who can afford it use incense sticks or incense powder. In front of the house altar, there is usually a container filled with sand. People put their incense sticks into it to let them develop their warming and harmonizing scent.


People of Sikkim, now and then use the smoke of incense to cleanse their homes. With the help of cedar and salt rooms are being neutralized and cleared of negative energies. Don’t you want to try this tradition by using incense herbs grown organically in our gardens?

Surely you are familiar with the feeling that a room has “bad air” and opening the windows won’t change that. Emotions, thoughts, and actions influence the energy in a room and create a feeling of trouble and anger. The use of incense-smoke is a powerful way to change and neutralize this kind of vibe. For this reason, people around the world make use of incense-burning, especially in temples, churches and holy shrines where many people come together.


“Scent overcomes the mind”. The smoke of burnt incense induces a calm in the deep structures and caves of our consciousness. It pacifies spirit and mind at the same time.

At Bamboo Retreat Hotel shop, you can buy a variety of incense plants and incense plant mixtures.

Citronella and Lemon Grass

  • Parts Used: Leaves
  • Advantages: Refreshing and uplifting
  • Citronella and lemongrass belong to the family of sweetgrasses (Pocaceae)
  • They are rich in essential oils and automatically release an aromatic and well-smelling smoke when used as incense
  • Effect: It creates a positive atmosphere that promotes letting go, healing, positivity, and effortlessness.

Indian Wormwood/ Indian Mugwort (Artemisianilagirici)

  • Nepali: Titeypati
  • Used Parts: Leaf and stem
  • Advantages: Relaxing and calming
  • Mugwort belongs to the family of Asteraceae. It is a hardy bush, which can grow up to 2 meters in height. It doesn’t only grow in Asia but is also found in Europe and North America. It is known as one of the most important magical plants in Europe.
  • Effect:When used as incense, mugwort can help in to make decisions, and letting goes of the past. If it is used as incense sticks it has calming, relaxing and warming properties that ensure a good sleep.

Japanese Red cedar/ Japanese Sugi Pine (Cryptomeriajaponica)

  • A bundle of incense sticks
  • Nepali: Dhoopee
  • Used Parts: Leaf, branch tops, branches, bark
  • Advantages: Cleansing
  • Japanese cedar is part of the monotypic family of the conifer trees in the subfamily of the cypress Cupressaceae. It was a present from Japan to the king of Sikkim, and ever since has been growing in many parts of the region.
  • Effects: It is very commonly used as an incense plant, especially during big ceremonies. Its properties are similar to the ones of the Himalaya cedar and is said to bring luck, protection, and strength.

BlackJuniper (Juniperusindica/ Juniperus recurva Recurva)

  • Nepali: Bhairung Patti
  • Bhutanese: Shukpa Sang
  • Used parts: needles, tops of the branches, branches and the resin.
  • Advantages: it increases attentiveness
  • In the northern hemisphere, there are about 40 types of juniper. In the Himalaya, there are types of juniper that can grow up to 6000 meters. And the black juniper is considered holy.
  • Effects: Juniper-incense is often used for the morning cleansing.

Dwarf rhododendron (Rhododendron-Anthopogon)

  • Nepali: Sun Paati
  • Bhutanese: Phalup Sang
  • Used parts: leaf
  • Advantages: it increases trust
  • This kind of dwarf rhododendron is a low bush that grows in the heights of Sikkim. When used as incense it has a soft, sweet-fruity and warm scent and is famous along with the hill juniper berry, which makes up the Lawudo-Curing Mixture
  • Effects: As an incense, it stimulates the heart and blood circulation. Psychologically it strengthens trust and gets rid of feelings of fear and suppression. Because of this, it is used with emotional instability and states of fear.

Ways of healing through incense are diverse in the western world too. Besides the eastern method of incense burning another method is used in aromatherapy whereby suitable incense-plants or essential oils are kept on a warm source to allow the scent to spread slowly and distributes itself all over the room.

Learn more about this wonderful traditional that is lived by at Bamboo Retreat Hotel. We are looking forward to meeting you.

Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Sikkim – The scent of traditional cleansing & healing in the Himalaya" 35

Er wählte Rumtek als seinen neuen Sitz und baute das Kloster neu auf und errichtete oberhalb des alten Klosters das neue Kloster Rumtek, von welchem auch das Bild ist. 1966 weihte der 16. Gyalwa Karmapa das neue Kloster ein. Oberhalb des Klosters wurde in den 1990er Jahren das Gebäude einer Klosteruniversität errichtet. Dieses Gebäude wurde durch das Erdbeben 2011 erheblich beschädigt.

