Siddhartha Forest started on a plot of 12 acres at the beginning of 1998. Siddhartha Forest has an established woodland that provides seeds for various communities, both within Auroville and outside enterprises. It is used by many as a Seed Bank as it has a large variety of trees and many rare species. The Auroville Botanical Garden and other Auroville forest communities visit Siddhartha Forest in order to collect tree seeds at least twice a year.
Acreage: 12 acres | Steward: Boobalan
Stewardship of the land has changed hands several times since 1998, but the focus has remained on reforestation and water conservation. In its early days, many water catchment areas were dug, around 20 smaller ponds, plus a bigger dam was completed through the help of Kireet: an Aurovilian expert on water conservation.
Boobalan, the present steward, came to Siddhartha Forest as a youth from Edayanchavadi, the neighbouring village. As a 13-year-old he enjoyed planting trees, learning everything he could about forestry, as well as learning English, and interacting with the diverse cultural background of the people staying in the community. Boobalan has been steward since 2014.
Baraka ForestA Sanctuary for Rescued HorsesIt was the mid-70s when Vijay started planting trees in what is now Baraka. Many fruit trees were planted, and a beautiful fruit orchard was established with mangoes, tamarinds and other varieties.The community consists of 40 acres of forested land and 5 acres of orchards and residential area. It is run with solar power, there is no connection to the grid. There is only a backup generator for the solar pump that is used during the cloudy monsoon days.Acreage: 40 acres | Steward: Achilles
Nine PalmsNine Palms is an expansive forest that was started in the early days of Auroville, around 50 years ago. It protects a major canyon system and allows for percolation of rainwater. The Nine Palms dam systems hold large amounts of water as well. Agricultural activities are undertaken in certain areas, and livestock are also kept.Acreage: 62 | Stewards: Shivaji, Shanti
Shakti Nursery and HerbariumRe-creating the Indigenous ForestRain Tree, planted in 1985, with a circumference of 218 inches and a crown span of 38 m Shakti Nursery is part of a wider project that aims at re-creating the indigenous forest in the Green Belt area of Auroville.Acreage: Stewards: Walter and Luk