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Published: February 6th 2020
Leisurely morning at breakfast today. Then onto the bus to aim our sights on Auroville and Pondicherry. Our guide Bridget says we will be in Auroville by 1 p.m. but the main highway is being repaired and we are travelling back roads through many towns and villages. This area is very poor and is mostly populated by the low caste people. The Hindu people here are very faithful to their religion and nearly everyone goes to the temple for blessings in the morning. The blessing powder is evident on the foreheads of everyone from little children to the very elderly. Also there are so many temples and shrines that no one would have an excuse not to perform their duties to their religion.
Every now and then we pass a bullock cart. These are wooden working carts pulled by white Brahma oxen. Often their giant horns are painted in vibrant colours: white, orange, green, the colour of the India flag.
Auroville which is our first destination is actually past Pondicherry but we want to go there to make a reservation for a spot in the Matrimandir for a meditation session. Our appointment is not until Monday as all other
days are already full. The Marimandir is a golden metallic sphere with a white marble interior chamber, a symbol for “the Divine’s answer to man‘s aspiration for perfection”. Silence is maintained inside. Auroville was founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, known as ”The Mother”; it is an experimental township that allows men and women of all countries to live in peace and progressive harmony. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.
Finally we are arriving at the Promenade Hotel which is right on the shore of the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean. Our bus driver, Xavier, his assistant, Arun, and our guide Bridget are leaving us now after 5 days. We give them a warm farewell and head off down the street to the hotel. After getting settled into our rooms we meet for a drink in the outside bar and then go for a walk on The Promenade. After 5 p.m. no cars are allowed on this wide street so it’s full of people; residents and visitors spending time on the sea shore or just walking in the comfortable evening air. There’s a gentle breeze bringing in the salty smell of the ocean.
Our walk has stimulated appetites so we gather in the hotel dning room to satisfy our various hunger needs. A quick look in the hotel gift shop and it’s time to retire for the night. We will be doing lots of walking in the next few days so better get our rest.
I have to apologize for the photos (or lack thereof) but since my camera broke I am relying on my cell phone which just doesn’t come close to what I could do the camera.
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