10 Amazing Places to Visit in Auroville

Dawn wishes to weave the thread of unity into the fabric of society. Mother was affectionately known as the founder of the community. Sri Aurobindo’s disciple modelled the town according to his ideals. Embracing a life of harmony, the town promotes equality without political or economic bias. People of all castes, creeds, and nationalities are welcomed with an open heart. The vision behind setting up the community was to create a society that functions above the fulfilment of material pleasures and joy. A place where people’s spiritual identities are more important than their social labels.

A visit to Auroville would be a spiritual one. Visit the town for at least ten days, according to the administrators. They want it to be more than a look and see. A visit to Auroville is about experiencing and understanding the vision they are attempting to realize. Visitors are given tours of the area by long-time residents; thus, a thorough insight into the area can be formed. Their guest quarters are used to accommodate the many visitors who are curious about the town. It would be a good idea to contact them about vacancies beforehand. There are numerous activities that can be undertaken during a visit to Auroville.

1. Matrimandir

Auroville’s heart is the Matrimandir, or temple of the mother. The most striking feature of it is the golden dome that is visible from afar. At the visitor centre, information is given about the Matrimandir, and then you can see it from the viewing gardens outside. On a subsequent day, a visit inside the temple is possible.

2. Cultural Pavilions

Auroville has a diverse population with different cultural beliefs. This diversity is reflected in the cultural pavilion. People from all over the world come here and showcase their cultural heritage.

3. Peace Tables

Peace tables emulate the very vision of Auroville. These tables are placed at various places across the world. It signifies that all beings in the world are equal and cannot be discriminated against. It is located near the unity pavilion, which is a sight in itself.

4. Volunteering

The stay would be incomplete without volunteering in the many activities that are taking place in the area. It is not enough to just interact with the residents. A more hands-on approach would be to participate and experience the whole process firsthand.

5. Beach Area

The town is close to Pondicherry and five kilometres away from the coast. Azure waters and gleaming sand are the perfect places to unwind every evening. This is a tranquil setting that will help you internalize all that you have seen and understood that day.

6. Workshops and seminars

To interact with the outside world and spread the message of harmony, Auroville organizes various summer workshops and seminars. In these seminars and workshops, Auroville’s ideals are spread to a larger audience. The seminars help understand the various activities that the residents undertake and the way of life in the town.

7. Forests

Auroville has extensive forested lands. Sadhana Forest is one of them. There are internship programs that run in the area. They mostly talk about afforestation in the region. Various individuals are involved in this process and decide what is to be grown where.

8. Savitri Bhavan

A public library near the Bharat Niwas, Savitri Bhawan houses the works of Sri Aurobindo and their Mother. Talks and seminars are organized here on the teachings of the two, open for everyone.

9. Internal Yoga

Internal Yoga was propounded by Sri Aurobindo. By doing this, we were not just able to understand our conscience but also move above petty prejudices and worldly pleasures. Anyone interested in spiritual art must try and find out more about it during their visit.

10. Botanical Garden

There are more than 250 different species of trees present here. The botanical garden works toward doing its bit in preserving our environment. There is also an environmental education centre here.

Visits to Auroville will open your mind to new possibilities. You would have to contemplate and question ideas and notions that we so readily accept. If nothing, you will get food for thought.

Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Serenity, Spirituality, Divinity
  • Entrance Fee: There is no entry fee for this location. Children younger than three years old are not permitted to enter.
  • Visiting Time: 8 AM to 12 noon and then from 2 PM to 4 PM
  • Visit Duration: 1 hour to 2 hours

The perfect spot to complement the serenity of Pondicherry is what the Ashram stands for. Sri Aurobindo Ashram has achieved worldwide recognition for the work it has done within its community, which lives and works throughout Pondicherry. Aurobindo Ghosh and his followers established this in the eastern part of Pondicherry after stepping away from politics to focus on spiritual activities. The community grew under him, and the Mother now has an innumerable number of people working for the cause both within the city and from elsewhere. This Ashram has a courtyard in the middle where the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are adorned with flowers and kept for followers to visit and meditate around. The dynamic culture of the place has a library with teachings and history of the place. 

