Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple
Pondy may have more churches than most towns, but this is still India, and the Hindu faith still reigns supreme. Don’t miss the chance...
Institut Français de Pondichéry
This grand neoclassical colonial-era building is also a flourishing research institution devoted to Indian culture, history and ecology....
The neoclassical governor's residence faces shady Bharathi Park from the north.
The top-floor cafe at Hidesign serves delicious tapas and excellent coffee.
Sri Aurobindo Ashram information
Founded in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo and a French-born woman known as ‘the Mother’, this spiritual community now has about 1200 members working in its many departments. Aurobindo's teachings focus on an 'integral yoga' as the path towards a 'supramental consciousness which will divinise human nature'; devotees work in the world, rather than retreating from it. General visits to the main ashram building are cursory – you just see the flower-festooned samadhi of Aurobindo and the Mother, then the bookshop, then you leave.
Ashram accommodation guests can access other areas and activities. Evening meditation around the samadhi is open to people with passes – which you can only get if you're staying at an ashram guesthouse or from the ashram's Bureau Central , where there are also interesting exhibitions on Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.