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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Auroville - the city of dawn, a place to visit

    I just happened to seen an article on "Auroville - The city of dawn". I don't know how many of you have heard of it but to be true, it was my first time.

    This village, founded in 1968 by Mirra Alfassa, a french woman, spiritual guru and a follower of Sri Aurobindo. The purpose of this was to realise human unity in diversity. The idea was inspired by her close association with the Indian philosopher and yoga guru Sri Aurobindo. The concept was developed in the 1960s and presented before the Government of India. In 1966 UNESCO passed the resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.

    Auroville is located in southeastern India, approximately 150 kms south of Chennai and 10 kms north of the town of Pondicherry. It is 16 km (3 hours) by bus from Pondicherry and 163 km (5-6 hours) by bus from Chennai. You can even go by train or air. Due to tropical climate, the best time to visit is from November to march.

    Auroville has 3000+ residents of whom approx one-third are Indians and the rest from some 57 countries, from all age groups, all social classes, backgrounds and cultures, representing humanity as a whole. The population of the township is constantly growing. The society here has no religion, no laws and on paper - 0% crime. Can anyone believe, that too in India? Yes, it exists.

    The next attraction is that in Auroville, there is no paper money, no government, skyscrapers, newspapers with headlines of wars, poverty or genocide. But many residents have complained of rape, attacks and misuse of funds but nothing is on record. As there is no paper money, all members or residents have an account number which they can use for transactions.

    All the visitors need to register first before visiting there as they need to get an account number by depositing fund for their stay and usage. People use organic, homegrown food and even conserve water in their home. They recycle and reuse everything. The food and rent are not fixed but is cheap.

    The village depends on funds from UNESCO, the contribution from people working and donations from visitors.

    The main attraction is the Matrimandir, a golf ball-shaped building with a seating capacity for 100 people. There is no cost for visiting but one need to have a pass which needs to be obtained by visiting the Auroville's visitor building. The mandir is an air-conditioned room with no noise, no chanting of prayers, incense or candles. It's only for meditation, sitting or standing.
  • #668186
    I never heard about this place. This is for the first time I am hearing. You have said 0% crime. Very nice to hear this. But in the next para, you mentioned that "but many residents have complained of rape, attacks & misuse of funds but not on paper". When there are such complaints how we can say 0% crime?
    This is good to know such places exist and I will try to go and see the village after knowing some other details given in the link mentioned by the author. Maitrimandir appears to be a good place. I have seen a similar place in Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanya Kumari.

    always confident

  • #668198
    Dear Author,
    Can you explain in detail - " but many residents have complained of rape, attacks & misuse of funds but not on paper." What has to be understood? Is that city famous for rape?

    No life without Sun

  • #668199
    I mean when you ask the residents, they had said that they have problems from the near by villages. But still not a single FIR has been registered, don't know the reason. May be because they do not have government and only managed by people. Only people will come forward and register their complain on paper will be able to know the real reason. We know that in order to keep the reputation of the village, the management may be not allowing residents to file an FIR.
    “Each day provides its own gifts.” —Marcus Aurelius

  • #668200
    I have read about this place but not in so details. The author has given an elaborate sketch of the place and it is interesting to note that such places can exist and survive. Many tourists visit here due to curiosity also. This is an experiment in cosmopolitan living and its success will be a benchmark for future.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

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