Das Kloster liegt ca. 25 km von Gangtok entfernt, die Fahrtzeit vom Hotel dauert ca. 90 Minuten. 

Jeden Abend gab es ein grandioses 3-Gänge Menü. Die Speisen werden alle frisch zubereitet, meistens in kleinen Schüsseln serviert. Neben Fleisch, frischem Gemüse aus dem Garten und tollen Gewürzen, überzeugten mich die täglich wechselnden Nachspeisen. 

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The holy caves of Sikkim– feel the spiritual heart of the former himalayan kingdom of Sikkim in India vividly

Sikkim is the former buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas- it shows us the secrets of the Buddhist culture, opens our hearts and gives us a new perspective & inspiration. We believe that a visit to Sikkim’s mystical places of power can help us reconnect with our heart.

Sikkim is a paradise

Sikkim is a paradise for people who are attracted to magnificent mountain ranges, different cultures and natural ways of living.

Here people searching for spiritual guidance can obtain inspiration – there are not many places where one can find so many holy mountains, lakes, rivers, caves, temples & monasteries – along with the magnificent landscapes.

On our journey to the Sikkim’s holy caves, we will enjoy the breathtaking views looking up to Sikkim’s diety of protection, the third highest mountain on earth which stands: Mount Khangchendzonga.

To understand the value of these holy natural places, we will introduce you to the man who blessed this location with his presence.

Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "The holy caves of Sikkim– feel the spiritual heart of the former himalayan kingdom of Sikkim in India vividly" 37

Guru Padmasambhava

Guru Padmasambhava (in English: born to the sacred lotus), also called Guru Rinpoche, is remembered as being the founder of Buddhism in Tibet. In Sikkim and Tibet, Guru Padmasambhava is honored with the title “second Buddha” an incarnation to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni.

During the 8. century Guru Padmasambhava at the request of the tibetan king Thrisong Detsen (756-796) spread Buddhism in Tibet. During his journeys to and from Tibet, he visited Sikkimseveral times where he meditated in many places and also predicted that in a few centuries, Buddhism would establish itself in this area. On his journey, he hid many of his spiritual treasures encoded in secret places, such as the caves of Sikkim, which have ever since been considered holy.

Buddhist holy sites are usually special because of the people who mediated in these places. They believe that holy people’s presence and meditation have left these places blessed and with healing powers.

Experience the holy land
Experience the holy land.

Enough of the history and let’s get back to our journey: It is an empowering and inspiring adventure to visit the five holy caves in Sikkim with Terralaya Travels. We trust in the “healing and cleansing power” that the visit of these caves may have and we leave our western skepticism at home.


On this journey we focus on our inner self – the environment and «energy» of this land may help us let go of stress and the hustle of modern life. We look forward to feeling in harmony with ourselves and nature – and will surely experience unforgettable moments in this amazing land with ist special people.

  • We will visit:
    Sharchhogbayphung – the secret cave
    Khando Sangphuk– The cave of fairies
    Dechenphu oder Dechenthang– The cave of luck and happiness
    Lharinyingphug – the old cave of the god of hills. The holiest of all the caves are truly hard to reach. A good endurance but as well a strong will is required, to walk up the steep path that gets us to the cave Lharinyingphug
    Tsechephug– The central cave of Tashiding

The reason why natives undertake the strenuous pilgrimage treks is due to the cleansing and healing benefits that are said to derive from a visit.

In this cave Teron Rinchen Lingpa found the hidden treasures of Guru Padmasambhava and decoded them for the rest of the world: Many of the visitors believe that a visit to these caves can help fulfill their wishes for a long life, wealth and prosperity and that they will be blessed with many children.

The Holy Capes in Sikkim
The Holy Capes in Sikkim

Are you curious yet? On this mystical trip, there is so much more to discover. You will find more information under

The Bamboo Retreat Hotel and Terralaya Travels lead you to unforgettable places and let you experience stories right there. We always keeping in mind our goal to offer a bridge between cultures – as well as offering doors to open hearts.

The optimal time for this journey in Sikkim is November and December, when the nights get colder and the rainy period is over and the morning fog disappears. Then you can best admire the view over the majestic mountain ranges of the Himalaya.

Another great time is during September, October, March, April or May. The trip can be booked individually from one person onwards.

The journey can be adjusted to your wishes and personal needs. For example, if you are not physically fit, we can offer this journey without the caves that require trekking to reach them and with other points of interest to your liking instead.

For further information, contact us. We are looking forward to meeting you.

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Northeast India Cultural Journey

Northeast India with fascinating visits to the tribal festivals!

