One of the most diverse country in the world, India is a melange of culture, culinary, landscapes & architecture. Each part of India houses it’s own traditions, customs & languages (with dialects). Every year lots of people visit India to experience this rich cultural diversity and are awed by everything this country has to offer. However, many of them only visit the iconic landmarks & fail to explore the unpopular places which are away from the public eye. Having said that, listed below are some of the unusual Indian villages which require immediate attention from travelers all around the world. Now is the right time to begin:
1) Mattur, Karnataka:
Located in the southern part in the district of Shimoga, state of Karnataka, Mattur is the Sanskrit village of India. In a country where few speak Sanskrit, this village has still kept it’s age old tradition alive. Although, the local language of Karnataka is Kannada, but people in this village converse in Sanskrit fluently with each other on a daily basis. Children are taught Sanskrit from a very tender age i.e in schools & at home. The people in this village are highly educated and boasts about having at least one IT engineer in their family. Plenty of them have gone abroad for higher studies and are well placed in several universities in India & abroad. They are also ready to teach this language to anyone interested in learning it. Hence, this village finds its spot on the list of unusual Indian villages.
So, when are you starting to speak Sanskrit?
2) Kodinhi, Kerala
I’m sure there has been some point in our lives where we always wanted to have a twin brother or sister for different reasons. Enter Kodinhi village where there are approximately 400 pair of twins within 2000 families. The reason why it’s one of the unusual Indian villages is due to the highest number of twin population in this village. No other place in India has a twin population this high. Several researches have been conducted by foreign & Indian scientists to discover the reason for such a strange phenomenon, but till now there is no explanation as to why this occurs. Although, the villagers and others believe that this unique phenomenon is slowly starting to attract people to their village.
Need a twin? Probably you should go to Kodhini next time you explore Kerala.
3) Marottichal, Kerala
Change is certain, that’s what they always say. But to say and to implement it is two completely different things. But this yet another village in Kerala has implemented the change and is today also known as the chess village. From generations, Marottichal was suffering from the problems of alcohol addicts.The addicted alcoholics were themselves determined to get rid of it & hence asked the excise officials to close down the liquor breweries. After battling a long social problem of alcohol, the village overcame it’s challenges by diverting the attention of the alcoholics into chess. This idea was started by one of the villager named Unnikrishnan , who was passionate about chess. He decided to learn & then teach it to the villagers. Result? Today almost 90% of the population living in Marottichal plays chess instead of consuming alcohol irrespective of the age or gender.
4) Rongdoi, Assam
Out of all the most unusual Indian villages, this one has a completely different story. As India is an agrarian country, where timely rainfall is required for growing best quality crops, this village has it’s own belief to bring that rainfall. The Indian solution to everything: Marriage. However, this time the marriage doesn’t take place between humans. It takes place between frogs. Yes frogs!! The villagers marry off the wild frogs with all customs & traditions every year to please the God of the rainfall – Barun. Farmers in this area are facing several water related issues due to low rainfall and they believe that marrying off frogs can bring respite to their situation. They believe that The Rain God will be pleased & shower his blessings in the form of timely rain.
If you want to know how frogs get married off with all the Indian customs & traditions then head over to Rangdoi.
5) Villages on the border: India-Bangladesh
How about living in two countries at the same time? Just imagine waking up in India & going off to work in Bangladesh or vice-a-versa. That’s exactly what’s happening on the India – Bangladesh border. Residents living here (generally farmers) are in two countries at the same time but when asked where they belong to? They say that they belong to the nowhere land. This village is technically a Bangladeshi territory but with Indian surrounding & hence is on the wrong side of the border. There are plenty of Indians living like this. Also, the worst thing being that neither of the Govt is ready to take their responsibility. However, the problem is recognized by both the countries & hence discussions are in progress. Also, the villagers are hopeful that this discussion will turn to be fruitful for them.
6) Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra
Every time we sleep or go outside the house, we make sure to lock our doors. But that’s not the case in this village. The people in this village do not have doors to their house, because they believe that Shani god watches over the village & the villagers. The legend says that if any person tries to steal from this village then they face 7.5 years of bad luck in the form of accident, deaths or loss of dear ones etc. There are plenty of stories associated with this legend. There are numerous cases where people have tried to steal ornaments or install doors & in return have only received bad luck in their life. Every year lakhs of people visit the temple of Shani Shingnapur for blessings & marvel at the stories of the villagers. How true can that be? Head over to one of these unusual Indian villages & find out.
