Posted by Mayank Kanwal
, December 25, 2017 at 10:45 am, in Almora Uttarakhand India
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It’s very difficult to describe garhwal or gadhwal in few words. This place has worldwide reorganization as devbhoomi as here you can find a majority of temples, holy shrines, spirituality, tourism and pilgrimage. Garhwal region is surrounded by splendid beauty of snow-capped himalayan peaks, heavenly rivers and awesome valley that are the major attraction of garhwal. Along with that the intense woods, prosperous heritage and friendly people are additionally defines the natural beauty of garhwal. It is bordered on the north by tibet, on the south by uttar pradesh, on the east by kumaon region and on the west by himachal pradesh. Pauri or pauri garhwal is the administrative division of uttaranchal.
Garhwal is highly preferable place by individuals during summer and this is the reason why thousands of tourists come to this place every year especially during the summer vacation. The best thing about garhwal is you can feel fabulous view of himalayas even from the remote towns or villages. Nanital, haridwar, bijnor, chamoli, dehradun, rudraprayag and tehri are the name of few stunning districts comes under the region of garhwal.
History of garhwal
Initially garhwal was under the consideration of 52 petty chieftainships. Every chief consists of his own independent fortress. Almost 500 years before, one of these chiefs namely ajai pal was founded the garhwal kingdom. He along with his ancestors ruled over garhwal till 1803. After gurkhas teams took the lead and have ruled on garhwal more than twelve years. After the gurkhas, british has controlled the overall infrastructure of garhwal and it has converted into british district.
Major communities found in garhwal are:-
This community is the descendant of aryan race and is believed to have migrated here from the southern region or from the nearby tracts of himanchal pradesh state, to where they had migrated from hindu kush via kashmir region. Few of the rajputs are said to have come from the state of rajasthan to escape from the invasion the then done by the mughals. These people combated kols and koltas or doms who were living in garhwal during that era. Earlier, rajputs settled to do agriculture but later they diverged in to different professions of their choice and as per skills. Presently, rajputs here are engrossed in different professions as in business, services and agriculture. Most of them are getting admitted to armed forces of india.
Thic race is said to be the descendants of the brahmins who came to garhwal region from the plains or the brhamins who came to visit the religious places of the region. Many of the brahmins shifted to this region with rajputs. Both the communities perforated in to the valleys of garhwal to escape the muslims invasions. After, invasion they developed colonies which helped them earn their titles as in ajmer patti, udaipur patti, telangi after telangana, rawat and joshi after maharashtra and rajasthana.
This community stays in the upper region i.e. Northern tracts. Mongolians are widely found here, some of the mongoloids have nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyle. Most of the tribes nowadays are settled and taken up professions like animal husbandry, trade, agriculture and other occupations. Few of the significant tribes of garhwal are jaunsaris of jaunsar-bawar, jadhs of uttarkashi, van gujars, marchas of chamoli.
These are the descendants of rajputs who are indulged in to business and are born mountaineers. They have migrated here from kumaon and garhwal region and have settled in the higher valleys. Bhotiyas have largely settled themselves in the nepal region in the east of uttarkashi and along the tibet border in the west.
The bhotiyas those who are putting up nearby mana pass in vanity to badrinath and those along the niti pass are known as tolchas and marchas correspondingly. In the south of the region, jethora bhotiyas are widely found and those living close to untadhura pass are the joharis and saukas.
The bhotiyas worship nanda devi and pancha chuli while those who are influenced by hinduism worship gabla who is the weather god and runiya and suniya gods, who shields their animals against disease and bidhuwa and sidhuwa gods who help them find their lost animals.
This community is found in the chilly dry tracts of uttarkashi district. There are two important villages- nelang and jadhang that is situated at a higher elevation of about 3,400mts. Most of the members of the community migrate to the forests of rishikesh during winters while the others stay back at a settlement named dunda.
This community has strong ties with people in the adjoining tracts of himanchal pradesh and other regions of uttarkashi districts. This community people have mongolian features and speak tibetian along with garhwali and pahari. Most of the jadhs claimed themselves to have come from superior caste and so the task of weaving was left to kols, who belonged to lower caste.
These are the people from the nothern region of the dehradun district and are called jaunsaries. This community is the descendant of the aryan race. These people follow array of customs today far from cry to other regions as in garhwal, himanchal pradesh and kumaon. The important festival celebrated by jaunsaries is megh mela. Prominent attire worn by them during the festival is thorka, lohiya which is a long over coat. Further, there is a thangel that folds to make a close fitting trouser, digwa which is a woolen cap and tradition head dress. Women mainly put on ghagra, kurti and dhoti with ornaments. Polyyandry is strill famouns in jaunsaries, as they are close followers of pandavas of the mahabharat era who had common wife, draupadi.
The van gujars:
The van gujars are said to have come to garhwal as the dowry of the princess of sirmaur and are a tribe of nomadic muslims. These tribes extend from kashmir and himalayas and practice diverse customs of earlier times afore they converted to islam. These van gujars are basically vegetarians and live on entirely milk and dairy products. Most of the milk during the pilgrimage season is provided by them and are they are famous for their command over the forest wisdom. In the summer season they migrate to high mountain meadows with their buffaloes, cows and hers and shift from low lying tracts of the region during winters. They also have strong knowledge of medicines and herbs.
The main language that is spoken in the garhwal region is garhwali and is one of the languages of the central pahari language of himalayas. The language is widely prevalent in the eastern parts of the himachal pradesh and garhwal. However, there are different variations of garhwali language as in:
• Juansari Spoken by people belonging to the jaunsar-babar and the adjoining regions
• mrachi and bhotia spoken by the marchas
• jadhi spoken in and around uttarkashi
• sailani is prevalent in tehri
Influence of colloquial languages and dialects
The garhwali language is influenced by many local languages and dialects. Few of them are:
• sanskrit or hindi that is prevalent in the areas to the south of garhwal
• bhotia dialect of tibet and china
• kumaoni and nepali that is spoken in the eastern garhwal region.
• dialects of the people of western pahari region that put up in the nearby tracts of the himanchal pradesh region.
Garhwali have been influenced by these languages and dialects, primarily because of the communities speaking them have settled in different areas of garhwal that has led to mixed garhwali language. Moreover, early inhabitants of garhwal have also welcomed these changes and absorbed them that led to evolution of these languages.
Origin of garhwali
Garhwali language saw its evolution due to following factors:-
• sauraseni prakit, it is also a source for brij and rajasthani bhasha.
• sanskrit and its variations.
• central pahari language or western.
Folk dances of uttarakhand
The tradition of uttarakhand has its ancestry in past. In their culture, dance is as important as wearing clothes. Among the different traditions and cultures of india, uttarakhand possesses one of the unique cultures which can be seen notably in its several forms of art. According to locals the gods can be prejudiced by dances not to fail man. Uttarakhand folk dances are not as complex as the classical dance type but are something which is stunning to witness. It’s a manifestation of the intense sited beliefs and ethnicity of the local people which is presented to convey pleasure & celebrate the coming of new season.
The uttarakhand art of dancing owes its motivation to the enthralling mythological dancing young women who inhabits on snow-covered peaks and are variously depicted as kecharis, ancheris or paries.
Some people said they are the souls of spirits of young single girls who died with no funeral cremation; they are the daughters of ravan who gave them to lord shiva as his hand-maidens. The highly famous version makes them part of the krishna legend and tradition, making them into the gopies who dance the 'dance celestial' with their lord krishna.
Here below we’ve provided the list of famous folk dances of garhwal, folk songs of garhwal and folk tradition of kumaon which are performed in diverse occasions in uttarakhand.