Kaziranga National Park – Trip down memory lane.

As we commence the second half of 2017, I decided to look back to the start of this year. 2017 began in Assam for me. A short trip to explore the National park and Majuli , which had been on my list for a while.

I never got down to writing or sharing pictures of the trip so decided what better time than now to do a quick throwback of my two days at the world heritage site enjoying the safaris and all that the sanctuary had to offer.




My first evening began with a jeep safari into the park. The safari lasted for about two hours taking us through the central zone of the park. The forest in itself is stunning and the water bodies make it even more magical.


My introductions were first made with this herd of deers , which soon become a common sight and keep you entertained through the entire ride.


My first sighting of the one horned rhinoceros . At the onset , I was anxious and super excited to spot them but as time passes by and you let the forest take you through its turns and allies, you enjoy the experience of just being there.




The evening light and sunset create magical hues and are a treat to the eyes , I could not stop myself from clicking through the entire evening.

Wohoo, I did manage a close sighting of these majestic creatures before the evening ended.


Catching the last light and taking in the vast landscape as I bid adieu to the park for the evening.


” Some journeys can only be travelled alone ” – KenPoirot.


I stayed at the very lovely IORA – the retreat and could not have asked for any better hospitality. Since I was travelling solo, they ensured my safaris were tied up with other travellers from the retreat . They went out of their way to make sure I was beyond comfortable and well taken care off.


I enjoyed the cultural night with bonfire and a scrumptious meal, and retired for the night. I was anxious and excited for the early morning safari at 6am!


My first view as I entered the western zone at the park. This is one of my fav. moments from the entire trip.

The morning elephant safari is surreal and I urge everyone to not miss it. Catching the first light surrounded by deers and rhinos at an arm distance is nothing short of a fairy tale. My own tryst with catching them up close.


Just one of the many moments during the morning! It was phenomenal:)


Bidding good bye to the baby and mommy rhino. I was over the moon and happy to have made the effort of waking up at 5 am in the freezing January cold.


Leaving you all with some sparkle and magic! Until next time, hope you guys feel  inspired to go and enjoy the wildlife as much as I did.

Glimpses of Arunachal Pradesh

Sharing some memories from my trip to Arunachal through some of my favourite photos that captured the essence of the place. The route was from Guwahati – Tenga Valley- Bomdilla- Sela Pass- Tawang  and return to Guwahati.

En route to Tenga Valley – A cantonment area before Bomdilla was our first pit stop. A beautiful valley that made for a stunning hault with the river flowing through the town.


Lovely garden at our cottage in Tenga Valley that led to the river flowing below our cottage

View from our cottage at Tenga Valley


We visited Bomdilla while staying at Tenga and the Bomdilla Monastery was a well kept sight and a great visit  at the start of our trip. The monastery houses over 200 monks. A great time to visit the monastery is in the evening when one can participate in the prayers.



I spotted the rainbow as soon as we had left from Tenga towards Tawang. Truly blessed.


Jaswantgarh War Memorial, Nuranang en route to Tawang – A great pit stop where one can read and learn about the bravery of Indian soldiers of the 1962 Indo-China war. The memorial has been built in honor of Jaswant Singh who stood alone holding his post for over 72 hours during the invasion by the Chinese. There are also soldiers who are happy to give a guided tour , on request.


Sela Pass – The entry point to Tawang located at a height of 13700 ft.  We were lucky to witness it on a sunny day and get such majestic clear views of the peaks all around. It was truly the highlight of the trip.



Our cottage and stay in Tawang – Beautiful location and a warm place, thank god for being an army kid 🙂


Walking around Tawang Monastery – Largest Buddhist monastery in India, dated to be 400 years old and houses over 700 monks. School, library, museum and meditation halls are some of its features, a great place to spend some alone time.


A visit to Khinmey Nyingma monastery – This monastery was not on our list nor had we heard about it. A suggestion from our driver took us to Khinmey. We were the only visitors and were greeted warmly by a young monk who not only chatted with us but also gave a personal guided tour and explained to us the difference in sects amongst the Buddhist monasteries. The stupas we saw here were much different from what we had earlier seen. I would recommend a visit here for everyone.



