There are quite a few things that one associates with Pondicherry in India. The French settlement and its ensuing lifestyle, Auroville, Aurobindo Ashram and the magic of the east coast.
But, when it comes to finding inner peace, locals and foreigners alike proceed towards Auroville.
Auroville is located about 14 kms north from the town of Pondicherry on the fringes of the east coast road highway.
Auroville or the city of dawn is an extremely green and forested corridor in an otherwise dry and deforested region. This greenery is a pleasant break from the harsh temperatures outside this evolving city.
When I visited this place a couple of weeks back, I found the temperatures inside to be three degrees (in degree celsius) lower than the temperatures outside, which is quite a difference. And the credit for all this goes to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
During my visit here, I got to visit the Matrimandir, which is at a short walk from the Visitor’s centre. Unfortunately for me, the Matrimandir was closed, but I got to admire it and its peaceful and green surroundings from the outside. The Matrimandir or the sanctum of peace is still under construction and is hence only open during the morning hours.
The thing that captured my imagination here is the huge banyan tree with its umpteen roots. Apparently, this banyan tree is the geographical centre of Auroville. Sitting under the shade of this massive banyan tree is very relaxing is what I found.
My short trip to Auroville was great, but I yearn for more. This place deserves at least a week if not more to become one with it and admire and appreciate its peaceful values.