The shining soul of a city

The experimental township of Auroville, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, held jubilee celebrations last weekend to mark its 50th anniversary.

It was conceived as a "universal town" when it was founded in 1968, and a place where men and women from all countries could live in peace and harmony above all creeds, politics and nationalities.

It was intended to house some 50,000 residents. However, only around 2,400 people from 40 different countries now live there.

The Matrimandir (left), located in the middle of the township, is known as the "soul of the city", and is a place for concentrating or meditating in silence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2018, with the headline 'The shining soul of a city'. Print Edition | Subscribe