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The Theosophical Society , founded in 1875, is a worldwide body whose primary object is

The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875, is a worldwide body whose primary object isUniversal Brotherhood without distinctionbased on the realization that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One. The Society imposes no belief on its members, who are united by a common search for Truth and desire to learn the mean-ing and purpose of existence through study, reflection, self- responsibility and loving service. Theosophy is the wisdom underlying all religions when they are stripped of accretions and superstitions. It offers a philosophy which renders life intelligible and demonstrates that justice and love guide the cosmos. Its teachings said the unfoldment of the latent spiritual nature in the human being, without dependence.

Adyar Campus Visiting Hours:

Grounds:

Morning: 8.30-10.00am; Afternoon: 2.00-4.00pm

Bookshop:

Monday to Saturday Closed Sunday and Public Holidays Morning: 9:00-12:noon; Afternoon: 3:00-6:00pm Monday to Saturday Closed Sunday and Public Holidays

Library:

9.00-5.00pm

Display of Ancient Documents:

Tuesday to Sunday Closed Monday and Public Holidays Morning: 9.30-12 noon; Afternoon: 2.00 - 4.00pm Tuesday to Sunday Closed Monday and Public Holidays

Headquarters Address:

International Headquarters The Theosophical Society Adyar, Chennai 600 020 INDIA Telephone: (044) 2491 2474 Email: intl.hq@ts-adyar.org

Headquarters The Theosophical Society Adyar, Chennai 600 020 INDIA Telephone: (044) 2491 2474 Email: intl.hq@ts-adyar.org
Headquarters The Theosophical Society Adyar, Chennai 600 020 INDIA Telephone: (044) 2491 2474 Email: intl.hq@ts-adyar.org
DakshinaChitra is a center for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft and

DakshinaChitra is a center for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft and architecture of India with an emphasis on the traditions of South India. A project of the Madras Craft Foundation (MCF), a non-profit organisation. DakshinaChitra opened to the public in December 1996. The center occupies ten undulating acres overlooking the Bay of Bengal, at Muttukadu, twenty five kilometers south of Chennai, on the East Coast Road to Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India

on the East Coast Road to Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, India Landmark next to MGM Dizee World

Landmark

next to MGM Dizee World

DakshinaChitra

East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Chinglepet District 600 118.

Phone

044 27472603 / 044 27472783

Madras Craft Foundation

044 24462435 / 044 24918943

Time Factor

45 minutes from the city to DakshinaChitra A complete tour of DakshinaChitra takes a minimum of 1 hour

Basic Info

Visiting Hours:

10 am to 6pm

Weekly Holiday:

Weekly Holiday: Tuesday (open on all national holidays except on Diwali Day)
Tuesday (open on all national holidays except on Diwali Day)

Tuesday (open on all national holidays except on Diwali Day)

Entrance Tariff:

 

Adult: Rs.75/-

 

Child: Rs.20/- (5-12yrs)

 

Student: Rs.30/-

 

(below 18yrs with ID card)

School Students package:Rs.70/-

Entrance Tariff:

 

Overseas Visitors

 

Adults: Rs.200/- (appx US$ 4.75) Students:Rs.75/-(appx US$ 1.75)

Map of Dakshin Chitra

Map of Dakshin Chitra A brief note on the Domestic Architecture of Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu

A brief note on the Domestic Architecture of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a long sandy seacoast and a vast expanse of semi-arid plains, once covered with scrub forests, grass and groves of bamboo. Water was scarce and wells per village were few in number. Families clustered together, to be close to each other and to the sources of water. Wood was never in abundance, but was used for columns and beams. Rafters and reapers were usually of bamboo. The pride of each house was the front door and this was carved and decorated to be as welcoming and auspicious as could be. Trees were felled from nearby, preferably from the houseowner’s own compound. The village set rules where trees could and could not be felled.

