Welcome to Auroville
Tucked into the jungle are more than 100 scattered settlements, with about 2500 residents of 52 nationalities – some 60% of Aurovillians are foreign. Visiting offers a glimpse into this self-styled utopia, where you can bliss out on the peaceful setting, the oddly beautiful Matrimandir and the easygoing friendliness. What's more, you'll find some excellent restaurants and cafes within Auroville and surrounding villages. The community benefits the area with a variety of projects, from schools and IT to organic farming, renewable energy and handicrafts production, employing 4000 to 5000 local villagers – but like most idealistic endeavours, it has a shadow, too, and some outsiders accuse Auroville's inhabitants of self-indulgent escapism.