Jan 282014

Beautiful Colors of India in Villages and Small Towns

Whenever I travel, one of my aims is to click pictures of homes, not houses but homes.  You cannot just walk into anybody’s home and click pictures; you would need to be invisible for that.

As I am yet to find my invisibility cloak ala Mr. India, I am just happy clicking pictures of homes from outside. 

You see for last many years we have lived in an apartment complex, where you do not have much choice on the color of exterior, but one can play with decorating interiors with many colors and hues.

But when we travel to small town or rural India, that is where one truly discovers the colors of India. The real colors of India are found in its villages with colorful homes, temples, and rangolis designed to welcome guests and gods where athithi devo bhava ( guest is god) is not just a saying but a tradition that is still followed.

Just by looking at the structure you can tell if this is a house or a home, for a long time ago I read a small poem. Here are some of the lines from that poem that I just love reading again and again:

A Home Is Build Of Peace And Love And Not Of Wood And Stone

A Home Is More than Just a House

A Home Is Such a Happy Place Where Loved Ones Shared Together

A House Is Built By Human Hands, but A Home Is Built By Human Hearts

A House Is Built Of Walls And Beams. A Home Is Built Of Love and Dreams

A House Is Made Of Brick and Stone, A Home Is Made Of Love Alone 

Traveling across India even in the remotest of places you are stuck by the beauty of a house just at one look that you are forced to stop and admire the same.  While taking pictures I silently mumble to myself, “God, these people must love their home to make it so beautiful, please do keep on blessing them” 

After clicking a few pictures I move on. Here Let me give you some pictures of some such beautiful homes whose pictures I have clicked at various places.  Now, these houses may not be grand palaces of the Maharajahs of Rajasthan but they have been built with love, which shows in how people have decorated their home, to make it stand out.   Now just imagine you are visiting a remote village and looking for direction and there are no proper house numbers in the village.

So the nice guy who is giving you directions tell you

“ Go straight on this road, take a left from the old banyan tree, walk for 2 minutes, then you will see a house with an airplane  on its roof, that is where you need to go”

Yes, let me begin by showing you this house with an airplane on its roof.

Aeroplane on roof of house

Yes that is a plane that landed on the roof

autorickshaw in front of orange house

Bright orange of this house makes it stand out in neighborhood

Child and puppy in front yard of house

A House full of love welcomes friends

While Rajasthan is known for its beautiful colors, it sure has a bias towards pink in Jaipur and blue in Jodhpur, I found no such bias in the small lanes of Varanasi and its ghats. In those small lanes where sunlight too has to struggle to reach and poets are hard to find nowadays, I found that a creative painter has already been there. Most houses in the small lanes of Benaras have beautiful paintings outside their doors showing paintings of men with sword, elephants, birds, flowers etc.

cow in lanes of Varanasi banaras galiyan

A Cow passes by an elephant and parrot painting in Benaras

Street art Varanasi boy warrior

A Boy Stands protected by men with arms

One observation that I had in rural India is that most of the houses will be painted in single color most commonly white or yellow but the entrance to even the most modest of the hut will be very colorfully decorated. I am not sure if this is to save money to paint the house or has some cultural significance to paint only the doors with colors of India.  Check these two houses clicked in Chilkur Village, near the temple of Chilkur Balaji also known as Visa God.

village house with colorful door India Telangana

A boy stands in front of his home with colorful entrance

old women and girl in rural india

An Old Women and girl in front of their colorful home in a village in India

Talking of Gods and their abodes, I think the best of the colors we Indians save for our gods and their places of worship.  A gopuram of a South Indian temple has more colors than a rainbow and a flower market combined. Check this image of the Ranganath Swami Temple in Financial District of Hyderabad in Nanakramguda village.

colorful idols on top of Hindu temple gopuram in South India

We keep the best colors for our gods

Or look at this dainty  church I found in Coorg, it is so small that only one person can pray at a time yet just look at the royal blue of the church that makes  the azure of the sky look pale and the yellow flame coming out of a deepam ( small Indian lamp) on its wall.

small church in coorg

Colors of India on a small church in Coorg

We Indians have a very special relationship with colors, we play with them on our festivals like Holi and Bonalu and we must be the only people where women so meticulously paint a Rangoli on the ground to make our homes so beautiful and welcoming. While most days the rangolis may be simple on special festivals like Sankranthi the rangoli is elaborate and takes hours to be built, only to last for another few hours.

girl making rangoli in Telangana Village India

A Girl making rangoli in front of her home

So what do you say? Don’t you agree that colors make a  home more beautiful and make it stand out from others around it. A house is not a home till it is painted with colors of love carefully chosen by its residents. This post is written for Asian Paints Home Solutions contest, they have paints available in all colors and sizes that suit small homes also, and even to decorate the homes with special motifs and decorations that really enables people to have a beautiful home.

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  28 Responses to “Colors of India: The Homes In Indian Villages & Small Towns”

Comments (28)
  1. Nice collection of colorful home pics from all around India. You Can include some tribunal home pics…

  2. Yes, the beautiful colors make the home more welcoming. Maybe that is why some folks like flowers planted at the front door of homes.

  3. Hari OM
    This is a beautiful post – as befits the theme of colour!!! YAM xx

  4. There’s a house in Kolkata’s Salt Lake that’s built like a ship! I wish I’d clicked a pic of it.
    I love homes with warm red brick facades and beautiful gardens.

  5. so many colors 🙂

  6. The house with the plane is the best one 🙂

  7. Lovely pictures of Indian homes. These Indian houses come in different shapes and sizes and its surprising to see some unusual ones too. I like the bright orange one, perhaps I should get it done.

  8. That is beautiful.. you know in our village where people are all getting rid of old style kucha houses to new ones.. we can find a lot of design like that .. The roof top Water tanks are of all different styles .. Aeroplane ladning .. an Eagle .. a Giant football and many many more ..

    This reminded me of my village ..

    beautiful pics

  9. India is such a wonderful place; a country full of vibrant colors, feelings and strong cultural essence. But what makes them distinct and unique is the simplicity in origin. This simplicity is very well reflected in these homes. Look at the way that girl is decorating/beautifying the exterior of her house; simple yet elegant. Glad I came across this post, Thanks sharing 🙂

  10. You have captured India in its true essence. Loved those unique images.

  11. Fascinating images. Love the house with a airplane on top… wonder what story the occupants have to share about why they did that! I can’t get enough of clicking colorful houses myself. Here’s the link to a village that I visited earlier this year http://off-the-map-mytravelogue.blogspot.in/2014/04/life-in-velas-photo-essay.html

  12. lovely and lively photos.. good take on this prompt. 🙂

  13. A lovely collection!

  14. A lovely collection indeed!!

  15. What beautiful homes – all so different and yet inviting and colourful.

  16. A great travel take on the topic of the contest! All the houses look inviting and I am tempted to take a peak inside. Browsing through these pictures was like ‘Atithi devo bhava’ painted big and bright on each and every door indeed!

  17. Beautiful lovely colors…

  18. Just beautiful these pics are. Truly displaying the colours of India in its true essence. Lovely poem that is. I especially loved the father and son in front of the house where a dog is getting in. Such honest smiles and peaceful faces are rarely visible these days. 🙂

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