The Architectural Beauty of Matrimandir

Pondicherry, one of the four precincts of the union territory of Puducherry, is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. It borders the Bay of Bengal in the east and the rest of the state in the north, south and west directions. The average elevation here is that of the sea level itself and many backwaters, acting as inlets can be found here. To protect it from tidal waves, the French built a 2-km long wall, which rises to a height of 27 feet. Pondicherry has a typically coastal climate with the weather generally being hot and humid. Summers here are hot with the temperature touching the 40-degree mark regularly while winters remain moderately cool. It is home to numerous colonial era buildings, beaches, temples and churches. Another place that people can visit during their Pondicherry tour is Matrimandir.

About the Building

Matrimandir

Matrimandir

Matrimandir is a sort of a temple, which holds significance among yoga practitioners. It is situated in Auroville, about 8 km from the city and does not belong to any one faith. The construction of this structure started in 1971, initiated by a follower of Sri Aurobindo and was completed in 2008. It is built in the shape of a huge dome, surrounded by gardens. The weight of the structure is supported by eight concrete piers, which are in the shape of sickles. Their height is 38 m and thickness varies from 40 cm to 70 cm. Its frame is made of triangle of concrete beams, filled with cement. The sphere is 29 m high and has a diameter of 36 m. It is further covered with concave and convex golden disks to make it look like a sun. The discs are covered with 24-carat gold sheets, equalling 20 kg in weight.

Interiors

Visitors enter the complex through four gates, named after four virtues. On the first floor is a room, with its floor and benches made of white marble. The inner chamber is swathed in golden-pink fabric, used to give it the colour of an auroville flower. During the day, the sunlight comes in, giving it the salmon-coloured hue and at night, LEDs fulfil the same purpose. It is made according to the visions that the initiator saw. Situated in the underground area is a lotus pond with marble lotuses instead of actual flowers. Twelve meditation chambers, shaped like a sphere and painted in a different color are located inside. The carpet in the central meditation chamber was made in Agra, with wool, which was imported from New Zealand. It was woven in about six months, using a technique, which bestows on it all the good qualities of man-made and machine-made carpets.

However, the biggest attraction in this room is a crystal globe, with a 70 cm diameter and 4000 kg weight. No windows have been provided here and a heliostat transforms the sunlight into a beam, illuminating the crystal ball. No religious ceremonies or rituals can be held inside, for Sri Aurobindo did not want a religion to be set up, based on his teachings. Hibiscus and other flowers adorn the 12 gardens that surround the superstructure. In front of the building, is an ovular amphitheatre, built much like those in classical Greece and Rome. Thrice-a-year, bonfires are organized here and devotional music is played in the evening on every Thursday.

Unearth the History of Pondicherry with Holiday Package in India

Pondicherry is a union territory in India, and it is also referred as Puducherry. This place was ruled by different dynasties in the past, such as Cholas and Pallavas, after which came the colonial rule of the British. Once a French settlement, this beach town is a treasure trove of colonial structures along with temples, churches, French boulevards and statues. Due to the location of fishing villages along the coastline, fish hunting remains the backbone of the rural economy. It is also an important centre of attraction for tourists from all over the world.  Travelers can indulge in sightseeing over here if they opt for a holiday package in India.

Auroville

Auroville

Some prominent places of interest in this town are Auroville, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Promenade and Paradise Beaches, French War Memorial, Romain Rolland Library, Arikamedu as well as the 19th Century Light House.

Light House, Pondicherry

Light House, Pondicherry

The spiritual lifestyle, serene backwaters and virgin beaches add up to the mystic aura of this place. Though this town is itself a heritage as it is a meeting point of different cultural influences including the French connection, it houses several ancient artefacts and remains of the past with its museums preserving various historical symbols.

Museums

The Puducherry Museum has a priceless collection of stone sculptures and bronzes belonging to Chola and Pallava dynasties as well as artefacts obtained from Arikamedu. The major attraction over here include three unique transport mechanisms – palanquin, coach, pousse-pousse (an old version of rickshaw), which had two attendants to steer and push it. Its bronze gallery has a collection of images of gods and temple lamps. It also showcases French furniture, church relics, coins and handicrafts. The Ananda Ranga Pillai Museum  provides a range of information on French India of the 18th century. So travellers who want to see these historical discoveries obtained from excavations over a period of time can select from various Pondicherry tour packages.