Mohanam Village Heritage Centre
Mohanam Village Heritage Centre

Near Auroville, Pondicherry

Behind the laidback atmosphere of Puducherry a quiet revolution has been brewing for some years now. It is slowly but surely emerging as a cultural and culinary centre, with a handful of grassroots organisations emerging with a focus on preserving and promoting local arts, crafts and the city’s unique culinary heritage. Quite a few of these have emerged either directly out of Auroville, a community living experiment on the outskirts of the city, or due to its impact on the people starting these organisations. Mohanam falls in the latter category.

Established in 2001 by locals in a traditional Tamil house in the village of Sanjeevinagar close to Auroville, Mohanam's aim is to act as a bridge between Auroville and the villages surrounding the community and to preserve traditional Tamil folk and cultural history. The centre organises classes and workshops on topics as varied as kolam drawing, the traditional Tamil style of rangoli, to Silabam, a martial art. It also offers tours of the village of Sanjeevinagar as well as a homestay programme where guests stay in village homes.

Price: Cost depends on experience chosen. For instance, guests participating in the Auroville & Puducherry Village Heritage Festival are charged Rs 1,000 per person.

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Mohanam Village Heritage Centre is focused on preserving local culture and heritage. The organisation, through its programmes, is also promoting women’s empowerment, education of local children and supporting local youth.