Auroville means the city of Dawn.It is located about 10 kilometres from Pondicherry town.It was inaugurated on 28 th of February 1962 ( the year I was born ! ).It is an international township and has as a tokenism sand and soil from 175 countries around the world !It has a capacity to have a population of 50000 and currently has 2000 people from 27 countries.It is a spectacular place and you'll surely fall in love with it !
The concept of Auroville took shape in the 1950's when a Frenchwoman known as "The Mother" (she established the Ashram in Pondicherry with Sri Aurobindo) envisioned a place on earth where no nation could claim as its own. She dreamed of a Universal Town, where people of all nationalities and faiths could live in harmony.
On February 28, 1968 her dream was realized. Auroville was inaugurated with representatives of 124 countries and 23 Indian States attending. As a gesture of human unity, each placed a handful of earth from their homeland in a lotus-shaped urn.
For various reasons, the town has not been completed as The Mother planned. But work continues and today, there are 2,000+ residents from India and 45 other countries living in Auroville. They engage in various activites including organic farming, renewable energy, village development, and handicrafts.
The center of the town, and its most important structure, is the Matri Mandir - the meditation hall. This golden ball is the world's largest (30m high) man-made crystal ball. In order to visit, you must make reservations (do this before your arrival in Pondicherry). You can also spend time in meditation (silent concentration) in the inner chamber.
First stop should be the Visitor's Center (open 9:15 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.). You'll find a photo exhibition, introductory video, Matrimandir information room, and an information service desk.
Across from the Visitor's Center are three boutiques selling a wide varitey of interesting items, including some made in Auroville. There is also a cafeteria for lunch, snacks, drinks.
For anyone with a serious interest in Auroville, you may stay in one of their guesthouses from Rs 300 up. Bookings should be made 3-4 months in advance (through email@example.com).
the slowness that engulfed the place made you absorb the surroundings much more.
Its just half an hour drive from Pondicherry roughly 14 kms. Its a kind of a small colony that was established by Sri Aurobindo and has been promoted several times by UNESCO. Its purpose is to promote unity of humanity.
The centre of Auroville has a community area, it comprises of a temple and its gardens, the amphitheatre with the Urn of Human Unity.
The urn contains the soil of 121 nations and 23 Indian states, and a lake to help create an atmosphere of calm and serenity and to serve as a groundwater recharge area. We were having too much at the beach so we just cudnt make it here, but do try n get there in Pondy.
My first trip to Auroville was in August 2012 and what fascinated me most was the numerous opportunites to learn from so many communities in Auroville. There are a few which are more active and open than others and have a lot going on. Ones I visited and liked were organic farms, herb gardens, a reforestation project and animal care (I came back for this one this year and am working there). Here's a list of places -
Sadhana forest (reforestation, provides food and lodging) - http://sadhanaforest.org/
Windarra farm (farm with numerous workshops from making wind turbines to DIY bio gas, provides lodging)
Solitude farm (organic farm with natural food processing, provides lodging)
Budha Garden (organic farm with natural food processing, provides lodging)
Pebble Garden (I did not visit this one but have heard they have a seed bank)
Integrated Animal Care Center (Dog shelter) - http://foiacc.worldlywags.org/
Auroville wants 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.
In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.
The people, living in Auroville come from some 35 nations, from all age groups (from infancy to over eighty, averaging around 30), from all social classes, backgrounds and cultures, representing humanity as a whole. The population of the township is constantly growing, but currently stands at around 1,700 people, of whom approx one-third are Indian.
Auroville is located in south India, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of Pondicherry), a few kilometres inland from the Coromandel Coast, approx 160 kms south of Chennai (previously Madras) and 10 kms north of the town of Pondicherry.
