Nithya Priyan: 14 days in darkness

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14 Days in Darkness – Kaya Kalpa Retreat in Thailandnamaste-cover
by Priyan Nithya (September 2012) (originally posted on

It had been a joyous confluence of my interests in natural building and meditation.

It was built with earthbags, misprint animal feed bags, filled with raw earth, piled atop each other in a circle plan and finished with a cement plaster, tapering at the top to form a pointed dome.

Inside, it had a bare concrete floor and a trapdoor concealing a squat toilet. It was ventilated by a pair of computer fans driven by a small solar panel. Entry to the interior was via two sets of doors, the doorway so small you had to crawl in on your knees. When totally shut, the interior blocked out most of the noise of the forest, a disturbing amount of fresh air, and all of the light.

darkroom retreat dome at phanganearthworks, Koh Phangan, Thailand
© Priyan Nithya

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