Welcome to Auroville

Outside opinions of Auroville's inhabitants range from admiration to accusations of self-indulgent escapism. Imagine over 100 small scattered countryside settlements, with 2500-odd residents of 52 nationalities. Nearly 60% of Aurovillians are foreign; most new members require more funds than most Indians may ever have. But the energy driving the place is palpable and, on a visit, you'll receive a positive vibe.

Some 12km northwest of Puducherry, Auroville was founded in 1968 by 'the Mother', cofounder of Puducherry's Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Aurovillians run a wide variety of projects, from schools and IT to organic farming, renewable energy and handicrafts production, employing 4000 to 5000 local villagers.

Top experiences in Auroville

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Auroville activities

$54.66 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour: Pondicherry Day Trip from Chennai

After pickup from your Chennai hotel in the morning, you’ll drive approximately 2.5 hours by private, air-conditioned vehicle to the Pondicherry region.When you arrive, your professional guide will take on a tour of this spiritual community, home to Sri Aurobindo Ashram, a spiritual site founded by Sri Aurobindo and his collaborator, known locally as ‘The Mother.’ Walk to the nearby Pondicherry Museum, located in Bharathi Park. Along the way, your guide will point out various structures that display effects of French colonial influence. Inside, discover the museum’s outstanding collection of artifacts, sculptures and archaeological findings from the ancient Arikamedu settlement, a Tamil fishing village that traded with the Romans. In between sightseeing, your guide will recommend a great restaurant in Pondicherry where can enjoy some French-Indian fusion cuisine (own expense).Then, you’ll drive approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) to Auroville, a small town and spiritual community also founded by Mirra Alfassa. Here, you’ll visit Matrimandir, meaning ‘Temple of the Mother’ in Sanskrit. Marvel at the plated gold of its 98-foot high (30-meter) dome with a lotus-shaped foundation urn. Wander inside to see the stark-white interior and large crystal in the center. Learn from your guide how this temple is an important spiritual place for practitioners of Integral yoga. After your tour, you’ll be driven back to your Chennai hotel or the Chennai airport for your departure flight.

$180 Day Trips & Excursions

Pondicherry Sightseeing Tour Including Transportation to Chennai

Your chauffeur will meet and greet you at your hotel in Pondicherry and proceed to the French Quarter. Pondicherry is a former French colony on the sea with French street names, croissants and Indian policemen in French-looking uniforms. It is attractively set on the Bay of Bengal with delightful beaches, this surprising town is a throwback to colonial times when it was a French enclave, but nowadays it is richly blended with Tamil culture. Those used to the British colonial architecture will enjoy the Gallic imprint with the fusion of Catholic churches and distinctly French buildings such as the beachfront Hotel de Ville and excellent French restaurants. En route, visit the Auroville, an intentional community where people of 40 different nationalities have come together with the goal of building a harmonious township where creed, nationality and color are ignored.  Their utopian vision is inspirational, and we'll take time to see how they make it work. You will be visiting the Shri Aurobindo Ashram, the Ganesha Temple, the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the Gandhi Statue on the boulevard. You'll also have more time to enjoy French baguettes for lunch. After the city tour, your chauffeur will drop you off at your hotel in Chennai.