One of my cherished meals was an authentic traditional Thentuk at the Yak restaurant which also happens to be owned by a really kind person , Tong who was a chef in Mumbai and has now returned back home. Indeed a small world.


En route to Bum la – Snow ! Snow ! Snow… is all we could see. It was sooo cold that every time we got off to click a few pictures, we froze. I kept wondering how the Indian army survived in these conditions and not only protected our borders but also maintained and managed all these sights.  The pass is located above 16,500 ft. The driver told us that the same paths in summers are filled with greenery and rhododendrons and we should definitely return to witness that.


Frozen lakes became a common sight by the end of this drive… this one was captured just before the border.



Frozen lakes enroute to Bumla

Sangestser Lake popularly known as Madhuri Lake , yes named after Madhuri Dixit.  We were really lucky as once again as we were the only visitors allowed to go up to Madhuri lake on this day. The views from the lake are splendid and one must walk around the entire lake. The sounds of  the bells ringing, prayer flags flying and being there alone was as surreal as it could get. Hot cup of chai and maggi made our day. There is a little cafeteria run by the army jawans who prepare warm and quick meals for tourists.



Tawang War Memorial –  The visit to this memorial took me back to my army days and reminded me of all that my father and others have done for the nation. The memorial is dedicated to all the soldiers who lost their lives in the 1962 war.  The names of the martyred 2420 soldiers are engraved in gold. We were fortunate enough to get a guided tour by the army personnels who explained and shared all the details of the war. Later , we attended the sound and light show which depicted the war and its harsh conditions which not only left me in tears but also extremely proud of their spirit and heroism.


A special mention to the only nunnery in Tawang – Thukye Chueling Buddhist Nunnery. This was the day when we were greeted by heavy rainfall and yet we decided to carry on and visit the nunnery, and am glad we did. Young nuns greeted and made us comfortable with hot tea and endearing conversations about their lives and routine.


We visited the Manjushree Vidyapith school which is doing some great work in providing education to underprivileged children from the neighbourhood. The school also has a hostel for these children. We met a lovely bunch of kids and teachers and spent some time with them.The school is funded by NGOs, donations and the army.


This was our last evening where we sat at our cottage sipping chai and enjoying the mighty rains…


“It is not the Mountain we conquer but Ourselves” – Sir Edmund Hillary


A journey within…Trek to Hemkunt Sahib

I believe there is a certain time for some feelings to be translated into words. I visited Uttarakhand a year ago and my trek to Hemkunt Sahib during this trip was one such cherished journey. I wanted to write about my experience then itself, but have finally found words now.

Hemkunt Sahib Gurudwara located at the height of 15,000 ft. and is known as the highest Sikh shrine in the world.It’s setting is by the glacial lake and is surrounded by seven peaks.


panorama of the shrine

Vaibhav, a dear friend had accompanied me through this Uttarakhand trip. It was our third day into this trip when we were to trek to Hemkunt. To climb or not, will I be able to? Were the questions that haunted me until the night before – I decided if I had walked up to this point I was going to complete the circuit on foot. Vaibhav had decided to take the mule and I knew I was meant to tread this path alone.

At 4.30am with partial moonlight, I stepped out of the Ghangaria gurudwara. With very few people on the path at that hour, and hearing the sounds of the mules being woken up – I wondered if I had made the correct choice.

I had walked around 200 mts when I halted gasping for breath; I questioned myself and my stamina for the path that lay ahead. I also knew that I had to return back in time as we were headed to Badrinath the same afternoon. A few pilgrims passed me in that darkness and without knowing me encouraged with positive words “chal kudiya, saath saath karlenge “(come on girl, we will do it together).

We were all on our own journeys yet we were all connected by the faith that resonated within us.