Casual/day visitors get more infos at the Visitors Centre ,open daily from 9:00 to 17:30
Cheap accomodation in Auroville can be organised by the visitors center firstname.lastname@example.org
Just recently revisited Pondi (I now live like a stone's throw away from Pondi) and so it was but natural that when 4 of my closest friends came over for a 'womens only weekend', we headed to pondicherry to spend an afternoon in the Auroville Campus... Even as we deviate off from ECR into the road that takes us to the Auroville property the may quaint shops selling stoles, clothes and footwear are an extreme temptation esp to a car full of women!! ;-)
None the less we decided to check them all out on the way back and reached Auroville at around 3 PM. The many trees in this property definitely help pull down the soaring heat by a degree or two. We visited the Visitor Center that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this place. Then a short stop at the cafe on the way to the Matrimandir and we were on our way to the Golden Globe shaped Matrimandir. The slightly longish walk is not at all taxing. Do stop at the Banyan Tree for a couple of mins and feel free to wash your face at the water tank near it :-) We sure did and it was awesomely refreshing!!
To gain entry into the Matrimandir it seems we should take an appointment 2 days in advance for the meditation sessions that happen between 9 AM and 11 AM. We didn't so we couldn't enter :( All in all it is such a peaceful way to spend half a day!
While there do remember to buy some incense sticks and scented candles. They are almost half the price of what you get them here in Chennai!
Just outside of Pondicherry is a township known as Auroville. This is some kind of spiritual township with the aim of 'realizing human unity in diversity'. There is some kind of information center with exhibits on the activities of the Auroville foundation. It is open daily from 9am to 5.30pm. There is also a video viewing facility, a cafetaria and shops here. The central part of this township is the Matrimandir (Soul of the City) which looks a giant golf ball set in a big pavillion. Shows are held here at night when the residents of this township gather. Around the Matrimandir are some gardens for strolling. Visitors are free to roam around but motor vehicles are not allowed into the township. The multi-ethnic community moves around in bicyles. This is a nice place to spend a quiet and peaceful evening.
Auroville is a universal township populated by people from some 35 nations, from all social classes, backgrounds, cultures and age groups - infancy to over eighty, averaging around 30 - representing humanity as a whole. The population of the township is constantly growing, but currently stands at over 1,800 people, of whom a third are indian.
The prime purpose of Auroville is to realise human ubnity - in diversity. Today Auroville is recognized as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity.
" A universal town where men and women from all countries will be able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities’’
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother decided to build the " Auroville ( The Dawn Villa )", 10 Kms from Pondicherry, were they tried to stablish a bridge between the past and the future , taking advantage of all discoveries, not only materials but also spirituals
In an area of 20 sq. Kilometres, that could host, up to 20.000 persons, "communities" are installed dedicated to and near 2.000 persons from all over the world , that are living their dream while working, meditating and participating in the community activities
In principle is not a tourist place, but all tourists in Pondichery visit Auroville, just the visitors centre, were they explain and show you all the history, they show you a film with the most important construction moments and then you may walk to see the "Matrimandir" from the distance
Has it been a Hippie dream ? Some people agrees with all this way of life, another disagree , but I think that in any case it is an interesting option to investigate and to find the good parts of it
" Una ciudad universal, donde los hombres y mujeres de todos los países serán capaces de vivir en paz y armonía progresiva por encima de todos los credos, todas las políticas y todas las nacionalidades ''
Sri Aurobindo y la Madre decidieron construir " Auroville ( La Villa del Amanecer) ", a 10 Kms de Pondicherry, donde trataron de construir un puente entre el pasado y el futuro , aprovechando todos los descubrimientos, no sólo materiales sino también espirituales
