Utopia: Auroville, South India
Crowded: commune living, South India

 

Imagine a place free from politics, religion and money. People from every background, of all ages, living in unity and self-sufficiency. The food that you all eat you grew together from scratch on organic farms. Utopia?

Auroville.

A small universal township, located in south India – on the border of Tamil Nadu state. The concept was birthed from an idea of a township devoted to an experiment in human unity in the 1930s.

It gets better- you can visit it. Yes, this isn’t just a place people may hear whispers about but never actually get to see — you can travel there quite easily, let us show you how.

It was set up officially on the 28th February 1968. 5,000 new occupants assembled at the centre of the township for a ceremony. They brought with them soil from their individual homelands to be mixed in with the new soil of Auroville and there is an urn in the middle containing all the mixed samples of Earth. It is said that the purpose of Auroville is “to realise human unity.”

Behold, the Soul Of The City
Behold, the Soul Of The City

There is the most beautiful Peace Area located in the middle of the town called the ‘Soul Of The City’ or the Matrimandir at the centre of the township. It helps to create an “atmosphere of calm and serenity” and serves as a groundwater recharge area. Many gather here at sundown.

 

The population is now 2,400 but it can hold up to 50,000 people. The inhabitants live sustained lives side by side in harmony, without money and politics (even though it is backed by the Govt. of India). It is self-sufficient with over 160 hectares of organic farms, cornfields and orchards. The city area was actually built with a radius of a 1.25km ‘Green Belt’ comprised of forests, dairies, wildlife areas. All of which provide habitats for wildlife and serve as sources of food, timber, medicine and so on.

 

They have stated on their website that they have planned a further extension of their Green Belt to transform ‘wasteland into a vibrant eco-system’. They say they are working towards adding an impressive 800 more hectares. Find out more on their website.

One of the many farms that feed the population in Auroville
One of the many farms in Auroville

The nearest international and domestic airport is Chennai International Airport. If you are already in India and would prefer travelling leisurely by rail, Chennai Central Railway Station connects to all the major cities in India with its reliable express trains such as Tamil Nadu
Express and Rajdhani Express (fully air-conditioned).

 

You can watch someone’s personal experience of entering Auroville as the track how exactly they got there via a travel vlog they uploaded on YouTube. If you have liked what you’ve read, you can support the cause and donate to Auroville here.

It was backed by the Indian Government in 1960 and taken to the General Assembly of UNESCO. Six years later UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution “commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.” You can read the full statement of support here.

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