"The City of Dawn," Northwest of Pondicherry, was designed by French architect Roger Anger in 1968. Conceived as a utopian paradise by The Mother, Mirra Alfassa, it was devised as a international city where people would live together in peace. 2,100 people live there, including a friend of mine. As she cheerfully gave Janna and me a tour on her motorbike (yes, we were three on the bike and it was fun!) and by foot, I was amazed by its serene nature, as well as its avant-garde architecture, merging together modernity and a multicultural flair. I was surrounded by reminders of different cultures, from Japanese gardens, to tropical fruit trees, to peacocks roaming the grounds, to Ukranian and Brazilian Aurovillians at the delicious European/Indian cafe where we ate. I left feeling tranquil and content to have visited my dear college friend in her fascinating environment.
The first image above includes the Matri Mandir, a meditation center. This spherical marble chamber has a crystal placed inside it, reflecting the sun's rays. The concentrated light acts as a focal point to aid meditation. The second image is of the garden where my friend grew up, one of the many houses built by her father.