Their sounds like the sound of the earth, their dancing like the moves of a bird. They sing the welcoming song to invite us in their house, while we sit around their mud-clad, simple but beautiful courtyard, engulfed by the depth of their voices and eyes equally. There are places where guests are treated like Gods. Ranidongri in Betul district is one such village, with population less than 1000.
madhya pradesh
Cab, Bus(Get Directions)
Stay at Amla, No hotel
No food shop, Home cooked food by artisan families


The village was inhabited by native farmers and there is no written or documented historical data on this village. Though, the villagers pass on the tales of their ancestors verbally.


Ranidongri is a village in Amla Tehsil in Betul District of Madhya Pradesh, India. It belongs to Narmadapuram Division. It is located 27 KM towards the East from District headquarters Betul and 193 Km from State capital Bhopal. Ranidongri is surrounded by Multai Tehsil towards the South, Betul Tehsil towards the West, Ghoradongri Tehsil towards the North, Prabhat Pattan Tehsil towards the South. Other nearby cities to Ranidongri are Sarni, Multai, Betul, Shendurjana.




There is a gravel road which cuts off from the main asphalt road and reaches to the village. Several clusters of houses with conical roofs covered with clay tiles come in view while entering the village. There is no consistent supply of electricity or water supply in this village. The village depends on the wells. All the major facilities such as schools, hospitals, banks, post offices and shops can be availed from the nearby cities and villages.



Traditional materials for construction are used, for example mud, grass, bamboo, stones and clay tiles. Almost every part of home is made by hands without the use of any construction machinery. The size and shape of structure is decided as per family size and members. A platform is common to all the abodes which is used for various domestic purposes. 
Building one's own house for shelter is a prevalent tradition in Indian villages, but nowadays 'Pakka makan' of brick and cement has become a status symbol. Hence many new constructions can be seen in this village.



The inhabited area of the village can be divided in two parts, in one part famers and other upper caste families live while the other part is accommodated by families belonging to lower castes and social groups. 
During festive season, the men of the community flock to nearby villages, singing songs of yore and narrating stories door to door, the people listen to them with great interest and in return give them money and other commodities as gifts. Some families even invite them to their ceremonial celebrations, where Ranidongri men perform all through the night. This is how they support their families. While women of the community weave baskets which are then sold in nearby villages and cities.



Majority of population is engaged in agricultural activities. Sing song stories of great men and women from our history and mythology are taken to many surrounding districts by the men of this village, seeking for their livelihood while the women continue weaving in the compound. Men wear Dhotis and Bandi (vest) or Kurta and a waist jacket. Women wear Sarees in typical Marathi style. These days however a major population of the youth has taken up dressing in T-shirts and pants.


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