Auroville, an experimental township located in the state of Tamil Nadu, is a popular tourist destination, especially for travellers visiting the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry. You'll need at least two days to explore the myriad of options this tiny village has to offer (a weekend would be ideal), but many visitors like it so much here that they tend to stay on for longer. Curious to know more? We'll tell you everything you can fit into a weekend visit to Auroville!
Auroville is the perfect place if you want to let your hair down and relax, explore unique places, meet interesting people, eat phenomenal food and broaden your horizons. Here's everything you can see and do at this experimental township.
This architectural marvel is arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Auroville. While its foundations were laid in 1971, it took a total of 37 years to be built and was completed in 2008. It is located in the centre of the township and while it does not hold any religious affiliation, it holds spiritual significance for the founders and residents of Auroville. The structure's inner chambers are restricted only to Aurovillians. Tourists need to book visitors passes at least a day in advance for a guided tour of the structure, which ends in a 15-minute meditation session. The mandir is a dedicated meditation centre and if you want to attend a session, you can get details from the help desk at the visitor's centre.
View this post on Instagram
Too much stoke! - - - - #allages #surflesson #surfchool #surfingindia #surfinginstructor #grouplesson #firsttimers #foamboards #happy #smiles #fun #auroville #pondicherry #certifiedinstructors #eveningsessions #glassy #waterphotography #gopro #surfergirl #teachingwithpassion #methodicalearning #gromsurfing #perfectconditions #surfindia
The wonderful things about visiting Auroville is that it is situated close to a number of clean, uncrowded beaches that you can visit if you want a good dose of vitamin sea. However, the best part is that the waves at these beaches, particularly Serenity Beach, are surf-friendly! So if you already know how to surf, you can rent a surfboard and spend the day catching some waves. If you're interested in learning, there are a number of excellent surf schools at the beach with dedicated trainers and reasonable pricing. Just remember to carry your bathing suit, plenty of waterproof sunscreen and a change of clothes. Everything else will be provided to you!
A visit to Auroville is incomplete if you don't stop by to munch on something at Auroville Bakery and Boulangerie. Run by the township of Auroville, the eating joint cum bakery is open to visitors without any prior permission. Not only is the menu vast and delicious, everything is made from local produce from the Auro Farms. Besides that, the eatery specialises in baked goods like bread, croissants, pastries and other items that your sweet tooth will love!
View this post on Instagram
We have some beautiful salad right now so have introduced the Light & Bright salad to our specials menu. A Big bowl of salad topped with roast tomatoes, marinated onion, alfalfa, greek olives, nuts & seeds and dressed with a balsamic dressing and served with a side of Dans famous sourdough. #breadandchocolate #artisan #vegan #bowlfood #nutritiousfood #friendswithsalad
Speaking of food, the township has a lot more culinary delights to offer besides what's available at Auroville Bakery. Owing to its global and diverse population, you will find a number of unique cafes and restaurants offering sumptuous food. We suggest you grab a hearty breakfast at Bread & Chocolate--the sourdough tartine is to die for and the smoothie bowls will soothe your soul. For lunch, try authentic Naga food at Bamboo Shoots--we recommend the pork in bamboo shoot curry with sticky rice (which is flown in especially from Assam!). Pizza lovers should get dinner at Tanto's--their seafood pizza is to die for and the iced tea goes well with it. Other unmissable places include Marc's Coffee, Sakura Sushi, Secret Garden, Lhasa and Dharma Swasti.
If you have some time on your hands, you must explore the vast number of unique activities that the township of Auroville has to offer. These range from basic activities like yoga, meditation, art, music and dance. Besides that, you can also sign up for interesting things like sculpture, pottery, sound baths, water massages, and music therapy. Keep in mind that most of these activities are offered to the citizens of Auroville, so make sure you call in advance and find out if the activity is offered to visitors as well.
Nature lovers and botany enthusiasts need to ensure that they don't miss a visit to the Botanical Gardens when in Auroville. Started in the year 2000 as a passion project by the citizens over barren land, the garden now stretches over 50 acres, featuring a full-fledged artificial Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF), which is native to the region. Explore these gardens when you want to take a quiet walk, meditate or do some nature photography.
If you're interested in buying groceries, medicines or general knick-knacks, the main market at Auroville Main Road is where you'll find everything. The offbeat market boasts of shops, pop-ups and stalls selling everything from khadi and linen kurtas to trinkets and ethnic jewellery. Besides these, you can also pick up handicrafts and home decor items, which are made from locally sourced merchandise.
So are you ready for a weekend full of relaxation, exploration and adventure? Then plan your travels to Auroville ASAP!
Featured Image: Shutterstock
Love all things colourful and cute? Take it up a POP with POPxo Shop's collection of super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves and more!