Aesthetics, Architecture and their hidden role in Wellbeing

Dharana Wellness Retreat near Mumbai & Pune, India

Architecture is the technique and specifically, the art of designing and building a structure. In the modern, urban world, examples of ‘architecture’ are everywhere. These can range from the drabbest, grey corporate buildings to modern technological marvels.


As a branch of philosophy, aesthetics deals with the concepts of ‘beauty’ and ‘art’. It poses the question of what can be considered beautiful or a work of art. Even with a highly dialogue-inducing question in a subjective matter, a few concepts are universally held as aesthetically pleasing. Most commonly, nature


At the Dharana Wellness Retreat, we believe that it is possible for the positive feeling arising from the pure visual beauty of nature to be understood and then replicated within man-made structures and architectures.


Aligning with the Vedas


The construction and architecture process at the Dharana Wellness Retreat was managed by a team involving notable experts such as Margie Ruddick, a landscape artist and master planner from Philadelphia and Stevan Harris, a design architect from New York. They were also assisted by a team of architecture students from the prestigious Yale University. Together, the Shillim Valley was meticulously studied and an area where a retreat could be constructed in harmony with nature was identified.


The retreat was constructed in line with the Vedic Architectural principles. It was chosen to be complementary to the entire Wellness experience, building a sanctuary for the body, mind and soul.


Seeing its origin in Indian Philosophy and Mythology, ‘Vedic’ or ‘Vastu’ Architecture aims to provide a system outlining almost every factor of a structure, from how it should be placed, and its orientation to its contents and room placements. It allows for an inherently calmer and more peaceful experience for the inhabitants.


Vedic Architecture is widely accepted across the world, with support from many prominent architects. While it sees roots in mythology, the reason why it ‘works’ may be rooted in the brain itself.


The Cognitive Approach


In a research paper, the visual structure of a Japanese Zen garden was studied for its abstract and peculiar nature. 

At first glance, the structure seems to be a random alignment of rocks and moss on a completely empty rectangle of gravel. Yet, thousands of visitors would term this garden – ‘aesthetically pleasing.’


Viewing the structure from a particular spot was found to be the least cognitively demanding, thus inducing feelings of peace, calmness and contentedness. We believe this principle is at the heart of Wellness Architecture.


Dharana’s Architecture


The principles of Cognitive Psychology, believed to be a part of Vedic Architecture systems are the basis of the Dharana Wellness Retreat’s design.

Every location, every villa, every path and every little detail is built to be as pleasing and visually peaceful as possible, ensuring that Wellness and Peace truly are present at every corner of the retreat. The integration of Philosophy and Psychology has elevated Dharana to be considered one of the best Wellness Retreats and Rejuvenation Centres in India. 

Experience this unique approach to architectural design at the Presidential Villa, the most luxurious backdrop to any Wellness Journey. Click this link to reserve your stay today.