Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Tourism

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Auroville

 
Place
:
Viluppuram District, Puducherry
Significance
:
An 'experimental' township
Timings
:
9 am to 5.30 pm.
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Auroville 10 km north of Puduchery (Pondicherry), is a small city that has grown steadily over the years into a sizable and self sufficient community with comfortable villas set in 2,600 acres of grounds on the fringe of the ocean. Situated in Viluppuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu, Auroville was founded by Mirra Alfassa as a project of Sri Aurobindo Society on Wednesday 28 February, 1968. She was Sri Aurobindo’s French senior disciple and successor, known to her followers as The Mother.

Auroville doesn’t follow any particular religion or community but it encourages a multi - cultural environment where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Designed by a French Architect Roger Anger, Auroville, a 'universal town' has over 100 settlements connected with a network of dirt roads and interspersed with Tamil farming villages.

Set up an international trust by the Indian Government and approved by the UNESCO general assembly, Auroville is an independent from the Aurobindo Ashram. Now, Auroville with around twenty thousand residents from forty countries are working together to transform 2,600 acres to eroded and deforested wasteland into a green and self sufficient community.

Previously the land was a tropical semi - evergreen scrub jungle but today the town surrounded by trees which are planted by the Aurovilians, who take part in all the activities around and, within the town. Today, the community produces woven textiles, marble dyed silks, handmade papers, perfumes etc. Over two million forest trees, fruit trees, hedges and shrubs have been planted. An integrated soil and water conservation program includes organic farms and raised earth banks and ditches to catch monsoon rains. The community is committed to renewable energy and appropriate technology and boasts over thirty water pumping windmills, forty biogas plants, several organic wastewater treatment plants, solar photovoltaic panels and a fleet of Window mounted retractable solar cooker, Roof integrated solar water heater and food dryers. 

The city houses the Matrimandir (Temple of the Divine Mother) at the centre. It is a one hundred foot high spherical structure with the lotus bud shaped foundation. The foundation urn where 124 people put soil from their own country. It's outerwalls are decorated by a mesh of gold-encased discs and its staircases ascend to an exquisite meditation chamber of white marble floor and walls. Daylight entering from a hole in the roof is directed to a huge crystal globe which glows mysteriously providing a focus for meditation. The Matrimandir meditation hall is open for viewing from 3.30 to 4.30 pm. Contact : 0413-2622204/68. There are twelve gardens surrounding the Matri Mandir gardens and associated landscaping. The gardens are open between 9 am and 5 pm. 

The Visitors Center is the place to start the process of getting a pass to the Matrimandir. It is open from 9.30 am to 5.30pm. At visitors centre one will get facilities include an information center offering books, brochures and photo displays, an art gallery and a video shows (Timings: 10.30 & 11.30am and at 2.30, 3 & 3.30pm). There is also a cafeteria and some boutiques offering shopping opportunities.

Timing for issue of Passes at the Visitor's Centre: Weekdays: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm; 1.45pm to 4.00 pm. Sundays: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Those who are interested in joining Auroville as a permanent resident, need to get an approval from the Entry Group who will give a letter of recommendation. With this letter one can get an entry pass that will allow the person to Auroville as a new comer for a probationary period of one year. During this time one have to participate fully in the work. After one year the person become a full member of Auroville.







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