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Notes on the Geography of India Themes: Southern Villages

Meet Gopalpur, a village west of Yadgir and closely studied by Alan Beals. Then see Eruvellipet, south of Villupuram and studied long ago by Gilbert Slater. Finally, visit two houses in the eastern deltas.

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India Themes: Southern Villages picture 1

A good picture, because it really puts the village of Gopalpur in the classic context of dry and almost barren plains. This is peninsular India west of Hyderabad--without irrigation but heavily humanized. The village itself lies in the grove in the background; this is the main road in.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 2

Making a circuit through the village in mid-afternoon. People are indoors, and the place is silent except for the occasional voice.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 3

A construction detail.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 4

A bit farther west, in Shorapur (not Sholapur). This is a typical house design, with a swinging screen door leading from the street to a courtyard, around which the house is built.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 5

Eruvellipet is a much richer place, thanks to irrigation. Much of the village wealth went to build this home, owned by a man whose ancestors controlled most of the surrounding countryside. Land reform has taken it away, but the family mansion survives.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 6

The front porch of the same house, with magnificent polished-log columns.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 7

Around the corner, a street with more typical village housing.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 8

Close-up.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 9

A well-built village house at Ayyampet, a Cauvery delta town.

India Themes: Southern Villages picture 10

Deep in the Krishna Delta. The house is decorated with rice flour for pongal, a harvest festival.  The cylindrical vessel is a rice store.


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