Auroville: Beach, Gardens & Matri Mandir

October 25, 2014

We started the day-2 with Auroville. When I searched Auroville in my phone Maps app, I was bit shocked to see that the destination arrow didn’t settle at any particular coordinate , it was keep expanding to a large area. Then I understood that Auroville is not a single location, it’s almost a township, which is scattered over little forested, little semi-urban, and some beach areas. For someone new to Pondicherry, it is bit difficult to pinpoint exactly where the Auroville is .

Auroville Beach:
First we stopped by the Auro beach., is on the way to Auroville Village -  is right across the East Coast Road, ~ 8 kms from the Pondicherry town. This is one of the raw /open beaches in Pondicherry area, is not so big, not so clean, almost nil maintenance…, but still this is one of the beautiful beaches..

The coast of Auro beach looked little different – with some unique golden and volcanic black sand, on the shores of crystal clear deep blue sea. People were taking bath and enjoying dives on the roaring sea. We spent almost two hours playing with the splashing waves and relaxing on the shores. Witnessed the scenes of fishermen getting in to the sea for fishing and coming back with loads of fresh fishes on their nets!!!.. Clicked some really nice snaps to preserve our memories of Auro beach, before we pack-up to the Auroville Village.

We enjoyed our time over there, but this beach really needs a lot of improvement. There’re no shops over there, except a small stall frying fish and some bhajjis - which was anyway not hygiene enough. The local fisherman and visitors have made the beautiful beach as dirty as possible, Get to see lot of sea shells and polluted wastes lying here and there. It badly needs some maintenance, else soon it will loose all the visitors.

Auroville Village:
After reaching the Auroville village campus, we first headed to the Visitor's Center to know about the history of Matrimandir and Auroville, there were displays in pictures, videos and in small model structures . They directed us to a walking path to the viewing point of the matri madir (we didn’t plan to get into the mandir, it requires prebooking). The walk path is almost a kilometer long amidst a thick garden(I would call it as a forest, its that thick!)

Auroville Gardens:
When they asked us to walk the 1+ kilometer from visitor centre to Matrimadir, we felt terrific, but after walking through the gardens only we understood their intention of making us to walk. The Matrimadir is surrounded by 12 unique gardens, which were thought and designed by the mother-  herself. Each of these 12 gardens indicates 12 flowers symbolizing 12 human qualities/significance. Walking through all these garden was quite informative and some thought provovking!

Garden Names: Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Light, Life, Power, Wealth, Utility, Progress, Youth, Harmony, Perfection
Matri Mandir:
Finally, we are at the viewing point of the matrimandir. What a beautiful view it is..The golden globe Meditation building (my daughter’d have called as a giant Ferrero Rocher :) surrounded by beautiful gardens was very pleasant. We did not attempt to enter into the Mandir, my small kid may not allow us to sit silent inside the meditation hall. So we just enjoyed the outside view, read the history of the place and the 500 years old banyan tree beside the mandir.
To read a Brief History of Matrimandir’s Conception click here

There was no need to walk back, free shuttles dropped us back at the visitor centre. Spent some time on the information centre, shopping area , café and drove back to Pondicherry town, after a slight lunch in between.

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  1. Oh, this series is very good!!! Now I truly, truly want to experience all that you have written about. You should seriously consider a career in writing travelogues. You are extremely good at it