Journey to an Experiential Township, Auroville
This was my second visit to Pondycherry. Almost a decade earlier stayed at the zest beach resort and also visited Auroville. The visitor’s centre seemed to look the same with few additional buildings in the regular style unlike the exposed compressed soil blocks previously used for construction.
View of the buildings around the auroville centre .
(Built in 1988)
SCB and alternative building techniques are hardly used/practiced in the new building construction coming up in this utopian community…
SCB blocks for pillars ,brick beams are arches using age old structure concepts in this AVBC which has stood thirty years of time.
Trees have grown taller than the buildings, providing spaces for siesta.
Early morning before the shops and stores opened for business. I arrived early to avail of the day pass to visit the Matrimandir. Advanced online bookings are encouraged for visitors interested in going into the concentration chamber. If slots are free, walk in visitors gets a chance to enter the premises. I arrived early and was the first person in the queue and waiting with me was a visitor from Japan. we both and a few others got lucky that day .
At the appointed time the tour guide takes us to the exhibition hall and gives a briefing of what to expect and all gives instructions of the do’s and dont’s for every visitor.
Later, we board this vehicle that takes us to the Matrimandir which is a short ride away from the visitor centre. Private vehicles are not allowed. Every visitor goes through the procedure set by the Auroville charter. For further reading please visit www.auroville.org.
Only pass holders are allowed into the peace compound known as ‘Park of Unity’.
There is another small building which holds lockers to deposit our bags, cell phones, cameras and all items. They encourage you to carry your wallet only.
Once again screening and checking is done to gently remind visitors to leave belongings behind before entering the chamber.
The vision of Auroville , and the Matrimandir plan laid out by the mother.
It was almost five decades earlier that it was envisaged and it took almost forty years to be made.
The view from the lockers and screening centre.
Full scale model showing details of the Matrimandir in Auroville. This is in the visitors centre gallery.
The Cross-Sectional view shows the construction details and the philosophy of this structure.
The design conceptualisation and execution come together here in this special and unique piece of architecture. It totally justifies the essence of the chapter order. One has to experience it to know what I am trying to express here, for my words fail to express the feeling, emotion and the brilliantly beautiful and marvellous rendering of built space.
As I went through the notions and gestures of our curator, I understood the reason behind the instructions. It not only made sense, but elevated the experience. Personally, I was in awe of the coming together of elements beautifully.
The whole walk through is timed so perfectly, even the time allotted inside the chamber of concentration is limited. Comfortable seating arrangements are provided for meditation. The silence, is so special that actually hear your own breathing as loud and clear.
The duration here is limited and we are ushered out in about 15 minutes. I am certain it was not only me who wanted to spend more time and or revisit again for a repeat experience.
We are taken to the garden and the amphitheatre before the vehicle drops us at the viewing spot
Matrimandir as seen from the viewing point which is at a slightly elevated area.
After spending the day in Auroville returned to Puducherry, which is a half hour drive away.
That year Puducherry was connected by flight to my home city Hyderabad.
A short distance away from the heart of city, it took me about fifteen minutes to reach the airport.
Not yet a busy airport back then in April 2018.
The LCC low cost carrier Spicejet Airlines was using the bombardier to carry passengers on this route.
An Indian name for cardamom.
You get overwhelmed with the taste of cardamom , a spice condiment most often used as part of a sweet dish and or part of the masala in preparation of Biryani recipe and similar in India.
That an Indian airline named their airline #spicejet after our famous Indian curry recipe ingredients is as fascinating as it can get.
@spicejetairlines have been flying Indians throughout India from Srinagar in the north to Madurai in the south of India.
Each state and regions contributing to the spices that make the Indian curry so special.
Similarly #spicejet has strung the collection of spices by way of connecting places for travellers Crisscrossing India and made it an airline that we Indians can be proud of.
I have been flying this low cost airline from over a decade. It was in the year 2006 that I first flew to New Delhi from @rgiahyd
I have been lucky to cover several cities. In the years gone by travel had been convenient and quick thanks to the connections provided by this simple yet regular airline.
I have had an immensely long association and comfortable travel with @flyspicejet within my country.
Hope to travel on its international destinations soon to understand the quality that they extend to International travellers which is also benchmarked to gauge it’s hospitality.
As a tradition since inception Spicejet Airlines names the aircraft. This time it was ‘Elaichi’ and Indian name for Cardamom. A spice that is used in the making of traditional sweets, especially in the Southern States of India.
I am sure like cardamom, always add a beautiful aroma and taste in my travel of life.