The village, as a form of settlement, is closely related with the agricultural activities.
The rural settlements are of two types compact and scattered. In the compact settlement, the houses are closely spaced and the streets are narrow. Such settlements develop mostly in the river valleys and fertile plains. The scattered settlements are formed by one or two dwelling units. These are spread over great distances and are knitted by a common bond. Such settlements are found in the hills, plateau and highlands. The settlement can also be classified according to the shapes or patterns.
There are five broad types or patterns of settlements.
1. The Compact or Nucleated Settlements:
In such settlements, houses are built close to each other. They generally develop close to a railway station, a well, a quarry or an industrial site.
The Scattered or Dispersed Settlements:
In such settlements, houses or the individual farmhouses are isolated or scattered and are located away from each other. They develop mostly in the plateau, forested or hilly areas.
3. The Linear or Ribboned Settlements:
Such settlements generally develop along either sides of roads, railways, rivers or canals. The flood plains in hilly areas mostly have linear settlements.
The Rectangular Settlements:
The patterns of such settlements are determined by the nature of junction of two or more routes. When they cross each other at right angles, the dwellings are built along the routes in all directions, thus forming rectangular settlements.
5. The Radial or Star-shaped Settlements:
Such settlements are common in towns and villages, where the dwellings spread out in several directions from a central point, which is either around a big water body or where many routes join together.