Where is the Ashram located?
The Ashram is located in the eastern part of Pondicherry, along the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It is 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state and a major city of southern India.
What should I know as a first-time visitor to the Ashram?
The Bureau Central office serves as the Ashram’s Information Centre. Designed as an exhibition hall, it 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. It is an ideal place to get a basic introduction for your stay. The main Ashram building, where the Samadhi of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is located, is open to all during visiting hours: 8.00 a.m. to 12 noon and 2.00 to 6.00 p.m. At other times, you need to have a pass in order 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.
You can also get information on available accommodation in Ashram Guest Houses, visitor passes, and other general questions regarding your stay.
Contact Bureau Central
How do I travel to Pondicherry?
The nearest major airport is in Chennai, which has both domestic and international terminals. Trains run from Chennai (Egmore Station) to Pondicherry each day.
There are also express and local bus services between the cities. Buses run from Chennai to Pondicherry from the Koyembedu Bus Stand at Koyembedu Market E Rd, Virrugambakkam, Koyambedu, a distance of about 10 km from Egmore Station.
If you choose to travel by taxi from the airport or the train station, you can book in advance with the Ashram’s car service, Autocare. This is usually less expensive than hiring a taxi from Chennai. For a complete list of destinations, services and tariffs please refer to Autocare's website.
Pondicherry Airport (PNY) has daily flights to and from Bengaluru (Bangalore) and Hyderabad, from where you can travel to other major Indian cities.
Bus and Train Services in Pondicherry
|TTC Express Bus Service||8.00am to 8.00pm (daily)||+91-413-2237464|
|TPTC General Bus Service||5.00am to 12.30pm
2.00pm to 9.30pm (daily)
|Railway Station||8.00am to 1.00pm
1.15 pm to 8.00 pm (weekdays)
8.00 am to 2.00 pm (Sundays)
Where can I stay in the Ashram?
There are a few guest houses run by the Ashram where visitors can stay for a short while. As the Ashram attracts many visitors throughout the year, you should make reservations in advance and especially during the Special Days in the Ashram. Should you arrive at the Ashram without a confirmed booking, you can go to the Bureau Central, which allots rooms according to requirements, provided accommodation is available.
There are some Ashram-related guest houses as well as many hotels and lodges in Pondicherry, but there too one should try to reserve accommodation in advance. Travel sites on the internet list descriptions and contact information.
How do I move about in Pondicherry?
Pondicherry is a relatively small town, so if you stay close to the Ashram, you can manage by walking. If you stay further away or for a longer time, bicycles, mopeds, and scooters can be rented in the town. Auto rickshaw stands are conveniently located in major areas of the town. A Visitor’s Guide is available for sale at the Ashram bookstores. It contains a map of the Ashram area and contact information for Ashram departments.
What passes do I need in the Ashram?
When you are given accommodation in an Ashram guest house, you will be given a pass needed for attending Ashram activities such as collective meditation at the playground.