An international township project for a religious city in
India within five miles of the Bay of Bengal, with a planned
population of 50,000. The project was originally the idea of
Mira Richards (1878–1973), the leading disciple of Sri Aurobindo
(1872–1950), known as the Mother, who developed the
concept in the 1950s as an extension of Aurobindo’s idea.
Auroville would be a place where people of good will of all nationalities
could live freely as citizens of the world and obey
only the truth. The plan was developed over a number of years
and was finally inaugurated in 1968, when a group gathered on
land adjacent to the Aurobindo Ashram north of Pondicherry,
India, to lay the foundation stone. India has recognized
Auroville as an international city state.
The plan of the city approximates a giant spiral galaxy. In
the center is a giant sphere, the Matrimandir, a giant symbol
of the community’s aspiration for the divine. Spiraling out
from the center are four zones, one each for residences, work,
education, and culture and social relations.
Some 500 people, mostly from India, the United States,
France, Great Britain, and Holland, settled on the land and
began the process of reclaiming the inhospitable site for
human habitation. Today, the Auroville community numbers
nearly 1,500 from some 30 countries. Since Richards’ death in
1973, Auroville has experienced its fair share of setbacks and
the project is still a work in progress. Auroville may be contacted
in care of Auroville Outreach, Bharat Nivas, Auroville
605101, India. Website
Auroville. Pondicherry, India Sri Auroville Society, n.d.
Glenn, Jerome Clayton. Linking the Future Findhorn, Auroville,
Arcosanti. Cambridge, Mass. Center on Technology and Society,

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