Welcome to a place full of colors and creeds, without religion, politics, and money, and where everyone lives in harmony. This might be hard to digest but this city exists in reality.
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Auroville (City of the Dawn) is a city in the district of Viluppuram, which is around 150 km away from Chennai, South India. This city was founded by Mirra Alfassa or “Mother” in 1968 and has 2,500 citizens from 50 nations and has the capacity to grow up to 50,000 citizens. This town was designed by architect Roger Anger.
Auroville, A City That Does Not Follow Traditional Rules
This city does not follow the rules that you are used to. Auroville is basically an experiment in unity that was based on the views of Sri Aurobindo, an Indian yogi. The basic idea was that if people from different castes and cultures could love each other in Auroville, maybe the rest of the world could follow suit. Auroville found its origin in the French language, “Aurore” means dawn and “Ville” refers to a city.
Auroville does not have a religion, or a political system and to top it all off, has no use for money. They have committees to run the town and use “Aurocards” instead of regular money.
“Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics, and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.”- Mirra Alfassa
The Auroville township was created with open support from the Government of India, the UN cultural organization, and UNESCO but is currently becoming self-reliant in the true sense.
Auroville aims to have pollution-free transportation and to be the perfect model of a sustainable eco-city.
Their community is organized into 15 farms which reach a total area of 160 hectares. There is ample food to feed their entire population. Around 50 villagers and 300 neighbors toil on these farms and produce 2% of cereal consumed and almost half of the total vegetable consumed. The village is self-sufficient in dairy products and seasonal fruits.
The architectures in Auroville are experimental which can optimize the use of renewables by recycling and reusing resources.
Several other projects are run by its citizens, which include schools, ITs, and handicraft production, and employ 4,000-5,000 people from nearby villages.
The Peace Area
The Matrimandir is constructed in the middle of the town and was conceived by Alfassa as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection”. This area is known as the Peace Area as silence is maintained to ensure its tranquility. A spiral ramp leads upwards to an air-conditioned chamber of polished white marble, which is referred to as “a place to find one’s consciousness”.
Matrimandir is equipped with a solar power plant and is surrounded by manicured gardens. When there is no sun or after the sunset, the sunray on the globe is replaced by a beam from a solar-powered light.
Auroville is a town like no other. There is no need to build walls as there are no restricting systems. Things that divide us like politics, economy, and religions and create boundaries are completely absent.
Image Credit: Auroville