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Auroville

3.4 /5 67 votes
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Best Time: Nov-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Nearest Airport: Chennai Check Flights

"The City of Dawn"

Auroville Tourism

Conceived as the 'Universal Town', Auroville is an experimental township where people from across the world of all cultures and traditions come and live together in peace. Located around 15 km from the city of Pondicherry, Auroville is located in Tamil Nadu and was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Aurobindo and fondly known as the 'Mother' of Sri Aurobindo Society.

This universal township was inaugurated on 28 February 1968 with the agenda that it will be a place with people willing enough to make this a hub of uninterrupted education and progress, regardless of their caste, creed, nationality or race. People from 124 countries including Indians from 23 different states came together with some of their native soil brought from their homelands and deposited in a marble urn.

Currently, over 2,800 people from over 195 different nationalities form the official residents of this township. The Aurovilleans as they call themselves live together on the principles of peace, harmony, sustainable living and 'divine consciousness' which was the philosophy of the Mother. Major forestation work was done by the early Aurovilleans which has made this erstwhile completely barren land into a huge patch of greenery. The project was supported by the Govt. of India, and the UNESCO passed a resolution in 1966 commending this as "a project of importance to the future of humanity". 

Called the city of dawn, this place is the epitome of tranquility and proves as the perfect escape for the ones in search of peace. The best way to experience Auroville ashram is to actually just sit in one of the cafes, and talk to some of the residents here about their experience of living in the city - you would be surprised to find out how much the people living here love the concept and the life.

The architecture of the city is as interesting as the concept. The city is planned in a circle of radius 1.25kms, and the center of the city is the famous Matrimandir along with the gardens surrounding it. Just outside this are the industrial zone, the cultural zone, the peace zone, and the residential zone. Outside this, the entire city is surrounded by a "green belt" - this is supposed to act as a barrier against urban encroachment, a wildlife habitat, and sources of food/timber/etc. This entire area was created out of a wasteland, demonstrating the ability to conserve nature while developing a town. 

The main attraction here is the "Matrimandir" - you can watch an introductory video about the concept of the city, and sit here in silence to concentrate. With water pooling in from different sides, the sound of the water and cool breeze which always flows, provides a perfect atmosphere for meditation. The mandir is an architectural masterpiece with a 30m high globe with a lotus-shaped foundation urn. The entry is free of costs, and you can only buy the tickets in person at the venue, not online. The walk from the entry gates to the center takes around 10-12 minutes. 

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Visitor and Resident

You can either come to Auroville for a day trip or stay on as a resident and /or volunteer. The center of attraction is the Matrimandir, a globe -shaped meditation center. Prior booking has to be made if you wish to enter it. There are a lot of activites like teaching and handicrafts which you can try out.

Peace Area

In the centre of the city is the peace area or Matrimandir. It is a centre for meditation, internal reflection and quietude. The structure is globe-shaped with a golden metallic plate-like design on the outside. The insides are white as a sign of peace and silence is maintained for tranquillity and serenity. A colossal crystal ball is placed at the centre of the meditation chamber that channels and reflects the sunlight. The area is also equipped with a solar power plant, which works after sunset or when there is no sunlight. A spiralling ramp leads to a white marble covered chamber on the upstairs that is used as a “place to find one’s consciousness”.

Cultural Zones

Situated on the east of the Peace area is the Cultural Zone, on a 103-hectare area. It is a site for research in an educational field, for artistic expressions etc. It is planned to have various centres for sports, education, arts and research centres for related fields. It can be used for local city level use like auditoriums, exhibitions, parks, playgrounds, convenience stores, stadium etc.

Culture of Auroville

They say "Auroville is a culture still to be invented". As Auroville is a planned township, it draws people from all over the country and globally as well. You can see a mix of Tamilians, Bengalis, Russians, Koreans, British etc. The culture, therefore, is a mixed one. You will hear folk village music and can also find a ballet class to go to. It has cars to travel and also bullock carts. There are jazz concerts held and also recital of the Vedas. Auroville celebrates all kinds of festivals- firecrackers on Diwali and rum cakes on Christmas. Some people wear the usual t-shirt and jeans while others prefer dhoti-kurta.

People of Auroville

Mirra Alfassa- the founder of the township, believed that Auroville is meant to be a universal town where men and women from all over the world and of all religions can live in harmony and peace above all politics, creed and nationalities. The overall purpose being human unity.

Restaurants and Local Food in Auroville

There are tons and tons of restaurants and cafes in this place. It has a lot of plush restaurants, not in terms of the prices they charge but in terms of the cuisines that they have on offer. This is kept in mind to cater to the large number of foreign tourists that Auroville gets each year. The most popular restaurants are The Solar Kitchen and La Terrace. One can find all sorts of cuisines out here ranging from exquisite Italian to traditional South Indian dishes. Auroville is truly a foodie's heaven.
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One Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Reach Auroville by morning. Check out the Visitor's Centre. Explore the township and sample the delicious multicultural cuisine available.
Day 2 - Make sure you have permission to enter the Matrimandir ( bookings have to be made well in advance ) Devote this day fully to strolling through the gardens that lead to the Matrimandir and meditating in the serene settings.
Day 3 - Check out the shops and cafeteria that sells handmade products like incense, pastries , clothing ,accessories etc. Spend the evening at the Auroville beach.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Very tourist friendly has a great cosmopolitan feel. Exudes vibes of calm and spirituality.

What's Not So Great?

Food and accommodation may be a bit on the higher side.

For Whom?

Those looking to experience spirituality, looking to recharge their mind and body.

How To Reach Auroville

There are no direct transport services to Auroville from any city, its best to come via Chennai or Pondicherry.

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Auroville Reviews

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Pallavi Siddhanta 1 year ago
- Try and interact more with the people, they will give you the deepest of insights into the making of this township. The locals are very friendly.
Elamanchili Rama Murthy 1 year ago
Physically speaking Savitri is the one which brought her husband (Satyavantha) back to life, winning with God of Death YAMA. But metaphorically it is spiritual practice and following the path of Yoga that makes you overcome the fear of Death, and live as Universal Consciousness. Unattached to worldly life.
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