Mattur Village of Karnataka where Villagers still speak 3 thousand-year-old language Sanskrit

The Sanskrit language is considered a priceless heritage of Indian civilization and culture.  It serves as not only the basic foundation of Indian literature, but it has an important place all over the world. Even in the present day, Sanskrit language is still used today in Hindu religious rituals, Buddhist hymns and chants, and Jain scriptures. However, you will be surprised to know that in a village in Karnataka, even today Sanskrit language is used in the local language.

Welcome to the village of Mattur (also known as Mathur) situated in the Shimoga district near Shivamogga in Karnataka, India. A rare spot in India uses Sanskrit for everyday communication. About 40 years ago, a Sanskrit organization organized a 10-day workshop in Mattur village. Great personalities including many saints, enthusiastically participated in this event. Witnessing the villagers’ ardent zeal for the Sanskrit language, a sage conceptualized the notion of establishing a village where Sanskrit would be the primary mode of communication. The villagers embraced this idea with unwavering enthusiasm, giving rise to the Sanskrit village that stands today.

Mattur is an agricultural village cultivating paddy and betel nut. Everyone in the village you meet speaks Sanskrit like an expert, and even the local wall graffiti is written in the ancient Indian language. If you go to this village, you must have a translator to help you communicate with the local people!

The ancient Brahmin community of Mattur residents, who found their home after leaving Kerala about 600 years ago, are settled in Mattur. In the center of this community is located a sizeable Brahmin traditional school with a temple, where the students are given rigorous training by their Sanskrit gurus. Here children from the age of 10 exchange to receive the teachings of the Vedas.

The people of Hosahalli, a neighboring village of Mattur, also use the Sanskrit language. The villagers of both these villages have worked hard to support the ancient Gamaka art, which is a special form of singing and storytelling in Karnataka.

Sweta Dagar is an avid reader and writer. She hails from Bulandshahr (U.P) where she completed her formap education. She loves exploring varieties of topics that shape the public opinion at large. If you have any queries, feel free to contact her at [email protected].