Blogs from Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia


Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 7th 2019

Auroville. It’s a place unto itself, belonging to no one in particular, instead belonging to “humanity as a whole.” I first visited this place in 1974, six years after its founding when it was still a dusty landscape. They were building something. It was so unremarkable I can’t remember much. Just that there wasn’t much here. Now, after massive erosion control and the planting of over 2 million trees, the place is a shady oasis. It covers an area of over 20 square kilometers, containing villages and guest houses, cafes, schools, learning centers, workshops, stores, residential spaces, and public buildings of astounding and eclectic architecture. My rented electric bicycle zooms me around the place. I get lost as I weave along dirt paths and paved roads, but I always end up somewhere. Google Map is my ... read more
A Standing “Harp”
The Matrimandir: the glue of the community
I Love my Electric Bicycle

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 29th 2014

When the soul lies down in the grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi When the soul lies down in the grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi The bulk of these following pictures were taken by Sephina -" Sephina's aspiration".... read more
Sephina's Aspiration

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 18th 2014

Yes, you heard it here first! It's the official 9 year old report and I would have to agree. This week we have continued to enjoy Banyon beach, the thrills of the scooter, playing with the Tamilian children, visiting the Auroville Botanical Garden and planting some seeds in the vegetable garden at Aspiration. In the garden we planted lades finger, a variety of beans and watermelon. However, after the monsoon rain last night I examined the watermelon seeds that had washed to the surface and I noticed that they were bad seeds, so there goes the excitement of seeing them sprout before we leave. I might replace them with some fresh Rosela seeds that I bought. We've continued to document the flora and fauna we've come across and we visited a portion of The Auroville Botanical ... read more
Naja naja
Common Bluebottle
Titan Beetle

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 14th 2014

An endearing feature of most all homes and places of business in this part of India are Kolam, highly symmetrical geometrical line drawings that are composed most often of curved loops and dots. They are drawn at entry ways, often decorating the streets. Thought to bring prosperity to ones home, they are redrawn with white rice powder and something that makes them sparkle each morning by Tamil women. The rice powder also invites birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. It is a matter of pride to be able to draw large complicated patterns ... read more
Old and new
School girls
Scooter in India

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 9th 2014

After finally settling into a very simple routine that included lots of exploring, plenty of playing, art and relaxing together at Arka, we turned in our scooter and moved this past Friday to a different guest house. The new place is beautiful and I am free of feeling unwelcome due to the disquietude that Malek and Sephina produced in such an otherwise serene environment. Where we sleep now is my idea of a the perfect room: it's uncomplicated, the widow frames, doors and all furniture are handmade solid wood, the floor is covered in spanish style tiles, and the space is small - just enough. To the surrounding villagers, this would be considered a very nice place and that is why it cost a fair amount in comparison to stay here; we subsidize the Tamil and ... read more
Auro Beach
Temple for Ganesh
Self declared "Queen of India"!

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville August 29th 2014

Last Friday was Ganesh Chaturthi. This is the birthday celebration of one of India's most beloved Gods, Ganesh. Music started playing at midnight the day of, all offices were closed and fireworks rang out later that night in Pondicherry. We were told that for the most part, it is a celebration that is honored in homes and temples and not publicly, though I don't doubt that there was a public festival in Pondicherry. I read that the big festivals traditionally involve installing clay images of Ganesha in temporary shrines, which are worshipped for ten days with a variety of herbal leaves and plants to later be immersed at the end of the festival in a water, (lakes and rivers), along with the miniature Idols. Ganesh seems omnipresent here in the South East. He seems to be ... read more
Local Ganesh Shrine
Bus to Pondicherry

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville August 25th 2014

To start, we made it! The trip went as smoothly as possible, actually surprisingly so given that I was traveling with a 4 and 9 year old. There was no complaining and it was fairly easy to keep them entertained. The lengthy layover wasn’t such a big deal- they mostly spent it running back and forth on the airport walk way belt in UAE Dubai. They needed to burn off all of that extra energy and at 1 in the morning, they weren’t really in anyones way. (I was banking on empathy if they were.) When we finally landed in Chennai, I was pleased with my decision to spend the night in Dubai and take a red eye to Chennai, as it was a tiny and old airport. We easily found our prearranged cab driver and ... read more
Playground nearby
Worlds cutest frog

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville February 13th 2014

Time's flown by, and I can't believe it's already the middle of my third week here! I've been having an amazing time and every day holds something new and different, from work tasks to workshops to food to meeting new people and everything in between. Last Wednesday morning I did “tree hole digging” for my first morning SEVA, which involved one person loosening soil in an uphill arc around a metal tube placed on the ground, which is approx. 30cm diameter and 70cm high, using a pointy metal crowbar, whilst the other person digs out the soil from the arc using a “mounti”(?) spade, which is a shovel with a short handle (photo hopefully included) and deposits it around the tube, making a mound around 40cm high. These tubes then get filled with trees and compost, ... read more
In the forest
Trees planted in mounds
Big banyan tree

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 12th 2012

Voila que la fin de mon voyage approche. Mais avant de parler de mes derniers jours a Auroville, je dois vous parler encore un peu de la Sadhana Forest. Ben oui, je ne peux pas vous laisser comme ca sans vous avoir parler des douches et du lavage. La-bas, on fait tres tres tres attention a l'eau. Alors, que ce soit pour le lavage ou pour la douche, on doit d'abord se rendre a la cuisine pour puiser l'eau a la pompe, comme dans le bon vieux temps! On remplit donc un seau d'eau pour la douche ou deux pour le lavage. Comme les seaux sont grands et que l'eau ne se pompe pas comme par magie, ben il est rare que l'on remplit le seau au complet. Avec le temps, on a meme tendance a ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Auroville September 10th 2012

Waaaaaa, Le temps file, J'ai passe un deux semaines a la Sadhana Forest, unecommunaute un peu en retrait d'Auroville. La-bas, y'avait pas un acces facile a internet, voila pourquoi j'ai mi tant de temps a re-ecrire dans ce blogue. Quand j'en avais la chance, j'ecrivais ou je repondais personnellement a certains d'entres vous. Voila pour la justification ;) Alors maintenant, parlons de la Sadhana Forest. Sadhana, ca veut dire qqc comme "chmein spirituel" ou "objectif spirituel" C'est cute, non? Bon ben c'est ca qui est ca. Ceux qui ont fonde la Sadhana Forest en ontfait leur Sadhana, c'est-a-dire que leur mission principale a eux, c'est la reforestation de cet endroit qui etait desert il y a seulement 8 ans. Vous tomberiez sur le derriere si je vous montrais les photos, mais j'ai perdu mon appareil recemment. ... read more

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