Step by step, one foot in front of the other, I kept walking. I could hear each breath, feel every muscle on my body, sound of the stones rolling on the path, every sound was heightened yet there was silence. All I could see was bend after bend and an unending path with no idea as to how much I had actually walked.IMG_0626

It was still dark and it helped in a way to not realise how much or where I had been walking.  Dawn was giving way to day and I witnessed breathtaking views of the snow clad peaks, flower beds and floating clouds. Ghangaria town by this time had become a spec in the far off distance. To my disbelief I was not even halfway but extremely exhausted- I still contemplated switching to a mule.


By this time, more people and pilgrims had passed by and we all greeted each other with ‘wahe guruji ka khalsa , wahe guruji ki fateh’ and encouraged to keep going. Some chatted as to how I was the only girl who was climbing alone and ensuring that I was comfortable. With babas name, faith stronger than my fears I decided to continue on the path till I could walk no more.


Vaibhav crossed me at some point and motivated me to keep going and that I wasn’t far from the destination. Strangers became friends; sharing water and food along with other pilgrims and giving strength to fellow travellers were some of the simplest lessons through this trek. I felt it was the hardest for me but when I looked around everyone faced the same difficulties and all we needed was words of kindness.


I walked, paused, and had conversations with babaji. I was left mesmerized at nature’s mystery and beauty as I climbed further. I could feel the sun’s heat and the cold at the same time as I gained altitude. The last stretch was the hardest and I felt the rush to complete and yet slow down and immerse myself in all those emotions I was feeling knowing that I was going to actually complete the trek.


With the gurbani in the background, I stood at the entrance –overwhelmed with tears and in gratitude that I had actually outdone my faith and completed the journey. I am a huge believer of Gurunanak ji and to stand there in his presence was no less than an achievement that had enriched my soul.


At the entrance

I sat in silence observing the changing colours of the sarovar and admiring this gurudwara in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mountains. A quick darshan inside, conversations with a few guardians of the gurudwara, and a hot cup of tea was all that it took to rejuvenate my spirits and ease off the pain. Each and every moment I spent was special and blessed.


Keeping the time in mind, I started my descent floating and flying through the same paths that I struggled to climb J  It was 10.30am and the path was filled with fog so much so that I could not even see the bends ahead of me. It was indeed a sight to behold. Even though my knees trembled at a few bends and the tiredness would come by- I did not complain for I was satisfied, overjoyed and free in the purest form.


Initially, it was a little strange to be solo or the only female traveller but as the day progressed the inhibitions disappeared. I took back one thing from this journey – even though we walked our own paths, we were tied together beyond faith, religion and belief and that was by Humanity and Grace. The entire trip is sacred to me but these few hours, I am most greatful for and I hope that many more travellers experience this journey within…



A few tips for the trek:

  1. This route is only open between June- September.
  2. This is only a day trek and everyone has to descend  from Hemkunt Sahib Shrine by 1pm.
  3. Carry a light backpack and only essentials- water, nuts, energy bars are of great help. There are a few shops enroute that also provide with water and food.
  4. Carry a poncho as it may rain any time during this season.
  5. Do not rush and take your time during the climb. Everyone has their own pace so enjoy the journey.
  6. Be a responsible traveller and do not litter.
  7. And above all, be positive and hang onto the faith.





