Uttarakhand Culture

The culture of Uttarakhand shows a distinctive pattern, with the elements from each of the ethnic groups and sub-groups that resides in this place. It can be said that the culture of Uttarakhand is a juncture where the different cultures of the Kumaoni-Garhwal meet.

Talking about the culture of Uttarakhand, we can begin with the people of Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand houses seven different ethnic groups, having as many as seven different cultures. Some of the important ethnic groups that form a part of the culture of Uttarakhand are:

  • Jaunsari.
  • Bhotia.
  • Buksha.
  • Tharu.
  • Raji.
In this context, it can be said that the people of Uttarakhand are also known as Garhwali or Kumaoni; some of them are also known as Paharis.

It is noteworthy that majority of the people in Uttarakhand are Hinuds, who exclusively belong to the upper class. These upper class that occupies major part in the culture of Uttarakhand, is divided into two Indo-Aryan groups, viz.:
  • The original Khas tribes (that arrived in the hills in the Vedic Age), and
  • Migrants from North-Central India (that settled in the Medieval Period).
Besides the ethnic groups, other constituents of the culture of Uttarakhand are:
  • Languages:
    • Hindi,
    • Kumaoni,
    • Garhwali,
    • Jaunsari,
    • Bhotiya, etc.

  • Fairs and Festivals:
    • Kumbh Mela,
    • Ardh Kumbh Mela,
    • Devidhura Mela,
    • Purnagiri Mela,
    • Nanda Devi Mela,
    • Gauchar Mela, etc.

  • Food:
    • Garhwal Ka Fannah,
    • Kafuli,
    • Phaanu,
    • Baadi,
    • Ras,
    • Bhatt Ki Churdkani,
    • Arsa,
    • Gulgula, etc.

  • Music:
    • Garhwali Folk Music,
    • Chhopati,
    • Chounphula,
    • Jhumeila,
    • Basanti,
    • Mangal,
    • Puja Folk Songs, etc.

  • Dance:
    • Garhwali Dance Forms
    • Langvir Nritya
    • Barada Nati
    • Pandav Nritya, etc.

Thus, it can be said that Uttarakhand portrays an array of different cultures under its domain. The difference in lifestyle and cultures is, indeed, a unique quality of Uttarakhand.

Last Updated on 4 March 2013