Away from the viciousness and malice of the mankind is situated the Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram, founded by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (also known as Amma). Sited at Amritapuri, in the backwaters of Kerala, the ashram serves as a refuge from the spitefulness that has become so widespread in today's world. The sound of devotional songs and Amma's spiritual discourses greets the visitors of the Anandashram of Kerala. Amma's simple talks, abounding in examples from her own life, bring composes the mind as well as the soul.
Once a tiny ashram, Amritapuri has now progressed into a sanctuary of sorts for thousands of followers. They come here to break away from the vices of life and devote themselves selflessly in the service of others. Amma takes them under her supreme guidance and directs them towards the path of sadhana and service. She helps people in relieving distress and pain, with her compassion, warmth and affection.
The efforts of Amma have been largely acknowledged by the world. In 1993, she was elected as one of the presidents of the assembly of global religions, in Chicago. In the same year, she also received 'Hindu Renaissance Award' by Hinduism Today, an international journal on Indian culture. She was even invited to speak at the Interfaith Celebrations in New York to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.
With time, the Anandashram, situated in Kerala, has expanded itself. It has spread its branches and service centers all over India. The ashram is visited not only by Indians, but foreigners also. They come here to relieve themselves of their tensions and worries and experience calm and serenity inside. There are also a number of educational institutions associated with the Ananda Ashram of Kerala. Hundreds of students enroll themselves every year at these institutions.
A typical day at the Amritapuri Ashram of Kerala begins around 5:00 a.m. The echo of Vedic chants and Amma's Ashtotataram (108 names of Amma) greets everyone in the morning. This is followed by Lalitha Sahasranamam (the 1000 names of the Divine Mother). The Ganapathi Homam, attended by many devotees, is also performed every morning. The time of 8.00 am to 9:30 am and 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm is reserved for meditation. Singing of devotional songs, led by Amma, starts at 6.30 pm and carries on for one and half an hour daily. On Thursdays and Sundays, bhajans begin at 5.00 pm and last till wee hours in the morning.
For accommodation purposes, rooms as well as dormitories are available in the Anandashram of Kerala, India. For foreigners, there is a café and a separate canteen. Other facilities include a bookstall, an Ayurvedic products counter, a general store and a cloakroom service for the visiting devotees.
The airports close to the ashram are at Kochi (120 km away) and Thiruvananthapuram (120 km away).
The railway stations at Kayamkulam and Kollam are the nearest to Amritapuri Ashram.
Bus services are available till Vallickavu. From there, you can take a ferry service to the ashram. One can also take Taxis and auto-rickshaws are also available from Kayamkulam.