Sri Aurobindo Ashram is nearly a century old and was set up with the intention to help people achieve a peaceful and blissful life. It has been a renowned landmark for years and one of the most popular places to visit in Pondicherry. Being a one-of-a-kind place, it attracts thousands of tourists every year from different parts of India as well as around the world. Although the ashram started as a small block of house, it now has nearly 400 buildings around Pondicherry that are run by Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. Under the trust, several educational institutions and centres have also been established.
Let us find out more about Aurobindo Ashram now. If you are planning to visit the place soon, you must know a few things, which will help you have a better experience.
Aurobindo Ashram Information
Marine Street, White Town, Pondicherry
Nearest Railway Station
Puducherry Railway Station (2 km)
Puducherry Airport (6 km)
Year of Establishment
Best Time to Visit
November to March
Cameras not allowed, no entry for children under 3 years of age
Meditation sessions, tours, exhibitions, library
Aurobindo Ashram: History
Born in Calcutta in 1872, Sri Aurobindo completed his elementary and higher education in England. After his return to India, he served in the Revenue Department and later as a professor at Baroda College. After years of working as a professor, he left his job and moved to Calcutta to support the Nationalist Movement. He was arrested a few times and even prosecuted twice. Soon, in 1910, he left Calcutta and settled in Pondicherry, where he carried on his spiritual work and led a different life. He found the concept of ‘Integral Yoga’ and established Aurobindo Ashram in 1926. He has written many books, including some famous ones on Yoga and Vedic studies. At present, the ashram publishes and distributes all 36 of his volumes.
Aurobindo Ashram grew under the guidance of the Mother, who was born as Mirra Alfassa in France. Her spiritual journey in Pondicherry commenced after she came to India in 1920. Sri Aurobindo offered her authority over the Ashram, which she helped develop as a community and into a larger establishment. She also established Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, and nearly two decades later, the popular international village of Auroville. While Sri Aurobindo died in 1950, she continued to work at the Ashram and help many disciples on their journey to spiritual wisdom.
Even after Sri Aurobindo and the Mother passed away long ago, the members of the Ashram consider them as the only Gurus. They continue to guide thousands of those who visit this place seeking inner peace and spirituality.
Aurobindo Ashram: Things to do
- As a member of this ashram, you can avail a range of facilities including food, accommodation and even a common library. You can also engage in many group activities like sports, meditation sessions, theatre, music, art, dance, etc.
- As a visitor, you can take part in the popular exhibition programmes, where you will learn about the life and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
- You can also attend the video programmes that are organised every morning (except on Sundays) to get a deeper understanding of the work and life of both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
- You can buy photographs of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother as souvenirs from the Photo Section at the Ashram.
- There are collective meditation sessions organised every evening, sometimes in the Ashram and often on the ground outside the ashram where visitors can also participate.
- Apart from this, you can visit the art gallery or the ashram library to engage in a study session.
- You can also visit the Bureau Central, which is the information centre for visitors, in case you need any help or guidance regarding the ashram and its facilities.
Aurobindo Ashram: How to reach
For domestic travellers, the best way to reach the ashram is to travel to Pondicherry via train, flight or car. In case there is no direct connection to Pondicherry via flight or train, you can reach Chennai first and then book a cab or reach Pondicherry by train, as it is just 3-4 hours away.
International travellers can reach Chennai or Bangalore first and then hire a cab or reach Pondicherry via train. The ashram is in White Town, Pondicherry.
Things to remember
- As a visitor, it might take about 3-4 hours to explore the ashram well. However, you can contact the Bureau Central if you want to stay here for some time.
- Pondicherry being a coastal city, humidity is exceptionally high here during monsoons. Hence, you might want to visit the ashram during winters (November to March).
- There is no entry fee here, but visitors are generally not permitted inside the ashram after 4 PM.
- Photography is strictly prohibited inside the ashram. It is recommended that you do not carry your camera inside.
- When at the ashram, visitors should keep their mobile phones on silent mode and refrain from making any noise.
- Children below the age of 3 years are not allowed.
Attractions near Aurobindo Ashram
- Pondicherry Museum (500 m)
- Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges (1 km)
- The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (2 km)
- Pondicherry Lighthouse (3 km)
- Serenity Beach (5 km)
- Paradise Beach (13 km)
- Auroville (14 km)
If you are looking for spiritual bliss in the middle of natural beauty, you must visit Aurobindo Ashram at least once. You will be amazed to find thousands of ashram members selflessly working for others, which gives them a divine purpose in life. If you have already started jotting down the itinerary for Pondicherry, don’t forget to include the library here and the amazing places you can visit apart from the ashram.