Tag Archives: Pondicherry

Sri Murugan Guest House

Must you go? Stay? If you can stay, stay;
Leave, if you have to. One runs, and the other crouches
to cheat the vigilant and disastrous enemy, time!

Le voyage
Charles Baudelaire  – Les fleurs du mal (1861)

Sri Murugan Guest House, anciennement Balaji Guest House
Price : 600 Rs par jour (if it remains at least 15 days)
9, Ottaivadai Street (see the Map)
Mahãbalipuram – 603 104 Tamil Nadu
Téléphone : 0091 – 441 14 – 242 849

The Sri Murugan Guest House, is a new small hotel. Some rooms are quite large. Very clean and quiet, but the Interior rooms are a bit dark.

At the top, on the terrace of the hotel, is the “Restaurant Siesta”, which serves an inventive westernized Indian cuisine, a bit expensive for the quantity…

Sri Murugan Guest House resto

On the left ground floor of the building, is the wonderful shop owned by our friend Véronique “Akka Creation”. She animates an association / workshop, where she teaches Indian women how to sew, make clothes etc (a little more 33 people), the manufactured products are sold in this shop, to make lovely gifts. Akka in the Tamil language, means “big sister”. With cloths and fabrics from Jaipur, Madras and Pondicherry, Akka creates, cuts and sews clothes, bags, and patchworks using the wonderful colours of India. May also be ordered on their website (fast delivery in well adapted packaging)

83815-1

http://www.alittlemarket.com/boutique/akkacreation-83815.html

The origins of the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in de Brussels

Jean Claude, dig the foundations of the Matrimandir, Auroville, India

After coming back from India where Jean Claude taught Yoga to Vinobha Bhave and to Indira Gandhi at Paunar Ashram, dig with a Peruvian friend the beginning of the foundations of the Matrimondir in Auroville

the adventure of transmitting yoga starts in September 1973 at “La Maison de la Culture de Rouen” (France).

Success is immediate, there are several classes everyday in different places, at Mt St Aignan University, at St Claire’s church etc. …. Jean Claude transmits either Iyengar’s technique or Pattabhi Jois’s technique. The workshops take place at the “Château d’Ernement sur Buchy”, where he was living.

Still in Rouen, in 1974, he founds the C.R.Y. (Centre Rouennais de Yoga) with   Dr. Louis Creyx, 264 students follow the morning or evening classes.

 

He then founds the “Centre Padma” in Elbeuf in 1979 to host residential training workshops. Many workshops are held in France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland etc. …. Since then, Jean Claude exclusively teaches “Yoga Korunta” (Ashtanga Yoga as transmitted by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois) .

Many seminar take place, in the South of France, in the Community of the Ark, founded by Lanza Del Vasto.

Life changes ……. Jean Claude meets Anne and goes to live in Brussels in 1987. He teaches at the “Maison Américaine”, chaussée de Charleroi, then rue des Glaïeuls, Uccle, in 1988. More space becoming necessary, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute moves to rue Jules Lejeune, Ixelles from 1989 until 2003. Finally, with the help of his friend an architect Simon de Wrangel, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute moves into it’s own premises 610 Chaussée d’Alsemberg in Uccle, with a yoga room that follows the explanations given by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

“The ideal Yoga room must be well ventilated. Do not open all the windows, only those on a same side that are situated high up. The floor must be perfectly flat, the room very clean, on the ground floor (not above nor below because it is not good for the breathing), in a quiet place, far from the surrounding noise and far from people involved in an activity other than yoga.”

The Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s reputation spreads; daily lessons, workshops and seminars are given in Belgium, Greece on the Island of Andros and in Athens,and in India in Mahabalipuram.

 

The Ashtanga Yoga Institute’s aim is to transmit “Yoga Korunta” (better known as Ashtanga Yoga) as it was taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois during his life-time, at the « Ashtanga Yoga Resarch Institute » in Mysore (South India).