En un área de 20 metros Kilómetros que podría , que podría albergar hasta 20.000 personas , se establecieron "comunidades" donde cerca de 2.000 personas de todo el mundo , están viviendo su sueño realizando trabajos, meditando y participando en las actividades de la comunidad
En principio no es un lugar turístico, pero todos los turistas en Pondichery van a visitar Auroville , normalmente sólo se visita el centro de visitantes , donde explican y muestran toda la historia , proyectan una película con los momentos más importantes de la construcción y después se puede ir andando a ver el " Matrimandir " desde lejos
¿Ha sido un sueño Hippie ? Algunas personas están de acuerdo con todo esta forma de vida , otros están en desacuerdo , pero creo que en todo caso, es una opción interesante para investigar y tratar de conocer sus cosas buenas
The Matrimandir is for " those who want to learn to concentrate ... "
Matrimandir in Sanskrit means " Mother Temple " , which according to Sri Aurobindo , "is what helps the humanity to overcome their limitations to the supramental consciousness"
It is a flattened sphere coated with shiny gold discs and it is surrounded by twelve chambers of meditation, which represent the attributes of the Universal Mother: Responsiveness , Progress , Courage, Kindness , Kindness, Generosity , Peace , Sincerity , Humility Gratitude , Perseverance and Aspiration
To meditate in the Matrimandir , is not easy, there are a limited number of persons who may be meditating and it is difficult to get permission , but once you get it you enter in a sort of rite of passage , for which you have to take your shoes off and wear white socks , and then in a first time descend and then ascend until you reach a large room where there are two spiral ramps that take you to the Inner House
In the interior Chamber covered with white white marble there are twelve columns that do not reach the ceiling and you have the feeling that there are no limits .
In the centre is a glass ball of 70 cm. of diameter , Made by Zeiss, which is the largest glass sphere manufacturer in the world, that reflects a ray of sun from the sun light captured through a system of mirrors
The number 12 is the magic number in the Matrimandir , as the Mother said That is a symbolic number that represents in essence the creation and the perfection .
For this reason we may see that there are twelve: paths, large and small petals , ceilings and walls in the Inner Chamber , meditation rooms , gardens, radiating roads... ( See: http://www.auroville.org/thecity/matrimandir/mm_number_12.htm )
El Matrimandir está para “aquellos que quieren aprender a concentrarse…”
Matrimandir significa en sánscrito “Templo de la Madre”, que según Sri Aurobindo, es la que ayuda a la humanidad a superar sus limitaciones hacia la consciencia supramental
Es una esfera achatada revestida por brillantes discos dorados ( o de oro? ) y está rodeado por doce cámaras de meditación, que representan los atributos de la Madre Universal : Receptividad, Progreso, Coraje, Bondad, Generosidad, Ecuanimidad, Paz, Sinceridad, Humildad, Gratitud, Perseverancia y Aspiración
Conseguir meditar en el Matrimandir, no es sencillo, hay un número limitado de personas que pueden estar meditando y es difícil conseguir el permiso, pero una vez que lo consigues entras en una especie de viaje iniciático, para el que tienes que quitarte los zapatos y ponerte unos calcetines blancos, y en un primer momento desciendes para a continuación ascender hasta que llegas a una gran sala que a través de dos rampas en espiral te llevan hasta la Cámara Interior
En esta sala recubierta de mármol blanco hay doce columnas blancas que no llegan al techo y que consiguen dar la sensación de que no hay límites.
En el centro hay una bola de cristal de 70 cm. de diámetro, hecha por Zeiss que es la mayor esfera de cristal fabricada en el mundo, que refleja un rayo de sol, proveniente del sol captado a través de un sistema de espejos
El número 12 es el número mágico en el Matrimandir, según dijo la madre es todo un símbolo, representa a la creación en su esencia y a la perfección.
Por eso podemos ver que hay doce: caminos, pétalos grandes y pequeños, techos y paredes en la cámara interior, salas de meditación, jardines, caminos radiantes... ( See : http://www.auroville.org/thecity/matrimandir/mm_number_12.htm)
When I visited this place in 2003, it was the best place I ever visited in my life. An hour of meditation was really unexplainable. I recommanded this place to many of friends but as I understand the ashram is closed from sometime. If at all you get a chance dont miss this place.