Wish to hear the silence? Then step inside the Auroville Matrimandir. The stillness here starts to vibrate and touch the inner souls.
Yes, this is what the Matrimandir or the Mother’s Shrine in Auroville has to offer. It is an experience to be lived if you ever get a chance to visit the inner chambers.
A tour inside Matrimandir
As soon as you set feet into the Matrimandir, you are greeted with the magnificence of the all-white room built in an elaborate spherical shape. The cocoon structured pristine chamber takes no time to transport your soul into a state of meditation.
Do not be surprised if you correlate the inner structure to mimic a click from a sci-fi movie. It is the detailing of the hallowed doom that is a sight to behold transporting one to an immense state of happiness.
The oomph of this place lies in the 12 gardens that adore it. The sphere is made of 1415 large golden disks, and the carpet that is laid down has been transported all the way from Agra, and the wool comes from New Zealand.
At the heart of the chamber is a crystal sphere from Germany and weighs 400kg. What makes this sphere special is the optically perfect glass globe that captures the sunlight beam through its lense and makes the sunlight powerful. The globe is located at the top of the dome.
The inner chamber has 12 pillars, and white floor cushioning that encircles the chamber’s crystal globe. The number 12 is symbolic as it is associated with Aditi, the mother goddess of the Hindus
The gold sphere is suspended on 12 petals or the meditation rooms which have themes like gratitude and courage, each of them flanked by a garden that is named from a divine tribute.
Meditating in the inner chamber
Matrimandir is the centerpiece of Auroville and is surreal. With water cascading down the inner walls in a murmur and a pink glow that suffuses the dome, you spiral up the inner chamber.
The rules of meditation are strict. Clothing needs to be rolled up so that it does not touch the floor, and you are given a pair of socks that you have to wear when you enter the sphere. You also need to stop before you enter the inner chamber so that your panting does not echo inside.
A blinking light indicates an end to the concentration session, and then you are lead through the meditation petals before you spend some time in the lotus pond below the sphere. There is a globe similar to the one that you saw in the inner chamber.
The Matrimandir inner chamber is a passport to happiness. Once you finish meditation, it takes time to open your eyes and get back into the real world.
Matrimandir is not a tourist place but a place where you can indulge in silent concentration. It is a place to calm your physical and mental state of mind.
It is free to visit the Matrimandir and the viewing point, but passes have to be booked in advance, or in person at the Visitors Center.
All that you need to know to visit the inner chamber
Private and public vehicles are not permitted till the Matrimandir. For those in need, there is an electric vehicle that transports them from the Visitor Center to the Matrimandir.
All the information regarding Matrimandir visiting timing and passes can be collected at the information desk between 9 am to 5 pm. Here you would also get to see an introductory video on the Matrimandir in different languages.
The view of Matrimandir from the South of the Park of Unity on a raised garden area is splendid. The way to the Matrimandir is scenic that leads from the Visitors Center.
There is a free electric shuttle, else you may choose to walk the 1km stretch. A free bus operates from the viewing point to the Visitors Center.
Bear in mind that the inner chamber is devoid of any images, incense, flowers, and organized meditation, and does not promote any religion or any religious forms.
The place is open to all who wish to understand how to concentrate. You just stay there in silence trying to delve into your consciousness.
Things to keep in mind
- You need to have 2 days in Pondicherry if you wish to visit the inner chambers, to get the pass in person 1 day in advance to visit the chamber.
- You will have to show an id proof to get entry.
- Passes are issued between 10 am to 11 am and from 2 pm to 3 pm. The pass issue counter is closed on Tuesdays.
- Children less than 5 years of age are not allowed inside the Matrimandir.
- There is no fee to enter the Matrimandir, but slots availability is based on pure luck.
- Reach the visitor center by 8.45 am, or you will lose the chance of getting the passes and will have to repeat the process again the next day.
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