Lately choosing a place the whole family wants to visit is becoming a bit of chore. The kids don’t want to spend all day in nature and heavens forbid if we should venture to a place with no wi-fi! We on the other hand can’t wait to exchange the fumes and noises of the city for the smell of damp earth and the songs of birds.
So we were a bit surprised and delighted when both our children enthusiastically agreed to accompany us to Crystal Castle. If truth be told, we might have neglected to tell them that we will be spending hours walking around outdoors. Luckily they hardly noticed this little detail as they are quite intrigued with Eastern cultures, beliefs and philosophy which is on display throughout the gardens.
You definitely don’t have to be a yogi, spiritual or have a keen interest in crystals to benefit from this magical place. It is impossible to experience anything but joy, tranquillity and peace when wandering through the giant bamboo or listening to the soft murmur of water in the streams and ponds.
We started our day at the Stupa. While impressive on its own, knowing its history only serves to heighten the beauty and enriches the whole experience. The Stupa was created under the guidance of the Gyuto monks of Tibet. The structure reaches up to a height of 8 meters and is filled with sacred objects, scriptures and relics. It also incorporates 40 brass prayer wheels each containing more than 130 000 Om Mani Padme Hum mantras. The belief is that the prayers inside the wheels are released into the universe when the wheels are turned.
From here we made our way over to the Labyrinth. It set amongst the trees and therefore very inviting on hot summer days – the perfect spot for some contemplation. How you use the labyrinth is completely up to you – it can be a peaceful walk, time for quiet reflection or the perfect opportunity to seek answers to issues you want solved.
But what would the Crystal Castle be without crystals? The Crystals are scattered all over the gardens and are simply marvellous. Here’s just two examples of what I’m talking about.
My favourite is the Buddha walk. It is a half kilometre walk showcasing nature and various sculptures like: Spectacular views of the hinterland –
Blessing Buddha –
Lakshmi – Goddess of Abundance –
A bamboo walk:
As expected all this walking and fresh air are sure to result in a massive appetite. Luckily the operators of the Crystal Castle have everything in place to satisfy that need. The restaurant is perfectly situated to take full advantage of the scenic views. The menu is vegetarian with most of the produce being produced on the property itself. It is absolutely delicious and the portions are very generous. Crystal Castle is a magical place and definitely gets the thumbs up from our whole family.