Aurovillle

Auroville better known “City of Dawn” is a universal township situated north-west of Pondicherry on the East Coast Road. Founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, who is also known as ‘The Mother’; the spiritual follower of Sri Aurobindo and designed by Roger Anger., the French architect.

Auroville

Purpose of Auroville

Auroville is a universal township where people from of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all nationalities, creed, and politics. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity and transformation of consciousness among the people that will bestow the spiritual, cultural, environmental and social needs to the mankind. This "universal township" is believed to contribute extensively in the "progress of humanity towards its splendid future by bringing together people of goodwill and aspiration for a better world."

The most important aspect of this township is that all the countries have their permanent pavilions, reflecting their tradition, beliefs and culture. In fact a universal town, people however speak their own language. This is a place where people with different nationalities, beliefs and culture live in harmony, a multinational, multilingual and multicultural population residing in peace and harmony.

The Auroville handbook is the official guide to Auroville. It can be bought from the Visitors' Centre, the local bookshops or on Auroville's website. A map of the town can be bought in Pondicherry at the Boutique de Auroville and at the visitor’s center in Auroville.

Matrimandir in Auroville

Auroville in Puducherry

The Government of India and UNESCO have endorsed the project. In the middle of the township, is the Matrimandir, a golden metallic sphere which has been acclaimed as "a marvelous and unique architectural feat. Matrimandir’s concept was conceived by Mirra Alfassa as "a representation of Universal Mother". During the inaugural ceremony of Auroville on 28 February 1968, soil from 124 countries was placed in a lotus-shaped urn and was mixed to signify universal oneness. Matrimandir - Meaning "Temple of the Mother" in Sanskrit, is the geographical and spiritual heart of Auroville. The outside is plated with gold, while the inside is stark white with a gigantic crystal in the center. Bags, cell phones and cameras are not allowed in the temple.

While it was initially planned to accommodate e 50,000 people from all over the world, the actual population today is 2,000, coming from different countries. The community is divided up into neighborhoods with English, French, Sanskrit, and Tamil names. It is advisable for visitors who come with a deeper interest and in fact want to visit one of Auroville's projects, to make an appointment with the concerned place through the Information Desk at the Visitors Centre.

Matrimandir Information Kiosk:
Phone (0413) 262-2373
E-mail: mmaccess@auroville.org.in

The residents are involved in agriculture, administration, commerce and handicrafts, education, healthcare and development projects.  AuroRE Systems, is an international award winning unit involved in solar photovoltaic and thermal systems. Auroville has various activities including several schools, research institute and other establishments. The research institute conducts research on energy, agriculture and many other areas. Casual visitors are encouraged to go first to the Visitors Centre, which is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and offers information, exhibitions, a video viewing facility, a cafeteria and shopping facilities.

Accommodation in Auroville

Guest accommodations are available in various settlements around the township area. The charges vary between Rs 150 and Rs 1000 per person per night depending on the type of accommodation and facilities provided. Advance booking is advised, and can be done either through the Auroville Guest Service, located upstairs at the Solar Kitchen (avguests@auroville.org.in), or by contacting one of the guest houses directly.

There are more than 450 beds in different guesthouses in Auroville, and many more in the other hotels near the township, which are generally less expensive. The best way is to go to the visitors' center in Auroville and browse through their book in which you can see the rooms and get details about them. Prices generally range from Rs 150-4100 per person per day.

Some well known guest houses include Aspiration with delicious food, Shranga, Verite, Youth Camp, and Gratitude. Overnight guests in Auroville's guest houses are expected to pay a daily contribution of Rs 100 (30 for students), which is often included in the guesthouse rate. For this contribution you receive a Guest Card which allows you to use the services of Auroville, like the Solar Kitchen, classes and some shops. December through February is the busiest time in Auroville. Visitors are advised to plan the trip in advance.

Each guest has to contribute financially towards the maintenance and development of the township and its infrastructure (water, roads, electricity, farms, education etc.). At present, visitors are requested to contribute Rs 60 per day per adult, Rs 30 per day per teenager, for children below the age of 12 no payment is required. There is also a student rate of Rs 30 per day.

The guest contribution is reduced to Rs 50 if the stay is for one month or longer. This contribution is not included in the guesthouse price. After payment of this contribution, guest passes and cards are issued by some of the major guesthouses, by the Financial Service near Aspiration and the Guest Service at Solar Kitchen. This pass will enable visitor to move more freely through the township as they are for certain facilities and services. A bicycle rental is around Rs 20 per day and motor bike rental is around Rs 100 per day.

Visitors can buy hammocks, hand made stone sculptures, and cool clothing, LED headlights, and books about Auroville.

Restaurants in Auroville

A meal at the Solar Kitchen costs Rs 60, a card is required. The Solar Kitchen is the most popular place to eat, the food is delicious. La Terrace cafe serves coffees, salads, sandwiches and different international dishes. Do not miss the mushroom pasta with egg and the ice-cream. They do not accept cash: visitors must apply for a guest card at the visitor's centre, fill it with credit, and pay using that account. Both, La Terrace and the Solar Kitchen use organic products. Ganesha Bakery is another popular joint in Auroville famous for its meals and baked products. Visitor Centre has a superb cafe with daily specials and a wide range of Indian and European food including great vegetarian food, drinks and desserts. Le Morgan at the Town Hall is a French restaurant is open for lunch and dinners. It is open to people staying in Auroville and is closed on Mondays and opens till 5 on other days. New Creation Corner serves great vegetarian dishes, and has a great atmosphere. Paradise Pizza is an amazing pizza restaurant where the pizzas are cooked on a clay oven and taste delicious. They also offer some daily specials of pasta. Kofibar a sweet little cafe near the Auroville Bakery and serves some delicious food.

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