Mattur is a quaint village in Karnataka. It is located on the banks of River Tunga and is at a distance of about 8 km from Shimoga (Shivamogga). Mattur is famous as the ‘Sanskrit village’ of India. It is the only village in India where most of the residents use Sanskrit as the medium of communication.
It is a unique accomplishment that the residents of Mattur have managed to keep alive the ancient language through their day-to-day communication in Sanskrit even though the official and native language of the state is Kannada.
Mattur is mainly inhabited by the Sankethis, a Brahmin community that had migrated from Kerala and settled down in Mattur about 600 years ago. Till the early part of the 1980’s decade, the villagers of Mattur spoke in Kannada and Tamil. Sanskrit was considered to be the language of the upper caste Brahmins. Then the priest of the local religious center asked the residents to adopt Sanskrit as their native language.
The whole village heeded to the call and started conversing in the ancient language. Since then it is not just the members of the Sankethis community but members of all the communities residing in the village, irrespective of their social or economic standing, have started communicating in Sanskrit.

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