Auroville and a crumbling utopia

Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - was established in 1968. Photos:

Deep inside the sleepy beach town of Puducherry, shielded from the rest of the world by a forest, lives a community that dreams of changing the world. Instead, Auroville, in its more than 50 years of existence, has seen things changing more within its own world.

The experimental township, established in 1968 as an adjunct of the Aurobindo Ashram, was officially founded by philosopher and yoga guru Sri Aurobindo’s disciple Mirra Alfassa. A French woman, Alfassa came to the union territory a decade after Sri Aurobindo arrived in Puducherry and started practising yoga under his guidance. It was he, who started to refer to Alfassa as ‘the Mother’. Later, she was recognised as his successor.