The carpenters made the bullock carts and the ploughs and all that was necessary for agriculture and house building in the village. They were helped by the blacksmiths who made the hinges and the nails, the locks for the doors and the special fixtures for the carts. The potters made the terracotta roofing tiles. Floors were most often made of rammed mud, finished with a red oxide coating or cow dung slurry. Walls were made of sun-dried or baked brick or mud which were also regularly treated with a cow dung slurry, which kept the bugs away with its antiseptic properties.

Few people could afford the roofing tiles, and for centuries, a tiled roof required a royal permission accorded only to the rich. Most people had thatch roofs, even wealthy people. The thatch kept the house cool. Palmyra trees grew in abundance and grasses and reeds, or even dried paddy stalk was used. Families used what was most convenient and abundant in their area. Bamboo was treated and sliced and woven into mats which were sometimes even used as walls. Mats were woven from reeds for sleeping on or to spread on the cowdung floors for guests to sit on.

Lime plaster became the keystone of decoration on Tamil houses. The wealthy merchants and the royal families let the masons who specialised in lime plaster use their imagination to create stories, florid capitals and ceilings and homage to patrons in plaster.

Most Tamil houses have an inner courtyard which is used for drying grains, shelling pods and for functions. There is a raised verandah or small seating area in the front of the house, called a tinnai. The houses from Tamil Nadu at DakshinaChitra are typical of houses found in many villages throughout each region.

A brief note on the Domestic Architecture of Kerala

The architecture, environment and culture of Kerala stand in marked contrast to that of Tamil Nadu. Kerala is blessed with abundant water, verdant forests and rich lands. Unlike the Tamilian, the Keralite prefers to live isolated from neighbours in the middle of a plot of land, with privacy and beautiful tropical vegetation. In Kerala houses, technique, form and materials are basically the same for all classes and economic levels. Only size or the addition of more buildings to a compound separate the rich from the poor.

Kerala’s domestic architecture is punctuated in form by the religious architecture of its three communities - the Hindus, Christians and Muslims. While the domestic architecture of the three communities is similar, small details such as a cross or a gable distinguish one type from another.

as a cross or a gable distinguish one type from another. A slight variation in the

A slight variation in the arrangement of rooms and spaces according to the social customs of each group, characterises the differences in the interior. All the Kerala houses at DakshinaChitra were sold to the Madras Craft Foundation because the

owners wanted to construct modern houses on their land in place of their traditional homes.

Within Kerala, there is a clear division of style of architecture between Malabar in northern Kerala and Travancore in southern Kerala. Just north of Cochin, extending all the way up north, are large deposits of laterite. These are used throughout the Malabar region for the walls and foundations of both houses and temples. This enabled the Keralite to build double storeyed homes with the sloped roof in North Kerala. In southern Kerala, wood was the primary building material and homes remained primarily single- storeyed until the end of the 19th century.

The most distinctive visual form of Kerala architecture is the long, steep sloping roof built to protect the house’s walls and to withstand the heavy monsoon. The main focus of traditional Kerala houses is the granary and special storage spaces, stressing the primacy of agriculture in the Keralite’s life. Water is plentiful and every house has its own well. Many have large stone lin ed agricultural tanks, which are often used for bathing.

A brief note on the Domestic Architecture of Karnataka

The architecture of Karnataka is as varied as its geography, with its verdant coastal areas to the west; the richly wooded hills of Chikmagalore and Shimoga; the bamboo forests and plantations of Coorg; the fertile farm land of the south, the semi-arid zones of the east and central districts and the vast stony, dry areas of the north. The name of one of the main districts, Gulbarga, is said to have come from kalbargi, which means ‘stony land’ or a ‘heap of stones’. Where the Deccan plateau joins the Nilgiris in the southwestern region of the state, timber is in abundance.

The domestic architecture of Mangalore, Udipi, Coorg and Malnad is mainly of wood. Bangalore, the state capital reflects the colonial influence in its civic buildings and domestic architecture, the most significant being the British bungalows.