Today, a lovely team participates in the evolution of the Institute. Below is what is offered :

  • Daily classes (except during the Christmas holidays which is the only time the Institute closes)
  • Introduction class to Yoga
  • Beginners class
  • First series class
  • Second series class
  • Third series class
  • Intensive mornings (3 hours class)
  • Teacher training in Ashtanga Yoga in Brussels, Greece and India
  • Ashtanga Yoga sessions in beautiful places:
    • In Greece:
      • Athens
      • Andros Island
    • In India
      • Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, South India
  • Events :
    • Concerts of traditional Indian music
    • Indian and Ayurveda cooking lessons

Om Shanti

Photos of India (Ashtanga Yoga workshop in India Mahābalipuram)

South India and Photos

A journey to India is at the same time an inner journey, intimate and dazzling and an outside journey during which each moment may offer a discovery, a deep encounter.

For photographers, India is a real paradise, one of the best spots for those who like colorful pictures full of emotion.

To take photos in certain places you will have to pay a tax for your camera or video camera (more expensive) but then you will be free to catch a beautiful ray of light, to make the best of each magnificent place. India is an unbelievably visual country, where anything can become a subject for a photo.

Often people spontaneously ask to be photographed, they nearly always say yes, if asked. 

Other complementary information :

  • Journey information, airplane, and transfer
  • Visa
  • Finding a hotel in Mahābalipuram
  • Indian cooking
  • Information: Health in India

Information ‘health’ in India, Ashtanga Yoga Workshop in India (Mahābalipuram)

Health

An informed yogini being worth (at least) two, you will be able to leave safely with a light heart and a joyful soul and enjoy your stay in South India, a discovery full of fragrances, colours, sounds…

No vaccine is mandatory for the Indian subcontinent (this of course, does not exempt the traveller from keeping his vaccines up to date).

If you have an on-going treatment, don’t forget your medication. You can take a basic first aid kit with you, containing bandages, plaster, analgesics, anti-diarrheal, laxatives, medicines for treating colds and soar throats, vitamin C. Be careful of the sun and the heat, that cause insolation and dehydration. There are many chemists in India where you can find what is necessary.

If you intend to travel in India, malaria being in constant evolution, get information on it’s prophylaxis depending on the regions you want to visit.

How to protect yourself from mosquito bites, vectors of chikungunya

Individual protection needs chemical and concrete means.
From 5.45 pm onwards, wear long clothes and protect your feet and ankles.
It is recommended to impregnate your clothes with a repulsive spray. Some repulses can be put directly on the skin. Be sure to put them on regularly (every 4 or 5 hours depending on the product). For new-born babies and babies under three months, find a mosquito net specially made for cradles, if possible impregnated with an anti-mosquito repulsive, it is the only method that is efficient.

On the spot, you will find anti-mosquito products in the form of sprays or creams, as well as sun creams.

 

The water

  • Always drink bottled water and make sure the stopper is sealed
  • Drink hot drinks like “tchai”

For the others illnesses

In Mahabalipuram, there are several Doctors who practice occidental medicine and, since last year, there is also an Ayurveda Doctor. There is also a small hospital “Suradeep Hospital” situated 15 Thirukumam Street, and 20 km away on the road to Chennai, there is a big ultra-modern hospital (to be preferred).

Turista (diarrheal)

It is caught usually due to the water or food containing relatively common bacteria. A little advice and some good medicine in a travel pharmacy will be very useful. Prevention remains the best method.

  • The first reaction is to drink clean, lightly salted bottle water, sealed at the neck to avoid dehydration.
  • Charcoal capsules
  • If inefficient take “Imodium”, if it does not work then take an antibiotic such as “Fluroquinolones”

If an infection occurs when you get home

The most usual cases are:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Skin infections
  • Fever or flu-like symptoms

In all cases, if the symptoms last or get worse, don’t forget to tell your Doctor that you were in Asia.

