About two dozen villages in Rajasthan's Hadauti region exist like happily-married couples.
Local legend has it that in the past people named contiguous villages like a pair---one masculine, another feminine---with rhyming names.
Dobara-Dobari, Thamla-Thamli, Latura-Laturi, Jogda-Jogdi, Kaachra-Kaachri, Bamla-Bamli and Matana-Matani are some of the village pairs in Sangod region of Kota district and neigbouring Atru region of Baran district.
A few villages have been coupled according to their sizes. Thus, there is a Vinodkalan (big Vinod) and Vinodkhurd (small Vinod) and Deolikalan (big Deoli) and Deolikhurd (small Vinod).
There is also an interesting pair of Jethani (elder sister-in-law) and Devrani (younger sister-in-law). Most of the residents of these villages belong to backward castes such as Meena, Dhakar, Bairwa and others.
Giriraj Dhakar, a resident of Sangod, told HT the logic behind the classification was simple---"they live next to each other".
Mangilal Meena, a senior citizen of Dobara village, said "According to astronomical principles, since the names of these villages begin with the same alphabet, their destinies are also linked. They are bound to have a common fate."
Meena also proposes another explanation, which seems plausible: it is easier to remember the names of these villages.
The peculiar nomenclature is fun too. For example, the villagers of Dobara (male) tease their counterparts in Dobari (female) by calling them "wives".