Stone is the major building material for most of North Karnataka. Mortar is generally mud. A major feature of Northern Karnataka agricultural homes is the inclusion of a space for their cows and goats within the home itself.

DakshinaChitra is searching for the following houses a stone village house from Gulbarga district, an agricultural house from the Udipi or Shimoga area, a Coorg house and an urban bungalow of mixed Indian and British inspiration. Help in finding these houses is welcome.

A brief note on the Domestic Architecture of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh consists of three distinct regions : Rayalseema, Telangana and Coastal Andhra.

The Rayalseema area is part of the Deccan plateau and for the most part consists of dry and stony land. Cuddapah, a black slate used for flooring, shelving and even roofing, derives its name from the town of Cuddapah from where it is mined. Stone and mud are the main building materials in this area. Thatch is the most prevalent roofing material.

The Nizam’s region or Telangana comprises of Adilabad, Nalgonda, Warangal, Medak, Mahboobnagar, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Bidar. The Muslim rule of the kingdoms here had a major influence on the architectural forms. The most elegant Muslim homes and cenotaphs are characterized by beautiful, intricate, stone-cut screens, delicate fluted arches and fine stucco work.

screens, delicate fluted arches and fine stucco work. Agricultural communities built with the materials at hand

Agricultural communities built with the materials at hand in simple forms, which are convenient to their lifestyles, for the protection of their livestock, for storage and for security. The skills of the builders and crafts people are evidenced in the meticulous workmanship of stone buildings.

Coastal Andhra consists of Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari, Khammam, Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts. Many architectural forms in these areas exemplify the cross migration of the people from coastal Andhra and Tamil Nadu.

At DakshinaChitra , three more houses can be added to the Andhra section. The houses the centre would like to put up are : a stone house from Cuddapah; an agricultural home from Nellore and an old, Muslim house from Hyderabad. Madras Craft Foundation welcomes help from students and architects interested in identifying and documenting traditional houses from Andhra Pradesh which might be suitable for purchase for DakshinaChitra .

and documenting traditional houses from Andhra Pradesh which might be suitable for purchase for DakshinaChitra .

World Heritage Sites - Mahabalipuram

Group of Monuments Mahabalipuram (1984), Tamil Nadu

Group of Monuments Mahabalipuram (1984), Tamil Nadu Mamallapuram, the city of Mamalla, is after the title

Mamallapuram, the city of Mamalla, is after the title of great Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman-I (AD 630-68). It was a sea-port during the time of Periplus (1st century AD) and Ptolemy (AD 140) and many Indian colonists sailed to South- East Asia through this port town. While there is some evidence of architectural activity going back to the period of Mahendravarman-I (AD 600-30), the father of Mamalla, most of the monuments like rock-cut rathas, sculptured scenes on open rocks like Arjuna's penance, the caves of Govardhanadhari and Mahishasuramardini, the Jala- Sayana Perumal temple (the sleeping Mahavishnu or Chakrin at the rear part of the Shore temple complex) are attributed to the period of Narasimhavarman-I Mamalla.

are attributed to the period of Narasimhavarman-I Mamalla. Of the nine monolithic temples found in Mahabalipuram,

Of the nine monolithic temples found in Mahabalipuram, the most important are Five Rathas known after the famous five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata fame. These monuments are carved out a single rock with choice of all known forms of plan and elevations. While the Dharmaraja, Arjuna and Draupadi rathas are square on plan, the Bhima and Ganesa rathas are rectangular and Sahadeva ratha apsidal.