For this subject, you can consult the following websites :

  • Tropical Medicine Institute “Prince Leopold”
  • Question-Santé
  • “Santé Voyage” with as bonus health information by country
  • “A.S. Adventure”. Several shops in Belgium of which several in Brussels
  • traveling-doctors.com

Other complementary information :

  • Travel information « flight » et « transfer »
  • The « Visa »
  • Finding a « hotel » in Mahābalipuram
  • « Indian cooking»
  • « Photos » India
  • Dressing advice

Information about Ashtanga Yoga trips and seminars in India (Mahabalipuram)

There are many flights to Chennai (Madras) from the major European airports. India being one of the most visited countries in the world … book your flight early, and enjoy the many benefits that the practice of Ashtanga Yoga will bring you, let yourself be dazzled by the fabulous temples of Tamil Nadu, Mahābalipuram, Kanchipuram, Tiruvannāmalai, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Darasuram, Tanjore, as by the profusion of details, the vibrant colours in the sanctuaries, where the stone contrasts with the radiance of the shimmering saris of Indian women.

For your session of Ashtanga Yoga in India

Flights : Whether it is a business trip or a holiday, many aviation companies propose an Internet registration service that allows you to reduce your waiting time at the counters of the airport.

Do not forget to register your « Miles » for a next trip to India. 

Travel agencies

In Brussels, we have had the pleasure of working for many years with « Welcome Travel » agency. They are very efficient and of good advice.

In Paris we recommend the agency « La Maison des Indes ». They favour intellectual and cultural curiosity. Phone: 01 56 81 38 38 (From Monday to Saturday from 10 :00 to 19 :00)

Airline companies

  • Lufthansa : German national airline company. Take advantage of their « discover the world » advantages. Lufthansa
  • Jet Airways : largest private Indian airline company. Their slogan is « The Joy of Flying ». Unfortunately they don’t have any direct flights from Brussels to Chennai (Madras)
    Jet Airways
  • Etihad Airways : book your flight to Chennai with the national United Arab Emirates airline company. You will enjoy an outstanding service for which their staff has received several awards, and arrive rested at destination. At your arrival, the sounds, the perfumes and the colours that enlighten every street of the city, will enliven your senses. Etihad 

Luggage 

International flights

Depending on the airline company, your luggage should not exceed 20kg to 30kg. You can buy or pre-book extra luggage weight before your departure (through the travel agency). Extra weight usually cost around 50$ per kilo.

Domestic flights

Indian companies allow up to 15kg. Please note they are very strict on the weight limitations. For any extra kilo they usually charge 5$. It is better to lock your main luggage. Your cabin luggage should not exceed 7 kg and 56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm.

For domestic flights please avoid any instrument resembling a weapon, knife or even a nail file…

The Security (or safety) air

Be carefull : All batteries in devices must be charged (TSA). If your mobile phone, your tablet… are discharged, the boarding security service may think you are a terrorist carrying a bomb…

Control of airport security : 

Security checks are unfortunately necessary to travel by air, some passengers find them more annoying than anything else.

Here are some tips to make sure that everything goes as well as possible :

  • Remove all metal objects such as keys, mobile phones (charged battery), coins, wallet, belt if the loop is metal, etc. and place them in one of the available plastic bins.
  • Remove your coat, jacket, Sleeveless Jacket and place them, as well as your hand baggage, in one of the plastic bins.
  • Remove all liquids and gels from your hand luggage and place them in a separate bin. Don’t forget that you are allowed to carry, only liquid containers and gels up to 100 ml maximum, in your hand baggage, sprays are prohibited.
  • Remove your laptop and tablet from your bag so that they can be analysed separately (battery charged).
  • Follow closely the instructions given by security personnel

And everything should go smoothly, with a smile…

Transfer :

Transfer from the international airport of Chennai (Madras) to your hotel in Mahābalipuram :

  • At night, by Taxi : the price should be around 1400 Roupies. The transfer takes about 1h20 at night.
  • During daytime: bus n°108 B. Unfortunately this bus is not very frequent.
  • If you prefer, we can organize a taxi to pick you up for the transfer between the airport and the hotel

Money

I advise you to take either :

  • Cash in Euros
  • Traveller’s cheques, although these are not so convenient as you will lose time at the bank
  • Credit cards (American Express, Visa, Eurocard,..) are only accepted in large cities and big hotels. 

