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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, 1979.