Have you heard of Auroville? No? That is OK! 🙂
I had heard of Auroville since I was little, but had the opportunity to visit the place only a few days ago. Often, life takes us to sudden , unexpected turns. These times make us think as if all of it will end now. Only, it doesn’t. Though it feels as if you will not make it till dawn, it decides to take you further, dragging your unwilling self further.
I was looking for a getaway from the life as I know for last few weeks. And though, I wanted the duration to be a few weeks, the most I could manage was a few days. But I am glad I had the opportunity. And this trip to Puducherrey along with Auroville made perfect sense at that time.
To elaborate on Auroville, it is an experimental township, some 15 kilometres from Pondicherry. While speaking of Auroville, the name of(also known as “The Mother”) certainly comes up. She founded this place called Auroville also known as “The city of Dawn” and it was designed by architect
The concept of Auroville is like a cool shade in today’s scorching materialistic world. In The Mother’s own words “Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.”
It is a place, where people from any country in the world can come and live consciously, without being worried about/motivated by money. And a the concept appeals a lot of people. People come here from all over the world to experience the place and its unique culture. Many come for internships, volunteering for several activities. And perhaps it is for that reason, we have creativity scattered everywhere.
So, on a Friday afternoon, off we go to the city of Chennai. We took a taxi from the airport to Auroville. It took a little more than three hours to reach Auroville from Chennai. I had booked a room in one of the hotels in as I knew we would be reaching late.
Next morning we woke up to a beautiful lush green jungle of cashew tree plantation to our balcony.
We were to visit Matrimandir the next day. While walking the roads, we stumbled upon quirkey road signs at places like these…
The Matrimandir is an impressive structure constructed at the centre of Auroville. It is the shape of a dome and has gold leafs all over, that reflects sunlight to provide the structure a charismatic radiance which attracts both tourists and architecture students from all over the world. Inside this central dome is a meditation hall known as the inner chamber – this contains the largest optically-perfect glass globe in the world. People go there to Concentrate.
The visitors are allowed to go to the Matrimandir viewing point after watching a 10 minute video, that provides a short introduction to Auroville in general. We watched that and then proceeded to the viewing point. It was a beautiful experience walking the path to the viewing point. Finally, we could see the structure, beautifully bright in sunlight.
Sadly, we could not enter the inner chamber due to time restrictions. We went to the visitor information chamber for booking a stay. Auroville has its own listed guest houses that offer an authentic Auroville stay at an affordable price. The guest houses are divided in categories to help people choose the location and level of comfort. We got a beautiful place. The place had regular Yoga workshops going on. With lush greenery everywhere, along with cuckoo and peacocks, was just what we needed to start healing.
Frankly, we hardly needed to go anywhere else. But since we were so close to Pondicherry and the fact that it offered a pick into the french culture and architecture and the beach and the promises of the age old and iconic “Le cafe” on the beach, we could not hold ourselves from going there. 🙂
So we did venture out one day to the city and had our share of experience , true Pondy style. 😀 The only thing was that it was extremely hot during the day and staying in shade was the only thing we could imagine when out. 😀
The short tour was nothing like a proper introduction to us, however, it provided the little piece of quiet we were looking for. I am grateful for this slice of heaven I was allowed to visit. Hopefully, I will be back someday and would have the opportunity to re introduce myself to this beautiful culture.