Exchange of currency in Roupies 

You can exchange currencies at the airport. Be careful, the Exchange service of « Thomas Cook » has a lower exchange rate than in Mahābalipuram. 

You have to show your passport for the transaction, and you must keep the « encashment certificate » which will allow you to exchange your leftover rupees when you leave the country. Bankcards can be used in big hotels and shops in urban centres. Traveller’s cheques in Euros can easily be changed in banks. You can only take cash out of your account in large cities either from the banks (takes a long time) or from automatic withdrawal counters marked “ATM”. There are now two “ATM” counters in Mahābalipuram. When you leave the big cities or centres, please make sure you have enough rupees or euros and preferably in small bills as it can be difficult to find change. 

The exchange rates are relatively stable. You can check following website to have the recent exchange rates : Oanda 

Water

Never drink tap water ! The water is not always potable. 

Electricity

220 Volt is common in India. It is nevertheless advisable to always check the voltage before connecting a device. It can be very useful to bring a flashlight/torch, in case of a blackout (this is frequent) and it is useful for visiting caves and temples. 

Time zone

  • Summer time : + 03.30 h GMT
  • Winter time : + 04.30 h GMT

 Bibliography/reading list

We have prepared a reading list for travel guides to India, novels, and history books.

Lonely planet :

  • Travel guide: guide book of the South of India and Kerala – a complete guide covering all regions from South India: Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bengaluru (Bangalore), the Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chennai (Madras), Kerala and the Andaman islands, and Odisha (Orissa)
  • Discover India

Hachette

  • Guide Voir: India per region, illustrated maps, detailed advice on visits, excursion proposals. Clever 3D maps of cities so you can better prepare your visits to Delhi, Jaipur, Pondicherry, Calcutta, or Bombay…
  • India Attitudes: small guide on customs and traditions

Le Routard

  • South India: trace your own route

Guide Bleu 

  • South India : an in depth discovery of the South of India in 4 chapters, illustrated maps, a small dictionary and bibliography 

Some books about India

“Once you have felt the Indian dust you will never be free of it”
Rumer Godden

  • « De Gandhi à Bollywood », test your knowledge, by Fédéric Testu, Editions Ellipses
  • « Histoire de l’Inde », by Alain Daniélou, édition Fayard
  • « Inde »: history, religion, traveller’s life, by Rainer Krack, Pages du monde 

You can find the latest publications on http://www.indeenlivres.com 

Language

English is widely spoken in the cities of India. India has hundreds of dialects and 18 officially recognized languages. The difference between the Indo-European spoken in the north and the Dravidian languages used in South India provides that English is an essential means of communication between the people of the north and south.

GSM / Iphone

GSM / Iphone

Cellular phone

Most of the foreign providers offer mobile Internet access (roaming) in India, but the rates are high.

Important advice

Remember that apart from the beauty and wealth of this country, India is and will remain India. It is advisable to look on the bright side to enjoy your stay at the fullest.

Additional information

  • Visa
  • Find a hotel in Mahabalipuram
  • Indian cuisine
  • Photos of India
  • Heath care
  • How to dress

Thanjavur

Thanjavur (Tanjore) is a city in Tamil Nadu state located 400 km South of Chennai, on the South bank of the Cauvery. Thanjavur is famous for the relief style of painting that bears its name. The Thanjavur art works mainly depict the deities of Hindu mythology. Krishna is portrayed having white skin whereas it is traditionally dark blue. The lay out resembles that of Greek icons. The temple of Brihadesvara – a UNESCO World Heritage site – is also known as the temple of Rājarājeshvaram, It is built in the drāvidien style.