INDIA, aromas of spices, colorful saris, majestic mountains, everybody has their own imagination of the country. India isn’t only a huge country but also a very diverse country.

Northeast India Experience the tribes

An old Indian proverb says:
Quietness is not found on the top of the mountains, loudness is not found in the markets in the cities, both of these are found in the heart of the people.

Experience the different regions, the diverse people, and their cultures now. Let the unforgettable encounters come into your heart and let them build a bridge between the worlds, you can do all of this on our cultural journey in northeast India, which is available for booking from now on.

At a glance:
Northeast India-Trip with indigenous festivalsNortheast India-Trip with indigenous festivals
22 days- alternative extension Tripura +4 Days

27.03.2019 – 17.04.2019
Extension Tripura: until 21.04.2019

We will travel to the following regions:
Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya & Arunachal Pradesh
optional: Tripura

Do you know the meaning of the original Indian flag?
It tells us a lot about the Indian people, the fascinating contrasts, and differences, that characterize and make up India: Orange represents Hinduism, green stands for Islam, and the white stripe is for all the other religions and serves as a peace barrier between the different spiritualities. The flag symbolizes the diversity of religions since there is no official religion. During our India culture trip, we will experience over and over again how much of the Indian populations day is affected by belief and tradition.

The priorities on our India tour are the indigenous tribes and their celebrations. We will visit the northeastern part of India and we will go on a very special cultural journey. The regions Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Tripura are still very traditional and are characterized by its neighboring countries Bhutan, Tibet, and Nepal. As well it isn’t a very touristic area. You will get to know the real India with modest and simple but authentic food and hotels.

You can especially look forward to the indigenous celebration. The festivals only happen once a year and are traditional, fascinating and unique, that you will say, I have never witnessed something like it. Probably you will never experience any festivity with the same ambiance. It is not only that the native celebrations get rarer but also that they usually aren’t that close together.

Let’s build bridges to the Indian culture together:

Firstly we will attend a celebration called Aoling hosted by the Konyak tribe. Traditionally the festivities have a span of 6 full days and its purpose is to honor the spring and pray for the gods blessing for the upcoming harvest. Every day in the week of celebrations has its own special meaning and is accompanied with ancient rituals, dances, musical performances and special dishes. In the next 3 days, we will experience the Aoling festival together with many different tribes and we will also get to know about their cultural differences.

Next, we will get to know the Mopin-Festival

It is a traditional festival of the native Adi Gallo tribe. They celebrate it to scare off evil spirits and to bring luck and happiness to the people. Traditional dances named “popir” are performed by the women while music and expressionistic singing give the ritual its luminosity. We will experience and witness the Mopin celebration for several days

Folkmusic with the tribes

We will encounter many religions and diverse cultures and be close to the Indian folk music and you will accompany people that honor their gods and bring them sacrifices. You will be able to witness quiet prayers but also jolly dances.

India is a heavily spiritual country with a special allure. Witness the magic and visit the traditional tribe celebrations in the march and April of 2019.

The journey was organized by Terralaya Travel, a very experienced tour operator in India, which is lead by a Swiss woman who lived in northeast India for many years. She doesn’t only know the culture but also has contact with many natives. This is clearly noticeable by the organization of the trip. Everything is prepared and coordinated for you and you will be able to get a deep insight into the culture and life in the northeastern part of India. Terralaya Travel will also provide help with all legal documents that are needed for entry to India and the appliance for the visa.

Here you can read the detailed plan for the trip.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us we are happy to help with any questions and discuss the trip with you.

Northeast India Cultural Journey

Please notice that you can book the trip starting now and there are only a limited amount of places available. As a special service this journey can also be booked as an individual tour (slightly adjusted to include other tribal festivals in line with your timeframe), ideally from November to March.

We are looking forward to your booking and the unforgettable encounters that we will have with the original and diverse native tribes and the fascinating nature.

Northeast Part of India, Dance

Gundruk & Sinki – Fermented Food and Appetiser

Gundruk and Sinki

Whether its soup or pickle, Gundruk is always inviting and pleasant in taste. One can sense the hard work, endurance and efforts put by Himalayan people especially women to prepare Gundruk; an accommodating mineral source during the off-season when diet is mostly starch with infinitesimal quantity of minerals. Gundruk can’t be cooked and usually served as an appetiser in form of soup or pickle or as a side dish with the main course/vegetable.

