January 22, 2007


Pondicherry is a charming city south of Chennai, where we stayed for a few days to adapt to culture and prepare ourselves for the forthcoming travel.

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most important Indians ever. One can find memorials for him in almost every Indian city.

My first real Hindu-temple I visited also from inside - a very energetic place.

As Pondicherry has been occupied by the French for a long time, you can still find many influences in architecture, like in this cathedral (sacred heart) also known as "Notre Dame" of Pondicherry ;-). Inside you find a very colour-full decoration compared to European churches.

On a wall beside the church, I found this quotation:

Near to Pondicherry exists a huge "real-life-experiment". Its called Auroville and is based on the ideas of Sri Aurobindo, a famous spiritual leader from the beginning of the last century. His French scholar and assistant "The Mother" designed a whole city, structured like an own universe. The centre is the Matri Mandir - a meditation building in form of a golden globe. Inside are different chambers and the main chamber contains a crystal which reflects the light in a special way. Only the Aurovillians are allowed to enter this building, visitors can watch only from distance but are informed about the vision of Auroville in an information-centre. The whole place is still in the beginning of construction and one can see just a few buildings, mostly the enormous area is covered with forest. But Auroville is already famous for ecological know-how and sustainable products and always attracts new people from all over the world, which try to live here or just stay some days to know better the whole idea behind.

We had to leave towards Chennai, but could still enjoy a day at the beach (without swimming) and taste the famous Indian beer (tastes regionally different) and had a look inside an Indian train, which we planned to take from Chennai up north a few days later.

axel at January 22, 2007 12:10 PM

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