 

A large Nandi – Shiva’s famous bull – can be found after the entrance of the interior courtyard. It is 6m in long and 3m high, made entirely of black granite.

The granite and bronze sculptures of its museum are worth a visit. The same goes for the library and the Palace.

The region of Tanjore is rich in history: it is a land of temples of which a large number are rather ancient.

275km South of Mahābalipuram and 171km South of Pondicherry.

There are many interesting temples to visit around Tanjore such as in the towns of Gangaikondacholapuram, Kumbakonam, Darasuram and Swamimalai where one can also see the Bronze Museum and School of Arts as well as the famous bronze foundries in the so called style of “lost wax”.

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamarcharya, one of the greatest masters of yoga (1888 – 1988)

Sri T. Krishnamacharya, one of the greatest masters of yoga, the light of his knowledge has profoundly influenced the whole world.

He has never left anyone indifferent. In the course of a life that would easily fill several ordinary lives, he had many extraordinary encounters. A descendant of the great priests serving at the temple of the Lord of the Seven Hills, who in turn were descendants of Nâthamuni, Sri Venkateshvara of Tirumalai, this teacher had been promised an exceptional destiny at his birth. Nothing commonplace could happen to him.

Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was born on 18 November 1888, the eldest of six children (four boys and two girls).

His father, Sri Tirumalai Srinivasa Thathacharya, a great religious master teaching the knowledge of the holy books (the Vedas), takes charge of the child’s education with his wife Shrimati Ranganayakamma.

The young Krishnamacharya is gifted with great physical force, coupled with extraordinary temperament and intelligence. He also suffused with an intense ardour to know and… to know how.

Still an adolescent, Krishnamacharya sets off to discover his country, its sages, its scholars, its artists and its mystics.

An incredible journey is the life of this young man who will by and by discover, then master, the most varied disciplines, from close-quarters combat to astrology to Vedic rituals.

A well of sciences, fluent in seven languages, an eminent pundit, he will successively explore each of the classical viewpoints of Indian philosophical thought, obtaining the highest distinctions in the most celebrated traditional schools.

Benares, Varanasi, India in 1922

Benares, Varanasi, India in 1922

Varanasi

When he left for Benares for the first time, around the age of 18, he was fortunate to be instructed in certain secrets of Sanskrit grammar in the course of a single night by a sort of genius, Shivakumar Shâstri. Back in Mysore, he received an exhaustive three-year education in the philosophy of Vedânta by the director of Parakala Mutt, Brahmatantra Sri Krishna Brahmatantra Swâmi. Once again back to Benares, he found there a deeply enlightened tutor, Sri Vamacarana Bhattâchârya who, while teaching him philosophy, alsohelped him for years giving him advice on how to live his life.

The holy lake of Mânasarovar…

As advised by his tutor at the University of Patna, he then set off on foot for the Himalayas. By difficult paths and rope bridges over spanning torrents, he arrived at the foot of Kailash, the mythical mountain considered to be the abode of Shiva and the axis of the universe, and at the holy lake of Mânasarovar.

Yoga

He learns and practices intensively all the different aspects of yoga. Thus, in the second phase of his life, he will become one of the greatest (Maha) yogi (âcharya) of his time.

Maharaja of Mysore, painting

Maharaja of Mysore, painting

The maharajah of Mysore

In 1924, he is invited by the maharajah of Mysore who viened yoga as a help in treating his numerous physical ailments. He opened a yoga school in his palace in 1955.

He established himself in Mysore

He is already in his forties when he established himself in Mysore, in the South of India, there he marries the very young Srimati Namaginammal. She will give him six children, three boys and three girls.

