Villages are the true essence of India. Visiting one will lay bare the real heart of the country. Here’s a look at some interesting villages that boast the varied colours of India.
Located in Shivamogga district in Karnataka, Mattur is popularly known as “the Sanskrit Village of India”. Sanskrit—an ancient Indo-Aryan language used to compose the Vedas, Puranas, and other ancient scriptures, and is today mostly used for offering prayers—is the primary language of this village. From greeting each other to buying groceries, fruits, and vegetables to having conversations with each other, villagers use it for everything.
Longwa village, located in Mon district, Nagaland, is one of the largest villages in the state. It, too, has a unique feature—all the residents of this village have dual citizenship. Wonder why? Well, the village chief’s house, also locally known as Angh or the King, sits right on the geographical border between India and Myanmar. So, technically speaking, if you are inside the Angh’s house, you can be in Myanmar and India at the same time.
Barwaan Kala, Bihar
In 2017, Barwaan village in Kaimur Hills, Bihar, had a ‘baraat’ (wedding procession) ceremony after 50 long years. Up until 2017, no weddings took place in the village. For the longest time, this village was known as the ‘Village of Bachelors’. Why so, you could ask. The story goes that the only way to reach Barwaan village was to do a 10-km trek. This deterred prospective brides and their families. With no help from the administration, the villagers themselves built a road and finally hosted a wedding.
Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra
Can you imagine living in a house with no doors? Welcome to Shani Shignapur village in Maharashtra. None of the houses in the village have doors. The residents are believers of the Hindu deity Shani, and they believe that whoever causes harm to another person in this village will bear the wrath of Lord Shani. Hence, no need for doors to ward off the ill-intentioned.
Hiware Bazar, Maharashtra
Popularly known as the ‘Village of Millionaires’, there are over 50 residents in Hiware Bazar village of Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra, who are millionaires. Sustainable development and community-based natural resources management have made this one of the model villages in India.
Do snakes and humans get along? You would think not. But Shetphal village in Maharashtra has a different story to tell. Here deadly cobras and humans live peacefully, under the same roof. Even little children have cobras as their playmates. Each house here has a dedicated space for the cobras to reside.
Khonoma is a model eco-conscious village. It is a success story of how an erstwhile village of hunters turned into India’s first green village. It is one of the first villages in the state to announce a complete ban on hunting and illegal logging. The forests around the village are called Community Protected Forests and are completely under the control of the residents.