Auroville Aurobindo ashram
Auroville is located in south India, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of Pondicery, a few kilometres inland from the Coromandel Coast, approx 160 kms south of Chennai (previously Madras) and 10 kms north of the town of Pondicery.
The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - came to the Mother as early as the 1930s. In the mid 1960s the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry proposed to Her that such a township should be started. She gave her blessings.
The concept was then put before the Govt. of India, who gave their backing and took it to the General Assembly of UNESCO. In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity – in diversity.
Today Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with - and practically researching into - sustainable living and the future cultural,environmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind. On 28th February 1968 some 5,000 people assembled near the banyan tree at the centre of the future township for an inauguration ceremony attended by representatives of 124 nations, including all the States of India. The representatives brought with them some soil from their homeland, to be mixed in a white marble- clad, lotus-shaped urn, now sited at the focal point of the Amphitheatre.
At the very centre of Auroville one finds the 'soul of the city', the Matrimandir, situated in a large open area called 'Peace', from where the future township will radiate outwards. The atmosphere is quiet and charged, and the area beautiful, even though at present large parts of it are still under construction. As yet incomplete, the Matrimandir emerges as a large golden sphere which seems to be rising out of the earth, symbolising the birth of a new consciousness seeking to manifest. Its slow and steady progress towards completion is followed by many. While walking through the lovely green Matrimandir Gardens with their great variety of flowers, shrubs and trees, one's attention is greatly drawn by this important and powerful feature at the heart of the city which was seen by the Mother as the "symbol of the Divine's answer to man's aspiration for perfection" and as "the central cohesive force" for the growth of Auroville.