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Published: April 9th 2009
Meditation Hall - ( from outer space??)
We are packing so much in ..no wonder I feel like I have heat exhaustion ! Not really! But every day is such a bad hair day I despair of ever looking reasonable. But we attract so much attention it is better to be white than be white and beautiful!!!!!!!!!!
Pondicherry is French/Indian town with a bit of charm but the main reason why people come is to visit the ashram of Sri Aurobindo who was a politician but became spiritual and developed a view of how we should improve oursleves to be able to live together in harmony. He was succeeded by The Mother who is responsible for getting Auroville started. ( more of that later). The ashram is calm itself - a lovely garden as you walk in and silence. The mausoleum of the afore mentioned is the main reason why there are so many visitors - to pray and meditate. Just sitting there- felt like the cares of the world were dripping away and no idea how much time went by. Prayed for my famuly in the way I saw everyone doing - touching the mausoleum with forehead and kneeling. A great experience! Bought
At the ashram
a book so will know more after I've read it.
On to Auroville which an international town with a concept of harmonious living and an amazing meditation hall called the Martrimandi.
Another great experience.
Am now an expert on Indian trains having spent a 7 hr journey to Madurai in the heat that much have topped 40 degrees. And travelled overnight to Mysore - see later.
The Hindu temple at Madurai is enormous - well it is 4 actually and it was heaving. But did get blessed by an elephant !
On to Mammalipurnam which is seaside but not really inviting. Wandered about for the day as too hot to do anything but lie in shade and drink lime sodas.
Overnight train from Chennai to Mysore . Was ok but don't think I am cut out for communal sleeping especially with fat , old Indian men who make strange noises in the night just above me ! But the coffee wallah brightened the morning with hot sweet coffee in bed (me not him!).
Mysore is the best city so far - cleaner, better infra structure and more modern. Came to see the palace which is stunning. You cannot take photos inside so just imagine a stained glass dome wioth aqua green walls and gold leaf. Truly beautiful. And there is a set of paintings where the eyes of the subjects follow you - like the Mona Lisa apparently.
Lightening trip to the jungle area then on to Ooty which is where snooker was invented so I'm told !!
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