Bees Quarter - Sita Warrior of Mithila

Bees Quarter was a complex of houses built for poor people living in slums in Mithila. Sita wanted that the southern gate of Mithila be demolished and new, permanent houses be built for the poor on the same land. These houses were built by money given by Malayputras to Sita just after Sita was declared Vishnu by Vishwamitra.

Though the execution had been entrusted to Samichi, Sita had involved herself in the planning and design of the project after consulting the representatives of the slum dwellers. She had eventually worked out an innovative solution for not only their housing needs, but also providing them with sustainable livelihood.

The slum dwellers very superstitious so they wanted their new home to be build exactly at the place where old home was. But the original slum had no street. There were just small haphazard pathways.

It was then that Sita came up with the idea of building Bees quarter.

It was honeycomb like structure with houses that shared walls on all sides

Residents would enter from the top, with steps descending into their homes using hatch doors.

hatch door  
hatch door
Hatch Door 

Structure would look something like this.

Honeycomb apartments in Bahamas
Image Source -

 As you can see,

The ‘ceilings’ of all the homes would, from the outside, be a single, joint, level platform; a new ‘ground level’ above all the houses; an artificial ground that was four floors above the actual ground.

It would be an open-to-sky space for the slum dwellers, with a grid of ‘streets’ marked in paint.

This would address their superstitions; each one would get a house exactly at the same location as their original hovel. And, since the honeycomb structure would extend four floors below, each inhabitant would, in effect, have four rooms. A substantially bigger home than earlier.

This was really an excellent idea by Sita and it provided a much bigger home for slums while giving temporary houses to them at the same time.

Due to this there were multiple benefits.
 Agricultural productivity improved. This provided additional income for the slum dwellers.

 Moving agriculture within the city wall would also provide food security during times of siege; unlikely though it seemed that impoverished Mithila would ever be attacked.

 Most importantly, Mithilans became self-reliant in terms of food, medicines and other essentials. This reduced their dependence on the Sankashya river port.