It is a fact well-known that India is a country, where snakes are considered as revered creatures due to their ancient origin, and their connection with Hindu deity Shiva.
Every year, on the Nag Panchami festival, thousands of devout people in Indian villages worship and feed the snakes to receive divine blessings.
However, about 200 km from Pune, Maharashtra, in the Sholapur district, is located a village named Shetpal. Here, cobra snakes have a permanent abode in each and every house; snakes are worshipped daily in every heart and home in this village!
Shetpal is a village, where snakes have no restriction in their movement and none of the 2,600 plus villagers ever harm them in any way. In fact, cobras are welcomed in every house as a member of the family. Neither the cobras, nor the residents live in fear of each other.
The people of Shetpal have gone a step ahead in their liking for the venomous co-residents by building devasthanam (abode of the deity) in their home. A special corner in the house is set aside, exclusively for the cobras to come and cool off at any time they wish.
If anyone in the village constructs a new house, he makes sure to devote a hollow portion of the dwelling as devasthanam for the snakes.
In this remote village in Maharashtra, snakes go freely from house to house!
Snakes are treated as pets in this village, and even visit the schools when a class is in progress. And guess what, the children never fear these crawling visitors, because they have been raised to co-dwell fearlessly and happily with the snakes! They not only let the snakes hangout, but also let kids play with the creatures at times.
If you are wondering whether there has been any incident of snake bites in this village, the answer is a ‘no’! So far, no incident of snake bite has been reported in this village.
Apparently, any outsider will find it hard to cope up co-existing with the cobras in Shetpal. But, if you really wish to befriend them, all you would need is some milk, eggs, and lots of goodwill!
The origin of this practice in the village is unknown yet. If this has you fascinated, do know that you can visit it by alighting at Modnimb Railway Station in Maharashtra or by boarding a flight to Pune Airport, and then hiring a cab to Shetpal from there.