Life in Indian villages is much simpler compared to life in the cities. There’s a lot of hard work involved for sure, but people are mostly content with the simple things in life. It is this simplicity that draws people away from crowded cities and their competitive and complex environments.
Along with simplicity, villages around India also offer travelers a chance to immerse themselves in new cultures, customs, and ways of life that are a welcome break from the monotony of city life.
Here are three Indian villages that you should most definitely visit in this lifetime.
Situated in the hilly state of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is a village renowned for its cleanliness. The locals have co-operated greatly with the authorities for the maintenance of the village, which has seen it bag the ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ award from Discover India travels magazine in the early 2000s.
Use of plastic and smoking have been banned in the village, and the waste collected in the bamboo dustbins placed throughout the village is used as manure. Rainwater harvesting is practiced here as well. If you want a highly hygienic Indian village experience, Mawlynnong is the place for you.
Malana, Himachal Pradesh
While most of Malana’s modern day reputation revolves around its legendary charas, the village has much more to offer. Nestled in the mighty Himalayas at an altitude of 8,701 ft., Malana is said to be the oldest democracy in the world. The customs and rules of the village are totally unique, and they don’t abide by the laws stated in the Indian Constitution.
The Malanese natives also consider themselves superior to outsiders. As a result, outsiders aren’t permitted to enter and/or touch a lot of things, and people, inside the village. Rules, if broken, are generally punishable by heavy fines. Therefore, first timers to the village are advised to take a guide who is familiar with the Malanese norms.
Chitkul, Himachal Pradesh
Chitkul is another Himalayan village that is located just 28 km away from the popular tourist town of Sangla in the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh. It happens to be the last inhabited village before the Indo-China border. There are some stunning views to be admired here, as tall Himalayan peaks and the clear waters of the Baspa River provide a picture perfect setting.
Chitkul’s main attraction is the Kagyupa Temple, a Buddhist temples revered by the locals here. In winters, temperatures are so low that the locals move to lower altitudes. Even the road leading up to the village is blocked, so make sure you plan your Chitkul trip before the snows come.
While the aforementioned villages are standout Indian villages, there are some others that deserve mentions as well. Karnataka’s Gokarna, West Bengal’s Mirik, and Andhra Pradesh’s Lambasingi are worth visiting too.
When you visit an Indian village, you lose the track of time, and you trade the tensions in your life for some warmth and some much-needed simplicity. So before the city makes your head go crazy, set out for a trip to an Indian village, and come back with a rejuvenated mind, body and spirit!