My 15 cherished travels from 2015

  1. Bhopal – The last day of 2014 was a road trip to Bhopal with my family. New Year’s Eve was spent with family, spreading love laughter and grace. The year began with exploring the city of lakes in absolute fog and cold.1.bhopal
  2. Corbett National Park – Over a span of 24 hours, I saw myself travelling from Bhopal- Indore flying across Mumbai-Delhi and finally ending it at my destination Corbett. Corbett was a work trip but the vast landscapes, the winding roads and the pure nature left me awestruck. Over two days we drove from one end of the jungle to the other and all I hoped was to revisit soon.2.corbett
  3. Dapoli – I have been blessed with friends and family who have been a part of my birthday celebrations. This year, I decided to take off for a two day trip to Dapoli, in the konkan belt. It was by far the quietest and most treasured getaway I could have wished for.4.dapoli
  4. Goa – Goa has been a destination I have travelled more for work and less for leisure. This time in Feb, work took me back to Goa. This trip with friends, colleagues, sunsets and beach therapy made for an introspective last working project.3.goa
  5. Jodhpur Jodhpur holds a special place in my heart. A city I stayed in for a month in 2013 felt more homely this time around. A work stint for 3 weeks with beautiful people, music, and soul left me renewed for the year ahead.                            5.1
  6. Darjeeling – Finally, the mountains called me. I was visiting this part of the east after a decade and I couldn’t have been happier. Tea gardens, pure rivers and the mighty mountains, was all I needed to feel alive again.6.darj
  7. Sikkim – My next destination was Sikkim. The snow, the high passes, frozen lakes were no less than a dream. Sikkim was splendid and truly gorgeous. I travelled with my mother through this belt and it was indeed a special experience of enjoying and learning through each other.7,sikkim
  8. Arunachal Pradesh – A state, I had been longing to visit and now urge everyone to go and explore. Arunachal is truly one of the most untouched, beautiful states of north east. The largest of towns are still developing. A taste of culture, beauty, heritage and stories is what filled my bags when I returned from this soulful experience. 8.arunachal
  9. Auroville – As June progressed, I was urging to take a short trip and I decided it was time for me to visit Auroville and Pondicherry. Auroville was my first solo trip of the year and it was everything and more I hoped for. Cycling across the town, spending time at Matri Mandir, attending workshops, trying out different cafes and meeting new people are some of my fond memories!IMG_20150615_111233
  10. Pondicherry – After Auroville, I spent a couple of days in Pondicherry and enjoyed the quaint cafes, boutiques and the french architecture. Much against my usual trips, I let Pondicherry be a laid back trip and gave myself the time and space to be.9.pondi
  11. Valley of Flower – My next trip was in September to one of my favourite states – Uttarakhand. I had been planning trekking to VOF and Hemkunt Sahib for the last two years and managed to do so finally this year. Trekking the entire circuit has been one of my biggest accomplishments and the most gratifying one. Entering VOF and being in that moment was a forever kind of love with nature. My senses, abilities, and virtues were all tested through this journey.11.vof
  12. Hemkunt Sahib –  This trek has definitely made me a stronger person. The 7km upward climb teaches you some huge life lessons. All I can say about this trip, that it was a journey inward for me in all its glory. I had never felt more blessed and one with my masters.12.hemkunt
  13. Rishikesh – Rishikesh has become one of the places I have grown to love and be fond off. The Ganges, aartis, exploring cafes, some amazing company of dear friends and long drives have made me a Rishikesh loyalist.13.rishi
  14. Madhya Pradesh – I had never imagined myself travelling through the interior parts of MP and camping and exploring places I had not even heard of. Work does have its perks 😉 A road trip from Khajuraho – Kanha. Camping by the Narmada, jungle safari, meeting Tara, the elephant and exploring the ruins of Khajuraho. This trip made for my most challenging and different experience of the year.14.mp 1
  15. Indore – This Diwali break we visited one of my old home towns Indore and Mhow to visit some family.  It brought back some old cherished childhood memories of growing up. This trip also landed up being my food trip of the year where I gorged on all the street delicacies of Indore. Added to that was a quick trip to Ujjain to visit the Mahakal Mandir. Both my MP trips showed me different sides of India that I had not personally experienced in my travels.IMG_20151114_125252.jpg


Here is hoping for a beautiful and inspiring 2016!



I visited Pondicherry, after spending three blissful days in Auroville in June’15. I was looking forward to relaxing and soaking in this beautiful town during my two days.

Here are a few of my recommendations that could help you further plan your trip:

  1. Stay and Visit – The best decision of my trip was to stay at the Aurobindo Ashram guest house. Even though, they are simple with basic amenities, the promenade view offered by this guest house beats any other accommodation. It comes with the added advantage of visiting the Samadhi from 5 am -11 pm and one can even be a part of the evening group meditations if staying at any of these guest houses. However, if you are visiting Pondy for leisure – Le Dupleix, La Closerie  and Palais De Mahe are a few worth visiting Hotels to stay or eat at , in the French quarters.

