Conceived as the 'Universal Town', Auroville is a township where individuals from all over the world, belonging to different cultures and customs come and live in harmony. Auroville is situated around 15 km from the city of Pondicherry and is located in Tamil Nadu. Mirra Alfassa who was a follower of Aurobindo established it in 1968 and everyone used to call her "Mother" out of love at Sri Aurobindo Society.
People who desire to break from the hustle-bustle of their life and want to attain some peace visit Auroville. This place welcomes everyone with open arms and is home to many small organisations. These organisations help you fight the inner soul battle and provide you peace with the help of meditation, yoga etc. Visiting Auroville as well as these organisations is pocket friendly as plenty of options are available here.
Apart from these, Matrimandir is considered as the heart of Auroville.This place will change your way of living and perception towards life. Filled with nature’s beauty and lush green surrounding Matrimandir rejuvenates you. You can be part of sessions held in here which will introduce you to the objectives of Auroville and help you to broaden your perception for life.
How to Reach Auroville
Pondicherry bus stand is 13.5 km away from the Auroville. It will take you around half an hour to reach Auroville. Once you board the bus you can ask the driver to drop you at Auroville which is on the ECR road. You won’t face in problem as there are many buses which will help you to reach Auroville.
Best Time to Visit Auroville
Best time to visit Auroville is during winters which arrives in the month of November-March. Winters are the best time as you won’t be facing the scorching heat. During November -March you will be accompanied by the weather which will add to your peace, you will feel more relaxed and can meditate while the breeze blows through your face and make you feel refreshed.
The weather of Auroville is tropical. So you must avoid visiting this place during summer as it is scorching and humid with the average temperature ranging from 40 to 44 degrees. During this season you will be facing problems as you will be disturbed by the heat and humidity and will not be able to enjoy your time at this place although morning and evening will bring you the chance to enjoy. Auroville experiences occasional rainfall from July and the heavy rainfall arrives in the month of October.
What Not to Miss at Auroville
Things to do at Auroville
There are many things which you can do while you are at Auroville:
1. You can take part in the introductory sessions which will tell you all about the ideologies of Auroville.
2. You can practice meditation in the Matrimandir campus and will feel rejuvenated.
3. You can be part of yoga sessions and learn some new asanas.
4. You can visit the library and read the books which will let you to the objectives of Auroville.
There are many attractions in and near Auroville which you should visit:
1. Matrimandir: This place is the heart of Auroville and is a beautiful place filled with positivity and lush greenery all around. It provides you with the best aura to meditate and relax. Make sure to pre-book your visit here. Matrimandir also has inner chambers which requires you to book you visit if you wish to explore them. You should also keep in mind that no cameras, videotapes are allowed here.
2. Auroville Beach: It is a beautiful beach which is also called Auro beach and is 10 km away from the ashram. It is one of the most popular beaches in Pondicherry and you will be mesmerized by the beauty of this place. It has clear water and clean shores which attract tourists here for spending some quality time. This beach has fewer eateries available, so you can carry your food with yourself according to your need.
3. Adishakti Theatre: Situated at the outskirts of Pondicherry this place is also called Adishakti Laboratory Theatre Arts Research. This place is well known as a performing arts company which gives brilliant performances. If you are lucky enough, you may get a chance to witness a live running show here. It also provides housing facilities to the artists who participate here.
Other Essential Information About Auroville
Location: Auroville is situated in South India. It is in the state of Tamil Nadu and also covers few part of the Puducherry. It is 10 km from the north of the town of Puducherry and is 150 kms from the south of Chennai.
Timings: There is no specific timing to visit this place but you can choose any according to your preference.
Entry fee: No, you do not need to pay any entry fee to visit Auroville.
Visitor's Facility: Visitors will not face any difficulties as this place has proper arrangements for their basic needs like guesthouses, dorms, hotels etc. according to their budget. You can easily get delicious food to eat as this place has good restaurants. It also has good transportation systems and places for health welfare.
Parking Facility: Yes you will get the facility of parking.
Distance from Pondicherry bus stand: Auroville is situated 13.5 kms away from the Pondicherry bus stand.
Highlights of Auroville:
Auroville is a place which not only will win your heart but will also relax your soul and body. The entire development of this city is energizing and remarkable. At the focal point of the town is the Matrimandir immersed in vibrant greens. The external edge of the town is improved with beautiful nurseries. The city area of Auroville is divided beautifully in different zones like:construction zone, the social zone, the harmony zone, and the private zone.
1. The entire region is an incredible dazzling sight it looks as if the place has been dipped in shades of vibrant greens. The fundamental thought of making this perfect land is to moderate nature and transform no man's land into an extraordinary living space.
2. Auroville is considered to be one of the best hosts for meditation purpose. It helps you to gain mental peace, you can also involve yourself in yoga sessions here, and learn a healthy way to lead a happy life.
