Escapade to Auroville Marathon!

Running through the greens,
Step after step onto the earth of red,
Wondered where I am!

With the fresh morning breeze greeting,
Early risers chirping, welcoming us,
Indeed wondered where I am!

With the Miles went on and on,
Glory was basking in with my dear Sun stepping in,
Unrelenting enthusiasm that hovered around,
Charged the atmosphere to new horizons....
Really wondered where I am!

As I went on & on,
Mind went void and empty,
Limbs acted like machine in the industry!
Wondered whether I am....

Well, there I was very much there at Auroville Marathon
For those of you who are unaware of place, I’ll shower some factual bits onto that! Auroville is a Universal township near Pondicherry in the India, that was inaugurated on 28 th Feb’ 1968 based onto the vision of Sri Aurobindo & the Mother. It’s a place where people irrespective of nationalities, color, religion and all other possible diversities (as far as human imagination goes!) stay together. Auroville has received four times the endorsement of General Assembly of UNESCO; it boasts of its great following through all across US and Europe.

To start with, I attribute this tour to the great power of internet! Just a comment by Sri, avid trekker & biker from Hyderabad the other day and there, I checked about it. I had almost lost hope esp. for marathon as registrations were off by then, but still the curiosity to travel & visit Auroville was quite high...all thanks to my dear friend who had been there! Probably, that might have powered something and just a week before, everything set in, and there..I was packing off to tour to Auroville! Thanks Ram; had he not opted out, I would rather not be there to witness & participate such a event!
Well, the train journey lasted for 25 hrs, all thanks to Indian Railways for delaying 2hrs! Although the journey was long enough, it wasn’t that tiring though...wonders whether the enthusiasm was so captivating that ‘tire’ aspect of journey somehow didn’t click! After consulting couple of travellers, with discussions flying off regarding different routes and buses...ultimately set off to Pondicherry, probably through the shortest path! Journey to Pondicherry naah..its Puducherry now, was freshening with cool gentle evening breeze blowing off the window panes...all the way from Bay of Bengal! :) I must say, the feel of travelling along with locals in a local bus is indeed so nice! You don’t know their language; neither do you know the point to point location, with bare minimum comfort- that’s what makes it highly interesting! Well, how can I forget the wada sambar, one I had while bus break-over for dinner/snacks. The food stall had no choices but for just the wada sambar and that too just the jug full of sambar and wadas soaked into it. After having a plate, couldn’t resist having another one; apart was damn hungry by then! Enjoying the local cuisine totally the local way is truly wonder-local aspect of touring! :) Reached Auroville link road junction at 10.45 and what you see is hungry tigers..;)naah rickshawallahs waiting to get you to Auroville(which is about 10kms inside)! I started scouting for the place where I was supposed to go, though was clueless about any specific place as I had lost communication with Sri, who had reached there (poor cellphones had given up!). All the Dorm hunting went on for next 2 or so hrs in the dark of midnight, all through the jungles of sparsely habituated Auroville, before finally landing into Mitra guesthouse.

Scene of activities...Slept at 1 -> Hyb runners were up by 3.30 = so did I -> boarded the bus to start point at 4 -> at the site at 4.15 -> ....

Once reached at start point, I realized that registering won’t be possible, given to id proofs & all that rules & jazz! Well, the craze of running in Auroville had brought me all the way there. So, was there any doubt about me backing out...absolutely not...never for all the jazz...I simply ran!

The run started off pretty well. The atmosphere was ecstatic! The fresh coolness of early morning made me remember of my jogs that I used to have. Running through the environs of Jungle; all the pristine and the green made a soothing effect. Gradually, crowd spread over, and it’s basically just you, birds Above, trees Around! The silence makes you notice the welcoming spree of free-birds! It is so very relaxing and welcoming indeed! Be it red soil, tall trees, jungle, the birds chirping around with sun charting its journey through, while a cool blow now and then, isn’t that a perfect make for ambience? Now do you wonder why people come all the way from Bangalore, Hyderabad, even Delhi just to be part this? After a couple of 10-12 kms (depends person to person!), you could see the change happening in mental makeover...voila..all the voidness...! Along the path, met a couple of guys; met a German fella Locas, who had taken a break from studies, to do social service. So great & nice work indeed! Meanwhile, cheers and C’mons made rounds! With the sounds of trumpets and drums buzzing loudly then, one could make out, climax was just nearby... I sprinted for the last 200m like there was never after, before being presented the token of completion! The finale place was all buzzing with congratulations, huhaahss...Amazing! To my count, it took me around 2 and half hours to rap up 21kms, my first half marathon experience...not that bad I guess! : ) I must say, the organizers had arranged really well, be it energizers in the form of electrolytes, bananas etc or the route directions etc. I congratulate them sincerely for organising such a grand and fantastic event!
Just after the Marathon, couple of friends joined us along with and thereafter, began hanging around places within Auroville. Visited Matri mandir, a meditation center located in the centre of Auroville. It’s a must visit place for any traveller, specially known for its lotus-shaped outer architecture with its five petals signifying various qualities. And, to visit it from inside, one must place a request beforehand...remember if you visiting!  With the hunger killing me inside then, had to had a jumbo lunch-A healthy meal at Visitor’s centre; loved the spinach Lasagne there...big time!  Ended the day with the sunset at Auroville beach! Wow! What a day that was...a run in morning through greens and swim down under at beach at sunset...perfect end-to-end day! :P

Next day, I went over to pay my respects at Aurobindo Ashram, a very peaceful place in Pondy.  With toe going know,marathon aftereffects;), it was getting too difficult to walk around! Just wandered around a little in surrounding areas, before packing off back to home!

Wow...a power packed journey! Superb half-marathon, visit to one of the finest townships in country, travelling and meeting new people ... all in all a great escapade!:-)

Read Users' Comments (2)

2 Response to "Escapade to Auroville Marathon!"

  1. Anagha, on April 22, 2010 at 10:06 AM said:

    Sounds like lot of fun!!
    Missed it..
    Note to self: Follow your blog to get updates on good upcoming events...

  2. Ankur, on April 25, 2010 at 7:44 PM said:

    Glad that you liked my experience, Anagha!
    Thanks for following!

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