Auroville is an experimental township in the erstwhile French colony of Pondicherry.It belongs to no one in particular but the people who manage its affairs are influenced by the words of Sri Aurobindo, poet, nationalist, philosopher and The Mother, who was his spiritual partner. Located at a distance of 8 kms from north-west Pondicherry is The Auroville city. The City of Dawn as it is called was conceived as a place for research into an ideal of human unity by Mirra Alfassa the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Auroville came into existence on 28th February 1968. Soil from 124 countries was kept in a lotus-shaped urn and mixed to symbolize universal oneness during its inauguration. Auroville was built initially as a city where people could live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, politics, and nationalities.
Roger Anger designed Auroville and at present, nearly 2000 people reside there with settlements named as Grace, Fraternity, Fertile, Certitude, and Transformation. Approximately two-thirds of the people living in the city are non-Indians.
The main attraction here is the “Matrimandir” – With water pooling in from different sides, the sound of the water and cool breeze which always flows provides a perfect atmosphere for meditation. The mandir is an architectural masterpiece with a 30m high globe with a lotus-shaped foundation urn. The entry is free of costs, and you can only buy the tickets in person at the venue, not online. The walk from the entry gates to the center takes around 10-12 minutes.
The best way to experience Auroville ashram is to actually just sit in one of the cafes, and talk to some of the residents here about their experience of living in the city – you would be surprised to find out how much the people living here love the concept and the life.