Rituals at Matrimandir in Auroville:
There is no specific ritual performed at the Matrimandir as it is not the place where people worship any god or goddess. It is an emblem of honesty which refuses any kind of distributions or division among humans and supports animal and nature love. This place brings you close to nature and shows the path of peace and happiness. You will find yourself lost in the lush green, calm and soothing environment of this place.
You can be part of introductory tour which brings the complete ideology of Auroville. You can also take sessions of meditation and yoga which will help you to relax and rejuvenate. There is also the farm the area which is used to grow vegetables and other food material which are later used all over the Auroville. Matrimandir also has inner chambers and it requires special booking if you wish to explore it. It is said to be the most peaceful place full of positive energy and will refresh you thoroughly.
Structure of Auroville:
There is no fixed formal progressive structure in the inside association of Auroville. At present, the everyday running of the township is in the hands of different working communities whose individuals are chosen by the network through a perceived procedure.
These gatherings, covering areas like network coordination, city arranging, money, instruction, green work, wellbeing, and so on, work with an impressive level of self-sufficiency. Meaningful choices are generally taken at gatherings open to all inhabitants or by the process of Residents Assembly leadership. And, in this process each and everyone has the right or is allowed to share their views.
Places to Stay at Auroville
Accommodation will never be an issue when you visit Auroville as this place has all kinds of options available for you. There and many guest-houses, dorms, hotels etc available there according to your needs and your budget. Few well-known places where you can plan your stay in Auroville are:
1. Sun Farmhouse: It is a beautiful place which has all the facilities from wi-fi to fully equipped private washrooms. You will be getting continental breakfast served at the property. This place will provide you with beautiful rooms along with good service which will make you feel connected to nature. This Farmhouse will not only let you enjoy the stay but will also introduce you to the ways of living in Auroville.
2. Loka Homestay: It is a beautiful place to stay as it will make you feel like you are staying at your home. You will get to enjoy the vibes, culture and way of living of Auroville. This homestay has well-equipped rooms and washrooms along with terrace and gardens which will make your stay worthy.
3. The Green Box(Shipping Container Home Stay): This is a unique place that you can choose to stay while you plan to visit Auroville. Here you will be living in an eco-friendly container house that has all the comfort that one needs to have.You will also have the comfort of using swimming pool here. This place is in the middle of the Auroville forest which makes the surrounding peaceful and beautiful.
Places to Eat at Auroville:
The most well-known places to enjoy the food and the surroundings are:
1. The Solar Kitchen: It presents a vegetarian and universal menu, mainly made of vegetables and grains produced naturally in Auroville. This kitchen has served the Auroville community from December 1997. The menu of this place has local dishes of South India along with different cuisines. The Solar Kitchen proudly serves 540 meals to schools and service centres by maintaining proper quality of the food.
2. La Terrace: This restaurant is beautiful place which is located just above Solar Kitchen, under the pleasant branches of Caja tree. This place serves mainly the western dishes, and you can enjoy the food and the natural beauty around you. There are many foreigners who visit Auroville and La Terrace makes sure that they do not miss their home by providing them the dishes of their choice. Not only western but south Indian dishes can be enjoyed at this place and you must try Dosa and a cup of coffee when you visit this cafe.
Tips before visiting Auroville
There are few things which one should be prepared before visiting the City of Dawn:
1. You should allow yourself to believe the idea of humanity and accept that everyone is equal and should be ready to serve to other people.
2. You should plan the visit properly which means you should manage the time well so that you do not miss out on something special.
3. You should plan to take part in the morning introduction tour in Matrimandir as it includes short sitting in its inner chamber.
4. Do sit and browse the library of Auroville as you will get to know a lot about the place and its culture, ideologies and much more.
History of Auroville:
"Auro" means dawn and "Ville" means city, so this City of Dawn has a great history of 51 years. Mirra Alfassa, who was a follower of Aurobindo and was known as the Mother to her followers, found a place to establish a township. Auroville had its beginning in a gathering between the two extraordinary personalities in March 1914.
It was a time filled with sorrow when Sri Aurobindo passed away in 1950 and then it was Mother who carried on the responsibility of leading his concept of "universal town" into the real world.Her core values were Sri Aurobindo's thoughts on human and putting their efforts together and building a unique society The township was established with one motive which was to make a society where people of all nations can live in harmony with unity and kind heart.
This universal township was introduced on 28 February 1968 with the motivation that it will be a spot with individuals coming together and willing to make this a centre point of continuous training and progress.And this was possible by paying a little respect to their position, statement of faith, nationality or race. Individuals from 124 nations, including Indians from 23 distinct states met up with a portion of their local soil brought from their countries and merged it to form something pure.