The main guest season in Auroville is from December to March, when the climate is cool and pleasant. A second, shorter season, runs from July to September. Anyone wishing to stay in a guest house during these periods is advised to book well in advance.
It is highly advisable, in all seasons, before planning a visit to Auroville, to visit the http://guesthouses.auroville.org website. It offers a vast overview on different possibilities of accommodation in Auroville, at different levels of price, location, and comfort. They are all units of Auroville, their stewards are Aurovilians and can help you with all formalities and basic information and support in your early days in Auroville.
It should be remembered that Auroville is a non-profit, evolving community that lays stress on a quiet lifestyle that is close to nature. Although the quality of accommodation and service provided may be simple in comparison with, say, a fancy hotel outside, guests tend to enjoy the green, clean surroundings that facilitate space for oneness and inner reflection.
Accommodation in AV can be broadly divided into 4 categories depending on your space and budget needs:
- A - basic : Accommodation with thatched roof (capsules and simple rooms). Shared bathroom. Suitable for student volunteers.
- B - standard : Simple rooms in brick with concrete or tiled roof. Shared bathroom. Rooms may have a fan. Some include access to a shared kitchen.
- C - good : Comfortable rooms with fans, mosquito protection, attached bathroom. A few have air conditioning. Some include access to a shared kitchen or include breakfast and dinner facilities.
- D - self-contained : Nicely furnished cottage or studio with attached bathroom and kitchen/kitchenette. Often with a veranda, balcony or garden. All rooms have fans and protective mesh on windows. A few have air conditioning. Daily rate may include breakfast, and laundry.
As visa requirements vary by nationality, non-Indians need to check in their country of origin well before coming to India. Normally a Tourist Visa is issued for and remains valid for 6 months. Anyone thinking of coming to Auroville for a longer period needs an Entry Visa. Advice of a general nature on visa requirements for non-Indians can be obtained in Auroville from the Residents Service at the Town hall.
Any non-Indian person staying in Auroville needs to fill in an Arrival Form within 24 hours of arrival, as per requirement of the Indian Government. Most major guest houses will provide these forms, which can otherwise be obtained from and filled in at the AV Guest Service office at the Solar Kitchen, the Guest Service desk at the AV Financial Service office, or the Residents Service at the Town hall. Aurovilians are reminded that it is the responsibility of the host to see that people visiting Auroville fill in their Arrival Forms, whether the visitors are personal guests or whether the host runs a guest facility.
Foreigners coming to stay in Auroville are strongly encouraged to acquaint themselves with the culture and traditions of Tamil Nadu and India. It is especially important to respect local customs which can be quite different from those elsewhere, and include aspects like communication, dress code, and much more. Politeness and correctness in dealing with the local people is paramount, and it is good to remember at all times that one is a guest of the country.
Along the roads leading into Auroville, one encounters many guesthouses, restaurants, massage centers, etc, bearing ‘Auro’ in their names. Most of these are not associated with the city. For a full list of all accredited Auroville guests houses and home stays, please visit http://guesthouses.auroville.org .
Auroville does not take responsibility for any improper accommodation or treatment at any guesthouse or home stay not accredited by Auroville.
Caution is advised while driving on the local roads, as road conditions and traffic habits can be challenging, while extra care is recommended at night, especially for single women, children, and the elderly. Please note that driving without a valid driving license is an offence that can invite penalty.
For general information about activities in Auroville, guests should get in touch with the Guest Service at the Solar Kitchen. For daily lunch facility at the community dining room, please go to Solar Kitchen.
Visitors CentreYour Discovery of Auroville Begins HereThe Auroville Visitors Centre is a place where day visitors and guests can begin to discover and learn about Auroville, its ideals, history and present-day manifestation. The VC encompasses a complex of buildings that include exhibition spaces, information and guest reception, boutiques for Auroville products and handicrafts, a bookshop, cafes and a food court.