Sri Aurobindo Ashram is located in Pondicherry, a small coastal town 160 km south of Chennai, in South India. Visitors wanting to travel to Pondicherry will most likely have to pass through Chennai, whether they arrive there by air, train or road, and thereafter cover the remaining distance to Pondicherry by road, a journey which generally takes around 3 hours.
Several private and government-owned buses leave Chennai for Pondicherry every half-hour. However, visitors arriving at the Chennai Airport, or even those with a lot of luggage, might find it more convenient to hire a taxi for this leg of their journey.
Pondicherry is also connected directly by air with Bengaluru (Bangalore) with a few flights a week. There are convenient connections from Bengaluru to major Indian cities.
A limited number of rooms are available in Ashram guest houses for visitors coming for a short visit to Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Since accommodation is limited and is often fully booked, it is advisable to make reservations in advance. A list of guest houses that accept advance bookings is provided here, along with a brief description of the facilities they provide. In case visitors come to the Ashram without a confirmed booking, they may approach the Bureau Central, which allots rooms according to requirements, provided accommodation is available.
While it is possible to enter the main Ashram building freely during visiting hours, some sections of the Ashram require that you obtain a pass before you can be allowed to enter. If you get accommodation in any of the Ashram Guest Houses, you will be given the appropriate passes. However, for those not staying at an Ashram guest house, the Bureau Central can help by providing information and the pass you might need.
The Bureau Central office, designed as an exhibition hall, also provides an introduction to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and their method of spiritual practice, through permanent exhibits of photographs, captions, text, videos and books.
There are daily conducted tours for those interested in visiting the various units of the Ashram, the Pondicherry town, as well as the entire Auroville township.
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