The paper explores the social, ecological, and religious factors which shape the village forms in India. Linear, nucleated and dispersed villages have been identified with different regions. Caste and kinship groups form the basic unit of a neighbourhood. The castes ranked on a hierarchical scale, locate themselves in a centre‐periphery distribution in the village. This layout also expresses the duality between ritually pure and polluting space and defines the social interaction patterns between the different castes.