The spiritual town of Auroville is one of the top-rated destinations in India. This experimental town was built on the philosophy of spirituality and the need to connect with nature. Visitors from all over the world come here, to engage in various workshops, introspect, reconnect with their roots, to seek some spiritual guidance, or to just visit the place.
Auroville is located in Chennai, near Pondicherry. When I first heard about this place, I was instantly charmed by the concept. After some preliminary research, I decided to see this town on my own and headed off to the pious realm of Auroville
The town was bought by Mirra Alfassa in 1968. It was then developed into this centre for spiritual and holistic learning, based on the principles of nature. Everybody, no matter what their caste, culture, gender, and religion is, is welcome here.
There is a golden orb located right in the centre of Auroville and is often called the soul of the city. This orb symbolizes the practice of Yoga. The entire place and the orb look about 37 years to construct. Shri Aurobindo was also a pioneer and founder of Auroville.
When I first reached here, I was quite pleased and even surprised by the space. Everything was spread out, and there were huge open spaces. Even though there were people, the place was exceedingly quiet. It was like everybody was talking in a low tone to maintain the serenity of the place.
Auroville has no street lamps, and my first night here was quite an experience. I had never visited a place like this. The place is quite safe, but I did carry a torch to help me see the way. Auroville is quite a safe place, and on the very first day, I found myself heading out for a midnight stroll without any fear. It was quite something to walk around at night and feel completely at ease.
This is perhaps the most iconic and popular landmark in Auroville. After munching on a delicious organic breakfast, I headed off to visit the famous Matrimandir, and to understand what was all the hype about.
When I first reached there, I was quite mesmerized by the giant golden ball located right in the middle of Auroville. It looked quite regal. The building almost feels like it is from a whole another world. Inside the building, every single piece of furniture and the walls are colored white. It feels quite serene to walk inside through these pristine white walls and feel the piste energies inside the veins. It is quite an architectural marvel. There is a meditation area, where a crystal is kept. The sun rays penetrate through the roof and fall upon this crystal, making the meditation area look gorgeous and royal. It is quite a sight to witness
Once I looked through the building, I was escorted to the viewing point. This viewing point is located about 1 km from the visitor center. While the distance is not too much, the heat can get quite overbearing. So, if you are unable to walk then just grand on of these electric vehicles and they will take you to the point. There are no charges for this ride.
The walk, however, it quite rejuvenating, and you will feel blessed. Flowers are hanging from little pots, little cobbles paths and lush green trees that provide the needed shade. It is like walking through a Japanese garden.
Finally, I reached the viewing point. The place is quite tranquil, and you should meditate here. While I did not have the privilege of time to sit and meditate, I have heard that if you meditate here, then you can feel the blood in your body vibrate with a different kind of energy. It is extremely cathartic to meditate here, and you should do it if you have the time.
Auroville is a place for people who are looking to open their minds and try something new. There is always something happening here, and you will never run out of things to do. During my stay, I managed to catch a few foreign movies in the town hall, followed by a pizza party at the Youth club and even attended a dance class!
When you are visiting Auroville, scroll through the events and attend the ones you can. All of these events will not only make you try something new but you can also make new friends and indulge in a wholesome atmosphere. It was quite liberating for me.
From yoga classes to pottery, there are several events, so pick the ones you like and have fun.
One of my favourite activity to do in Auroville was to walk on the beach. The Auroville beach is a stunning golden and black beach, and you will fall in love with it. This serene beach captured my heart on the very first day. The soft crashing waves, the little rocks and the entire sea in front of me, gave me ample time to sit and introspect. The beach is quiet and away from the hustle-bustle. It is quite a beautiful feeling to just walk or sit in isolation with only the waves to keep you company
Auroville provides a great opportunity for tourists and visitors to give back to society. There are several volunteering opportunities that you can partake in, and make your stay even more memorable and meaningful.
I decided to volunteer for the Sadhana Forest. Here you need to go inside a forest and live there while working to restore the eroded land. It is a wonderful program, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It was also quite different and wonderful to live inside a dense forest, without much connection to the outside world. I felt so much closer to nature and was able to detoxify myself greatly.
Auroville has a great many places where you can stay. While there are no five-star hotels, Auroville is filled with homestays and guest houses. Both of them are viable options, and you can choose whichever you prefer.
However, Auroville is quite a popular place among tourists, so make sure you book your stay about three to six months in advance. I had to book my stay about fur months in advance.
Some of the guesthouses also have certain rules, like minimum stay requirements, so make sure you check all of that before booking.
Auroville is quite a different and beautiful town. It has its way to get the best out of you and make you a better person. After my trip, I felt as if all of my burdens and worries had been magically lifted. I felt calmer and more in control of my life and emotions. Auroville is also quite a picturesque place. You can come here just to take a break and try something different. You can also head off to Pondicherry for a night or two from here. It quite a lovely city to visit and located quite close to Auroville