News

The Complete Vegan Guide To Auroville

Share With:


Vegan Guide to Auroville:

Auroville will not leave you indifferent. Whether you are in the midst of a long India trek or wanting to quit urban life for a six-month hiatus or yet again are seeking meaning and a change of priorities and need some reflection time in a quiet, pastoral and hospitable place, Auroville will not disappoint.

You will find more opportunities to experience different spiritual awakening approaches, more yoga, more spa treatments, more volunteering possibilities and more variety of nationalities gathered in one place, than most towns. If you are open to experimenting new ways of imagining your life, you will love it and maybe even stay. One thing is sure, you will keep coming back.

Auroville Matrimandir
Auroville Matrimandir

Auroville History:

Auroville was founded by a French woman, Mira Alfassa, also known as The Mother, in honor of Sri Aurobindo, a charismatic and prolific Indian philosopher, guru and poet whom she seconded for several decades. A visit of the Ashram that they established in Pondicherry is recommended, both to experience the atmosphere of peaceful reverence that pervades the unrenovated quaint antiquated rooms of study and meditation as well as to join the many pilgrims at the tomb of Sri Aurobindo. It’s also a good place to pick up some books written by each one of them or on them.

Mirra Alfassa 1978 stamp of India
Mirra Alfassa “The mother”

220px Sri Aurobindo 1964 stamp of India
Sri Aurobindo “Yogi and Guru”

 

Since the 70’s, Auroville has been dedicated to finding new ways to “realize humanity” through the building of a non-prejudiced community of spiritual seekers experimenting in the areas of social responsibility, architecture, ecological sustainability, organic agriculture, alternative energy sources to name but a few of their many projects, most of which accept volunteers.

Restaurants in Auroville

It is no surprise, then, to see that you can find many vegan restaurants in Auroville. Although Happy Cow lists only 4 vegan restaurants there, there are many more unreviewed ones.  We counted at least ten venues and much more when you know that almost 100% of the places have vegan options which easily doubles the number. For a community of 2400 members, that’s considerable. It’s true that Auroville hosts thousands of volunteers every year and attracts many more tourists.

Give Auroville a minimum of a week to get into the
groove. Make you life much easier by getting a Auroville Card, which will give
you access to many facilities otherwise closed to you.

How to get your Auroville Card:

Aurocard

In order to obtain a card, you will need to register in one of the Auroville guest houses as opposed to a village guest house.  The owner of the guest house will procure a recommendation or a card for you that will allow you to deposit funds.  You then will go to register at the Auroville Town Hall in order to allow your card to retrieve goods, treatments, yoga classes, get discounts at the swimming pool, access Solar Kitchen (the vegetarian cafeteria – ask for dishes with no ghee or yoghurt – curd) etc.

There are many vegan options in the members’ stores, especially at Pour Tous. Check the fridges for great tempeh, tofu and vegan deserts.

Make sure to get a guest house with access to a kitchen (most of them have it) and shop for organic vegetables at Food Link (get there early, before 9am to have the best choice).

Rent a moped or a bike to travel between projects and stores. Auroville is spread out over many hundreds of acres in a pristine forest and you may not be able to manage the distances on foot.

Recommendations for a smooth arrival:

  • From abroad: reserve your guest house and reserve your means of transport. Sometimes guest house owners can have it ready for you upon your arrival. Remember to request it when you reserve. Make your mode of transport a priority upon arrival.
  • On your first day, make sure to get your Auroville card by going to Townhall.  Get a map from your guest house owner
  • Go to the Visitors’ Center (to the second floor) to reserve a visit to the Matrimandir (the big golden ball at the eye of the Auroville helix).  Do not miss it, even if you are not into spirituality, it will astonish and interest you. You need to reserve a couple of days in advance

Bike Gate in Auroville
Bike Gate in Auroville

Other recommendations for vegans:

  • Auroville Bakery – Here you will find everything from hearty bread and crackers to vegan brownies, muffins etc.
  • La Terrace for sunset and a nice vegan meal. Do not forget your card. Just off la Terrace you can visit the guests’ center.
  • Satchiananda – excellent raw vegan restaurant. Ask the owner for cooking classes. She loves to teach her art!
  • Guests’ Center is the place to get information about the different projects, where you can volunteer, or to just visit. You can also find info online about things to do in Auroville as well as workshops and therapies available.
  • While you are at the Visitors’ Center, have a vegan pizza at the main café. Drink dynamized water from the fountain. Do not fear it is filtered!

Volunteer in a vegan project:

There are four projects or organizations dedicated to a vegan agenda in Auroville, all of which accept volunteers:

  • Sharan LogoSharan (Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature) is dedicated to “to spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle”. It is headed by Dr Nandita Shah who has dedicated the last 20 years to eradicating chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes from the map through whole plant-based nutrition. To volunteer or become an intern there, you need to be vegan and to commit for a minimum of one month.

  • Sadhanna forestSadhana Forest  is a forest revival project headed by Aviram Rozin and his wife Yorit. Their goal for the last 15 years has been recreating a forest on eroded land around Auroville. They promote veganism as the only sustainable diet. You can volunteer there with a vibrant and creative group of young ecology-minded people from all over the world. If volunteering is not on your mind, do not miss the Free Friday meal and visit. A bus picks people up at 4pm in front of solar kitchen and takes to Sadhana for an evening of visit, food a documentary. The atmosphere in the huge bamboo hut is well worth the effort.

Milaap 1

 

Solitude Farm

  • Solitude Farm: an organic farm with a vegan café. Great place for lunch. Learn organic farming and permaculture by volunteering there.

Traveling Around the World, the Vegan Way

  • fb-logo
  • instagram
  • youtube

The Veganary © 2019. All rights reserved