A Peek into Matrimandir
As I walked up the spiral ramp inside the beautiful Matrimandir, the silence had me reminisce about the music played in the meditation room at my school years ago which was affiliated to Sri Aurobindo. I was nostalgic more so because my heart recognized the space and time of my school days. It was overwhelming and I had to shush my heartbeat from dancing to a happy tune much to the silence of Matrimandir.
Spiritual Abode, Auroville
A day earlier, I along with my friends alighted in Pondicherry after an overnight bus journey from Bangalore. We had planned to stay in a homestay called Samarpan in Auroville. When we reached the destination it was beyond our expectation. The view of the sea, the lovely cottages and the dining cum library area which faced the sea was just perfect! We were ushered in by the landlady Donata who welcomed us with open arms and not to forget I hopped about away from Blackie, the Great Dane who did welcome us as well. 😉 A quick visit to the beach had us all geared up for an exciting day!
And yes we were followed by this sweet dog ‘Shady’ 🙂 much to its liking to being in my shadow!
Samarpan and the beach ahead
After a sumptuous healthy breakfast, we headed to Auroville on a hired two-wheeler. Auroville also called as the ‘City of Dawn’ founded by The Mother (Mirra Alfasa) is an experimental township based on universal human unity with its residents hailing from countries around the world.
We were in time for the registration to Matrimandir visit and it was scheduled the next day. The exploration of Auroville was the next thing on our agenda. From shopping to eating at cafes to visiting pottery places to checking out Art centers and buildings, we had covered much ground. The joy of riding through Auroville was utterly marvelous as the paths ran through forests and somewhere along the dusty lanes we found lovely buildings of great architecture, centers of Art, Library and Recreation centers. It is quite an exciting journey for a traveler and an Art aficionado.
Fun times at Auroville
After an exhausting but an amazing day we rested only to get up for an even more exciting one.
Mesmerizing Matrimandir Contd…..
After a ride to the Visitor Center, Auroville, we were shown a video of the initiation of Auroville. Post which a group of 15 of us were taken on a short bus ride to reach Matrimandir.
As we deposited all our belongings, we could see the golden globe shining at us!
Matrimandir, a globe building much like the Sun, adorned with golden metallic plates lies in the center of Auroville. There are twelve stone pillars which look like they are holding the globe. Well these happen to be meditation rooms. A guide tagged along with our group to talk about the initiation of Matrimandir and gave insights about its architecture. We were then accompanied to the Lotus pool made of marble stones beneath the main hall where one can meditate.
The insides of the Matrimandir is all White. White marble floor laden with white carpets, white walls and the place is an epitome of peace. Silence is the word in the hall.
The Meditation hall also called as the Inner chamber is generally lighted by a beam of sun ray falling onto a crystal inside the hall. But it has artificial lights which is used up on a cloudy day. The inner chamber is a place for meditation and Yoga. It is lined with white cushioned seats on the floor. As I sat in the hall, I was lost in the silence outwardly and inwardly. I know not what I imagined or prayed for but it was a moment which had me by my soul… well I was soul arrested! I tried to create a space of my blissful abode. Then there was silence, the silence that echoed from my vision of Himalayas.
As I headed out along with the group, I felt an immense contentment. Later, we were ushered to sit under the beautiful banyan trees to enjoy and soak in utter bliss!
It certainly is a place for travelers, yoga practitioners and some tourists who happen to be interested in spirituality and architecture. It is not every tourist’s cup of tea.
The French Quarters
Post the visit, we headed towards the main Pondicherry city especially the French quarters. French Villas, cafes, restaurants, lovely laid out streets was a sight to see. The street along the beach, houses buildings of importance like the secretariats of other countries.
We strolled along the Promenade Beach which has a rocky shoreline. People were basking in the sunset and the beauty of the sea. It was crowded and the small roadside eateries were no less.
Selfies along the Promenade beach
As we strolled about, we caught a whiff of freshly prepared ‘Badam milk’ and in no time we were sipping the most delicious drink. We later headed to the Sri Aurobindo ashram which is a small courtyard which houses the ‘Samadhi’ of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. After spending some time we headed on an exploration of other streets and a restaurant to dine.
A Rainy and Cloudy Show
The next day with the rains playing havoc, we took to the comforts of the home-stay reading a book and just staring at the cloudy skies and noisy ocean.
Moments with Donata and Blackie
We then happened to find Julie and Julia 😉 Julia who had flown to India to learn Yoga was out there relaxing on a hammock and there was this cute little dog which followed her everywhere. They seemed to be enjoying eachother’s company.
There is Julie who escorted us to the beach later on, making sure that we were safe along the menacing waves.
We could not have asked for a better day as we just relaxed and the holiday did turn out to be a peaceful, spiritual one!
Enjoying the rains
So for travelers and tourists out there do visit Auroville, Pondicherry if you want a taste of the laid-back city, cafes, churches, beaches, art, architecture, serene home-stays, the must-visit Matrimandir and just about anything to do with spirituality… It certainly is a beautiful place to unwind!