Srimati Namaginammal wife of Krishnamacharya

Srimati Namaginammal wife of Krishnamacharya

Madras (Chennai)

When he established himself in Madras in the fifties, he once again had the opportunity to treat two men in very senior positions. Both suffered from paralysis: an eminent lawyer Sri T.R. Venkatarâma Shâstrî and Sir Alladi Krishnaswâmi Iyer, the celebrated jurist who had participated in the drafting of the Indian constitution. Both, causing him stay Madras, added themselves to the long list of crucial encounters that influenced the course of his life. (Extract of N° 24 of Viniyoga, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Sri T. Krishnamacharya).

 

The legend of Yoga-Rahasya

Of the Yoga-Rahasya, an important work on yoga that had been lost for several centuries, only a few excerpts were known. Krishnamacharya declared having received the whole of this original teaching in a dream from the mouth of Sri Nâthamuni, this Vishnu saint who lived in the 9th century

It was not until 1965 that T. Krishnamacharya wrote the verses of Yoga Rahaysa down on paper.

The important concepts of this text are:

  • The importance of yoga for women
  • The yoga practices to follow during pregnancy
  • The adaptation of yoga to make it suitable for everyone in different stages of his life
  • Yoga is an essential therapeutic tool

It contains the main ideas of the teachings of Krishnamacharya on techniques such as āsana and Prāṇāyāma.

T.K.V. Deskachar & Shri Bhashyam

Two of their sons also became yoga instructors.

The elder one, T.K.V. Deskachar, lives in Madras, and manages an important yoga therapy centre – the Krisnamacharya Yoga Mandiram – officially recognized by the Health Ministry of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Bhashyam, his pupil, lives in Nice (France). He has married a Frenchwoman and teaches yoga mainly in France and Switzerland – Yogakshemam, a school teaching traditional Indian philosophy – Ayurveda and Yoga.

 Dissemination…

Compared to the occident, the dissemination of the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya incurred a strange fate.

  • Indra Devi
  • Yvonne Millerand
  • K.V. Desikachar
  • K. Sribhashyam
  • Sri B.K.S. Iyengar
  • Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Mainly due to the engagement of his two sons and their pupils, it is firmly rooted in French speaking countries (France, Switzerland & Quebec).

In Anglo-Saxon countries, this teaching is better known through the interpretation provided by his brother-in-law and pupil, B.K.S. Iyengar with his worldwide reputation – as well as that of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, also known worldwide.

 abtkym_sandals

His death

He died on 28 February 1989 in Chennai in the South of India. He was nearly 101 years of age. The teacher Sri T. Krishnamacharya will for many remain an unmatched and irreplaceable master of yoga…

In accordance with tradition, he never left his native India in his life. Nevertheless, the light of his knowledge of yoga has profoundly influenced the whole world.

“Yoga is the greatest gift of India to the world.”

Sri T. Krishnamacharya

Sources:

  • The Yoga of the Yoga The legacy of T Krishnamacharya by Kausthud Desikachar – Edition: K. Y. M – Chennai – India
  • Shri T. Krishnamacharya 1888 – 1988 Cent ans de Béatitude
  • Notebook
    Edition: K. Y. M – Chennai – India
  • La revue « Viniyoga » n° 24
  • Yoga Sutra de Patanjali – Translation and commentary by K.V. Desikachar – Edition du Rocher – 1986
  • Reflection on Yoga Sutra – s of Patanjali – By K.V. Desikachar
    KYM – ISBN: 81.87847.20.4
  • The Heart of Yoga – Developing a Personal Practice – By K.V. Desikachar
    KYM – ISBN: 0.89281.681.3
Breath Of The Gods

Breath Of The Gods

Film:

Breath of the Gods, A Journey to the Origins of Modern Yoga, by Jan Schmidt – Garre Film – Length 105 minutes

  • K.S. IYENGAR
  • PATTABHI JOIS
  • K. SRIBHASHYAM
  • KRISHNAMACHARYA

Very beautiful and moving testimony to the life of Sri T. Krishnamacharya as recalled by his students, his children…

Websites:

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary (ornithological sanctuary)

Vedanthankal Bird Sanctuary, the ornithological reserve, is located in the small village of Vedanthangal.