    View from my room

    View from my room

  1. Quiet and Peaceful time at the Ashram – My primary reason to visit Pondy and Auroville were for the Shri Aurobindo ashram and the Mother. My days began at the Samadhi and ended with the group mediations in the evenings. This had to be my best spent time across the two days. Photography is prohibited and phones need to be switched off while visiting the Samadhi. I further explored Pondy by visiting a few centres of the Ashram – the Paper Factory being my favourite.


    At the paper factory.

  1. Morning by the promenade – The Pondy promenade is the Marine Drive of Mumbai sans the cars and traffic. The traffic here in the evening is that of only humans. Best time to visit the promenade is during sunrise and for early morning walks. The view is breathtaking and makes for a refreshing start to the day.
  1. Walk, Cycle and Click! – The French quarter of Pondicherry is best explored on foot. If you are a lover of doors, windows, pop up colors – French architecture will not disappoint you. It is categorised by colonial villas, compound walls and stately doors with the bougainvillea flowers and trees adding to their charm.

    My fav window frame

    My fav window frame while walking the streets.

  1. Spend time at the beaches – Serenity beach which is about 8-10 kms from Pondy is a must visit and one can spend some alone time and enjoy the calmness of this beach. Paradise beach which is farther away came highly recommended but I sadly did not have enough time to visit it.
  1. Visiting the Church and Temples – A trip for me is incomplete without visiting its religious centres. I cycled around and visited the two most beautiful churches – Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Eglise de Notre Dame de la Conception Immaculate Church. Both the churches have elegant architecture and provide a sense of calmness.                   Get blessed by Lakshmi, the Temple Elephant at the Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple. Mornings are the best time to visit this temple and enjoy the hustle bustle of this area.IMG_20150618_140338
  1. The Tamil quarters – The French quarters are the most talked about and photographed area in Pondy. A little deep into the town, you will find yourself amidst chaos and a sudden shift in the setting of the city. The distinctive architecture – open courtyards, verandas and sitting platforms make for a welcoming change. The Maison Perumal property pays a great tribute to this way of life.
  1. Cafe Hopping – Pondy is a foodie’s paradise. I had gone with a huge list of cafes and places to eat at and here are some of my favourites: Cafe Des Arts for most relaxed time and best crepes and coffees, Satsanga for a quiet and wholesome meal, Villa Shanti for the best desserts, Rendezvous and Hotel Promenade for an evening meal. Bakers’ cafe for a scrumptious breakfast, Palais De Mahe for a relaxing lunch and Kasha Ki Asha for a healthy meal with a boutique to shop at.New folder
  1. Shopping and Boutiques – Pondy has some wonderful and slightly expensive boutiques. Kalki, Auro Shri, Habitart and are a few of my favourites. La Maison Rose also has some very unique and designer boutiques. I did succumb and pick up my share of paper lamps, jewellery and pottery products.IMG_20150616_144018
  1. A relaxing massage – I spent the last afternoon getting a traditional ayurvedic massage. I honestly went without too many expectations but returned more than satisfied. I would suggest adding one of these in your trips for a great holiday experience. Palais de Mahe has a brilliant in-house massage centre.

These are some of my reasons as to why Pondy and Auroville were one of my favourite trips this year and I hope to visit them again.

Moving Out of Comfort Zone – Following One’s Passion

The July of 2013, ended my decade long relationship with my home city Mumbai.

I came from an army family and being on the move and changing homes was something I grew up with. Mumbai however was different; a city where I grew up, made bonds for life, spent the best college years. I had an exciting, challenging job that brought the security and comfort that a 20 something year old needed. I was in a familiar territory, independent and in one of the best cities with particularly nothing much to complain about. Yet there was a miss, a fire that needed to be channelized elsewhere, routine that had to be de-constructed.

I was yearning for a change. I decided to quit my job and move out of Mumbai for good. It wasn’t anything close to easy but I knew it was time for something more. My original plan was to travel and explore options of further studies.

