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February 2007


The yurt from Kazakhstan

- Priya Sundaravalli

Central Asia plants its nomadic presence in Auroville by opening a yurt marking the first phase of the Kazakhstan and Central Asian Pavilion

At the opening of the yurt: relaxing with tea and snacks .Photo by Priya Sundaravalli

Lined with white felt and detailed with Kazhak scroll-type ornamentation, the yurt was an instant hit with the visitors to the Unity Pavilion on the evening of January 13th. The traditional shelter of the free-spirited people of Eurasia and Mongolia , with its warm cocooning circular space replete with cushions, and Kazakh craftwork and clothing on display, it found immediate resonance with the Aurovilians.

Ruslan, who is organizing the Auroville International gathering in May 2007 at Almaty , Kazakhstan , explains: “The yurt is designed so that it can be easily taken apart to be carried on horseback, and later put back together. It has three main elements. An extensible trellis base, the kerege, a dome made of poles, the uyk, and a rounded top, the shanyrak. But these days the use of yurts is limited since people have a more settled lifestyle.”

Travelling all the way from Kazakhstan to Auroville, this first Auroville yurt will be on the site of the Unity Pavilion until the development of the next phase of the Central Asian pavilion on its designated site in the International Zone. “The yurt will be open to Aurovilians for various gatherings not necessarily related to the International Zone,” adds Ruslan.

The yurt was bought for Auroville by the Moscow-based foundation Dialogue of Cultures – United World, which co-sponsored the event together with the Auvoille International Liaison in Kazakhstan .


For more information on the Auroville International meeting at
Almaty Kazakhstan
in May 2007, please contact


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