Auroville Matri Mandir
|stainless steel sphere gold plated
|Town or city
|Auroville, Tamil Nadu
|21 February 1971
|Design and construction
|Description of the Matrimandir from Auroville's website
The Matrimandir (Sanskrit for Temple of the Mother or Temple de la Mère) is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of integral yoga, in the centre of Auroville established by the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is called Soul of the City (French: L'âme de la ville) and is situated in a large open space called Peace.
Structure and surroundings
The Matrimandir took 37 years to build, from the laying of the foundation stone at sunrise on 21 February 1971 - the Mother's 93rd birthday - to its completion in May 2008. It is in the form of a huge sphere surrounded by twelve petals. The Geodesic dome is covered by golden discs and reflects sunlight, which gives the structure its characteristic radiance. Inside the central dome is a meditation hall known as the inner chamber - this contains the largest optically-perfect glass globe in the world. The Matrimandir, and its surrounding gardens in the central Peace Area, is open to the public by appointment.
The four main pillars that support the structure of Matrimandir, and carry the Inner Chamber, have been set at the four main directions of the compass. These four pillars are symbolic of the four aspects of the mother as described by Sri Aurobindo, and are named after these four aspects.
Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play
|Maheswari (south pillar)
|"...her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness".
|Mahakali (north pillar)
|"...her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force".
|Mahalakshmi (east pillar)
|"...vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace".
|Mahasaraswathi (west pillar)
|"...equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things".
Matrimandir and the banyan tree, the centre of Auroville
The Matrimandir in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India
The golden discs that build up the Matrimandir dome
An Auroville volunteer posing next to one of the golden discs used in Matrimandir's dome.
Closeup of one of the golden discs.
- Visiting the Matrimandir
- Chronicles of the Inner Chamber - by the 'Matrimandir Action Committee'
- Matrimandir travel guide from Wikivoyage