Auroville – The city of dawn
Auroville: a dream: there should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of good will who have a sincere aspiration, could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace concord & harmony… The Mother
So there are actually two reasons why I decided to do this separate post on Auroville…
1. There is certainly a lot more to tell about Auroville as a part of itself and wanted it to be read for what it’s real beauty is…rather than mixing it up with Pondicherry.
2. Trying a different style of Travel Blogging, much popular amongst most travel bloggers. i.e A running photo commentary (New touch to this blogumentary)
So before I begin my running photo blogumentary, just a few insights on Auroville courtsey – tourism.pondicherry.gov.in
Auroville was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville came into existence in 1968. Its Charter says, “To live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness”, and describes it as “belonging to nobody in particular, but to humanity as a whole”; as a place “of constant progress”; and as “a bridge between the past and the future.”
Located around 8 kms north-west of Puducherry, Auroville was designed by the French architect Roger Anger. Around 2,000 people live there in settlements with names like Grace, Fraternity, Fertile, Certitude and Transformation. Nearly two-thirds of the residents are non-Indians.
That is Auroville beach… The beauty and the serenity of this beach is what attracted me while riding on the bike, I took a slight detour and headed off to see what it’s all about. Hardly anyone on the beach this place was true bliss!!
As I head into Auroville, when I approach the villages while enroute Matri Mandir (Golden Globe Temple) as most of you would know, I stumble across this Lotus Lake, too bad none of them have bloomed, but it’s quite a sight by itself… Next stop is the visiting center / Matri Mandir of Auroville (Matri means Mother… for those who don’t know)
Inside the visiting center, you can shop for some spirituality and peace… Something most people throng here for, besides the souvenirs of course… The fragrance of the auro candles, the beautiful blissful serenity is amazing… Once you are done with shopping here you can head on the first floor where you get free passes to the Matri Mandir, before watching a short introductory video on Auroville. A short 10 minutes film which leaves you mesmerized and truly feels great while watching it, sitting down on the carpet in an empty hall.. Spiritually rejuvenating…
This enroute a 1KM walk to the viewing point of Matri Mandir… You go there walking amongst beauty of the nature… Truly amazing the whole 1KM hike… You feel rejuvenated already.
You will find many such walking shelters to protect you from sun, rain, heat… not that it is something that you really think about especially inside the beauty of this place… The whole walk is in itself a brilliant experience…
This beautiful centipede was strolling around in peace… that is when I decided to capture it in my box… Photo Box :)
You will find these and many more on your way to the Matri mandir… True nature’s beauty making Auroville what it is from wasteland to a green revolution..
Finally after reaching the Matri Mandir, you can’t help but awe the whole structure. The central Matrimandir, which is not a temple but a place for individual silent concentration, is set in an area of 62 acres at the centre of the emerging township, and is seen as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection. Union with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity.”
During the inauguration ceremony of Auroville on 28th February 1968 , soil from 124 countries was placed in a lotus-shaped urn and mixed to symbolize universal oneness. This urn is today sited at the centre of an Amphitheatre in the Matrimandir Gardens . The Matrimandir’s 12-sided white marble Inner Chamber has a 70 cms diameter optical-quality glass globe at its centre, onto which a shaft of sunlight is focused by way of a roof-mounted heliostat. The light falling on the globe acts as a focal aid to concentration.
The Auroville Visitors Centre (Ph: 0413 – 2622239) is located near Bharat Nivas, the Indian national pavilion in Auroville’s International Zone, and is open from 0930 to 1730 hrs every day. This Centre has a permanent exhibition on the history and philosophy of the project, an Information Service offering books, brochures and leaflets on various aspects of Auroville, three boutiques, a bookshop, and a cafeteria providing refreshments and international cuisine.
And this is what I had in the cafeteria there, which by the way is run by volunteers of Auroville and the proceeds of all of it goes to the maintainence of Auroville…
All said and done, this was a trip I thoroughly enjoyed, the bike ride in a slight drizzle on a road covered on both sides with the tree, the spiritually refreshing video of auroville or the profound quotes inside the museum of the visiting center… All made me re-evaluate the way we human beings are living our lives… Truly, ‘we are the citizens of the world’ and that is the only thing that should matter… Peace…