Peruru - a Heritage Village in Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Peruru is a small village located near Amlapuram in the East Godavari district of coastal Andhra Pradesh. It's an old village that has been around for centuries, but what makes Peruru so interesting?

Peruru is one of the few villages of the region which has chosen to stay with their traditional heritage architecture even as the rest of the state around them modernized. It's a small place, but even a quick visit by a non-discerning visitor will likely leave an impact. Taking a walk in Peruru is akin to a walk in a centuries old Andhra town. The houses have remained unchanged for a few hundred years, most of the roads are still mud-roads, there are ancient temples just like they did in the past, and there is noticeable calmness in the place.

peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
A traditional house at Peruru village
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
A simple, typical Peruru house
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
The village temple

History of Peruru

The town has a very interesting history and one that needs to be told. In fact the story came about when I was talking to a retired headmaster, GSN Murthy(more on him later), about his past and he mentioned that his family came here from Tamil Nadu hundreds of years back when a large number of Vedic Brahmin scholars migrated. Some more research and learnt that it was not migration by force or choice, but their movement was a result of marriage between children of two kings - one from present day Andhra Pradesh and another from present day Tamil Nadu.  As Rani Ammanga Devi moved from the banks of Kaveri to the banks of Godavari, a large number of Brahmin priests came along and later settled here. These people came to be known as Konaseema Dravidulu.

peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
I loved these lanes, only red mud...
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
More hosues - look how calm this place is...
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
Entrance to a house


Much has changed now and the original Tamil population is completely integrated with the local culture and there little trace of Tamil seen anymore. As the population was scholarly even then, they continued to give heavy importance to education and even in pre-Independent India, most pupil were educated and many went for higher education as well. With more opportunities in independent India, United States became a preferred place to study and that's how a large part of the population shifted there. It's jokingly even mentioned that each household has at least one member in America.

The large population outside India also sent money back home and were very particular about conservation of their heritage. Money was spent not just on their families but also on the upkeep of their old homes. Even though not many people live here, it's filled with huge mansion like old and heritage houses.

peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
Tulasi in the central courtyard
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
Simpler houses...
peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
I loved the colors - green was certainly very popular

If the village was settled due to migration centuries ago, it's now being kept intact due to another wave of migration to another country. It's quite a strange connection.


My visit to Peruru

I visited the village on my recent visit to coastal Andhra Pradesh and here is the story of the visit and my conversations with the people.

"Saar, I think you will like Peruru", my driver-guide Subbu mentioned.
I had told him a few times since morning how beautiful the few old houses looked as we traveled across villages. He spoke little Hindi and even less English, but so far we had no trouble communicating.
"It's an old village", he continued, "and now a days many movies are also shot here. Tourists don't go there often, but film stars come for shoots."
Now he had my attention and we quickly made plans for a trip to the village after lunch skipping the planned rest.


peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
Celing of the porch

As we drove from the resort to Peruru, the landscape remained fairly consistent and stunning. I dozed off quickly and woke up only when we were already at the village after an hour long drive. I looked out of the window and enamored by the place. No vehicles, no people, just beautiful old houses.

"Subbu, Do you know anyone here?"
"No saar", be replied with a sheepish smile.
"Oh! But I want to go inside a few houses and talk to people."
By now Subbu knew that I always wanted to go inside homes of strangers and talk to them here. He was certainly amused by my odd behavior but his knowledge of Telugu had ensured a few visits to local houses already. I had also threatened him that if he didn't take me to the houses of strangers, I will visit his house. I think the threat had been effective :)

Over the next three hours we went from home to home and spoke to a few families. Everyone we spoke to opened their houses and told us their stories. It was exactly how I love seeing a place. We even got delayed as one family insisted that I have chai with them.

Here are a few stories and dreams of people from the town.

GSN Murthy
What is your dream?
"I am an old man now. I dream of happiness for my son and daughter now. I also hope all religions come together for the success of the country, without any discrimination."

peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
The headmaster - Mr GSN Murthy


GSN Murthy was born in 1946 in the house in the Peruru village of East Godavari district. His family originally came from Tamil Nadu about 300 years back but not they are fully ingrained here and speak only Telugu.

He comes from a Brahmin family where education was always highly valued. He also went on to get graduated and later became the headmaster of the village school. Now he is retired and runs a small coconut business.

Murthy stays with his wife and both their kids are working outside. His large house used to be full of people till a few decades back, but now it's largely empty. That's the case with most other large houses in the village as well.

GS Bhaskar Rao
What is your dream?
"I have no dreams as I have no interests. I just want to continue worshipping God like I do right now."


peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
Mr GS Bhaskar Rao

GS Bhaskar Rao works at the State Bank of Hyderabad and spends his evenings at the village Shiva temple everyday. He often sits at the temple till about 9pm with friends and then goes home for dinner and then sleeps.

