My Father was frequently changing places due to transfers associated with bank posting and as a child,I enjoyed visiting new places and exploring the culture and traditions associated with those places.When I was in 2 nd grade ,(long back-20 yrs )we were staying in a place called Mattur,as a part of my Dad's rural posting.So just recalling those old days ,I thought I must write this note on the village.
Mattur ,a small village with nearly 5000 odd people living ,is situated on the banks of Tunga river in Shimoga district ,Karnataka.It is hardly 8 to 10 kms from the heart of Shimoga city. So what's so distinguished in this village ?Well ,this village have had many well known Sanskrit scholars since ages ,and also have been following 'vedic' traditions since many many years and also passed the legacy to the future generations.In 1982,when 'Pejavara mutt' pontiff /swamiji visited this place for a programme ,he was impressed by the way some of the residents conducted the entire programme in 'Sanskrit' language,including the welcome speech,thanks giving speech,songs etc.He expressed his wish to see the entire village nurture this language and use it as their regular language for communication and also further develop the Vedic tradition.So since then, there has been constant efforts to promote Sanskrit language ,and almost all the residents here have mastered the language .So their day to day life conversations happens in 'Sanskrit'.Sanskrit being a very ancient language ,is considered one of the toughest languages, due to its pronunciation.It is usually used only by priests for rituals and also in schools and colleges as a language for study purpose;but not as a spoken language.This village has Brahman residents mostly ,but even the people of other castes(including a few Muslims and Harijans /scheduled caste) are well versed in the language and also recite some shlokas/proses in Sanskrit and Mantras.They have a 'Vedic school 'which teaches the 'vedas '/traditional texts of ancient India written in Sanskrit language,and also a Sanskrit school which exclusively teaches the Sanskrit language.The foundation to Vedas and Sanskrit is established right from the preschool age to the children.Many foreigners have also visited this place with their enthusiasm to learn the traditional language and also for research purpose.They have short crash courses to teach Sanskrit here.This village has been termed "Sanskrit village".
The village had well organized homes built in an ethnic manner , and very traditionally dressed scholars and pundits .At those times,the kids wore the traditional long skirts,and the ladies in Saree,and gents ,the traditional Dhotis.The village has many temples which includes Ram Mandir,Shiva temple and many others.My faint memory tells me that there were seven temples there.There was one huge Ashvatha tree/sacred fig /'ficus religiosa' in the center of the village ,just in front of my house where my mother used to go for worship along with lot of other people.The people in Mattur follow rituals and traditions very well ,and do not forget to visit the temple regularly every day for poojas ,chant the vedic mantras in the evening,follow all the traditions for festivals special occasions,fasts etc.Oh ! it was so lovely everyday to visit the temple after school and also sit on the center rock at the banks of the river Tunga and have our evening snacks with friends. Such mannerisms and cultural extravaganza everyday, is rarely witnessed in these days anywhere.The colonies were Brahman's live ,are slightly isolated from the other houses.I remember there was a separate colony for 'Harijans'/scheduled caste and I used to go there to play with my school friends ,and my Mother used to warn me not to enter their houses,as it was not allowed in the village.Well ,I do not know about the situation today though!
I read a lot of articles and found out that Mattur has a few BPO organisations and around 150 software engineers produced from the village ,who are presently serving the silicon city of India and also living abroad.A well known software engineer named Dhruv Mattur,also has his own software firm in Bangalore.'Padmashree' awarded ,Mathoor Krishnamurti,famous scholar ,novelist,writer ,former director of "Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavana"Bangalore,and also London branch,has also his origins from Mattur.I wish I had some photographs of the beautiful village;may be next time I happen to visit ,will definitely post it.
Some of the links giving facts about Mattur:
watch this video to listen to a resident speaking in Sanskrit.