How to visit Auroville. Some tips.

Spoiler alert: Not your typical Instagrammy travel blog.

Well, we did try though.

Well for starters, this blog does not cover how you can enjoy a spiritual, life-changing day at the Matrimandir. You know that big golden globe thing. I would have used that picture as the banner here — if I had it.

In fact, I don’t have any landmarky pictures from this trip. But why you may ask? Well. With my two tripmates, let’s call them Mustard and Violet, we decided to just go there and read a book on the beach. And visit Matrimandir. That’s almost what we ended up doing..well almost.

Day 0, 6:AM

Mustard: I have been to Pondy several times. I will be your tour guide.
Violet: We are not going back without visiting the Matrimandir

Okay, of course, we were gonna be touristy and Instagrammy. Not at 6 am though, when we got off the bus from Bengaluru at Pondicherry. Apart from it being very true to its name, the Green bus was quite comfortable.

Tip 1: Really doesn’t matter if it’s 6 am, you can rent a two-wheeler when you get down. Just ask an auto-wala bhaiya where to rent it from. He will very politely charge you 200 bucks for 2 km, and wake his friend who rents the two-wheelers, at 6 am.

Auroville is a nice 14 km, Google-Maps proof ride from Pondy. We stayed at the Green’s Guesthouse, which I would say was quite earthy and at a good distance to both the main road and Matrimandir. A little too good maybe, because the next day…

Day 1, 6:45 AM

Mustard: I would rather sleep in my room, than on the Matrimandir floor
Violet: We are not going back without visiting the Matrimandir.

In pouring rains, Violet and I hop on our two-wheelers and rushed to the temple. We went for an effortless no make-up, I-woke-up-like-this look. You have to book the temple a week before, using some link online. But of course, we didn’t do it.

So we were gonna try our luck by showing up as extras, desperately hoping that someone will be as lazy as Mustard and forget to show up.

“The session is canceled today”, the guard declared, looking very confused seeing the two of us so excited for a 7 am meditation class.

Oops.

But hey, if it’s any consolation the small setup they built around the temple is very pretty. Roam around the pretty boutiques', but don’t really dig into the expensive shiz. Nopes, not a good place or time.

Good place and time are when you are trying to make it back to Pondicherry on your rented scooters, with luggage. And he drizzling rains can become pouring rains at any moment. But hey, priorities?

Tip 2: Stop by a nice local organic hand-made candle shop, plenty in Auroville. Buy some organic washing powder for your mom, incense sticks for that friend you need to get something for, essential oils just because they look good on the dressing tables, and of course candles.

In fact, scented candles and food is how I will remember Auroville. Coming from the template-y, Swiggyfied restaurants in Bangalore, food in Auroville was like fresh air. Light on both, heart and pocket.

Tip 3: Definitely check out the Bread&Chocolate for some chocolate croissants, Auroville Bakery for some cookies, and Tanto for their heavenly pizzas.

Tip 4: Once in Pondicherry, stop by local shops selling handicraft paper stuff, and of course more essential oils. There is also a really good Sarojini-market type of cloth street. Just ask anyone, they will take you there!

While I wish I could boast of eating equally good food in Pondicherry, but we happened to order room service. Not like fancy-fancy types, but some feta cheese salad. I know cheese salad. To go along with a Baileys, that costed half it’s original price. Google alcohol in Union territory.

With a Baileys that you can try to smuggle back, hop on the bus. Finish that book that you thought you were gonna read on that beach you never went to, and write a blog without that landmarky picture.

Let me know how that turns out,
Chhavi

Written by

Big fan of not-writing-regularly, sushi, working at Bumble, and the rare sun that shows up in London!

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