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Label : Top Attraction

Tags : Temple

Timings : Meditation timings inside the inner chamber- 9:35 AM- 10:05 AM

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Matrimandir, Auroville Overview

Matrimandir, which is the Sanskrit word for 'Temple of The Mother', is the most important edifice of the Auroville township in Pondicherry. Located just in the middle of Auroville in a large open area known as 'Peace', Matrimandir is fondly known as the 'soul of the city' and holds crucial spiritual significance for those who practice Integral Yoga.

Popular as the golden globe of Pondicherry, it is a place for individual silent concentration. You can visit Matrimandir from inside. Matrimandir is no tourist place, and the entry inside the central premises of the building is allowed only to those who have a brief understanding of the idea of Auroville township. However, the beautiful gold dome structure of the Matrimandir, which is surrounded by twelve lush green gardens, attracts the tourists visiting Pondicherry. A viewpoint has been constructed to the south of the building which offers a panoramic view of the Matrimandir and its surroundings. The viewpoint is just 10 minutes' walk away from the Visitor's Centre.

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The Idea of Matrimandir

The idea of the Matrimandir was initiated by The Mother of the Shri Aurobindo Ashram. According to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, the concept of the 'Mother' represents the 'great evolutionary, conscious and intelligent principle of Life', that is the Universal Mother aims to help humankind to move ahead of its present limitations onto the next stage of its evolutionary adventure, which is the supramental consciousness.

Matrimandir is a place for acquiring peace and meditation and belongs to no particular religion or sect. People from all around the world come to Auroville to lead a life without any discrimination by caste, religion, colour or socio-economic status, with the sole purpose of realising human unity.

Architecture and Structure of Matrimandir

Matrimandir is located in the centre of the Auroville City and is a part of the larger Auroville City Project that was designed by Roger Anger. The foundation of the Matrimandir was laid by The Mother in the year 1971, and it took 37 years to be built. The construction was completed in the year 2008.

Matrimandir is a dome-styled gold plated structure which helps in reflecting the sunlight. The dome is surrounded by a petal-like structure which signifies the lotus petals. There are twelve gardens which encompass the main structure of the Matrimandir. Each garden represents an attribute of The Mother. The attributes are Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony, and Perfection. Matrimandir was built to preach the ideas of the Mother, who seeks to help humanity beyond the limitations of the money, power, caste, religion and lies.

The architectural style of Matrimandir is an amalgamation of modern western and traditional Indian architecture. The Inner Chamber that is situated in the upper hemisphere of the Matrimandir is made of white marbles and is complete with white carpeting. The centre of this chamber is marked by a pure crystal glass globe which radiates natural lighting in the Inner Chamber. The Inner Chamber has no images, flowers, incense sticks or other organised forms of meditation.

The Auroville System of Beliefs

The Matrimandir is considered as the main centre of meditation in Auroville which is also known as the park of the unity. The inner chamber of the building is the place of the utmost importance for the Auroville followers, where they practice meditation. The entry inside the premises of the building isn't open for all. Being a spiritual edifice, it can only be visited in an appropriate physical and mental state. For the better understanding of the preachings of the Auroville township, the entry is subjected to the people who watch the short introductory video depicting the ideas of the Auroville. The Auroville has its followers from all around the globe.

General information about the Matrimandir can be obtained from the Information Desk at the Visitors' Centre every day between 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

Matrimandir View Point

The Matrimandir Viewing Point is located to the south of the Park of Unity and is a raised garden area that offers a bird's eye view of the beautiful Matrimandir and its serene surroundings. The passes to visit the Matrimandir Viewing Point can be obtained free of cost form the Auroville's Visitors' Centre at the following times:
Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Important Guidelines to Keep in Mind Regarding the Matrimandir

1. For all those who are visiting the Matrimandir for the first time, note that prior booking is required for concentration at least one day in advance and are accepted only up to a week in advance.
2. Bookings for first-time visitors are accepted only on an individual basis in person; that is, reservations through e-mail or telephone are not available for them. Bookings can be made between 10 AM to 11 AM and 2 PM to 3 PM except on Tuesdays
3. Matrimandir and bookings are closed on Tuesdays
4. It is mandatory for first-time visitors to listen to the explanation on the Matrimandir and its significance that is provided, which is followed by a concentration in the Inner Chamber for 10-15 minutes.
5. All subsequent bookings for concentration in the Inner Chamber or Petal Meditation Rooms can be made via telephone or by sending an email.

Matrimandir Timings

The timings for bookings are between 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM on all days except Tuesdays.

The timings for concentration in the Inner Chamber are from 9:35 AM to 10:05 AM and the last entry in the chamber is allowed at 9:45 AM; whereas the timings for concentration in one of the Petal Meditation Rooms are from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM.

Tips For Visiting Matrimandir

1. Children below the age of 10 are not allowed inside the Inner Chamber.
2. No cameras, bags, videotapes are allowed inside the main building.
3. Free shuttle service is provided from the Visitors' Centre to the Viewing Point for those who may find it difficult to walk the approximately 1-kilometre distance each way.
4. Entry inside the premises is highly reserved.

How To Reach Matrimandir

Matrimandir is located 10 kilometres from Pondicherry town, from where you can take a direct bus or taxi to Auroville. Matrimandir is situated in the Auroville township. Auroville also has a Shared Transport Service (STS) you can book your vehicle from Pondicherry on sharing basis and at a reduced cost.

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