Charm of the Village - Villages and Life In The Villages

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About four-fifths of all Sri Lankans live in rural settlements, of which there are several types. In areas of high rural population density. Villages merge with one another, each a conglomerate of homestead gardens interspersed with tracts of paddy land. Interior villages also contain mono-cropped with rubber or coconut and terraced paddy land.


The majority of people are living in small villages and working at agricultural pursuits. Traditional farming techniques and life-styles revolve around two types of farming; wet and dry, depending upon the availability of water.


Wet Zone Interior 

Villages of the Wet Zone interior contain smallholdings, mono-cropped with rubber or coconut and terraced paddy land.



Central Highlands 

In the Central Highlands this type of rural landscape gives way to extensive plantations under tea or rubber cultivation. Here the villages are dense clusters of barrack-type structures, each cluster occupying not more than 2.5 acres but accommodating up to several hundred plantation worker families.





Coastal Localities 

The coastal belt surrounding the island contains a different settlement pattern that has evolved from older fishing villages. Separate fishing settlements expanded laterally along the coast, linked by a coastal highway and a railway. The mobility of the coastal population during colonial times and after independence led to an increase in the size and number of villages, as well as to the development of growing urban centers with outside contacts.






Lower Land

Majority of people in the dry zone live in colonization schemes which is based upon the irrigation system or irrigation based planned settlements. Each colony, a distinct entity, features agricultural allotments of near-uniform sizes with large stretches of paddy occupying the irrigable land.





The typical settlement pattern in the rice-growing areas is a compact group of houses or neighborhood surrounding one or several religious centers that serve as the focus for communal activities. Sometimes the houses may be situated along a major road and include a few shops, or the village may include several outlying hamlets. The life-sustaining rice fields begin where the houses end and stretch into the distance. Some irrigated fields may include other cash crops, such as sugarcane, or groves of coconut trees. Palmyra trees grow on the borders of fields or along roads and paths. Individual houses also may have vegetable gardens in their compounds. During the rainy seasons and thereafter, when the fields are covered by growing crops, the village environment is intensely verdant.




Jaffna Peninsula

The Jaffna Peninsula, although a dry area, is densely populated and intensively cultivated.









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