I thought I loved every bit of Varanasi... turnes out I didn't like staying at Sri Yoga Mandir. And I don't think anyone I talked to did either. I, together with my classmates staying at the Mandir, were thrown out when we didn't let the owner's friends stay in one of our rooms. The room in question was already paid for and the girl staying there was currently out of town, however she was still paying for it and planned to be back after just one weekend. The owner was furious when we didn't let his friends stay in her room (so he could get double rent for it) with her things lying there. He threatened us promising he would call the police if we didn't leave the place right away. Thanks to our hindi teacher we managed to get rooms at another hostel (very nice, by the way!) and get the money back for the nights we couldn't stay at Yoga Mandir. We were staying there for several weeks and all had been pre paid. In the price food was included, but in order for the owner to save even more money we got lousy and really cheap food. The guests (really few) that came only to have a meal at the restaurant (just a long, dirty table with flies on it) got to choose from a menu which had the standard dishes on it.
The place claimed to be all organic. This was not true either. The owner had an employee who's main work task was to kill all kinds of lizards (that really didn't bother anyone of the guests) and other animals who was considered to disturb the owner. When the owner made his employee cage a wild bird just for the fun of it he really couldn't understand why we objected.
All of my friends that also was staying there had been to India several times and even lived there. No one had stayed at a place this aggressive and hypocritic.
I only have one advice to people who are thinking of staying there: DON'T! There are so many nice places in Varanasi that is situated by the river Ganga, where you can enjoy your morning yoga, chat with the owners, learn hindi and have a wonderful experience. But the Yoga Mandir is no such place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sri Yoga Mandir (Ashram is running from July 1994) is running very successfully in Varanasi. Sri Yoga Mandir is situated next to Ganga river, very good location, panorama view of city. Neat and clean and green garden. Pollution free ashram. I certify that I am official owner of Property of Sri yoga mandir. We are registered in Society act. and no. is 1151 dated 12.12.2010 ... more less
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