He grew up in the Peruru village and can't imagine living anywhere else. The village used to have many residents, but now most have left. It's said that every home has at least one person in United States.

He is married and his wife teaches in a school in a different village. In Peruru he lives with his brother and his wife in their ancestral house.

peruru old heritage village coastal andhra pradesh
I had some great tea at her home :)

How to reach Peruru?

Peruru can be easily mapped on Google maps and it's best to follow that and ask occasionally for directions. The nearest big city is Rajahmundry which also has an airport, with connecting flights from Hyderabad.

It would take anywhere between 3-4 hours to reach here in a car. You can easily get a cab there.

You can also come to Vijaywada first and then come from there in your car or cab.

Comments

  1. It's seriously a charming village! Even I'd like to visit it some day. The pictures came out really nice.

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  2. Rustic charm all over. Loved those houses and red roads.

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    1. I agree...rustic indeed! It's a beautiful village...also very clean!

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  3. Beautiful houses and village. Love how you are visiting a part of India that's really off the regular traveler's map!

    The migration and abandoned houses gives this place a slight feel of Chettinad....

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    1. Yes, it feels good to be in a new area. Somehow I had never traveled before to Andhra (beyond Hyderabad) and now I want to go again and see much more of the state!

      Chettinad houses are also high on my agenda...

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  4. Surely a calm place.Love those houses.We would like to visit this place some day.Beautiful shots.

    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

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  5. Hi Sid,
    ‘Peruru’, took us to the zesty glory of coastal Andhra Pradesh. And the scent of red muddy lanes was too attractive!

    A big applause for such an insight on ‘Mulanje Mountain Trek’…it’s in my bucket list ;)

    Share your travelogues on our global platform. Own this space on Sulekha for the Indians living abroad.


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  6. Loved this post sid! I certainly want to visit this place and document the architecture. thank you for bringing it to my notice!

    sharon

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    1. You will surely love the place Sharon - I wish I had taken more pictures from inside to feature on your blog!

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  7. Loved the houses..so vibrant!!

    www.myunfinishedlife.com

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  8. Sid, first this was so cute... nothing touristy but just simple(:... so many elements I can mention... first did Subbhu get the girl?, he went to ask girl her hand for marriage? in that paper sweet episode? ... next well those house remind me of my grand parent's place... it was just like that hut house about 150 years old... and we were Bharmins so all locals call us "Swamy"... they have Agraharam that was a colony of such houses. The gradparent house is ofcourse no more after grand parents went, a modern house is built and will be sold this year and that house is damn hot inside. This place is Sathymangalam. I never found it charming as a young girl because well it was boring with the heat and nothing to do just eat... there were buffaloes and walks in the farm area and sitting on the water pipe where there is irrigation to the whole farm area...only now I know that there is a lovely forest area over there and drive in that road is very nice. Very cure Sid, this write was... about you having a good time going to homes and listening to stories of strangers at their house(: , one of them insisting you have tea with them. And so nice the kids are sending money so the home tradition is maintained... in Sathy all the people have migrated to cities so it's abanded mostly by us Bharhmins... my Grand dad though went to Sathy leaving his job at Bangalore and prefered living at the farm than City!!! ... what a contrast to the modern people... anyway... ur definitely very friendly person(:

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  9. Congratulations! Your blog post was selected in Tangy Tuesday Picks edition on December 1, 2015 at BlogAdda. Cheers :)

    Please find it here:
    http://blog.blogadda.com/2015/12/01/tangy-tuesday-picks-indian-bloggers-blogadda

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  10. Cheers Sid and many congrats..beautiful post this one for sure..Just looking at the pics gives a calm effect..I was just thinking to retire in such a place would be heaven..:):)

    Once again awesome find as in place & ofcourse putting it across for us to njoy the serene life as well..
    ATB buddy..TC

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    1. Thanks Deepa! I would also love to retire to a place like this :)

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  11. Thank you for sharing your wonderful travel experience with everyone. I love visiting historical and culturally rich destinations like Peruru. This is definitely on the top of my list for my next year vacations with the family.

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    1. Thanks Anisha! I am glad you enjoyed the post so much :)

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  12. Hi all. Good to see my native village being explored. My dad is spending his retired life in Peruru. Anyone planning to visit there, you can reach my dad and enjoy our hospitality.

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    1. I really wish I knew about your dad when I visited Peruru...would have been wonderful to talk to him :)

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  13. wow...glad to have come across this post. I was born there in my maternal grandparent's place, and would visit Peruru every summer till the death of my grandparents some 20 years back. Have been longing to visit Peruru for some time now. your post has definitely boosted my motivation, and I will be make it this winter.

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    1. Wow! Thanks so much for your comment...it certainly made my day :)

      Please do revisit your birthplace. It would be such a special visit...