Gundruk and Sinki - Fermented Food and Appetiser

Fermented Food and Appetiser

Gundruk is an ideal example for effective utilisation of excess production of spinach, mustard, cauliflower and radish leaves during the harvest season. These leaves are collected, washed with water and then left in open space for 2-3 days to become dry and shrivelled. These dried leaves are chopped into moderate size pieces with knife or sickle and sometimes smashed along with radish roots as well. The smashed and shredded leaves are stored in seal tight  container in warm place for at least 4 days for fermentation. When stored in earthenware pot for fermentation, lukewarm water is poured into the container till it covers all the leaves. It taste acidic when its ready, one can also recognised the extent of fermentation through smell. In the end, Gundruk is removed from the container and dried out in sunlight.

Gundruk and Sinki - Fermented Food and Appetiser

Similar to Gundruk, another fermented variety is Sinki prepared from radish tap roots. The process for fermentation to prepare Sinki is somewhat different from that of Gundruk. The radish with   tap roots are broken down into small pieces in “Dhinki” and then stored in a hole dug down to 2-3 feet.

Gundruk and Sinki - Fermented Food and Appetiser

Initially a small fire is ignited to warm up the hole and when its sufficiently hot, fire is put off to line up the bamboo and straw at the bottom. The shredded radish is stuffed on top of the bamboo layer which is then covered by vegetation, rock,  mud etc. to fabricate an impermeable barrier. On completion of bacterial curing which last for a month, final sun drying is carried out before consuming it.

Gundruk and Sinki - Fermented Food and Appetiser

If radish pickle is to be prepared then sun drying is not required instead it is directly mixed with spices and stored in container.
We at
Bamboo Retreat Hotel prepare our own “Gundruk” and “Sinki” from organic vegetables cultivated in our garden to serve the delicious, mouth-watering Potato-Gundruk Soup, radish pickle and various other Himalayan/Sikkimese cuisines to our guest.

What actually is permaculture?

In China they say, life begins with the day you build a garden. 

Permaculture at Bamboo Retreat Hotel

Keeping in mind the many studies that teach us about the many different ways the body and soul benefits from the work with plants. Clearly, the Chinese proverb wasn’t exaggerated: After twenty minutes the release of stress hormones decreases, the blood pressure reduces, heartbeat and pulse slow down. Movement and exercise in fresh air benefit the entire body, it loses tensions and balances the monotone movements and hardships of your daily life. All of these are reasons that make gardening a highly effective medicine against typical complaints of the modern life. Furthermore, it creates a positive environment: digging in the ground and the sweet scent of flowers and the smell of wet soil gets rid of negative thoughts. Gardening can also help with depressions, as studies have shown.

We want to take it a step further, and not only have a sustainable garden but also inspire others to try so.

Our vision at the Bamboo Retreat Hotel is to live in harmony with nature. For this reason, we have been working on growing and farming with the principles of permaculture.

Permaculture is diverse and full of life

without the burdening amount of work. Every plant, every animal, and each microorganism has a place in the natural cycle.

But what is permaculture and how is it different from a normal garden.

Permaculture started developing in the 1970’s when Bill Mollison and David Holmgren established it. They used it as an opposition to the industrial agricultural system. The success of the permaculture was based on the efficiency and sustainability of the invention and it was deeply influenced by organic farming.

In 1978 Bill Mollison published his first book “Permaculture One”, with what he won the alternative Nobel prize in 1981. In the book, he describes the concept of agriculture connected to the environment. 2008 he published another book with the name “Permaculture Two”. In both books, Mollis describes his design approaches and shows how permaculture is an attitude that includes planning and designing for entire villages.


In order for humans, animals and plants to live together in unity rules and principles were established. Organic farming is very high on the list of permaculture rules and is an important part of the entire system.

When there is a diversion of fruits and vegetables in the same garden, it comes very close to the natural ecosystem and there is always something edible available. But also perennials play an important part so that we can go without a high use of energy.

The basics of permaculture are built upon three pillars:

  • Care for the earth and environment,
  • concern for the people and
  • limitation of the consumption and growth,

but as well sharing the leftovers with others.

The goal of permaculture is to create a small and edible ecosystem, they can be as big as in the agricultural business but as well small ones like ours in our own permaculture garden, in the Bamboo Retreat Hotel.

We want to create a small paradise on earth in Sikkim and we already have the foundation. However, we are still at the beginning of our project and are still working on our design and garden layout. Only if the garden is a well functioning and dynamic system, we can let nature have its turn.


The Bamboo Retreat Hotel is located in the middle of terraced rice fields, forest, gardens and streams on three hectares of land, on the opposite side of the city Gangtok. In our gardens, we cultivate completely organical and we have a diversion of local and general vegetables, flowers, herbs and healing plants. With our permaculture techniques, we try to increase the diversion of our garden and richness of our soil.