The Draupadi ratha is a simple hut like kutagara shrine while the Arjuna ratha is a dvitala vimana with a mukhamandapa. The Bhima ratha is rectangular on plan with a salakara wagon-vaulted roof. The Dharmaraja ratha is a tritala vimana having functional shrines at all the talas. The Nakula-Sahadeva ratha with an apsidal plan and elevation indicate the experimental tendency of the architect.

indicate the experimental tendency of the architect. Though monolithic sculpturing, both cut-in and cut-out,

Though monolithic sculpturing, both cut-in and cut-out, continued even during later periods (Atiranachanda cave, Pidari rathas and Tiger-cave), the structural architecture was introduced on a grand scale by Pallava Rajasimha (AD 700-28), culminating in erection of the world famous Shore temple. The Shore temple is a complex of three temples, viz, Rajasimhesvara (a small tritala vimana facing west), the Kshatriyasimhesvara (the larger east facing vimana) and Nripatisimha Pallava Vishnugriha (an east facing, oblong, flat-roofed mandapa shrine) housing the reclining Vishnu. These shrines are enclosed by two prakara walls with openings constructed in later times. The inner surface of prakara walls once contained panel sculptures which are worn out now.

Open from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. Entrance Fee: The notable cave temples here are

Open from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.

Entrance Fee:

The notable cave temples here are the Varaha mandapa, Mahisamardini mandapa, Paramesvara Mahavaraha Vishnugriha (Adivaraha cave). These are in the Mamalla style while the Adiranchanda caves temples belong to the Mahendra period.

The caves here were once plastered and painted as indicated by the remains. After Rajasimha, there is lull in the architectural activity of the place, save a few additions during late-Pallava and Chola times. The grandiose Vijayanagara phase here is represented by the Raja Gopurams and the Sthala-Sayana temple, juxtaposed to the carved boulder of Arjuna's penance.

Recent excavations to the north and south of the Shore Temple have revealed rock-cut figures representing religious themes of period prior to the construction to the temple. Besides, a monolithic Bhuvaraha, a reclining image of Vishnu, the base of Durga shrine with deer and a square socket possibly to accommodate mahastambha have also been exposed. To the south of the Shore Temple was exposed a stepped ghat facing the sea.

Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 10 per head.

Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head

(children up to 15 years free)

PONDICHERRY

PONDICHERRY Away from the hustle and bustle of big city, puducherry is a quiet little town

Away from the hustle and bustle of big city, puducherry is a quiet little town on the southern coast.The unmistakable French connection,the tree lined boulevards,the quaint colonial heritage buildings, the spiritual scene, the endless stretches of unspoilt virgin beaches, backwater, a surprising choice of restaurants serving a melange of cuisines, provide a heady mix that draw travellers from near and far. It is the perfect place dto come to if you wants tko take the pace of life down a few notches.

if you wants tko take the pace of life down a few notches. Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Sri Aurobindo Ashram The Sri Aurobindo Ashram located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India, with devotees from India and all over the world flocking to it for spiritual salvation. Its spiritual tenets represent a synthesis of yoga and modern science. It is open to the public daily between 08-1200 hrs and 1400-1800 hrs. Children below 3 years of age are not allowed into the ashram and photography is allowed only with permission of the ashram authorities.

The Ashram was set up in 1926 by Sri Aurobindo Ghose, one of India‟s greatest philosopher-poets, who originally came to Pondy to escape persecution by the British. It was after arriving in puducherry, that he was drawn into the spiritual realm and discovered the power of yoga. His philosophy deeply rooted in yoga and his writings inspired a number of followers.

in yoga and his writings inspired a number of followers. One of them was a Parisian

One of them was a Parisian mystic, painter and musician called Mirra Alfassa, who was so inspired by his philosophy that she stayed on in puducherry and was instrumental in establishment of the ashram. After Aurobindo‟s death in 1950, the running of the Ashram was entrusted to his chief disciple and companion, Mirra Alfassa, (also known as „The Mother‟). The idea of Auroville or the “City of Down” was conceived by „The Mother‟. She died in 1973 at the age of 93.

