FERAL: Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning

Our campus at Morattandi

The Morattandi campus, named after the village where we are located, is just five kilometers from Pondicherry. It is part of a larger property called 'Dera', remnicent of the Punjabi word for a place where friends socialise. The amenities at the campus is mix of rustic and modern. The accommodation is distinctly the former, inspired by earlier capsules of Auroville - our neighbours. Each capsule has two independent rooms on an elevated platform which keeps them cool and ventilated even in the hottest weather - which we have a lot of in Pondy. We have a functional kitchen which caters to our residents and which is run by Sumathi and Chitra who have been with us since the campus was started in 2003.

More about the FERAL Campus

The Morattandi campus, named after the village where we are located, is just five kilometers from Pondicherry. It is part of a larger property called 'Dera', remnicent of the Punjabi word for a place where friends socialise. The amenities at the campus is mix of rustic and modern. The accommodation is distinctly the former, inspired by earlier capsules of Auroville - our neighbours. Each capsule has two independent rooms on an elevated platform which keeps them cool and ventilated even in the hottest weather - which we have a lot of in Pondy. We have a functional kitchen which caters to our residents and which is run by Sumathi and Chitra who have been with us since the campus was started in 2003.

Our office is located in a nearby earthen-block building, constructed with low cost local materials. Its salient feature is the large bamboo based superstructure which provides it necessary protection from the sun and a verandah for impromptu meetings, discussions and an occasional TT match.

The nearby 'bunker' is our training hall, which can accommodate 20 trainees comfortably (we've squeezed in 30+ on occasions) and also doubles as a library and meeting room during lean periods. The bunker is occupied 24x7 during training programmes and courses and can become quite a mess during the undergraduate semester courses with our just-past-teens students littering and spilling all over the place.

The campus has the usual facilities, a generator, high speed broadband, running water and of course, bathroom/toilet units. It used to be powered by a solar voltaic system donated by a founding trustee, however, the unit is now defunct and we're back to the unreliable TNEB for 'regular' power and a trustee but noisy generator for backup.

What you should know if you want to visit the campus

  • It is not a fancy guest house - it is a frugal but comfortable facility with all basic amenities. Please note, this is a research facility and is not open to tourists.
  • It is some distance (2 to 4 km, depending on which direction you go) from the nearest shop and 2 km from the nearest habitation, unless you include the Sadhana forest of Auroville which is practically next door.
  • We have had people abandon comfortable a/c hotel accommodation at Pondy to be able to stay at the campus, likewise we've had guests bolt from our campus and disappear into Pondy. On one occasion a participant was so freaked out with the 'forest' that he abandoned the training programme and returned home.

If you like to stay and work in a quiet and relaxed environment you'll love the campus. There aren't many places where you can go bird watching in the morning (we're only 4 km from Ousteri), do video conferencing and number crunching by day, take a snake walk in the evening and enjoy a camp-fire at night. If you like the sound of that - welcome to the FERAL campus!

Contact Information

Address: 170/3 Morattandi, Auroville Post, Vanur, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu 605101, India.

Phone: +91 413 2671566

Fax: +91 413 2671567

Contact Person: Rajendran (Office Manager) or Shanthi (Finance Manager)

Getting Here

The easiest route to the campus is via the National Highway 66, linking Pondicherry to Tindivannam and Chennai. About four kilometers after leaving Pondicherry, you'll approach a toll plaza. Two hundred meters BEFORE this plaza, on the left, is the Morattandi bus stop. Take the second left and follow the road which passes through the village and a couple of resorts and farms. About a kilometer and a half down this road, you'll find a green gate which has a FERAL board on it on the left. Turn in and follow the road which forks in abut two hundred meters. Take the right fork and stick with the road till you get to the campus gate.

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Event Image Slideshow

FERAL - once wild, runs wild again.