I moved to where my parents lived, with no firm plans and decided “to go with the flow”. It wasn’t an easy transition. I came from an extremely demanding, hectic work and social life and here I was, at home with abundant free time. The first few months were bliss, there was happiness and peace in finding my own and doing nothing but slowly, it got to me.

It was during this time at home, that I stumbled upon Spiti and Ecosphere and my first solo trip in India was planned. I have written a lot about Spiti and in a nutshell, nothing was the same for me post this trip.

I returned stronger, with a clearer mind, inspired and with that fire to do something more. This is when I knew, I was travel smitten. I felt alive and at peace.

My life, post the trip panned out much differently than I imagined. I soon began seeking the constant need to travel. The usual work life cycle and the luxury of a permanent job became secondary.

Read about my gifts from travel: https://freespiritedwanderer.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/my-reason-to-travel-earning-5-gifts-for-life/

I decided to postpone the idea of further studies and focussed more on this unrelenting urge to travel. I found balance by taking up a few freelance work projects which ensured a somewhat steady income, kept me on the move and yet connected to my passion.

2014, was definitely my year of travel and exploration. Blessed with a supportive family- I travelled extensively throughout India and a few countries abroad literally every month. The idea was to maintain a flow of journeys and trips, be it short breaks or volunteering and giving back to society – each trip expanded my understanding and perspective of life.

Read more about all my journeys in 2014:  https://freespiritedwanderer.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/adieu-2014/

 These past two years have been transformative. It was not simple to constantly be on the move or live out of a suitcase.

There is a high in exploring, learning, being a wanderer. But the idea is to not lose oneself or drift away in these journeys but to keep pushing, to keep that fire alive seeing the world through different eyes.

Leaving Mumbai was me stepping out my comfort zone. The universe took that one step and turned my life around.I am proud to say that I chose to live life on my terms, follow my passion and with no regrets but only gratitude. I have learnt and grown tremendously and even though I may not exactly know my future goals and plans, I could not have lived any better.

My biggest lesson has been- ‘to learn to balance’ – whether its work or leisure, relationships, attachments. It takes you a long way in life. Sometimes journeys without take us to journeys within.

I am sure this is only the beginning, and there is a lot ahead for me to discover and share.

I hope this urges you to look within and follow your passion with faith; knowing it may not be an easy path but definitely worth it. Travel became my passion, a way of life.



My travels and trips are more or less spontaneous and I consider them to be largely a calling or sign from the universe to go experience something new.

One such experience was my solo trip to Pondicherry and Auroville last month.

I had initially planned a two day visit to Auroville but a few hours into this paradise, I knew one would need at least a week – 10 days to soak into the magic of this alternate community.


With 3 days in my hand, I set out to explore and experience Auroville to the best of my ability:

I began by visiting the Visitors centre, reading and understanding the working and functioning of this community and booking my visit to Matri Mandir.

This was followed by renting a cycle that made my life much easier in exploring acres of land and forests. Auroville has cycle paths all across the centre and it makes cycling so much more fun and quite exhilarating.


I was keen on visiting as many cafes, farms, centres, and institutions that I could possibly in the given time.

I started off by spending some time at the Solitude cafe and learning about alternate farming methods and local produce.  A quick chat with the owner Krishna gave me more insight about their day at the farms,  their healthy meals and I discovered we  both shared a mutual love for music, and festivals.

My next few stops were at the international pavilions, namely Indo Tibetan Pavilion, Bharat Nivas– the structure and architecture of each of these places is magnificent. To imagine this township as a barren land with no life is next to impossible.

I then stopped by at the Savitri Bhavan and spent time reading about Mother and her journey in setting up Auroville.  Savitri Bhavan is a great place for  yoga,films, group meditations, reading and group recitations that take place during the month.

Next, I  decided to go and see the Matri Mandir from the viewing point. One can spend hours sitting under trees with the view of the Mandir and the perfectly maintained 12 gardens, each with a separate message by Mother on life.

Even though, my visit was during peak summer and I was practically burnt cycling during the day, I decided that I wanted to cycle and explore all possible paths .There was  sheer excitement in riding to an unknown destination.

