Village Life

Even though Rajasthan is referred to as a desert, it’s quite populated. Its landscape is dispersed into a number of villages and hamlets, telltale signs of tree grove and cattle; which clearly indicates a settlement in close proximity. But it isn’t easy to spot a typical village until one is actually upon it. Hamlets are the most basic form of civilisation with a simple lifestyle that has remained unchanged for centuries. A hamlet usually consists of a collection of circular huts with thatched roofs, walls of which are covered with a plaster of clay, hay and cow dung; thus forming a termite-free facade that easily blends in with the sand of countryside around it. Dry branches of a nettle-like shrub are used to make the boundaries for houses and land holdings. These boundaries are known as ‘Baras’. The resources used for building hamlets are made of whatever is available at hand in Rajasthan’s Western desert regions in particular. These resources are completely eco-friendly and can mean precious little. A village that’s even a little larger in size might just have larger living units, also termed as pucca houses, that usually belong to the family of the village zamindar. A mixture of limestone pebbles, pounded lime and water is used to make up the floors of these houses.