In the depths of Maharashtra’s rural landscape, snakes slither unhindered from one house to another in this secluded village

It is widely acknowledged that snakes hold a revered status in India, owing to their ancient origins and their association with the Hindu deity Shiva. Annually, during the Nag Panchami festival, thousands of devout individuals in Indian villages partake in the worship and feeding of snakes, seeking divine blessings.

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However, situated in the Sholapur district of Maharashtra, approximately 200 km away from Pune, lies a village named Shetpal. In this extraordinary village, cobra snakes have found a permanent abode in every single house, where they are worshipped daily, becoming an integral part of every heart and home.

Shetpal is a place where snakes enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement, and the 2,600 plus villagers never inflict any harm upon them. In fact, cobras are embraced as cherished members of each household, fostering an environment free of fear for both the snakes and the residents.

Taking their affection for these venomous co-residents to another level, the people of Shetpal have built “devasthanams” (abodes of the deity) within their homes. A designated corner is set aside exclusively for the cobras to seek refuge and relax at their convenience. When constructing new houses, the villagers ensure the presence of a hollow space dedicated as a “devasthanam” for the snakes.

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In this village, snakes are treated as pets, and they even make appearances in schools during classes. Astonishingly, the children fearlessly and joyfully coexist with these crawling visitors, having been raised to embrace them. Not only do they allow the snakes to roam freely, but they also engage in playful interactions with the creatures.

If you’re curious about the occurrence of snake bites in this village, you’ll be relieved to know that there have been no reported incidents so far. Shetpal stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence between humans and cobras.

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Admittedly, outsiders may initially struggle with the idea of living in close proximity to cobras in Shetpal. However, if you genuinely wish to befriend them, all you need is a generous spirit, along with offerings of milk, eggs, and goodwill.

The origin of this unique practice in the village remains unknown. If you find yourself captivated by this tale, rest assured that you can visit Shetpal by alighting at the Modnimb Railway Station in Maharashtra or by boarding a flight to Pune Airport. From there, you can conveniently hire a cab to reach Shetpal and experience this extraordinary village firsthand.