A place where day visitors can satisfy their curiosity and get a taste of Auroville, the Auroville Visitors Centre (VC) is a complex of buildings specially designed to answer to the needs of casual day visitors and more interested guests alike.
It was constructed in 1988 with grants from HUDCO and the Foundation for World Education and has become well-known for its architecture and energy-saving construction materials. It is located in Auroville's International Zone between Bharat Nivas and Edayanchavadi village.
The Visitors Centre, which welcomes large numbers of visitors every day, has been conceived as a demonstration site for alternative sustainable technology, renewable energy, alternative building techniques and integrated waste water management. The aim is to demonstrate the possibility to successfully run such a centre in a pleasant set up with low or no environmental impact and pollution.
Open daily from 9am - 1pm and 1:30 - 5pm
- provides first-hand, personalized information on Auroville. Reception staff are equipped to answer queries in English and other Indian languages.
- stocks brochures, leaflets, books and videos on Auroville in different languages.
- gives a visual tour of the different aspects of Auroville life, community and its work through its Photo Exhibition space.
- provides video shows -- regular ‘Introduction to Auroville’ and ‘Introduction to Matrimandir’ videos in English or Tamil, with the possibility of other languages in sub-titled form.
- features the original rosewood model of the Matrimandir and the Gardens, in its Matrimandir Reception and Exhibition Space.
- Issues passes to Matrimandir Viewing Point. From the VC a shaded 10-12 minutes’ walk leads to the Viewing Point in the Matrimandir area. For those who need motorised transport, shuttles are available.
Guest Accommodation Service
Open daily from 9:30am - 12:30pm and 2 - 5pm
Offers guidance and help with guest accommodation in Auroville.
Open daily from 9:30am - 6pm
Display and sell a wide range of Auroville handicrafts such as incense, clothing, tableware, jewellery, furnishings, aromatherapy etc. They also stock a variety of organic herbal syrups, dried fruits, and cereal products made in Auroville.
- La Boutique d'Auroville: Ph. 0413-2622150
- Mirra Boutique: Ph. 0413-2623389
- Kalki Boutique: Ph. 0413-2623450
- Right Path Café: open for food and refreshments from 8am - 9pm daily, Mondays closes early at 5pm. Ph: 0413-2622248
- Le Zephyr: a social space and cost-price eatery, open only to Aurovilians and Guests from 6 - 10:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
No cash transactions.
- Dreamers' Café: open for food and refreshments from 8am - 8:30pm every day during the high season (closes early on Modays at 6pm)
Serves dosas in the evening from 6:30 - 10pm Closed on Wednesday evenings. Ph: 0413-2623034.
New School Crafts: situated next to the Kiosk, selling small handicraft items such as incense, soap, oils, etc...Open from 9am - 5pm. Ph: 0413-2623833
Open Air Boutique : Kamalam, a retail outlet of SEDAB (Sustainable Enterprises Development in the Auroville Bioregion) promotes ethical and eco-friendly products made by rural entrepreneurs. SEDAB is part of a wider Integral Rural Development vision for the bioregion. Its goal is to provide livelihood options for women in villages in and around Auroville.
Garden Shop (Fleurs d’Auroville) situated next to the main visitors’ parking. The Auroville Botanical Gardens have been established in response to the disappearing Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF) and to the global need for the conservation of genetic diversity in the plant kingdom in a wide range of climatic conditions. With preservation projects throughout India, a growing, diversifying nursery, and localized educational programs, the Auroville Botanical Gardens acts on several fronts in order to simultaneously save and recreate the unique forest ecosystem that stretched along the coast until one century ago.
City transport: Pick up and Drop Shuttle Service, per passenger fares. Daily 9:30am - 6pm and Friday,Saturday, and Sunday evenings up to 10pm.
Ph 0413-2622611 or 948765095.
For entertainment evenings (theatre, music/dance performances) and other special events happening at VC, see the notice board at the Centre and at other locations around Auroville, or the weekly News & Notes.Contact Visitors Centre: 0413-2622611 or 9487650951