The Snake Village
Hey, you’re off for the most bizarre adventure of a lifetime: destination: India.
You arrive at the airport in Mumbai next off a train heading to the modenim railway station.
Grab a good book.
It’s an 11 hour journey from Monim.
A taxi will take you 20 minutes to your final stop, the small village of chef paul- population 2500.
It’s sweltering here and the town is surrounded by jungle.
Residents are friendly and hospitable.
Looks like any ordinary indian village, until one of the locals invites you to their home for a meal.
You step over the threshold and don’t even notice a cobra slither past your foot.
Now let me remind you that the cobra is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world.
Their venom paralyzes the nervous system and causes vision problems, muscle weakness, difficulties breathing and, well, nothing good from there.
A king cobra’s venom is so toxic a single bite is enough to take down 20 grown people.
Some cobras can spit venom from several feet away.
They aim for the eyes and they shoot with ninety percent accuracy, possibly causing blindness.
On the other hand, um, ninety 90 accuracy is pretty darn good.
Let’s sign him up anyways.
The Cobra slithers into the house where you’ve been invited.
When you do finally see it, you’re petrified with fear.
The family also sees the snake, but they look delighted.
The smiles on their faces have you utterly confused.
In this village, every home has a special corner called Divesta.
It’s dedicated just to cobras, a safe place where they can sleep, have lunch, relax and escape the scorching sun.
People feed the snakes meat and eggs and even play with them.
Cobras are welcome here as a member of the family.
Just like you might view a dog or cat.
Cobras are everywhere in chet Paul, you’ll be walking down the street and a snake is slithering right along with you.
Locals see them as fellow residents and share their space with them.
The Cobras slither into homes, schools, any place at all, which makes you wonder: don’t they bite?
Apparently no cases have been reported in Chetfall.
Now there could be instances but nobody’s reporting it.
But there certainly haven’t been any tragic incidences due to a cobra’s venomous bite.
It also helps that the welcome snakes in this particular village are so used to seeing and being around people they don’t view the humans as threats.
Your next question: why?
Well, snakes are sacred animals for the people of India, but chatpal is unique.
Nowhere else in the country do cobras live in such harmony with people.
Yeah, there are snake charmers who can control the serpents.
But this is different still.
I’m sure you’re not as used to snakes here as they are to you, so an extended stay in chat ball can probably stress you out.
The Ghost Village
So let’s head to the far northwest corner of India.
You take a cab to get to the town of caldara, but not all taxi drivers are willing to take you.
You can’t understand why so many are refusing.
With some negotiation you finally convinced one of them to drive you there.
The Cabbie apprehensively stops outside the village and explains how to get there the rest of the way.
When you finally reach the place, you see only ruined brick structures, scorching sun and almost no vegetation.
Caldara looks like some ancient city recently excavated by archaeologists, and it really is ancient.
The first buildings here were made around the 13th century.
Residents grew crops, learned to extract water and had excellent trading skills.
It was rich in natural resources, valuable underground gypsum rocks and minerals.
This place had been flourishing for centuries, but everything changed in 1825 night.
The locals just packed up everything they could carry and left their homes.
The thriving city became abandoned in the blink of an eye.
The mysterious thing is no one knows why.
According to one theory, the city’s water supply had run dry, but that couldn’t possibly force residents to flee their homes in the middle of the night.
The most popular version says that a cruel local statesman fell in love with the city chief’s daughter.
The statesman threatened to raise the already outrageous high taxes if the girl refused to marry him.
He gave her one day to make a decision.
Concerned residents decided to support the girl and her father and secretly left their homes one night.
Now this place is considered a center of bad energy.
People believe the inhabitants cursed the village before they left so that no one could ever live there again.
The locals are afraid of this place and try to avoid it, but it still attracts tourists.
You just can’t stay long.
The village with no doors
After a brief walk through the abandoned city, our next stop is the village of Shawnee, Singapore.
As soon as you arrive here you immediately feel the local inhabitants positive and kind mood.
There are stores, cafes, schools, banks- nothing out of the ordinary for a small town.
But the strangest thing about this village is that there are no locks.
Some buildings don’t even have doors or windows, including people’s homes.
Owners don’t lock their stores at night.
Goods sit on shelves perfectly open for anyone to come in and take.
When residents leave their houses, everything their personal belongings, valuables, aren’t locked up whatsoever.
But here’s the thing: there’s no theft in the village either.
Why the villagers believe that anyone who tries to steal or get into trouble will be blinded by the local deity that protects the village.
The legend goes about 300 years ago, a large black stone slab washed ashore on a nearby river after a severe rainstorm and flood.
That night, the head of the village had a dream in which the deity Shani appeared to him.
Shawnee said that residents had to put the rock in the center of the town and he’ll forever protect the people, but on one condition: they could build no walls or roof around the sacred object.
It should be out in the open for Shawnee to keep his watchful eye.
After the stone was placed in the village square, the residents decided to remove the locks from their homes.
They no longer needed them because they believed in Shawnee’s protection.
They don’t hide money or jewelry.
Public restrooms are covered with only one thin curtain.
In 2015, a police station appeared here, but no complaints have been received.
There are no doors at the police station either.
Our final destination is rajdoy.
If you come here at the right time, you’ll notice that hundreds of villagers are preparing for an unusual celebration.
Children, adults, the elderly- everyone helps organize a magnificent wedding ceremony.
Residents set an elaborate table with food, decorate the temple where the event will take place and bring gifts to the future newlyweds.
The mood is cheerful, as you’d expect, the usual wedding ceremony begins, but there’s one little oddity: the bride and groom are frogs.
Yep, locals hold weddings for frogs so that rain will come.
The most amazing thing is that they prepare for the ceremony as if the happy couple were humans.
The fun can continue until late at night, i’ll bet you you.