Friday, 15 March 2019

Auroville - Pondicherry. (Part 2)

Hello Readers & Travellers!!
I’m sure you must have enjoyed the earlier post about my exploration in Heritage Town in Pondicherry! Roaming around on a bicycle in the city was quite tough for me. Only later did I realise that I cycled a total of 6 to 7 kilometers with no practice. So, obviously, it was going to take a toll & it did. But, also it was a bit fun too.
Thankfully, I had booked a 2-wheeler for the remaining 2 days. Back home, if I’m out, you won’t see me without my activa. I have been riding it since years now. So, naturally, when I got a 2-wheeler, I got this feeling like I had wings & could go anywhere, so that’s exactly what I did! I drove to a temple which was way far from the city on Day 2. And while on Day 3, I rode till Auroville & back. Such fun it was!
So, in this post, I am going to write about Auroville, which is the most talked about place in Pondicherry & some nearby places around it. Hope you have fun on the tour!

Auroville is kind of like a world community where people from all over the world are united & living in harmony. They are on the same path of spirituality & peace. I mentioned about the history of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother in my earlier post & Auroville is basically their concept becoming a reality. If you watch its videos on YouTube, you will come across very interesting things. The locals as well as Foreigners both can speak Tamil as well as French languages. Also, they don’t use cash. They have a whole different setup which is quite impressive.
Auroville is about 40 minutes from the city. And, if you have the time, you should spend one entire day here. There is a lot to explore. Since, I was a bit unwell, I only went to view the Matrimandir.

I think Matrimandir is the highlight of Auroville. Once you enter, there is a Visitor’s Centre where there are entire wall size frames hung with a lot of history, purpose & other information of Auroville. Next to it is a video show room. You can watch a video on Matrimandir before actually taking the tour there.
So, Matrimandir is 1 kilometer from the main point. There is a point where you need to park your vehicles. And post that point, everything is on foot. So, you need to walk 1 km to & back for Matrimandir. The entire walk is quite nice. There are boards hung up after few periods with info about trees or flowers which are grown there. The best part is that almost the entire walk is shaded & also there are trees surrounding the narrow walkway. So, even if you are visiting at noon, you won’t feel much heat.

On the way to Matrimandir
After a lot of walking, I finally reached the Matrimandir viewing point. It was this huge ball of gold sitting at a distance. It is in the centre of Auroville & also called soul of the city. It is of spiritual significance. Inside Matrimandir, there is literally pin-drop silence & therefore is the main place for meditation.
Pass: There are 2 types of passes. If you simply want to view Matrimandir from a distance, you can get a ticket on the spot. But, if you want to go inside the structure, you need to make that pass one day prior.
Timings: 9 AM to 1 PM & 2 PM to 4.30 PM

The thing is Auroville is amazing & there are a lot of places to explore within it, which is great. But, the only problem is that you have to do all of it on foot. It is a non-vehicular area & so there are no options, but to walk. Obviously, I didn’t have the energy after a mere 2-km walk to Matrimandir, which is why I didn’t explore any of the other places. But, if you have the energy & stamina, these places are a must-visit.

Auroville Botanical Garden:
Auroville Botanical Garden is about a 50 minutes’ walk from Matrimandir View Point. It provides a variety of exotic plants & flowers. It is also the base where they conduct educational programmes. It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM every day & it takes about 20-30 minutes to explore it.
Svaram – Musical Instruments:
Svaram is another community within the Auroville community dedicated to healing by music. It promotes harmonization & well-being by the way of music. I really wanted to visit this too because I hadn’t seen or heard anything quite like this, but it was about a 30 minutes’ walk from Matrimandir View Point, so I decided to skip that too. It is open from 8.30 AM to 12.30 PM & 1.30 PM to 5 PM.
Auroville Beach:
Pondicherry is so well known for its beaches, but I just stuck to Rock Beach. Well, Auroville Beach is out of Auroville & next to ECR. It can be a good relaxing way after spending the day at Auroville.
Serenity Beach:
This beach is pretty famous & literally serene. If you are in Pondicherry, you must visit this beach.

One of my friends had suggested to visit this temple & so I did. It is about 30 minutes ride from Auroville & definitely not one of the easiest places to locate. If you are travelling alone, do not go here by yourself. Once you take the turn from ECR, it doesn’t stop there. It’s in the interiors of interiors. After a lot of lost turns, misguided routes, insurmountable fear & strangers creeping in the background, I finally reached the temple. And, my luck is so amazing, that it was closed! So, all the efforts for nothing!
I wouldn’t have taken so much pain for just a simple temple. The specialty of this one was that it was a Pyramid temple of Lord Nataraj. And, you don’t get to see a lot of pyramid temples, which is why I was so keen. Even though it was closed, I had a look at it from the outside. It was a small-sized pyramid temple hidden away in the forest & in proximity to the beach. It had its own different grandeur. Another reason, I was interested in visiting this temple was because of the beach right behind it. But, of course, I didn’t stay for long as it didn’t seem safe. 
This was my experience, if you really want to visit, it’s your choice. But keep the above in mind.
Timings: 9 AM to 12 PM & 4 PM to 7 PM.

On the way to the temple

Stay tuned for the next post where I will write about my AirBnb stay experience & come up with some restaurant recommendations!!
Until next time,

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