Answer the following questions in not more than 150 words.

Discuss the features of different types of rural settlements. What are the factors responsible for the settlement patterns in different physical environments?

Rural settlements in India can broadly be put into four types-

• Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated,

• Semi-clustered or fragmented,

• Hamleted, and

• Dispersed or isolated.

Clustered Settlements

• Is compact or closely built up area of houses.

• The general living area is distinct and separated from the surrounding farms, barns and pastures.

• The intervening streets present some recognisable patter or geometric shape, such as rectangular, radial, linear, etc.

• Are generally found in fertile alluvial plains and in the north-eastern states.

• This type of settlement is preferred for

o Security or defence reasons: in Bundelkhand region of central India and Nagaland.

o Scarcity of water: in Rajasthan where water scarcity has necessitated compact settlement for maximum utilisation of water resources.

Semi-Clustered Settlements

• Result from the tendency of clustering in a restricted area of a dispersed settlement.

• Often such settlement patter may result from segregation or fragmentation of a large compact village.

For instance, one or more sections of the village society choose or is forced to live a little away from the main cluster or village.

• Generally, the land-owning and dominant community occupies the main village, whereas people of lower strata of society and menial workers settle on the outer flanks of the village.

• Are widespread in the Gujarat plains and some parts of Rajasthan.

Hamleted Settlements

• Settlements, sometimes, are fragmented into several units physically separated from each other bearing a common name.

• This segmentation of a large village is often motivated by social and ethnic factors.

• Are more frequently found in middle and lower Ganga plains, Chhattisgarh and lower valleys of the Himalayas.

Dispersed Settlements

• Common in the form of isolated huts or hamlets of a few huts in remote jungles, or on small hills with farms or pasture on the slopes.

• Extreme dispersion of settlement is often caused by extremely fragmented nature of the terrain and land resource base of habitable areas.

• Found in areas of Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala