Saturday, December 01, 2007

There is something magical and moving about Auroville once you get there

Auroville - a bizarre galaxy in India
Auroville is the name of a collective originally consisting of people from 124 nations. The collective is free in spirit, though it renounces all religion. Auroville is physically located near Pondicherry and the Eastern coast of India. Established in 1968 and named after a philosophical Indian man called Sri Aurobindo, the stated purpose of Auroville is “to realise human unity”. The geographical heart of the collective is a banyan tree next to which a space age non-temple named Matrimandir (mandir meaning temple in hindi -yes, a bit of a terminological clash there..) has been constructed. The sketches for the building were made by the mysterious Mother, a French woman who was the driving force behind the founding of Auroville. Architectural/structural suggestions based on these sketches were made by a group of architects led by architect Roger Anger.
Matrimandir in Auroville, India
The architectural plan that was selected reflects magnificently the innovativeness of the late 1960s’ design that knew no boundaries. The globe-shaped cylinder is covered with satellite-like gold plates which gives it the air of a tv station in outer space. Though renouncing all religion and religious activities, meetings of some sort are held both inside the space station and on the rows of tiled steps outside where outsiders are allowed to take photos of each other against this bizarre backdrop.
Despite heaps of prejudiced sarcastic scepticism, there is something magical and moving about Auroville once you get there. It is a peaceful place and the efforts made there to preserve the forest type known as Tropical dry evergreen forest are welcome as is the dedication to organic farming in the area. anunymous anunyymi anĂșnima

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