Ugrás a fő tartalomra

HOME WITHOUT BORDERS

I discovered Auroville a few weeks before my arrival to Chennai and I was pretty excited about this spiritual township concept. I was like woooow, in this place people from 49 nations live 😮
Ganesha temple in Pondicherry

Since I was 14 I've had an interest in yoga, spirituality, Buddhism and Hinduism so I thought Auroville is a must-visit place but it didn’t even cross my mind that it will be the destination of my first trip.

With Puducherry (Pondicherry, Pondichéry or simply Pondy) it was love at first hearing. I mean I really loved from the beginning how the name of this place sounded and my fondness for cherries wasn't the single reason; this "small" (in Indian terms) coastal city basically represents a blend of French colonial and Indian culture and I love when cultures are mixed. 💜 For example you'll find both a Jeanne D'Arc and a Mahatma Gandhi statue, a Rue Romain Rolland and a Nehru street, a Notre Dame des Anges church and a Sri Aurobindo Ashram.


By the way Pondy was the location for Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi and the movie directed by And Lee also showcased many sites. So it is a cool novel-and-movie inspired place for vacation. 😉

When I arrived around noon to Pondy I had no idea where I am going to sleep. But maybe because I had the beginner's luck, I solved it within minutes. I booked a place in a guesthouse in Auroville for a few hundred rupees via phone. Actually getting to Auroville was harder. On the official website it said that there are buses that go from Pondicherry but I was way too excited to wait (according to the schedule the next one was to leave in about 2 and half hours). So first I took a local bus, until the junction with Auroville (horns, heat, crowd aaaah) and from there I took an auto rikshaw (auto as we use it).

And I arrived to the City of Dawn.


Auroville, according to Lonely Planet is a place that anyone with idealistic leanings will love. For me it was the first place where I forgot I am in India (on Earth or somewhere else?).

Taking a walk in the forest in Auroville
A path in Auroville, in the middle of the forest

Because the place indeed has a bit of unearthly feeling. Not only because it is in the middle of nowhere (actually in the middle of a forest), with an interesting architectural context but also because – although I believe efforts were made to look natural, clean and organic - it has a touch of artificiality. However it could have been a good starting point for the concept of Avatar.

Matrimandir is the main attraction of Auroville which is an edifice in the shape of a giant golden lotus flower.  I didn’t get the chance to take a look at how it looks from the inside as you have to book in advance. But still, I had some impressive views:

The main attraction in the experimental township, Auroville.
View of the Matrimandir

And a nice beach. Some deserted parts. Good places to swim and to enjoy the sunlight (as I hate crowded places):

A sunny day at the seaside in Auroville, India
The seaside in Auroville


The funniest part was when I found this:

A story about the origin of the Hungarian Sould. In Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India
A Hungarian soul in Auroville
And I read about the origin of the Hungarian Soul which was a completely new story to me. According to the description, Hungarians lived on an island called Atais located between Asia and America, with a four-season Mediterranean climate and rich soil. But what is even more interesting is that our ancestors were from another planet! 
And everything was great. Then what happened?
7000 years ago Atais sank and the majority of the population was shipped to China. And from there we were wondering for centuries until we have found the Carpathian Basin. 😂

What I most enjoyed in Auroville was that people were open and it was easy to get into interesting conversations (not only regarding spirituality and yoga). And from my experience a lot of people came here to overcome fears. I met somebody who was afraid to talk to strangers, then somebody who never rode a bicycle. I still don’t know if I had one. Maybe traveling alone in India.
Auroville is a place to break your barriers.
First time on a bicycle

I spent two evenings and one afternoon in Pondicherry, where alcohol is much more affordable than in Chennai (but why am I mentioning this first?). And the parties aren’t stuck in the 90’s. And the food really matched my taste. In the French quarter you can find restaurants that serve salads, quiches, crepes, cheese platters...even French pastries. Yumm. (But most of them with a touch of Indian gastronomy.)

The Goubert Avenue, the promenade and the pier are absolutely amazing. I just loved having long walks on the narrow streets surrounded by nice heritage buildings. Then listening to the sound of the sea and enjoying the view while sitting on the rocks.



View of Pondicherry's promenade
I tried tender coconut for the first time in Pondy. Although I was afraid that I’ll get sick. Fortunately I didn’t. And I had the best and longest conversation since my arrival when for the first time I've realized that globalization is having positive outcomes also. What I mean by this is that I could talk to people whose culture is absolutely different from mine and we still had common points and references. That sometimes belonged to a third culture. Just an example: when a Hungarian and an Indian discover that both enjoy reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This was the second time when I forgot that I am in India. Home without borders.


Have you ever felt homelike abroad?



Megjegyzések

Népszerű bejegyzések ezen a blogon

TIME TO MAKE YOUR WISH

The one and only family trip to remember

THE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SHADES OF GREEN

Today as I was searching for incense sticks in my luggage where I am keeping the souvenirs I've bought so far in India for my loved ones, suddenly the intense smell of black tea struck me and took me back to moments I have experienced in one of the most magnificent places I have ever been to: Munnar. And because it is May, I am missing home; when landscapes in Transylvania become green and verdant; when trees blossom and I feel alive; it is my favorite month.

Munnar was like a dream of lush green art, a place where elephants could play hide and seek amongst the trees, where you can get lost and forget your problems, your life or who you are.

Some might say it is just a regular hill station, but for me it wasn't. It was the last trip for my flatmate, Ferhan before she left India. I went not just to accompany her, but to clean my mind from the crowd, the noises and the dirtiness of the city.


First time on a sleeper bus Munnar is South-India's largest tea-growing region, abo…

WHEN HAZARD DOESN'T LET YOU REST

Mid April the Hollywood of India was on our visiting list. We went without concrete plans, just to escape Chennai for a few days.
After traveling to Mumbai (or Bombay) I have realized that probably while I am in India I will never have any trip (or day) without unforeseen incidents. My life was filled with random moments even before my arrival, but here everything was multiplied by at least ten. Yes, I had moments of despair, but now I believe ultimately the lesson is about learning how to handle obstacles without becoming desperate.

The challenges started with our departure from Chennai, when Karyati, my friend from Indonesia, caught the flight only by miracle. That was the moment when I've become sure that time can be both expanded and narrowed. 
But after this early-morning stress, the flight itself was a blessing. When we have arrived, around 7 am to Mumbai, the friends whom we were supposed to meet were still sleeping so we have googled the closest coffee place, Lucky Cafe, …