Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realize human unity.
Inaugurated in 1968, Auroville takes its name from Sri Aurobindo, a Cambridge-educated Eastern philosopher and campaigner for Indian Independence who established an Ashram in the region. In 1908, Aurobindo was imprisoned by the British for sedition and subsequently turned to Hinduism. In 1926, he retreated from public life entirely, spending his days locked away in confinement studying scripture. He died 26 years later, never having left his room. One of his most loyal followers, Mirra Alfassa, known as ‘The Mother’ to her followers, was charged with running the ashram in his stead. Over the next few decades, she slowly realised her dream of creating a new kind of community, a place where – in the dust bowl – brotherhood might bloom like countless Hibiscus flowers.
When the first visitors to the town arrived in the late 1960s, there was no water. Over the years, the trees planted by those individuals have grown into a verdant forest, which now ensures a water supply to Pondicherry and the surrounding area.