An edifice of spiritual significance, the Matrimandir is a place for those who practice Integral yoga. Matrimandir is a Sanskrit word and is referred to as ‘Temple of The Mother’ or ‘Mother’s Shrine’ in English. Situated almost 10.3 km away from Pondicherry, this concentration centre can be found in the center of Auroville. The foundation of this place was developed by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Based on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, the concept of the ‘Mother’ represents the idea of helping humankind to move ahead of its present life. Or, the ‘great evolutionary, conscious, and intelligent principle of Life’.
The Matrimandir consists of a Geodesic dome covered by golden discs, surrounded by the central Peace Area, an amphitheatre, a banyan tree, and encircled by twelve gardens. The central dome has the Inner Chamber which is used for meditation. To stabilize the geodesic dome of Matrimandir, four main pillars are constructed which are known as Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, and Mahasaraswati. The construction and architecture of this whole place are solely based on Sri Aurobindo’s teachings.
History of Matrimandir
Matrimandir is one of the most important edifices of the Auroville township near Pondicherry. The concept of this place was developed by The Mother. By 1968, she decided to include a Pavilion, named “Matrimandir”, which means, The Mother’s Shrine. The site was almost barren but still, she included a lone Banyan tree and twelve gardens into the plan. The names were Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony, and Perfection.
In January 1970, The Mother introduced and asked a French architect, Roger Anger, to begin the work of Matrimandir. The final design was approved by The Mother in 1971. The design included Matrimandir on an oval island and surrounded by twelve gardens. In the month of February, the foundation stone was laid and excavation work also started. It took almost 37 years to completely build the Matrimandir. In 2008, the construction was completed and opened.