Madhavaram, a village in Andhra Pradesh is no ordinary one, keeping extraordinary backstory and the tradition of the village, located about 150 kms away from Amravati makes it remarkable. Madhavaram’s every household has at least one member serving in the Indian Army and a few even has as many as four.
This village in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district has a glorious 300- year old history of having its men serving the Army. At present, there are about 109 local villagers guarding the nation out of which 65 are in the field and rest in administrative posts.
A war memorial has also been build on the lines of New Delhi’s Amar Jawan Jyoti in the honour of service and sacrifice of the soldiers of Madhavaram. Even the women of Madhavaran became hopeful for a future in the army at field after the news went official of the Indian Air Force to allow women to fly fighter planes.
“For those who choose to fight, life has a special flavour that the protected will never know.” – Captain R Subramanium, Kirti Chakra
Madhavaram’s local tales are all about its majestic rifle, helmet war memorial, war and valour. The ex-servicemen too prefer to be called by their rank at retirement with many women who aspire to marry a military man.
The Poleramma temple in the village is believed to bless and protect the servicemen of Madhavaram. The villages’s ex-servicemen association has 1180 member, now living a civilian’s life are still keen on working for the Indian Army in any way possible. Like how they say, once a Soldier always a Soldier.
Even the previous Defence Minister, Manihar Parrikar acknowledged the contributions of Madhavaram and expressed his wish to open an Army Training Centre in the village much to the delight of its youth and the village may also be renamed Military Madhavaram soon.
The 17th-century ruler of the Gajapati dynasty, Pusapati Madhava Varma Brahma, who presided over present day Orissa and the Deccan Plateau used this village as his defence base. During Colonial rule, the villagers have also fought for the British Empire in World War I and II, while the soldiers have fought every war of independent India.
Telugu director Radhakrishna ‘Krish’ Jagarlamudi was so fascinated by Madhavaram’s culture and tradition that made an award-winning film ‘Kanche’ that was based on the village. In fact, an ex-serviceman from Madhavaram, Urrika Seetaramaish’s daughter Shree Ramanan also produced a documentary on the same.