Difference between revisions of "Auroville"
Revision as of 12:32, 18 July 2010
Auroville  is a small town 6 km north of Pondicherry. This town was a vision of The Mother from Sri Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry as it's an international town. She envisioned a town where unity will be celebrated and all will have a spiritual vocation. At the moment, in July 2010, 2200 people from 43 different countries are living in the city. About 40% are Indians (more than 15% are French and 15% are German).
Auroville Handbook is the official guide to Auroville that can be bought in the Visitors' center and the bookshops around or Auroville's website. A map of the town can be bought in Pondicherry at the Boutique de Auroville and at the visitors center in Auroville.
By Rickshaw (Rs 100-150) or Taxi (Rs 240) from Pondicherry. Many buses between Chennai and Pondicherry pass the turn off to Auroville - you can get down here and into one of the waiting rickshaws at the junction.
You can also take a taxi from Chennai Airport. It costs Rs. 1500 (apporox USD 35.00) (price quoted December 2009. If you call a taxi service in advance: +91-413-2622400, +91 413 2623586 (both companies are run by Auroville township near Puducherry), they will be at the Arrivals exit with a sign with your name on it).
You can also rent scooters in Pondicherry and drive yourself for a day trip or arrange to keep the scooter for a few days or more.
Best by motorbike, also possible by bicycle. Rickshaws and taxis can be ordered for trips out of the town. If you have a guest card than you can use the community's bus to Pondicherry (for free). You can hire motorbikes for Rs 60-100 per day and in some guesthouses you'll get a bicycle for free with your rent.
The nearest petrol station is on the sea front road just north of the Auroville turnoff. If you find yourself low while in town, a few of the shops have 1 liter water bottles filled with petrol for sale.
There are a lot of activities in Auroville like Yoga, Tai-Chi, Watsu, different kinds of alternative healing and courses. The variety is wider during the visitors' season (December to March), when they can attend the classical Indian dance performances of young virtuosos organised by Auroville Cultural Exchange. There are a plethora of social/economic/environmental/agricultural projects going on regularly. Many of them welcome tourists, and many tourists welcome the opportunity to spent a week or more volunteering to get a much more intimate look at what goes inside Auroville. There are at least 14 farms in Auroville, any of which will take daily volunteers. There are also many schools that can accommodate volunteers, environmental restoration projects, and village action initiatives, just to name a few. Kottakarai Organic Food Processing Unit is a small little shop that makes things like cookies and pasta from local and organic ingredients in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It is located next to Ganesh Bakery, a cafe/restaurant that is popular with tourists.
There are more than 450 beds in different guesthouses in Auroville, and many more in the non-Aurovilian hotels around the township, which are generally less expensive. The best way is to go to the visitors' center  in Auroville and browse through their book in which you can see the rooms and get details about them. Prices range from Rs 75-2100 per person per day.
Overnight guests in Auroville's guest houses are expected to pay a daily contribution of Rs 100 (30 for students), which is often included in the guesthouse rate. For this contribution you receive a Guest Card which allows you to use the services of Auroville, like the Solar Kitchen, classes and some shops.
December through February is the guests' season - the busiest time in Auroville. Plan your trip in advance for this period.
You can take a taxi to Chennai airport for Rs. 1500 from Auroville. Or you can take a taxi to Pondicherry bus station for Rs. 150, then take a regular bus for Rs. 45 to Tambaram , cross the highway through an underground and get a train connection from there to Chennai Airport for Rs. 4 (just a few kilometers away).
From Allankuppan,Kottakarai village westside Aurovills every 30 min a bus go to Pondi over Kootroad,where you can enter a bus to Tindivanam,Tirruvanumalai,Chennai. Often the bus is already full.Its safer to go to Pondi. The bus is 5 Rs Thge same problem you face on the ECR (East cost road) if you catch a bus to chennai.