$869 Transfers & Ground Transport


DAY 1:     ARRIVAL CHENNAI – TRANSFER TO MAMALLAPURAM                Upon arrival you will be welcomed traditionally and transfer to your hotel in Mamallapuram. DAY 2:      MAMALLAPURAM History walk of Mamallapuram exploring UNESCO sites. DAY 3:       MAMALLAPURAM TO PONDICHERRY After breakfast proceed to Pondicherry. Enroute discover the harmonious community of Auroville. Today evening proceed to visit Shri Aurobindo Ashram. DAY 4:        PONDICHERRY TO TANJORE Depart to Tanjore. Despite its important history and culture. Tanjore was once the capital of the Chola empire and, although many buildings from that period no longer survive, the town is still full of lovely temples. Enroute visit Darasuram temple and silk weaving village. DAY 5:        TANJORE TO KARAIKUDI Drive Tanjore, enroute visit the Brihadeshvara Temple an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later drive to Karaikudi/ chettinadu which is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a banking and business community.  Enjoy lunch at The Bangala. DAY 6:        KARAIKUDI TO MADURAI Drive to Madurai. This vast, pulsating city, one of the oldest cities in South India, dating back 2500 years, sprawls along the banks of the River Vaigai. Afternoon proceed for Rickshaw tour. DAY 7:      MADURAI Wander through the tailors markets and bazaars and further visit the Sri Meenakshi Temple, which lies in the heart of the city.  Visit Thirumalai Nayak Palace, an example of architectural grandeur. DAY 8:        MADURAI TO PERIYAR/THEKKADY Drive to Periyar/Thekkady. The evocative name of the Cardamom Hills is home to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, a reserve on the Kerala/Tamil Nadu border, which is surrounded by tea and spice plantations. Lush forest, with a vast lake at its heart, it is home to many indigenous animals.      This afternoon proceeds to a Spice Plantation tour with a Naturalist. DAY 9:  PERIYAR Boat ride in Periyar lake and Kerala cooking class. DAY 10:     PERIYAR TO ALLEPPEY Drive to Alleppey, Homestay in Greenpalm Homes located on a backwater island which gives an unique chance to get into the Indian-Keralean culture. Explore Backwater & Village life.   DAY 11:     ALLEPPEY – COCHIN   Drive to Kochi a colonial port town whose diverse architecture acts as a reminder of the foreign traders who came over the centuries to buy spices. Sightseeing tour of Fort Kochi. Evening Kathakali dance show. DAY 12:     DEPARTURE TRANSFER TO AIRPORT After breakfast it's time to bid farewell to South India.  You will be dropped at the Cochin airport to connect your onward flight.

$744 Multi-day & Extended Tours

7-Night Tour: Cultural Heritages of Tamil Nadu

Day 1 : Upon arrival at Chennai Airport/Railway Station, you will transferred to your Hotel in Chennai. After refreshments, visits to Kapaleeshwar Temple, Santhome Cathedral, Parthsarthy Temple, Marina Beach and the National Art Gallery, local sightseeing, then back to your hotel in Chennai. (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Chennai)Day 2 : Chennai – Mahabalipuram (34 miles – 1-hour drive) After breakfast, check out of your hotel in Chennai and proceed to Mahabalipuram. Check-in at your hotel in Mahabalipuram. In the afternoon, enjoy sightseeing in Mahabalipuram. You will visit Shore Temple, Five Ratha’s, Crocodile Bank, Arjuna’s Penance and Tiger Caves before heading back to the hotel. (Overnight stay at a 4-star Resort in Mahabalipuram)Day 3 : Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (102 miles – 4-hour drive) After breakfast, check out of your hotel in Mahabalipuram and proceed to Pondicherry. Check-in to your hotel. Spend the day doing things at your own leisure and walk around the heritage Streets of the City (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Pondicherry)Day 4 : Pondicherry After breakfast, visits to Shri Aurobindo Ashram, Auroville, Arikamedu, Pondicherry Beach, the Botanical Garden and Bharati Park before heading back to the hotel  (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Pondicherry)Day 5 : Pondicherry – Tanjore (109 miles – 4-hour drive) After breakfast, check out from your hotel in Pondicherry and drive to Tanjore. Enroute visit Chidambaram Nadarajer Temple  and UNESCO Heritages Chola Temples Kangaikonada Cholapaurm, Darasuram,  Brihadeeswara Temple (Big Temple Tanjore after check-in at hotel) The Palace, Art Gallery and Saraswati Mahal Library. (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Tanjore)Day 6 : Tanjore – Trichy (1-hour 30 Minutes) After breakfast, enjoy an excursion to Trichy to visit Rock Fort Temple, Tiruvanaikkovil Temple, Srirangam Temple, and Lady of Lourdes Church  After a long day, relax for the evening at your hotel at Trichy. (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Trichy)Day 7 : Trichy – Madurai (84 miles – 4-hour drive) After breakfast, check out from your hotel and drive to Madurai. Check-in to your hotel. Enjoy the afternoon sightseeing in Madurai to visit to Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Thirumalai Nayak Palace, Thirupparankundram Temple, Alagar Koil and Gandhi Museum, (Overnight stay at a 4-star hotel in Madurai)Day 8: Madurai - Chennai (290 miles – 8Hours drive) After breakfast, you will check-out from your hotel and enjoy the scenic drive to Chennai Airport to proceed to the next destination as per your itinerary.

