Thriving vernacular cob homes at Narayanapur village, Hyderabad

About 10 kms from the IKP knowledge park in Nalgonda, Telangana lies this quaint little village

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 Narayanapur. I just had to stop and spend some time walking around the small village to observe these beautifully layered walls of cob commonly used in the village.  I happened to check the sample of earth used by scraping off some from this diapidated boundary wall.  Less than 15% clay to bind the soil. The soil was definitely very sandy – gravely and very little amount of silt. I think that the little clay available was quite effectively used. Walls are otherwise typically plastered with lime inside and left with a mud render on the outside.

 It was here that I saw my first indian rural birdhouse. A simple strucutre made out of repurposed oil cans on a high post set in the middle of a courtyard. I hear that the home which has this bidhouse, is the oldest standing home around.

Note that the road is easliy a few feet above the courtyard visible through the door.

The laying of Nati (village) roof tiles are quite different as to what one would see in tamil nadu.

Instead of laying the tiles directly on thin purlins, mud is cobbed up on heavier purlins before laying the tiles on top. The roof tiles are cleaned, the mud replaced once ever 10 years. The general understanding is that this is a response of the typical technique towards a hotter and dryer climate than one would see in Tamil Nadu. The roofs are certainly more flatter and lower.

While I was busy clicking away, this young man invited me into his home. (exactly what I was looking for). He works for a UPS company in hyderabad, takes the hour long bus ride to work there and returns back in the evening to his village. He says that he could not live in hyderabad as the people are not as happy in the city.

They have tapped water from the panchayat that they collect in concrete tanks in their backyards. Some homes now have toilets with septic tanks under them. The shower and the toilet are always separate where the bath (a bucket bath) water goes straight to a flowerbed or a banana patch in the backyard.

I saw clean roads, clean public places, clean water, sensible sanitation, fresh and comfortable indoors, small and efficient homes with no more than what is needed. I had to agree with him. People are not as happy in the cities. Do visit this village in case you are passing by.. you will love its fresh fragrant air.

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