French dream of an indian empire has taken life but it also rapidly came to an end in Pondicherry. Among the dispersed territories of the territorial Union of Pondicherry, it is in Pondicherry itself that we can discover what has symbolized the french influence in India. That is also what makes this territory unique and especially, the french district. Something quite different from the rest of India. All the french tradition, the quiet atmosphere of the town influenced by the Ashram of Aurobindo and the beach, make a whole to give to Pondicherry an attractive destination.The Union Territory of Pondicherry includes 4 enclaves located in three states of South India. It includes the coastal towns of Pondicherry and Kerala in the Tamilnadu, Yanam in Andra Pradesh and Mahe in Kerala. The old french colony has retrieved its indian character, but the scent of the french influence in “Pudicheri” as we call now, can be found again in the red kepis of the police officers, french spelling on signboards and traffic signs and some buildings and old stones .
Auroville means the city of Dawn.
Auroville is located at 10 kms from Pondicherry, at the border of Tamilnadu .Inaugurated on the 28th February 1962, Auroville is unique : any religion, any nationality, any politic could belong to. This international town sets out to have 50 000 people.
The urne of marble shaped as a lotus flower, located in the middle of an amphiteater represents the birth of a city (devoted to the human unity & integrity), contains sand brought from indian states and 175 countries around the world . At the present , more than 2000 people live in Auroville.
Thes 8000 hectares of land have been transformed into a place of experience for social integration, forestation, maintenance of water, solar energy, maintain of soil and agricultural organics.
Before 1968, it was only a mere uncultivated land
The first occupants planted 2 million trees of various types and origins
People from Auroville is of 27 countries including India. The land is divided in 4 areas : international, cultural, residential, and industrial.
There are more than 50 units of production in Auroville and each one of them is specialized in various manufacture : candles, incenses, cheese, potteries, garments, ladies and gents wear, and leather products. The products are available in Auroville shops or in Pondicherry, but could also be found beyond the frontiers of India. In the center of Auroville, we can notice the almost finished Matrimandir, a giant sphere, as higher than a ninth floor building. Its the soul of Auroville as it was called by the Mother “a place of meditation”.
By Rail :Pondicherry is connected to Chennai by an electric broad gauge railway line through Villupuram. There are 2 passenger trains running daily to Chennai Egmore Railway station and Tirupati and there is a weekly express train service to Bhubaneswar. In addition to this, there is also a daily express train to Chennai Egmore.It is advisable to go by road rather than train to Pondicherry from Chennai as the journey is longer by train