Auroville is an experimental township, situated in Tamil Nadu right next to Pondicherry. Reaching it can be tiring; I traveled for straight 30 hours and then some more by road to reach here, but the trip ended up being worth all the trouble.
The town is as silent and calm as it could get. The place to discover and hear yourself out, Auroville will leave you overwhelmed with its hospitality and charm; when they talk about ‘loosing oneself in a new place to absorb its essence’, I can only think of Auroville and the ease with which it makes everyone a part of itself.
The town is divided into zones, the core being the truest definition of Auroville’s spirit. The famous Matri Mandir is situated in the core centre with red soil roads surrounding and leading up to it. The roads are kacchi with dense trees on both sides; the place comes with the word nature attached to every bit of it. Matri Mandir is a symbol of spiritual significance for the yoga practitioners and this is where the ‘soul of the town’ lies. The visit to this is a must since the experience here leaves you in awe with life and its meanings. I, personally, remember every single second of my presence inside it. Quick tip, book your visit to the Matri Mandir beforehand at the Auroville Visitors’ Centre to avoid any last minute hassles. They are very firm with the number of daily visitors and the entry is solely based on prior bookings.
Once you’re done with the Matri Mandir bookings, you can look around the Auroville Visitor’s Centre which is a beautiful structure and houses some of the best souvenir shops and galleries in the town. A day can be well spent here while eating at the cafe, reading and sketching in the courtyard and absorbing the spirit of Auroville. The Visitors’ Centre often hosts free movie and sports match screenings at night. These are held in the OAT and a good amount of time can be spent here meeting new people and enjoying the show.
If you’re interested in architecture or even just looking around, the town can treat you with meaningful structures built around for various purposes. The different countries’ pavilions can be visited. The AuroModel can be given a trip as well. One can surely go to the Auroville Earth Institute and look at how they’re using the natural materials to make a difference.
As for the beaches, there are only two major beaches which can be visited. The Bodhi beach and the Auro beach, located right outside the village offer completely different scenes when visited during the day and in the evenings.
Pondicherry is only fifteen minutes drive from Auroville and a good amount of days can be spent touring around here as well.
One can easily opt for various volunteer activities around here which range from gardening, horticulture to yoga. People learn and teach, give and take here. One can join the reforestation group at the Sadhana Forest to learn music at the Auroville Music Centre. The Auroville Earth Institute can be joined for their various workshops or as a volunteer.
ACCOMODATION & FOOD:
There is a huge variety of accommodation to choose from here.
One can decide after considering the location of their stay and thee budget. Every zone of Auroville has hotels, guest houses and dormitories.
Many cafes of different budgets are spread around the town which serve different cuisines. One can be very sure about the taste and food quality in Auroville. Aurovillians believe in fresh and organic and make sure the food is as healthy and delicious as possible.
A DAY IN AUROVILLE:
The best aspect of your day here is the open and easy choice it provides you with to do what you wish to and spend the day as you like to. All the time here will be your own and I can bet one will always leave Auroville peaceful & content; wishing to come back and lose oneself here again in the deepest auras of calmness.
It is one of the best place to meet different kinds of people, boasting of a population belonging to more than 70 nationalities.
- One can easily walk around here but the town sleeps early around 7:30- 8:00 and since there are no street lights in most of the zone areas, getting a moped is highly advisable.
- Mopeds can be easily hired here and the petrol rates are also less.
- Dinner should be taken early if you plan to eat in Auroville.
-Walking around alone after sunset should be strictly avoided as the area gets pitch dark.
- Carry a lot of mosquito and insect repellents along.
So pack your bags and set free to lose yourself in the spiritual land of Auroville!