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  14. Hi Sid,

    Nice to see this article, My father was from same village Peruru & I had the opportunity to visit this place couple of times wonderful place.

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    1. Super! I can imagine getting all moist-eyed by an article about my ancestral village. Btw I would love to revisit the town someday again...

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  15. Hi all

    Please visit Peruru during Sankranti i.e Jan 2nd week and experience the traditions too. You can reach me at 7032821928 reads Bala

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    1. Thanks Bala for sharing your number...I would love to visit during Sankranti. Let's see...

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  16. I proud to say that it's my grandmother's village.

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  17. I proud to say that it's my grandmother's village.

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  18. This is my village. My grandmother, my father were born here, our house used to be in PALLAPA Veedhi, where nara simhasa temple is there. On our family name, we even donated to the Dhwajastambham in that temple. I remember Devudi pelli in May. Eagerly waiting to visit the temple soon.

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    1. Dakshinamurthy KarraOctober 25, 2019 at 6:56 AM

      Mine too...and my grandmother was a Pappu before marriage,

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  20. I am from same village and my uncle's, cousins still stay there. I visit every year. We are the Pappu family and it's really great village. Love the environment and peace there. Thanks for nice photos.

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    1. Thanks for the comment Pavan! I am happy that you enjoyed the pictures here :)

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  21. Aaaah .... Sid ... U really made me start of the weekend so beautiful . It's my grandmother's native and though no one stays there , but have retained their own home. As was going thru the blog , i could traverse and travel.in time from chennai sorry guy it's Madraaaassss in our home and was able to see how beautifu it was.As kids we visited the place and I bet you , you cannot leave any home without eating or tasting anything along with bundles of memories. It's really fantastic of you for having written this wonderful travelogue. The above man ... Pavan Pappu happens to be my distant cousin ☺☺☺☺☺ The world is indeed a small village ����

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  22. Aaaah .... Sid ... U really made me start of the weekend so beautiful . It's my grandmother's native and though no one stays there , but have retained their own home. As was going thru the blog , i could traverse and travel.in time from chennai sorry guy it's Madraaaassss in our home and was able to see how beautifu it was.As kids we visited the place and I bet you , you cannot leave any home without eating or tasting anything along with bundles of memories. It's really fantastic of you for having written this wonderful travelogue. The above man ... Pavan Pappu happens to be my distant cousin ☺☺☺☺☺ The world is indeed a small village ����

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  23. Nice article.Ours is adjacent village to peruru.I studied in peruru high school. As u said peruru is one of the greatest surviving agraharams. There r few things u didn't mention. Ppl wll organise community meals on navrathris on all 9days and devudi pelli is one festival in every house hold for which kids of those elders will come from far away places. Dussera sumbaram is one not to miss. I u have chance to visit there are so many places in ad around our konaseema. I can proudly say ours is untouched scenic beauty which is one step backward in tourism. And heartfelt welcome of locals will make u feel bonding with this area. We ppl here strongly believe "athidhi devo bhava". One more worth mansionin is " kodipandalu" cock fight during sankranthi. Don't miss it

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    1. Cock fights are cruel to the birds and go against the ethos of the Agraharam dwellers.

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    2. What u said is 100% correct. But I told in the tourist point of view. R u complaining about Spain bull fight? Its famous in this area and ppl are unable to stop the age old practice.

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  24. Thanks sid , i am Krishna Peri its my ancestral village , my surname inherits from the village name , thanks for the walk-through .

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    1. Thanks so much! I am happy you enjoyed the article :)

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    2. Dakshinamurthy KarraOctober 25, 2019 at 6:56 AM

      My mother was a Peri before marriage.

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  25. Very good post. This is my grandmothers village.we used to visit peruru during our holidays.Taken me through memoirs.Thanks for it.

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    1. That's fantastic Kamesh! It's a prefect childhood vacation destination...large and open and so beautiful :)

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  26. Welcome all I P V SHARMA (Babu) live in PERURU ican take care my phone no +919492836009,+917883155777 don't hesitate to call me January 2nd week is correct time what Bala said

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    1. That' s Peruru hospitality! Nice to have come across this post and your effusive comment. Actually tried calling you. Will try again. Thank you!