The ashram‟s influence can be felt in most of puducherry. The main ashram building is where the mortal remains of Aurobindo and the Mother are kept. Their „Samadhi‟ or mausoleum, which is generally surrounded by supplicating devotees, is in the central courtyard under a frangipani tree and is covered daily with flowers.

under a frangipani tree and is covered daily with flowers. Some of the ashram‟s facilities like

Some of the ashram‟s facilities like the Library and the Main Building (during collective meditation) can be accessed, only after obtaining a gate pass from the Bureau Central or some of the Ashram Guest Houses.

Visiting Auroville

Visiting Auroville Between the lines On the surface, Auroville can appear rather incomprehensible. It is an

Between the lines On the surface, Auroville can appear rather incomprehensible. It is an intense and challenging experiment, attempting the seemingly impossible, and one needs to be ready to actively participate in such an adventure. The meaning of Auroville only becomes clearer in the context of the vision of its founders, which has stimulated people from all over the world to join in this ‘laboratory of evolution’.

General cost

A meal at the Solar Kitchen costs Rs 75, Guest Card is required

A good meal in Puducherry costs around Rs 100, or more, depending on the class of establishment

Cycle rental is between Rs 20 and Rs 40 a day

TVS and motor bike rental is around Rs 80 to 100 a day.

The Auroville daily bus to Pudu is accessible to holders of a Boarding Pass, which is issued at the Financial Service and in some Guest Houses.

Classes (yoga, dance and so on) require normally a contribution of Rs 100 from guests, Guest Card required.

Massages and haircuts are around Rs 300.

Libraries:

Auroville Library lends books to guests against production of a Guest Card (see below)

Laboratory of Evolution will lend books to guests for Rs. 200 deposit

Additional Information

Because of occasional theft, you are advised to deposit your passport, air ticket and valuables in the guesthouse safe.

As there have been occasional incidents on the roads over the years, women are specially advised not to walk or cycle alone anywhere after dark.

Please, do not encourage begging.

Please, respect the local customs regarding behaviour. Also, noting that Indian women generally dress very modestly, Western women are specially advised to dress in a similar fashion, in order not to send out the wrong message and attract unwanted attention. This also applies at the beach, where one-piece swimming costumes are advised.

Indian Standard Time (IST) is five and half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

To know the approximate rate of exchange of currency please visit: Universal Currency Converter

Financial Service can also sell foreign currencies at your departure, please observe the following procedure by the Reserve Bank of India:

a) Foreign Exchange Certificates are valid 3 months only! That means the amount of Rupees converted into foreign currency can only be up to the amount exchanged within the last 3 months of your stay.

b) A copy of your passport as well as the flight ticket together with the foreign exchange certificate are needed for the sale of foreign currencies.

Matri Mandir

Updated Nov. 27, 2010

Matri Mandir Updated Nov. 27, 2010 The Park of Unity , located at the centre of

The Park of Unity , located at the centre of the international township of Auroville , includes:

The Matrimandir, which represents the Universal Mother or the Divine Consciousness.

The twelve rooms in the Matrimandir's Petals, representing the twelve Qualities or Virtues of the Universal Mother.

The twelve gardens around the Matrimandir, representing the twelve Powers of the Universal Mother.

• The ‘Lotus Pond' beneath the Matrimandir.

The Banyan tree, Auroville's geographical centre, and the adjacent Garden of Unity .

The Amphitheatre, sited where Auroville's inauguration ceremony took place.

The Matrimandir is a shrine of the Universal Mother and the Soul of Auroville; it is meant for those who, in the Mother's words, are sincere and serious and truly want to learn to concentrate. The Matrimandir is not a temple in the conventional sense of the word; it is neither a place of worship, nor to be associated with any religion, whether ancient, present, new or future. For better understanding please look up ‘Understanding the Matrimandir Access Policy'.

Access to the Matrimandir Viewing Point

The Matrimandir Viewing Point, south of the Park of Unity , is a raised garden area which provides visitors with a beautiful view of the Matrimandir and its surroundings.

Passes for the Matrimandir Viewing Point can be obtained for free at Auroville's Visitors' Centre, after watching a short introductory video on the Matrimandir.