7) Barwaan Kala, Bihar
In a country where getting married is one of the biggest celebration, this village never got a chance to experience this part. Due to poor roads & lack of transportation, no person is keen on visiting this village. Hence, this village has more than 100 unmarried bachelors, also calling it as the village of unmarried people. Also, the village falls within the forest land making it difficult to construct the roads by themselves. In India, several rules are required to be strictly enforced before undertaking construction projects on forest land. However, the government has given continuous assurance regarding this matter but yet action has not yet been taken. The villagers are hopeful to attract women from local villages to come & visit them. What say ladies?
8) Shetpal, Maharashtra
What would be the first reaction when someone sees a king cobra? Yes obviously run!! Run for your life before the snake injects his venom in you. But this village have Cobras as their guests. They move as freely as any other animal all throughout the villages. Also, every house has an inbuilt resting place for these snakes, where they can come & go as & when they please. Surprisingly, there has been no major incidence of cobra bites and death in this village, not withstanding the fact that these reptiles move around the houses freely as if they were members of the families here. The people here do not kill them. Nor do they live in fear, endangering their precious lives. No wonder, this village goes in my list of unusual Indian villages.
Next time you see a cobra just have a couple of beer & watch Netflix?
9) Kuldhara, Rajasthan
If ghosts & horror stories excite you then look no further than Kuldhara, the cursed & abandoned village situated in the state of Rajasthan. This village was once considered to be one of the prosperous villages in this state with thousands of Paliwal Brahmins living there. However, today it’s just an abandoned old site. So what happened? Legends say that the Salim Singh, the Diwan of the village (popular for his inhuman acts) was head over heels for the daughter of the village chief. He wanted to have her at any cost & hence resorted to brutal acts among the villagers. Fearing this, one night all the villagers fled away leaving behind their homes. No one knows where they went, no one saw them leave & no one knew where they were settled. However, they cursed the town when they left – that no one would ever be able to settle down in Kuldhara again.
The curse is true even today as no one ever lived in this village again. Every evening the villagers close the gates of this village as they believe that their ghosts still haunts the villages. So who is up for an adventure tonight?
10) Mayong, Assam
Next in the list of unusual Indian villages lies the village of Mayong. Located in Assam is also called as the black magic capital of India. This village attracts lot of people who wish to know more about the art of black magic. The locals have plenty of unusual and magical stories & they happily narrate it to anyone interested in listening. Although Indian society never accepts black magic and witchcraft, in this little village it is not only accepted but even celebrated in the form of festivals. No one knows how did this form of magic originate but still it’s passed down from one generation to another even today. These people not only possess fair knowledge about magic but they also know quite a bit about Ayurveda as well. These Ayurvedic methods are being used even today to cure diseases in this village.
Don’t we all want to learn something about magic?
11) Hiware Bazar, Maharashtra
Becoming a millionaire has been the dream of every individual living on this planet. It’s not only persistence & determination but there are many sacrifices & changes a person needs to make in order to achieve their goals. That’s exactly the story of this village located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra where no farmer is poor. This village lies in the drought prone region. Also, this region records high number of farmer suicides due to crop failure & inability to pay loans. Amidst all these social problems lies one of this unusual Indian villages which has the highest number of millionaires & rarely any poor farmer. The change came through due to their elected leader who imposed a ban on addictive & toxic substances & encouraged the farmers to invest in rain-water harvesting & cattle farming. Hence, today they have enough resources even during drought like situations.
12) Punsari, Gujarat
What is the first image that comes to your mind when talking about unusual Indian villages or simply about a normal Indian village? The farms, mud-houses, lack of infrastructure & amenities etc. Enter Punsari, a village in Gujarat which has all the infrastructure & amenities. The entire village is WiFi enabled, has CCTV cameras installed at strategic points, a public address system which covers the entire population with the help of loudspeakers installed all over the village. The villagers even have accidental cover of ₹1 lac and a medical-claim cover of ₹25,000. If you think that’s it then well you’re mistaken. Every home in the village has toilets, there are two primary schools, a primary health center, solar-powered street lights, an independent bus service, clean drinking water at a nominal cost of ₹4 for a 20-liter drinking water can, and a well maintained drainage system. Urban people jealous much?
India is so much more than just what we see in guidebooks. It has several mysteries yet to be deciphered. Make sure to go off-beat and explore these unusual Indian villages alongside normal places. After all isn’t this what is culture all about?
Also, if you have visited any of the above mentioned unusual Indian villages, make sure to comment below. And if you haven’t then send me a postcard once you do 😉
All image sources: Pixabay
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