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  27. It is My grandfather's sankara Sastry Garu Place. In my chlildhood days, i used to go with my dad ( kannababu) garu to devudu pelli.Nice pics and good article

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  28. It is My grandfather's sankara Sastry Garu Place. In my chlildhood days, i used to go with my dad ( kannababu) garu to devudu pelli.Nice pics and good article

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  29. My grandfather Peri Ramamgaru's place in my chaildhood education up to 10 in peruru hi school I love that place very peaceful place

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  30. My grandfather Peri Ramamgaru's place in my chaildhood education up to 10 in peruru hi school I love that place very peaceful place

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  31. Fantastic pictures. Enjoyed reading the article. I have not visited Konaseema, though heard a lot about the scenic beauty. I really would like to have a full week's vacation to visit Peruru and the entire area. I guess, when a large batch of Dravidian Brahmins migrated from Velangaman, Thanjavur Dist; one batch settled in Peruru (periya Ooru, big town). Another batch crossed Godavari and settled east of Godavari in 14 villages. I hail from the Eastern Batch. History is facinating. Ganti MAHAPATRUNI Ganapati Sastry, Bangalore.

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  32. sid josh article came pretty awsme....its just amazing my grand father is bro of head master gsn murthy i love to live there there will be an ritual programe in month of may hope you would also write about that its also just awsme....thanking you karthik(grand son of g.annaji sharma)

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  33. Its my granny's native and my mother was bor. N brought up here, want to share some more on the history , the 1st migration started from kaveri banks some 500+ years ago, 30+ families then are now in lakhs and are spread across the entire konaseema. The best time to visit
    1. Devudi pelli - The Lords kalyanotsavam
    in may if one is ok with hot and humid climate , the celebrations are very ritualistic and native .
    2. Dussera- a pleasant early winter
    3. Makar sankranthi - peak winter.
    The nearest railway station Rajahmundry(Raja mahendra varam) 60kms
    Or kakinada -60kms.

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  34. Nice post. Peruru is my grandmothers village.we used to visit peruru during our holidays and Gopalaswami Pelli. Good memories.Thanks for it. Also you have not covered the information that great "Durgabai Deshmukh" birth place also. She lived her childhood in Peruru.

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  35. Hello Sid,
    Want to applaud you for taking time to visit the place and your enthusiasm to meet and talk to the wonderful strangers (to you). In the process, you showed us a place that I have never been to and now would love to, when I visit India next.
    Best,
    Anant

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  36. I cherish my childhood dreams. We were playing in those varandas and studied in group tuitions sans no fee by Late Shri.Kompella Hanumantha Rao garu at Gopalapuram village. I missed it when i last visited to Gopalapuram. Now this place definitely i would make a visit.

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  37. I belong to the same place.
    I studied in peruru govt school.

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  38. I belong to the same place.
    I studied in peruru govt school.

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  39. Thanks sid great article it's my grandfather sri peri chinna kameswararao actually this week we wants to go due climatic conditions we dropped it's nice village

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  40. Wow. Cool article. As a konesema bhramin This is my ancestral village. Mom dad everyone! I'm going back this winter - chose this ovee Kerala. and my sister asked me if I read this article and just shared it with me. So awesome! Good job Sid! And thanks so much.

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  41. The Whole Peruru village was brought in front of my Eyes, while I read your post

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  42. We r just dng a project about Peruru Village can someone help us with the history about the formation of Peruru and mainly with the history of the Peruru temples

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Namaskarams dear Subhiksha sarma jee.
      Feel free to talk wth me.
      +91 9703111915

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  43. How did I miss this..Thanks sid..My parents are from pulletikurru near amalapuram..I am going there this month end on vacation..definitely on my list now...

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  44. Such a splendid place.iam from same place still and good to c such sweet comments on this place...lwt me know u r blog site would like to visit frequently..Hope u had gud tym too in visiting

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  45. i feel proud to say thats my birth place

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  46. Hi..I am Peri.Chandrashekhar Sharma. My mother's native is peruru. My uncle's (Mantha.Narsu) house is in 'Meraka Veedhi'. I spent reasonable time in that village. Before 1962, my grandfather (Mantha.Narayana Mastaru) too worked as HM for peruru zph school. At that time, his eldest son (my eldest uncle) met with an accident and passed away. The other day in Madana Gopala Swamy temple, New 'dwajasthambham' errectin is going on. Unfotuanatly...my eldest uncle was went to that temple complex, and the moment he entered that 'dwajasthambha' fall down on his head, and he died. It may be the unique accident in this world. After that accident my grand parents moved out from that village, and settled there at the age of 85 years.

    Thank you dear joshi to bringing 'PERURU' to world notice.

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  47. The village is very interesting. Unfortunately, most families in Hindu religion are not giving birth to maximum one (or at most two children) therefore, the houses are getting deserted. Young people who leave the village to America and elsewhere may maintain the contact for one or two more generations. What else after that? The houses will be sold. India is becoming a a haven for Muslims who will ultimately populate the whole country.

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  48. not 100, or 200, or 300 years history......... it is 900 years old village history..... very great and proud of peruru in konaseema.........

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  49. Hey quite a nice description of this little traditional village in Andhra Pradesh. Happen to visit Amaravati by any chance? I'm an architecture student and need a bit help in finding some traditional architecture of Amaravati or any place near it.

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