I found myself cycling through the town and onto the highway, passing by cotton trees and flowers… 6 kms on the road and I passed by smaller lanes, houses, cafes enroute to Auro beach. Huffing, puffing and exhausted, I finally managed to  see the beach. I spent some time trying to get my breath back from cycling and the scorching sun shining brightly on my head.


On my return, I stopped by at Farm Fresh cafe, which I would highly recommend to all for heavenly fresh and delicious food. One can even shop for local products and handicrafts at this cafe.


You will also find the Auro Bakery, Tantos, Frite corner and Kopi Bar in this vicinity and I would recommend stopping by at all these for a healthy bite and wi- fi.

 I made my way back by late afternoon to the lovely Arka Guest housethe guest house is one of the best places to stay in Auroville. Centrally located with large, airy, clean rooms. They have  a library, yoga centre, wellness and massage rooms and a lotus pond adding to the list of its highlights.


The view of the guest house from my room.

I decided to cycle and explore other parts of Auroville – cycled through the dense forests, visited the Buddha garden and met volunteers, with whom I shared an evening cup of tea learning about the preservation of this 12 acre farm land and was humbled at the hard work put in by strangers from across the globe to preserve this land. One can volunteer here for long and short term or help out in the farm every morning during the visit.

As most of the town shuts by 6.30 -7.00, you will find very few places open beyond 8 p.m. An early dinner at the kiosk, which serves some of the best dosas I had ever eaten . I met with a few people who had been working and interning in Auroville and the happiness and satisfaction they shared about their jobs was overwhelming.

Back to my room and there was so much I did in one day and yet it was too little. New stories, thoughts and a book, I retired knowing I had an even more beautiful day waiting for me.

The next day began at 6 a.m. and I was off to Auro bakery for a perfect breakfast ride and food. With fresh baked croissants, Danishes and the smell of flour, I could not have asked for a better start. I sat for a while and cherished my long breakfast chatting up with Jena, the manager of the backyard cafe.


I made my way back into the Auroville centre and decided to go explore another area. and headed towards the Verite centre. The centre offers many working opportunities and a deeper Auro experience. For more details you can look up: http://www.verite.in/get.php

I had heard a lot about the Naturellement cafe in this area, however due to it being  off season; I found many places shut and this was one of them.

My hunt further led me to the Sve- dame residential area and to another cafe I had read about – Well cafe along with an Art shop – Wellpaper. WELL stands for “Women’s Empowerment through Local Livelihood”. This initiative was set up after Tsunami in 2005 to empower women from local neighborhoods to sustain themselves by their skills. I must admit my best meal was at this place – best hummus and homemade cakes I’ve ever had!


My evening was spent reading and enjoying the views at the La Terrace cafe above Solar Kitchen under a generous Caja tree -lovely place for some alone time, with a large section of coffees and teas to choose from. An Auro card is required for Solar kitchen and the cafe.


I spent the rest of the evening attending an Om Chanting session at  Savitri Bhavan , it was one my favourite experiences at the centre and I could not have asked for a better end to my last night there.

My last dinner was at the Right Path Cafe with some new friends from the session, learning more about volunteer experiences and life in Auro.

I ended my day with eagerness for the next morning  when I would finally get a chance to visit the Matri Mandir.

For all first time visitors, visiting Matri Mandir is like a guided tour inside the structure and details are shared about each of its pillars, the thought behind each garden, the flowers, the banyan tree and its significance.

The experience of the time spent inside the Mandir is genuinely something I have no words for. All I can say is that anyone who wishes to experience true silence or stillness must visit it once. Very few places actually help us to connect to what’s within us and this was one of those for me.

The  hours flew by and it was time to bid farewell to Auroville. I ended my visit  realizing there was a lot more to soak in, and even though I wanted to learn and see so much more, – the best way is to step back and live a little.


“The ego thinks of what it wants and has not.

This is its constant preoccupation.

The soul is aware of what is given

And lives in endless gratitude”. – The Mother

       Until next time, thank you Auroville…