Top 10 Places to Visit in Auroville

The city of dawn wishes to sow the thread of unity into the fabric of society. The founder of the community was affectionately called Mother. She was the disciple of Sri Aurobindo and modeled the town as per his ideals. The town promotes the idea of equality where there are no political or economic biases in the way of a life of harmony. People of all castes creeds and nationalities are welcomed with an open heart. The vision behind setting up the community was to create a society that functions above the fulfillment of material pleasures and joy. A place where one’s spiritual identity is more important than the social labels they carry.

A visit to Auroville would be a spiritual one. The administrators recommend at least a ten-day visit to the town. They want it to be more than a look and see. The purpose of visiting Auroville is to feel and understand the vision they are trying to bring to life. Visitors are given tours of the area by long time residents thus a thorough insight of the area can be formed. They have guest quarters that are used to house the many visitors curious to know more about the town. It would be a good idea to contact them about vacancies beforehand. There are numerous activities that can be undertaken during a visit to Auroville.

1. Matrimandir

Photo by Terry Presley, CC BY 2.0

Matrimandir translating to the temple of the mother is the heart of Auroville. The most striking feature of it is the golden dome that is visible from afar. To visit the temple, you need to go to the visitor centre where you are given information on the Matrimandir and after that, you can see it from the viewing gardens outside.  The subsequent day a visit inside the temple is possible.

2. Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens
Photo by Bagavath G, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are more than 250 different species of trees present here. The botanical garden works toward doing their bit in preserving our environment. The place also has an environmental education center.

3. Internal Yoga

Internal Yoga was propounded by Sri Aurobindo. This was seen as a method of not just understanding our conscience but moving above from petty prejudices and worldly pleasures. Anyone interested in the spiritual art must try and find out about it more during their visit.

4. Savitri Bhavan

Savitri Bhavan
Photo by Sanyam Bahga, CC BY-SA 3.0

Located near the Bharat Niwas, Savitri Bhawan is an open library that houses the works of Sri Aurobindo and Mother. Talks and seminars are organised here on the teachings of the two, open for everyone.

5. Forests

Photo by Rashi Kalra, CC BY-SA 2.0

Auroville has extensive forested lands. Sadhana Forest being one of it. There are intern programmes that run in the area. They mostly talk about afforestation in the region. There are sets of individuals who work on this process and decide what is to be grown where.

6. Cultural Pavilions

Cultural Pavilions
Courtyard of Tibetan Centre, Photo by John Hill, CC BY-SA 4.0

The diverse population of Auroville sports a diverse set of cultural beliefs. This diversity is reflected in the cultural pavilion. This is the place where residents of different nations come up and get an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage.

7. Peace Tables

The very vision of Auroville is emulated by the peace tables. These tables are placed at various places across the world. They are supposed to signify the simple fact that every being in the world is equal and con not be discriminated upon.  It is located near the unity pavilion that is a sight in itself.

8. Volunteering

An important part of the stay would be volunteering in the many activities that are happening in the vicinity. It is not enough to just interact with the residents. A more hands-on approach would be to participate and experience the whole process first hand.

9. Beach Area

Beach Area
Auro Beach, Photo by Praveen, CC BY 2.0

The town is close to Pondicherry and five kilometers away from the coast. The azure waters and the gleaming sand is the right spot to find oneself every evening.  This is a tranquil setting that will help you internalise all that you have seen and understood that day.

10. Workshops and Seminars

As a means to interact with the outside world and spread the message of harmony, Auroville organizes various summer workshops and seminars. These seminars and workshops aim to spread the ideals of Auroville to a larger population. The seminars help understands the various activities that the residents undertake and the way of life in the town.

A visit to Auroville will open up your mind to new possibilities. It would make you ponder and question ideas and notions that we so readily accept. If nothing you will get food for thought.

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About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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