Pondicherry or Puducherry is a Union Territory in South India near Tamilnadu is also referred as “The French Riviera of the East” due to its French Colonial settlement untill 1954 AD when it was incorporated in Indian Union. Its French legacy is preserved in the French Quarter, with tree-lined streets, mustard-colored colonial villas and elegant fashion stores. A coastal walk stretches across the Bay of Bengal and features several statues, including the 4m high Gandhi Memorial.
Auroville, just about 15 kms from Pondicherry was conceived as Universal Town where people of different nationalities and religions from all across the world live together with peace and harmony. The township was founded in 1968 AD by Mirra Alfassa, a disciple of Aurobindo and fondly known as the ‘Mother’ of Sri Aurobindo Society. Today, 2800 people from 95 nationality are living in peach, harmony and sustainable living and following Divine Consciousness.
The main attraction here is the “Matrimandir” is an architectural masterpiece with a 30m high globe with a lotus-shaped foundation urn. With water pooling in from different sides, the sound of the water and cool breeze which always flows, provides a perfect atmosphere for meditation. The entry to Maitri Mandir is free and free passes can be obtained from visitor’s center for meditation in silence. No prior booking can be made but person has to present himself a day prior. Matri Mandir and booking is closed on Tuesday.