Auroville; a township just a few kilometres away from Puducherry,is a completely different world altogether. Well, it was meant to standout in terms of its planning and philosophy to which it truly clings to (you’ll know if you read its history- very interesting).There is something striking about this land I must say! Its not some fancy, developed place to live in. But raw, earthy and peaceful.Very peaceful. Being a private land, its highly secured with guards at various checkpoints. So, if you are a first timer its always better to know where you want to visit. Or, if you love to wander aimlessly just like me and my husband, you might bump into something really crazy unexpectedly!We did! Generally, the trend for us to see any place is to finish all the touristy spots (of which we go only to the best ones) in the first few hours of the day so that we have the remaining time for getting lost and finding ourselves in the middle of nowhere;as cliche as it may sound.
We ofcourse started with Matri Mandir only to realise we could not get inside its meditation petals without buying a pass a day prior. Too bad! Not everything can be spontaneous you see! But I now have an excuse to come back to Auroville. So after being denied an access inside this golden meditation ball, we decided to do what we do the best- EAT!! The Matri Mandir visitor’s centre has an excellent cafe which is always packed with locals and tourists. After finding a table with great difficulty I got to my another favourite activity – OBSERVE PEOPLE!!
For lunch we decided to go Cafe Naturellment,the name sounded so unique. The road to this cafe from Matri mandir felt like one maze,untended but banked with beautiful bougainnvillea creepers! Tucked into a forest like setting, this cafe was an absolute winner and totally worth the tough navigation. To our surprise, it being a vegan cafe was not a problem since everything else was just so perfect. Right from the food presentation, the love with which it was served, the ambience, the peace , marigold flowers and the food itself;perfect!!
It wasn’t just the good food that made my time worthy at this cafe. It was the fusion of two worlds that made it worth the experience. I definitely took back home some great inspiration – from fusion food recepies for kitchen to fusion interiors to fusion clothing. I am also growing a bougainvillea plant in my balcony!
Next stop was another spectacular place- Kalarigram. We intially planned to see Adishakti-performing arts theatre which was unfortunately shut by the time we reached there. Kalarigram was just a block away and is where they teach and practice Kalaripayattu. I barged into this place just like I did in the Embroidery Private House,Puducherry (if you have read my previous post). And we were lucky enough to see a stint or two of this engaging martial arts form.
Why ‘I feel Auroville’? Well, for many reasons. The earthy colours-enthusiastic and welcoming artists who motivated us to learn an art form,something so significant and different than what we do otherwise in the urban jungle-the urge of staying true to your roots while appreciating the good from other worlds-how people of different races live together and can’t do any better without each other’s presence-an effort to finding the right balance in life and respecting nature. All this may sound philosophical but it really made me rethink and question the many ways I live my life.
If you have read this post and have something to share from your experience in Auroville too, please do comment below. Would love to know your stories and see this place again.