Gandhi Gyan Mandir,
Hyderabad - 500001
What you see - Walk past the famous Gokul Chat Bhandar and you reach a relatively run down building in brick red with open gates. This is your Gandhi Gyan Mandir. It’s a place quite at peace with itself; unmindful of the hustle and bustle just outside its door.
What you get - This place houses a yoga center, nature cure centre, Gandhi book house and library of health books. The director, Dr. Praveen Kapadia, calls it a yoga and fitness center where Gandhi’s thoughts and practices are passed on to the students.
Despite the laidback ambience of this place, Gandhi Gyan Mandir brims with activity throughout the day. Yoga classes start at 4 AM in the day and the last batch ends at 7.15 PM. They have at least 10 batches each day and a total of 500 practitioners. They have two batches for women at 10 AM and 11.30 AM. The monthly fee is Rs. 250 per month.
Every Sunday they host a free three-hour camp from 7 AM to 10 AM on various branches of yoga such as yoga for eyes, yoga for heart and yoga for overweight. They also conduct a yoga teacher’s training course. They have trained more than 1,000 people so far.
The nature cure center is essentially a fitness center. They have a one-day fitness program (Rs. 250), 6-day fitness program (Rs. 700) and a 10-day body slimming course (Rs. 1,000) too. The slimming course includes a body massage, steam bath, internal cleaning and a special diet with mostly liquids. They have a naturopathy doctor on the rolls who can be consulted before this treatment. His consultation hours are from 10 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 6 PM.
Every summer they organize a 7-week camp. During this camp they teach judo, yoga, meditation, karate, aerobics, gymnastics, drawing, painting, dance and music. The charges are around Rs. 2,500.
They also have part-time yoga tutors to teach home groups in different parts of the city. If your group is in Secunderabad you will have to shell out Rs. 4,000 per month and if it is in Jubilee Hills it is Rs. 6,000. They also give yoga lessons to MNCs. Some of their earlier clients include Satyam, LIC and ADP.
Our verdict - The doctor at this place has got a recognition certificate for his services from Indian Medical Association, so there is an air of authenticity to this age-old centre. They also have got awards from Lions club and Rotary clubs. The rates also don’t hit the roof. Parking space is limited.