Auroville - the city of dawn, a place to visitI 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.