Svarga is a place of legend among those who have been active within Second Life for more than four or so years. Created by Laukosargas Svarog in 2006, in a time before sculpts – or even flexiprims – Svarga was a place of mystery and beauty; a must-see destination within SL.
In its heyday, Svarga was famous for its rich design and unique artificial ecosystem, as well as a number of other features which allowed for a very immersive experience. Then, in 2009, the region became unreachable in-world and remained that way for some time. In March 2010 the sim made a “return” after Linden Lab had apparently purchased it from Laukosargas Svarog in a move “To provide a way for this high-quality experience to live on in the ever-changing world of Second Life.” At the time, the move was largely welcomed within the community, simply because Svarga was – and is – regarded as so unique among “early” builds, although some did express a certain discomfort at the idea of the Lab stepping-in to preserve regions in this way and where it might lead.
When Svarga initially returned, elements were missing: the ecosystem was only partially restored, the tour system had gone, as had the ambipod and light show. Since then, a new tour system has been added – using giant wasps, which is entirely in keeping with the feel of the region, and Svarga remains very much a testament to all that could be achieved just through the use of the humble prim.
Nor does what has been lost in any way detract from one’s visit; the spires and walkways remain, complete with torches, flags and the small library of old books referencing SL. The offshore glade still provides a rich lavender carpet of flowers where you can sit and think alone, or share time with a friend or loved one. For the keen-eyed, the underground caverns lie waiting to be explored, and birds and bees can still be seen among the flora as footpaths lead you between the strange plants and trees and over rope bridges, or to the door of the hexagonal house where you can sit among the cushions or play the waiting drums. Take the wasp tour, and you can learn more about the history of the region, and its roots in old Slavic mythology.
If you’ve never visited Svarga before, I recommend you do. It has a mystique and mystery that makes any visit worthwhile. As it came at a time before Windlight, it doesn’t utilise any special presets of its own – and thus presents itself as an open canvas for the imaginative SL photographer, as there is nothing to influence the choice of sky and water presets. For the romantic or those seeking a place to sit and share company with a friend or small group of friends, Svargat offers a calming, gentle environment in which to spend time and perhaps reminisce about the “good old days”.