CULTURE UTTARAKHAND (Uttaranchal)
The history of modern Uttaranchal dates back to 7th and
8th Century AD when the Yavans began capturing the plains
of India. Most of then Hindu kings from various parts of
India migrated to Uttaranchal along with their family, army
and the priests. Later on the children of the armymen and
the priests contributed to the population of the region.
As a result of this migration, the Uttaranchal society consists
of 70% Rajputs, 20% Brahamans and the remaining 10% comprises
of other castes and communites.
kings from various parts of India migrated to Uttaranchal,
the Uttaranchal culture reflects the diverse culture of
every region. The presence of Rajput majority in the region
contributed to the worship of the Godess of Power - "Durga"
which is still practised in almost every part of Uttaranchal.
The fact gets proven with the presence of various Durga
temples across the region. The animal sacrifice was also
a part of this worship and still practised in many regions.
antiquity of the sate can be traced back to 2nd century
BC when the region was ruled by the Khasias and it was known
as Khashdesh. Recent excavations has indicated that the
region was under the domain of Kunidas, the central Himalayan
tribe, who practiced early form of Shaivism at around 200
AD. There is also an Ashokan edict at Kalsi, in Garhwal
region, which indicates that Buddhism also reached these
parts of the country. Between the 10th adn 18th centuries,
the Chand dynasty dominated the eastern Kumaon. Under the
Chands, eastern Kumaon became a centre of learning, and
various art forms including Garhwal school of painting was
developed. With the decline of the Chand dynasty the region
became under the Garhwali kings till the Rohillas took charge
of the land in 1744 AD. The area was overtaken by Gurkhas
in 1803 and ultimately by the end of 1814, Britishers expelled
Gurkhas from Garhwal and Kumaon to take eastern Garhwal
as British Garhwal and returned the western part, Tehri
Garhwal to the deposed Raja. After 1857, the region became
part of British empire. Since independence, the local aspiration
steadily grew demanding a separate state of Uttaranchal
which finally acquired its dream of statehood on 9th November
2000. The region is presently subsisting on the tourism
business. It is also the land of the brave. Its Garhwalis
and Kumaonis are reputed to the finest soldiers of our armed
or Gurwal, is a region and administrative division of Uttaranchal,
lying in the Himalayas. It is bounded on the north by Tibet,
on the east by Kumaon region, on the south by Uttar Pradesh,
and on the west by Himachal Pradesh. It includes the districts
of Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri (Pauri Garhwal), Rudraprayag,
Tehri (Tehri Garhwal), and Uttarkashi. The administrative
center for Garhwal division is the town of Pauri.
region consists almost entirely of rugged mountain ranges
running in all directions, and separated by narrow valleys
which in some cases become deep gorges or ravines. The only
level portion of the district was a narrow strip of waterless
forest between the southern slopes of the hills and the
fertile plains of Rohilkhand. The highest mountains are
in the north, the principal peaks being Nanda Devi (25,661
feet), Kamet (25,413 feet), Trisul (23,382 feet), Badrinath
(23,210 feet), Dunagiri (23,181 feet) and Kedarnath (22,853
feet). The Alaknanda River, one of the main sources of the
Ganges, receives with its affluents the whole drainage of
the district. At Devaprayag the Alaknanda joins the Bhagirathi,
and thenceforward the united streams bear the name of the
Ganges. Cultivation is principally confined to the immediate
vicinity of the rivers, which are employed for purposes
culture of the present Kumaon is a blend of influences from
the indigenous population as well as from the immigrants
to this region. Consequently, the myths, dialects, languages,
folk literature, festivals, fairs and forms of artistic
expression are examples of the creative influences of the
different cultural groups that constitute Kumaon.
peak, lake or mountain range is somehow or the other connected
with some myth or the name of a God or Goddess, ranging
from those associated with the Shaiva, Shakta and Vaishnava
traditions, to local Gods like Ham, Saim, Golla, Chhurmal,
Kail Bisht, Bholanath, Gangnath, Airy and Chaumu. Temples
are dedicated to the nine famous Goddesses, other local
Goddesses, Bhairava, Surya:. and Ganesh. The temples at
Jageshwar, Bageshwar, Binsar, Thalkedar, Rameshwar, Pancheshwar,
Baijnath and Gananath are devoted to Lord Shiva. The temples
of Devidhura, Gangolihat, Pumagiri, Almora, Nainital, Kot
Ki Mai and Kotgari Devi are associated with the Shakt tradition,
while the region of Lohaghat - Champawat (Mount Kandeo)
is associated with Kunna Avatar. This region also has two
famous Sun temples.
to Atkinson there were 35 Vaishnava and 250 Shaiva temples
in British Kumaon. Eight Vaishnavaand 64 Shaiva temples
were dedicated to the Shakti or female form alone.
Lord Shiva's influence prevailed throughout Kumaon, mainly
because of its proximity to the region of Panchkedars and
Kailas - Mansarovar, this did not in any way hamper the
influence of the local folk Gods and Goddesses. Although
the tales of Nanda Devi and Naina Devi have now been linked
together, they began as two different stories
Garhwal is a region, which lies in the north Himalayas,
where mighty gnages origins. It has diverse nature of culture
as it sins with is natural mood. In Garhwal there are a
lot of variety of traditional wearing cloth, different musical
folk instrumental and lofty melodious seasonal songs itself,
like chounphula , mangal, jagar and etc. Generally language
uses by the peoples of garhwal are Garhwali and Hindi..
Mangal: Women sing mangal songs during marriage and other ceremonies
Jaggar: Jaggar is sung during worship and in respect to God.
Chhopati: Chhopati is a love song that is sung between the men and
women in the form of questions and answers.
Chhura: Chhura is the most popular songs among shepherds and are
in a way of an old experienced man teaching a young shepherd
the tricks of his trade.
Khuded: The song is sung to portray the suffering of women due
to parting from her husband.
Bajuband: Love song sung by shepherds in form of conversation between
man and woman.
the name suggests Basanti songs are sung during the approaching
Basant (Spring) season.
and Jhumeila: These songs form part of seasonal dances, which are
performed from Basant Panchami to Sankranti or Baisakhi.
Jhumeila is sometimes mixed but is usually restricted to
women. Chounphula is a spinning dance performed by all sections
of the community at night in groups by men and women.
Dance: Narrating the story of Mahabharata accompanied by dance
and music performs Pandava Dance. This is performed during
Dussehra and Deepawali.
Dance: Langvir dance is a acrobatic dance performed by men. In
this dance the dancer climbs a pole and balances himself
at his navel on the top of the pole. Accompanied by dhola
and music he balances and rotates on his belly at the pole
and performs other acrobatic stunts.
Nati: Barada Nati dance is performed during religious festivals
or any other social occasion. Men and women wearing colorful
costumes perform it.
Dance: Bhotiya Dance is performed by Bhotias and is related
with death ceremonies. It is believed by them that the soul
of the dead person is residing in body of a goat or sheep
and by dancing the soul can be liberated.