Auroville, India for weekend getaway and relaxation

Crestline, United States

For the past three months, I’ve been volunteering in Pondicherry in southern India. On the weekends, my friend and I like to get away from the chaos of life in a bustling Indian city and head to Auroville, which is just a 30-minute journey by bus.

Auroville is an interesting place. Calm and peaceful, it is home to a generation of mostly French settlers who started an experimental township in 1968. The experiment was to create a space of sustainability, unlimited knowledge, and a deep connection with the divine.

While we were there, we stayed at the New Creation Guesthouse. New Creation is actually a community of residents, but they do rent out some quaint, air-conditioned rooms on the grounds. The stay comes with free breakfast and coffee or tea. However, we discovered that the “breakfast” was homemade bread and butter and nothing more.

Luckily we found the most wonderful café right across the street, called Bread and Chocolate. Sticking to the Aurovillion theme of sustainability, all their food is organic and locally sourced. There are very few places where I can say the food actually inspired me, but Bread and Chocolate did just that.

After breakfast, we caught an autorickshaw down to the Guest Center where they have quality shopping, dining, and of course, the Matrimandir. The Matrimandir is an enormous golden globe used for silent meditation. However, since it takes a day of planning ahead and a fee to enter, the two of us opted for the pleasant stroll to the Matrimandir and admired it from afar.

Insider Tip

Definitely use the swimming pool at New Creation! It costs 250 rupees to enter. However, since the attendants at the pool only accept the local currency card, the Aurocard, make sure you get a permission notice from the guesthouse caretaker, Andre.

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