$539 Multi-day & Extended Tours

4-Night Luxurious Tour to Chennai Mahabalipuram and Pondichery

Day 01: Chennai – Mahabalipuram (70 km. 2 hrs.)Upon arrival at Chennai Airport you will be greeted by the representative and directly transferred to Mahabalipuram. Check-in to the hotel on arrival and relax for a while before proceeding for sightseeing in Mahabalipuram. Visit the Thirukadalmallai, Shore Temple, Pancha Pandava Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, Caves, and Krishna’s Butterball and learn more about the history of Mahabalipuram. Overnight stay in Mahabalipuram.Day 02: Mahabalipuram – Pondicherry (106 km. 2.5 hrs.)After breakfast check-out from the hotel and transfer to Pondicherry. Relax for a while upon arrival at the hotel and proceed for a Pondicherry sightseeing excursion and see the Pondicherry Beach, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Boat House, Auroville and Museum. Overnight stay at hotel.Day 03: Pondicherry After breakfast explore Pondicherry even more by visitng Arrikamedu, Arrikamedu, JN Street, Ayee Mandapam, Bharathi Park, Memorial House. Overnight stay in Pondicherry hotel.Day 04: Pondicherry – Chennai (170 km. 3 hrs.)After breakfast check-out from the hotel and transfer to Chennai. Relax for a while upon arrival at the hotel in Chennai and then visit Besant Nagar Beach, Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwar Temple, Ramakrishna Temple and more. Overnight stay in Chennai.Day 05: ChennaiThere is no itinerary planned for the day. After breakfast pack your baggage with a promise of coming back again to this sweet package. Based on your departure time, you will be transferred to Chennai Airport or railway station on time to catch your flight/train.

$100 Day Trips & Excursions

Day trip to Pondicherry from Chennai

730 AM- Our tour guide will meet and pick you up from your hotel. We head towards Pondicherry, located 150 KM away. We will reach Pondicherry our destination by 10 AM. Sri Aurobindo Ghosh is arguably the most famous citizen of Pondicherry. The tour begins with a visit to his memorial at the Aurobindo Ashram. Guests will get a brief experience of his life and times as well as his philosophy and revolutionary ideas. The memorial also has a section on Sri Aurobindo’s famous disciple Mirra Alfassa. It is the perfect place for meditation.A French heritage walk is organized through the heart of the city where one can see glimpses of exquisite French style of architecture. This heritage walk will help you appreciate the French connection with Pondicherry.A walk through the famous promenade of Pondicherry facing the lovely Bay of Bengal follows this. 2 PM- We visit a unique factory which makes hand made paper. Sri Aurobindo Paper Factory started 50 years ago and makes paper from 100% cotton rag pulp. In this visit guests will experience how the paper is produced from cotton rags and then processed with techniques like silk screen printing and marbling.330PM- Post lunch we travel to Auroville, the radical concept of a global village where thousands of people from across the world have given up their nationalities and are living as global citizens. Auroville was conceived with the vision that- “There should be a somewhere on earth, a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority, that of the supreme truth; a place of peace, concord and harmony…”. Guests will also get to see the various ways in which its citizens practice sustainable way of life. Matri Mandir is a giant dome for silent meditation. Guests can see it from outside on a day visit. Note permission for meditating inside has to be taken one day in advance in person.830PM- The journey back to Chennai would take around 3 hrs. The tour ends after we drop you back in Chennai.