Visiting Auroville - Ideas for more than a day trip
Auroville has many small-town charms, ones that can’t be enjoyed in just a short day. Tourists often breeze through the city, only getting a fast look at the sites. However, with many things to do and see, it deserves more than just a passing glance. Here is an non exhaustive list of things one can do in and out of Auroville, including the most well-known landmarks.
Visit the Matrimandir: Visiting passes to the Matrimandir are available for free, and must be booked, at the least, a day in advance. However, with certain permissions, one could even visit the inner chamber ( as this space is generally restricted for Aurovillians).The structure is spiritually significant, and is a must-see when visiting Auroville.
Visit Savitri Bhavan: This is another peculiar building, and serves as Auroville’s urban center. There are many study programs on Sri Aurobindo and his texts which take place here. The Savitri Bhavan also has a large art gallery with many interesting pieces, and changing exhibitions.
Visitor’s Centre: The Visitor’s Centre, true to its name, is a great place for tourists to get information about Auroville, and one can watch a short informative video. The center boasts many small cafes and two restaurants, as well as boutiques selling locally sourced goods (the items are all produced in Auroville). One can easily spend at least half a day just here.
Visit Svaram: Svaram is a place where musical instruments are made from scratch, including design, and is a musicians and music lovers dream. It consists of a workshop, with a shop closeby which sells all its creative wares.
Visit the beaches: There are many great entry-spots from where tourists can access the coastline to gaze upon azure waters, but one of the most popular spots is Srima Beach, which is open till 6;30pm (sometimes till later).
Visit Auroville Botanical Gardens: The AV Botanical Gardens are some of the largest and most flourishing in the region and are well worth the visit, as one can see hundreds of types of plant species. There is even a hedge maze, for those who are looking for adventure.
Visit the Parks: there many parks in Auroville, but for those looking for peace and quiet, Unity Park is one of the calmest spots for meditation, with trees to sit under, and rocks to sit on.
Visit the city of Pondicherry: For tourists staying in an Aurovillian guest house it is nice to take a day and travel the 20 minutes to Pondicherry, where there are many remnants of old French architecture, as well as the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the popular promenade. Pondicherry, being coastal, naturally also offers a wide array of seafood as well, and traditional Tamil and french cuisine.
Within Auroville there are many small eateries and cafes which have both local and international food ranging from dosas to kimchi and even falafel. In addition to this, there are numerous stores and boutiques along the main road which have many interesting items on display. Visitors can also participate in an abundance of activities and classes from yoga to gardening.
Pictures/Picture Right bu Auroville OutreachMedia.