Timing for issuing of Passes at the Visitors' Centre:

Mornings

Afternoons

Weekdays : 9.30 am to 1.00 pm

Sundays: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm only Closed

1.30 pm to 4.00pm

Opening hours of the Matrimandir Viewing Point:

Mornings

Afternoons

Weekdays:9.30 am to 1.30 pm 2 pm to 4.30 pm

Sundays: 9.30 am to 1 pm only Closed

• Please note:

The Matrimandir Viewing Point remains closed on Sunday afternoons.

Way to the Matrimandir Viewing Point:

A shaded footpath, about 1km long, leads from the Visitors' Centre to the Viewing Point. An electric shuttle service is available for those who may find it difficult to walk the approx. 1 km each way.

Please note: Matrimandir management may modify the above timings and procedures without prior notice. For up to date information on Auroville and the Matrimandir, kindly visit the Auroville website: www.auroville.org

Access to Matrimandir and surrounding areas The Matrimandir Access Policy is based on the Mother's guidelines.

General conditions:

The Matrimandir is a place for silent concentration. Those who wish to only see it are welcome to do so from a distance at the Matrimandir Viewing Point, which offers a beautiful view from a raised position overlooking the Park of Unity .

Prior permission is required to access the Matrimandir for concentration .

Permission is granted to those who have seen the videos and exhibitions on Auroville and the Matrimandir in order to have an understanding of the project and the Mother's vision of it. This may be done by making an initial visit to the Visitors Centre.

Request for concentration has to be made at least one day in advance, in person , at the Visitors Centre between 10 and 11 am or 2 and 3 pm or by calling (0413) 262 2268 between 2 and 3 pm. However, booking at the Visitors Centre is recommended to minimise chances of disappointment.

Bookings are accepted on an individual basis only. Requests are attended to in the order of receiving them, and can be made up to seven days in advance. The number of places is limited. Booking at the Visitors Centre is recommended to maximise chances of getting an early booking.

On the day of appointment, those with a booking have to reach the Visitors Centre no later than 9 am, from where they will be transported to the Matrimandir by one of the Auroville electric shuttles.

Passes for concentration will be issued at the Visitors Centre on the day of appointment, and shortly before the departure to Matrimandir with the shuttle.

Bags, cameras and cell phones are not allowed within the Park of Unity (the Matrimandir Gardens ) and should be left either in one's vehicle or deposited for safe keeping at the Access Office of the Matrimandir. Cell phones have to be switched off before depositing.

o

Visitors are advised not to bring valuables with them.

o

Photographs may be taken only from a designated area outside the Park of Unity .

o

Media persons wanting to take photos/films must obtain advance permission

Cleanliness : the cooperation of all is requested to keep the Matrimandir and its twelve Petal rooms in immaculate condition. Touching any surface inside the structures is to be avoided. Cleanliness of body and garments is indispensable.

Children below 10 are not allowed inside the Park of Unity and the Matrimandir and will be asked to stay back at the Visitors Centre with a family member.

Absolute silence is required inside the Matrimandir and the 12 meditation rooms in the Petals, around the ‘Lotus Pond' below the Matrimandir, and in the area under the Banyan Tree. Kindly help us maintain the atmosphere at the highest level.

In case of rain or if the pathways and Garden areas are too muddy , the Matrimandir remains closed and all bookings are cancelled for the day.

Please note:

Matrimandir reserves the right to refuse entry, cancel a visit or request a person to leave the Park of Unity on account of being under the influence of alcohol, bringing a person under age, making unauthorized audio, video or photographic recordings, or behaving in a manner which does not correspond with the above guidelines or is incompatible with the ideals and spirit of Auroville and the Matrimandir.

Matrimandir management may modify the above timing and procedures without prior notice. For up to date information on Auroville and the Matrimandir, kindly visit the Auroville website:www.auroville.org

Ph: 0413 2622268