You can admire more than 40,000 birds (including 26 rare species), coming from various parts of the world.

 

They stay in the reserve during the migratory season. The best time to visit this wonderful quiet place is from November to March. During this time, the birds are seen building and maintaining their nests. The best time for bird watching is early morning or at the end afternoon, before sunset.

Vedanthangal is 60 km south of Mahābalipuram in the direction of Pondicherry (1 hour drive). Close from May to November.

Vedanthankal Bird Sanctuary, website :

 

Pondicherry, a little bit of France in India…

The coast of Coromandel, close to Pondicherry, is ideally suited for a charming stay: beaches of white sand, Hindu temple complexes, small fishing villages, the ancient French counter where the past is still present, a stay in a charming hotel – all this will make your Yoga workshop an unforgettable experience.

 

The town, Pondicherry or Puducherry, is often referred to as Pondy. Pondicherry has a unique architecture, inherited from a mixture of cultures and its French and Tamil colonial past.

Pondicherry has a special ambience and charm, completely different from the rest of India. Formerly a French colony, today it is an Indian territory, 160 km from Chennai (Madras), 100 km from Mahābalipuram, along the Coast of Coromandel, in the Gulf of Bengal. Take a stroll, walking or on a cycle rickshaw, through the charming streets with evocative names, where you can admire the finest examples of colonial architecture.

 

 

Immerse yourself in the old marketplace, at the junction of Nehru Street & Mahatma Gandhi Road, with its surprising fragrances from the fish, fruit, vegetable and flower markets, buy coffee or tea in “The Lakshmi Coffee”, go out for lunch at “Energy Home”, a surprising and absolutely delicious cuisine, 35a, Chety Street. Visit Sri Aurobindo’s ashram in Auroville. Enjoy a French breakfast at “Baker Street”, 123, Bussy Street, or an Indian one in a house with traditional Tamil architecture, the “Maison Perumal”, 44 Perumal Koil Street: dosai, idly, kalapam and uthappam, from 7.30 until 10.00.

 

Pondicherry is 100 km away from Mahābalipuram, 2 hours by bus or 11/2 hours by car.

Visit of Auroville, a utopian, mystic and environmental project located 20 minutes from Pondicherry.

Auroville, the “the city of Aurora”, was conceived by “The Mother” as a place for a universal community life, where men and women would learn to live in peace, in perfect harmony, beyond all beliefs, political affiliations and nationalities”.

 

To-day around 1.600 inhabitants, from some thirty countries, live in this utopian and mystic place. In its centre stands the Matrimandir, the soul of Auroville. Inside there is a room coated with white marble, in which a huge solid crystal (70 cm diameter), the biggest in the world, is exhibited. It is devoted to meditation.

On January 20th 2009, His Holiness the 14thDalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, inaugurated the Tibetan Pavilion. The architect drew inspiration from the Kalachakra Mandala plans.

 

 

Staying a few days in Auroville, walking around and meditating in the Matrimandir, are wonderful experiences.

 

For this experience, you must obtain a pass from the reception of the Visitor Center to visit the Matrimandir and the gardens surrounding it. It is also necessary to have another ‘’pass’’ for a session of meditation to the Matrimandir. A shady trail, 2 km from the Centre of the Matrimandir visitors.

 

Timetables for the “pass” to the visitors Centre
  Morning Afternoon
Week 9h30 to 13h 13h30 to 16h00
Sunday 9h30 to 13h Close
 
Opening hours of the Matrimandir visitors
  Matin Afternoon
Week 9h30 to 13h30 14h00 to 16h30
Sunday 9h30 to 13h00 Close

Auroville, accueille pass

Tout Pondi-logo

Auroville is located 6 km north of Pondicherry which lies 100 km from Mahābalipuram.
It takes 01.45 hours by car and 2 hours by bus to go to Pondicherry, around 100 km from Mahābalipuram.