In our garden, we harvest completely organic vegetables like local root vegetables, potatoes or cauliflower but as well as many different types of the local leave vegetable (from the mustard family) but also mint varieties. In our garden, you can also find stevia, garlic, beans, corns, peas, and carrots. In the kitchen we also like using a great variety of the traditional and local millet, furthermore, we also use many herbs.

The plants we cure also come from our garden. And notice that our lemon and citronella grass which we use for the special bath treatments at the Bamboo Retreat Hotel are as well from our garden.

And there is still more! We also have pumpkins and wormwood!

In our fruit garden, we grow guavas, lemons, bananas, cape gooseberry and tree tomatoes. And this year, we are grateful to pick kiwis for the first time.

The permaculture has a developed an ethical understanding. However it isn’t about dogmas or belief systems, but the ethics of the permaculture is more about doing the right thing.

This is the motto we live by in Sikkim. We take care of our nature, furthermore, we respect our environment. We would be happy to share our little paradise with you, our guests, and invite you to witness and accompany our team into the garden and be close to mother earth in India.

Of course, we use our organic harvest in our restaurant in the Bamboo Retreat Hotel. For our kitchen staff, it is really important that they use the fresh regional ingredients and adjust our menu to the seasons.

Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "What actually is permaculture?" 48

Volunteers wanted!

As well we are always happy to get help from people who have experience with permaculture and permaculture design are willing to have a working holiday here at our hotel in Sikkim. Do you want to share your experiences with us and help us with the expanding of our garden? Then we are really happy to get to know you. We are always eager to learn new methods and to expand our design.

Or do you have experience in the pedagogical field and be prepared to give local school classes an experience with nature?

If you are interested in any of these, we are looking forward to exchanging messages with you. Find us on Workaway or check our website under Working Holidays for more information. There you can find everything you need.

We found some of our information on the pages and

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Stevia, the natural sweetness without calories!

The natural sweetener in the Bamboo Retreat Hotel, Sikkim

Stevia has caused a hype, like no other plant

Stevia rebaudiana – also called sweet herb – is a herb which was discovered in South America in 1887 and first found its use only in toothpaste. Today, stevia leaves are approved as a food, especially its extract is used as a sweetener. Many people actually prefer this sweetener to the traditional sugar.

It is unbelievable that stevia is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, and it is completely free of calories. The human organism completely discards stevia and as well for your teeth, it is better than sugar, because tooth decay and plaque is not encouraged by its consumption.

On the other hand, stevia does have one negative aspect. Some people do not like the slightly bitter aftertaste of stevia – but others are not aware of this.

However, I encourage you to try it! For our herbal teas, we use stevia as a sweetener and rely entirely on the natural sweetness!

Sitting on the terrace of Bamboo Retreat Hotel, holding a hot cup of tea in your hand
while enjoying the pleasant mountain view, will make you forget everything around you. This is the perfect way to conclude an exciting and inspiring day.

All herbal teas are collected from freshly harvested herbs at Bamboo Retreat Hotel and our organic stevia and mints can be purchased by our guests in the in-house shop in Sikkim. We provide stevia in the form of dried leaf, usually as a part of a herbal tea mixture containing dried mint leaf too. Definitely, a nice souvenir to bring back home and to remind you of the wonderful time you had on your vacation.

At a glance: Stevia sweetener obtained from the leaves of the stevia plant is available as dry leaf. Free of calories, suitable for diabetics and non-cariogenic, ideal as a sweetener for hot and cold drinks!

Are you interested in learning more about stevia and it’s using? Then we can highly recommend “The Stevia Story” written by Bill Bonvie, Donna Gates and Linda Bonvie.

If you have any questions or would like to have any additional information about the Bamboo Retreat Hotel in Sikkim, India, please contact us.

As well we are happy to prepare a personal offer for you to get to know the northern region of India. Bamboo Retreat Hotel is the ideal base from which to explore Sikkim and the surrounding area. Terralaya Travels has been specializing for many years in organizing individual trips to India (especially Northeast India and the Indian Himalayas), Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Mongolia.


Then perhaps a working holiday at the Bamboo Retreat in Sikkim, India is the right choice for you! We are looking for people with experience in permaculture, hotel or restaurant management, preservation or with social media skills. Here you can find more information about our volunteer program.

We found some information about Stevia at

  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Stevia, the natural sweetness without calories!" 50


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Stevia, the natural sweetness without calories!" 52


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Stevia, the natural sweetness without calories!" 54


  • Bamboo Retreat Hotel - image "Stevia, the natural sweetness without calories!" 56


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