It has 259 residents and the official language is Sanskrit.
In one tiny Iowa town, you’ll find all organic food, rooms built according to the movement of the sun and people practicing daily transcendental meditation to promote world peace.
Maharishi Vedic City (MVC), incorporated in 2001, is based around the principles of Vedic philosophy, which seeks to restore balance and natural law. MVC is a one-square mile city with just 259 residents, where everything is in Sanskrit (which residents say is their “ideal” language).
Community leaders promote their values through daily Transcendental Meditation and “Yogic Flying,” a type of meditation that gives those who practice it the sensation of floating.
MVC has become known as the “Meditation Capital of the Midwest.” It’s also the first all-organic city in the country, ever since it banned synthetic pesticides and fertilizers in 2005. (MVC sells its produce to Whole Foods chains across the country.)
MVC’s entire city plan is based on Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, which is an ancient system of architecture and design intended to “protect, nourish, and satisfy everyone … while maintaining the integrity and progress of the city as a whole.”
Buildings are placed according to the movement of the sun and have entrances facing east (where the sun rises). Each home contains a special indoor area called a “brahmasthan” that is the most central, holiest place in the home, as well as a perimeter boundary called a “vastu fence” and a gold-colored roof fixture called a “kalash.”
Here are some top-tier things to do in MVC:
- Stay in the Rukmapura Park Hotel, which is just like your typical inn but with more Sanskrit. There’s also a spa, and nature trails and lakes nearby.
- Visit the Vedic Observatory to learn more about Vedic designs and structures dating back thousands of years.
- Visit Eco Village, where homes feature eco-friendly design and use wind and solar power as their energy source.
- Visit the campus of Maharishi University of Management to see 1,000 experts gather to practice Transcendental Meditation and Yogic Flying. If you’re feeling adventurous, join in.
- Eat at The Raj restaurant, inside the Ayurveda Health Spa. It’s a vegetarian restaurant with stellar Yelp reviews.
And if you get sick of all the organic vegetarian food, there’s a McDonald’s just five miles away.