Gujarati - Settlements



Among 18,114 villages, 8 percent are small with a population of less than 200 persons; and 49 (0.2 percent) are large with more than 10,000 people in each. The settlement pattern of each village is either clustered or dispersed. Clustered villages are divided into subclusters consisting of a group of families belonging to the same caste or community. The dominant caste resides in the center, and traditionally Untouchable castes live on the periphery of the village. In the dispersed pattern mainly found among tribals, each family—nuclear or joint—lives on its own farm. A temple or public platform under a large tree is a central place where males from upper and middle castes meet and spend their spare time. Today, most of the middle-sized and big villages have primary schools, one or two shops, grazing land, and a cremation ground. There are 255 towns or urban agglomerations. All but eleven of these towns have a population under 100,000. Many of them are expanded villages where caste or community clusters form neighborhood localities. Two styles of housing are common in urban and rural Gujarat. The first is the sturdy modern kind made of brick and concrete, with more than two rooms and a separate kitchen. The second is a tenement of mud, stone, and wood. The roofs are of locally made tiles or thatch. (Numerical data from 1981 census.)

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