Phone : 91-413-2622239 / 2337264
Website : www.auroville.org
Auroville – or the ‘City of Dawn’ – was conceived as a place of research into the ideal of human unity by the Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. The idea is to build a futuristic city where people of goodwill can live together in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. Auroville came into existence in 1968.
Its Charter says, “To live in Auroville one must be a willing servitor of the Divine Consciousness”, and describes it as “belonging to nobody in particular, but to humanity as a whole, as a place of constant progress and as a bridge between the past and the future.”
Located around 8 kms north-west of Puducherry, Auroville was designed by the French architect Roger Anger. Around 2,000 people live there in settlements with names like Grace, Fraternity, Certitude and Transformation. Nearly two-thirds of the residents are non-Indians.
Architecturally speaking, the buildings are a combination of modern western and traditional Indian elements, set in a rural landscape of deep red earth and widespread forestation, with narrow earth roads linking the settlements. The residents are involved in agriculture, administration, commerce and handicrafts, alternative technology, education, healthcare and development projects, the latter including Aurore Systems, an international award winning unit involved in solar photovoltaic and thermal systems.
The central Matrimandir, which is not a temple but a place for individual silent concentration, is set in an area of 62 acres at the centre of the emerging township, and is seen as “a symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection and as an Union with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity.”
During the inauguration ceremony of Auroville on 28th February 1968, soil from 124 countries was placed in a lotus-shaped urn and mixed to symbolize universal oneness. This urn is today sited at the centre of an Amphitheatre in the Matrimandir Gardens. The Matrimandir’s 12-sided white marble Inner Chamber has a 70cms diameter optical-quality glass globe at its centre, onto which a shaft of sunlight is focused by way of a roof-mounted heliostat. The light falling on the globe acts as a focal aid to concentration.
The Auroville Visitors Centre (Ph: 0413 – 2622239) is located near Bharat Nivas, the Indian national pavilion in Auroville’s International Zone, and is open from 0930hrs to 1730hrs every day. This Centre has a permanent exhibition on the history and philosophy of the project, an Information Service offering books, brochures and leaflets on various aspects of Auroville, three boutiques, a bookshop, a cafeteria providing refreshments and international cuisine. Introductory videos on the township and the Matrimandir can be seen at the Centre by request.
Visits to the Matrimandir are allowed during the following timings:
Mon – Sat: 9:30am – 12:30pm and 2:00pm – 4:30pm
Sun: 9:30am – 12:30pm only
For more information visit:
La Boutique d’Auroville,
38, Jawaharlal Nehru Street, Puducherry
Auroville Visitor’s Centre
Near Bharat Nivas, Auroville
Timings: 9:30am – 5:30pm daily