Auroville, nestled in the tropical landscapes of southern India, exudes a unique and enchanting beauty. The township’s lush greenery, punctuated by palm groves and vibrant flora, creates a tranquil and serene atmosphere. Auroville’s architectural diversity is a visual delight, with buildings designed to blend harmoniously with nature, showcasing sustainable and innovative designs. The heart of Auroville, the Matrimandir, stands as a radiant lotus-like sphere amidst pristine gardens, evoking a sense of awe and spiritual wonder.
The interconnected red earth roads, lined with trees, invite leisurely walks and bike rides. Auroville’s beauty lies not only in its physical aesthetics but also in the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures, fostering a sense of global unity and peace. It’s a place where nature, spirituality, and human creativity intertwine to create a haven of serenity and inspiration.
Here are some activities we suggest you include in your itinerary while visiting in 2023
1. Visit Matrimandir
Visiting Matrimandir in Auroville is a spiritual and architectural odyssey that transports you to a realm of serene contemplation and breathtaking beauty. This iconic structure, often referred to as the “soul of Auroville,” is an awe-inspiring meditation center that stands as a luminous, golden sphere amidst lush gardens and tranquil surroundings. Approaching the Matrimandir, you’ll be struck by its captivating design and radiant aura. Inside, a serene meditation chamber with a crystal globe at its core invites quiet reflection and introspection.
The ambiance is one of profound tranquility, allowing visitors to connect with their inner selves and experience a sense of universal unity. The Matrimandir experience is a spiritual journey and a testament to the harmonious blend of architecture, nature, and spirituality that defines Auroville.
2. Take a guided tour
Taking a guided tour in Auroville is an enriching journey through the heart of this unique and spiritually inspired community. Led by knowledgeable guides who are often residents of Auroville themselves, these tours offer valuable insights into the township’s history, philosophy, and daily life. Visitors are introduced to the Matrimandir, the symbolic and spiritual center of Auroville, where they can explore the beautiful gardens and learn about its architectural significance.
Guided tours also showcase Auroville’s eco-friendly practices, sustainable living initiatives, and the diverse cultural and artistic endeavors of its residents. Whether you’re interested in the community’s philosophy of human unity or its innovative approaches to sustainable living, a guided tour provides an immersive and enlightening experience, leaving you with a deeper understanding of Auroville’s purpose and essence.
3. Visit the Auroville Visitors Centre
A visit to the Auroville Visitors Centre is your gateway to understanding and embracing the ethos of Auroville, India’s experimental utopian community. This welcoming hub offers a wealth of information and experiences. The main building’s striking architecture and its iconic golden globe invite exploration and reflection. Inside, you’ll find an informative exhibition that delves into Auroville’s history, philosophy, and sustainable initiatives.
The center also hosts a boutique offering handcrafted products, books, and clothing inspired by Auroville’s artistic community. A visit provides a valuable orientation to the community’s vision of human unity, environmental stewardship, and spiritual growth.
4. Explore the Ashram
Exploring the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry, India, is a transformative journey into the world of spirituality, philosophy, and inner peace. Founded by Sri Aurobindo Ghose and The Mother (Mirra Alfassa) in the early 20th century, this ashram is a sanctuary of spiritual growth and self-realization. The serene and meticulously maintained ashram campus includes the Samadhi, where the physical remains of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother are interred, serving as a focal point for meditation and reflection.
The ashram’s library is a treasure trove of spiritual literature, philosophy, and teachings. Visitors can explore tranquil courtyards, meditation spaces, and the elegant marble-floored courtyard known as the Playground. The atmosphere is one of contemplation and tranquility, allowing individuals to connect with their inner selves and experience a sense of profound harmony and spiritual awakening.
5. Visit the Botanical Gardens
A visit to the Botanical Gardens in Puducherry, India, is a delightful escape into a lush oasis of natural beauty and serenity. Established in 1826, these meticulously landscaped gardens sprawl over 22 acres and are a testament to the town’s colonial legacy. As you wander through the well-maintained pathways, you’ll encounter a mesmerizing array of exotic plants, rare tree species, vibrant flowers, and serene water features. The highlight is the imposing and ancient banyan tree with its expansive canopy providing respite from the sun. The Botanical Gardens also house a musical fountain that comes to life with colorful displays in the evenings.
6. Go shopping
Shopping in Auroville offers a unique and conscious retail experience in a community that values sustainability and craftsmanship. Auroville’s boutiques and stores, often run by local artisans and residents, feature a wide array of handcrafted products that reflect the community’s commitment to eco-friendly and ethical practices. From beautifully woven textiles, pottery, and handmade paper to organic foods, essential oils, and unique clothing items, Auroville’s shops showcase the best of sustainable and artistic creations. The boutiques are not just places to purchase goods; they are spaces where you can engage with artisans, learn about their crafts, and appreciate their dedication to mindful living.
7. Taste Local Delicacies
Tasting local delicacies in Auroville is a gastronomic journey that reflects the community’s commitment to sustainable living and mindful eating. Auroville’s cafes and restaurants serve up a delectable array of dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients, often sourced locally. From wholesome vegetarian and vegan fare to fusion cuisines that blend global influences with regional flavors, Auroville’s culinary scene offers something for every palate.
Don’t miss the chance to savor dishes like wood-fired pizzas, farm-to-table salads, and innovative desserts made with indigenous ingredients. Dining in Auroville is not just about satisfying your taste buds; it’s a celebration of conscious and healthy eating that aligns with the community’s ethos of well-being and harmony with nature.
8. Visit Bharat Nivas
Visiting Bharat Nivas in Auroville, India, is an exploration of cultural exchange and a celebration of human unity. This international township within Auroville serves as a bridge between diverse cultures, fostering understanding and collaboration among people from all corners of the world. Bharat Nivas, meaning “Pavilion of India,” is a hub of cultural activities, where you can engage with artists, musicians, and scholars from India and abroad.
The architecture itself is a blend of Indian and global influences, creating a harmonious environment for dialogue and creativity. Whether you attend cultural events, and workshops, or simply take in the ambiance of this unique space, Bharat Nivas offers a profound glimpse into Auroville’s mission of universal harmony and unity in diversity.
Auroville offers a truly enriching and unique array of experiences that resonate with its ethos of conscious living, sustainability, and unity. From exploring the spiritual serenity of Matrimandir and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to immersing oneself in the community’s artistic and sustainable practices through shopping and dining, Auroville is a haven for seekers of inner wisdom, cultural enthusiasts, and those who appreciate mindful living. The township’s harmonious blend of nature, art, and spirituality creates a holistic environment that invites visitors to connect with their inner selves while embracing a sense of global unity.
See Also: Things to Do in Pondicherry