Some scholars consider Sanskrit (ISO 639-3 SAN) to be a “dead” or moribund language. However, Sanskrit has survived as a post-vernacular, second language (L 2 ) for millennia. This is due to its symbolic capital as a perceived language of salvation and liturgy. The stimulus for this paper is the assertion made by several anecdotal news reports that suggest in some remote villages in India “everyone in the village communicates in Sanskrit”, or that “almost all the people always converse in Sanskrit”. These language nests have been established with the assistance of Samskrita Bharati and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The Sangh aspires to one day establish the devabhāṣā ‘gods’ language’ as the janabhāṣā ‘people’s language’, then as the rāṣṭrabhāṣā ‘national language’ and, ultimately, as the viśvabhāṣā ‘world language’ or next global lingua franca . This article serves as an entrée to a prospective multi-sited sociolinguistic survey of spoken Sanskrit across North India. The methodology focuses on analysing the encroachment of this prestigious language by identifying sites where Sanskrit is spoken. This will be done so that issues of linguistic vitality, intergenerational transmission, language contact and convergence (including code-mixing and switching, second language acquisition (SLA) and multilingualism) can be explored. This paper focuses on one village, namely Jhiri, which is located in Rajgarh District, Madhya Pradesh. It is suggested in the media that “The 1,000-odd residents of this hamlet, 150 km north of Indore, hardly speak the local dialect, Malvi, any longer. Ten years have been enough for the Sanskritisation of life here” (Ghosh, Aditya. 2008. Sanskrit boulevard . http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sanskrit-boulevard/article1-339234.aspx (accessed 17 April 2009)). However, even though Sanskrit is spoken in Jhiri this does not necessarily make it a “Sanskrit-speaking village” in the way the media represents it; the actual number of speakers is much less than what the media asserts.