Things to Do

  • Enjoy the calming surroundings and enter a different world of serenity.
  • Learn about the life of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and their history and teachings.
  • You can also visit the nearby library that has all the books about the people and their way of life at the Ashram.
  • Take a look at the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which is adorned with many flowers.
  • Watch the short movie at the visitor’s centre, which has the history of how the Ashram and their way of life were formed.
  • Visit the famous Ganapathy temple nearby, which was beautifully built and has amazing architecture.
  • Shop at the local markets which have got a great collection of local goods to collect souvenirs.
  • Eat out at the plethora of available options and offer different food from many parts of the country.

Traveller Tips

  • All phones should be turned off at all times, and silence should be maintained at all times.
  • Children below the age of four are not allowed within the area.
  • Photography without proper permission is not allowed.

Availability of guides

The Ashramites will guide you throughout the whole Ashram and explain the purpose and way of life. There will be no need for guides within the Ashram.

Best Time to Visit

The climate of Pondicherry is almost constant throughout the year as it is a coastal region. During the summer, it can be quite humid and make the trip uncomfortable. August is the month when Sri Aurobindo’s birthday is celebrated throughout the city, making it a great time to visit the Ashram. Visiting the city during the winter is a pleasant experience due to the mild climate.

How to Reach

There is an Ashram right on the beach in Rue di La Marine. Pondicherry has flights coming from cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore. The nearest railway station is located 35 kilometres away at Villupuram. The city is well served by buses, and auto-rickshaws and cabs are widely used for travel within the city.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About Sri Aurobindo Ashram

  • Aurobindo Ghosh founded the Ashram in 1926 after living a life as a poet and politician.
  • It focuses on yoga and meditation as methods of achieving spiritual greatness.
  • As a result of her devotion to Ashram’s way of life, Mira Alfassa became known as the Mother, and she played an important role in establishing the Ashram.
  • The Ashram has got a trust through which it gets many donations from followers for its functioning and activities.
  • Additionally, the organization publishes several journals that describe the details of the work and the spirituality behind their way of life.

Nearby Restaurants

  • West Boulevard
  • Bistro Sharana
  • Baker’s Street
  • Surugur
  • Don Giovanni’s Restaurant

Nearby Attractions

  • Auroville
  • Gingee Fort
  • Sri Gokilambal Thirukameswarar Temple
  • Plage Paradiso

The alluring location has got several people regularly visiting it. Pondicherry is incomplete without a visit to this renowned site. Visit the Ashram to broaden your perspective.

10 Best Places To Visit in Pondicherry

Pondicherry, the capital of Puducherry, is a former French colony and one of the top tourist destinations in south India. The coastal town of Pondicherry, which was a French colony till 1954, still has many colonial buildings, churches, statues, and the systematic town planning of the French. The town is sometimes called the Europe of India because of its planned town layout. Although a small town, the town contains an exciting mix of Indian and French colonial heritage and several tourist destinations. 

The following are the top 10 places to visit in Pondicherry:

1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

2. Auroville

3. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

4. Ousteri Wetland and National Park

5. Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

6. Promenade Beach

7. French War Memorial

8. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

9. Pondicherry Museum

10. Botanical Garden

1. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh established a spiritual community in Pondicherry on November 24th, 1926. Since then, the ashram has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The chief aims and ideals of the ashrams are based on Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. The ashram contains several offices, a library, a printing press, a playground, an art gallery, a dispensary/nursing home, dairy farms, guest houses, a bakery, etc. The main building in the establishment is the marble Samadhi, which is Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa. Visiting hours are 8 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 6 pm.

2. Auroville

Its name, meaning ‘The City of Dawn,’ is a township located 8 kilometers from Pondicherry. Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa founded it in 1968, and French architect Roger Anger designed it. A universal town was created to bring people from all over the world together in harmony and peace regardless of their race, color, or nationality. During the inauguration, placed soil from around 124 in a lotus-shaped urn to symbolize the idea behind the establishment of the township. The middle of the town is crowned by a temple that represents the universal mother and is called ‘Matrimandir’. The colony has a population of 2,007 people from over 44 different countries.

3. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Consecrated in 1791, the 300-year-old church is the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. As we see it today, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral was built in three other churches before the French occupation of Pondicherry. Construction started in 1791 and made further improvements to the building till 1987. The feast of the church is celebrated on December 8th every year. The church was also visited by Mother Teresa and is one of the oldest churches in Puducherry. The locals also know it as ‘Samba Kovil.’

4. Ousteri Wetland and National Park

Located on the Pondicherry-Villuppuram road at a distance of 10 kilometers from Pondicherry, the Ousteri Wetland and National Park cover around 3.9 sq kilometers. Geographically the place lies in the territory of both Puducherry and Tamil Nadu. The location is home to a wide variety of aqua-fauna and avifauna. Several tourists frequent the site because of the houseboat services offered here. The several unique species of trees and herbs here attract many migratory birds and have become an essential ecological niche in the south Indian region. The variety of birds and aquatic species here make it a photographer’s delight and a must-see for any shutterbug.

5. Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

On the south boulevard, the Basilica Of The Sacred Heart Of Jesus was consecrated on December 17th, 1907. The building is a fine specimen of Gothic-style architecture and has become a famous pilgrimage spot for Christians in India. The structure of this church is 50 meters long, 48 meters wide, and 18 meters high and is held by 24 columns. The windows are adorned with stained glass paintings of 28 saints devoted to the sacred heart of Jesus. The church premises also have a grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, a parish hall, and an adoration chapel. The church underwent a full renovation and restoration in 2005, giving it its current appearance. However, made only minor physical changes were to the structure. Image Credits Mike-Lee

6. Promenade Beach

The Promenade beach is about 1.5 kilometers long and one of the main beaches in Puducherry. The walk is characterized by various landmarks and statues, including the statue of Joan of Arc, the Heritage town hall, the Dupleix statue, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the old lighthouse, etc. If you need a calm and quaint place perfect for an evening stroll, this is a place you want to be. The sea breeze and the sights and sounds work as a relaxing potion on your mind. The beach is a recommended visit which is devoid of the hustle of the city streets. There is also a well-established tourist center where you can get some extra information about the town of Pondicherry.

7. French War Memorial

Located on Goubert Avenue, the built the French war memorial in 1971 to commemorate the loss of the brave French soldiers during the First World War. On Bastille Day (July 14th), the monument is illuminated and pays homage to the soldiers. It is a must-visit place for tourists, mainly when visited on Bastille Day. The commemoration ceremony is a marvelous sight to gander at and offers an enjoyable experience.

8. Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple

Located on M.G. Road, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple is considered the oldest Hindu temple in Pondicherry and dates back to 600 AD. The temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture, evident by its sculpted pillars and a brightly colored gopuram adorned with the sculptures of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Sri Varadaraja Perumal, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is revered in the temple. According to local legend, the temple was initially supposed to house the idols of Lord Rama, Lakshamana, Sita, and Lord Hanuman, which were brought from the sea by the local fishermen. Lord Narsimha, another incarnation of Lord Vishnu, has a shrine behind the temple. The temple is a famous pilgrimage spot for Hindus in Pondicherry and south India.

9. Botanical Garden

Located south of the new bus stand in Pondicherry, the botanical garden was founded in 1826 and is another example of French influence in Pondicherry. Despite being located in a Tamil town, the gate makes the entire place stand out. There were gravel-lined paths, pruned trees, and fountains in the original French-style landscaping. The site features many different species of exotic plants and shrubs from all around the world. In 1931, the French botanist and horticulturist George S. Perrottet turned the place into a botanical garden. The park also features a musical fountain which has two shows during evenings at the weekends.

10. Pondicherry Museum

Located in Bharathi Park in the center of the town, the Pondicherry museum houses various sculptures and other archeological findings from the Arikamedu Roman settlement, an ancient port 7 kilometers from the city. Various statues and bronze sculptures from the Chola and Pallava dynasties are also on display at the museum. One can also gather detailed knowledge about the history and French colonial details in this museum. The museum also displays a collection of snail shells, temple lamps, and other handicrafts.

