Potters, candle makers and perfumers work in their designated zones; there are information centres and handicraft boutiques; a biosphere is coming up; and the township has a solar kitchen that can feed 10,000 at a time.
Everything is open to everyone and there are no barricades or guards. Auroville is a commune that belongs to no one and yet aims to belong to the whole of humanity.
What was started in the early 1930s as Mother’s—Aurobindo’s disciple Mirra Alfassa—idea of an experiment in human unity, has been realised at Auroville. Commended in 1966 by UNESCO as a project of importance to the future of humanity, the township was inaugurated on February 28 1968.
Today it houses more than 1,700, with more than 600 Indians. Though countless visitors come to Auroville, it does not seek to be a tourist attraction. The idea is to encourage people to stay and participate.
Living in harmony
There is an emphasis on research in fields from organic farming to dance and even the study of lights, sound and meditation.
Auroville has proven to the world that an idealistic community—not built around a cult or religion—can not only exist successfully, but also engage with local communities, evolve architecture that has been acclaimed the world over and work towards environmental restoration—the only experiment of its kind in the world! by Nirmala Ravindran