Pondicherry is also a popular weekend destination for residents of Chennai and Bangalore. One of the reasons being the low taxes on liquor which makes alcoholic beverages cheaper in Pondicherry. Nevertheless, tourist places in Pondicherry are a must-visit place on every tourist’s itinerary.

Pondicherry’s Top 10 Fun Things to Do in 2021

Gone are the days when holiday destinations meant Goa or Lonavala. One new place that travellers rave about is a French colonial settlement that screams travel goals. Pondicherry, or Puducherry as we all know it, is a Union Territory town in Tamil Nadu. The following top destination for travel, Puducherry, is known for its colonial villas, picturesque streets, and greenery!

To heighten your experience, pick a hotel of your choice from our hotel’s platform – be it a BnB, Homestay, Budget hotel, luxury suite, or more and earn InterMiles.

Aside from sightseeing in Pondicherry, there are many fun things to do in Pondicherry. Let’s take a look.

Scuba Diving on the Eastern Coast

If you’re one for adventure, scuba diving is one of the best Pondicherry attractions. Forget the Maldives and Koh Samui because you can get that experience right here in Pondicherry. At the same time, you sightseeing in Pondicherry, witness sharks, manta rays, and jellyfish while swimming with PADI-certified divers.

Visit Auroville

To set your mind at ease, take a trip down to Auroville to escape the city’s chaos. Auroville is an experimental township where people from every caste, creed, and gender can live in peace and progress. One of the best Pondicherry attractions, Auroville’s tranquillity will encourage you to rest your mind and heart. Do not miss Auroville while you are sightseeing in Pondicherry.

Paintball

Grab a team, grab some gear and let’s paintball! Bringing your A-Game to the court is the best way to end a holiday. Escape your everyday stress by taking on these Pondicherry attractions.

Pondicherry shopping

(Are you listening, ladies?) Head over to Casablanca, Anokhi, and Nehru Street to stock up on authentic handicrafts, cute ethnic knick-knacks for your house, and garments that will make you look your best.

Midnight Cruise & Dinner

Enjoy a meal with your loved ones while you cruise along the scenic waters of Pondicherry. Enjoy a memorable evening as you cruise the backwaters of Pondicherry. For those who are worried about dining on a moving vessel, the cruise docks during dinner so that you can enjoy a turbulence-free meal.

Apart from the Midnight Cruise Meal, you can find endless dining options according to your mood, location, and budget on Delights.InterMiles.com. If you don’t know about InterMiles.com, it’s a ‘Traveller’s Best Friend’ that lets you make the most of your travel plans by helping you earn miles. And use them for your travel and lifestyle needs. 

Surf at Serenity Beach

If you’re into the surf and turf, get your adrenaline rush at Serenity beach. You can experience Surfing as one of the best things to do in Pondicherry by checking it off your bucket list.

Boat Ride at Chunnambar Boat House

Frequented by tourists, the serene Pondicherry is one of the most visited towns. A beach is one of Pondicherry’s main attractions, with white sand and water of a clear hue. Pondicherry has so many things to do, and boat rides are just the icing on the cake.

At Karaikal Beach, you can enjoy water sports.

There are many beaches in Pondicherry. This beach is perfect for sightseeing in Pondicherry. Surfing, kayaking, canoeing, and other water sports can be enjoyed at the pristine sand and crystal-clear water at the beach of Karaikal.

Enjoy the sunrise at Rock Beach.

Sunrise is one of the best parts of any vacation. As you sit by the shimmering waves and sand at Rock Beach, you’ll feel the warmth of the sun. One of the best things to do in Pondicherry is to watch the sunrise.

Bird Watching at Ousteri Lake

In Pondicherry, the Ousteri Lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Spend some time looking for rare birds at Ousteri Lake, which is an artificial lake in Pondicherry. One of the best Pondicherry attractions, Ousteri Lake, is a complete package due to its picturesque location.

×

WhatsApp Chat

×