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Uttarakhand Society, Culture and Pilgrimages

Uttarakhand Society, Culture and Pilgrimages

Author:Vishwambhar Prasad Sati
ISBN 13:9789391734237
Subject:Philosophy and Religion/Hinduism

About the Book

The Uttarakhand Himalaya is an integral part of the Himalaya. It has a rich culture and cultural heritage, and it is known as the land of gods, goddesses, and folk deities (Dev Bhumi). Cultural diversity can be seen from one drainage basin to another and in all walks of life. While, people from the highland areas celebrate traditional culture, customs, and rituals, the river valleys and plain regions have mixed cultures, influenced by the waves of modern culture drawn from the Indian sub-continent and abroad. The Himalaya is an abode of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and many mountain peaks are named after them such as Mount Kailash, Mount Nanda Devi, Mount Trishul, etc. The rivers are also named folk deities like the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The Ganga, the lifeline of Indian people, originates and flows from Uttarakhand and it makes one of the major river systems of India. Forests play an important role in practicing and conserving the culture of Uttarakhand. Nanda Van and Badri Van are examples. Water sources and sacred groves are worshipped on various occasions. The fairs, festivals, rituals, and customs present a diverse and colourful band and the folk dances with nature s rhythm. Society is woven by various castes and creeds. Brahmins, Rajputs, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes make up the major segment of society. Brahmins and Rajputs have many sub-clans. Scheduled Tribes are treated as unprivileged class people. In the meantime, Scheduled Tribes live in the jungle and run their livelihood from the forest products. Pilgrimages to the Himalaya are centuries-old practices. Pilgrims visit highland and valley pilgrimages every year. They believe that visiting these shrines once in a lifetime; liberates them from the cycle of birth and death. There are Four Dhams, Jyotirmaths, Shakti Peeths, and Siddha Peeths. Further, Uttarakhand is the land of Panch Badri, Panch Kedar, and Panch Prayag. The book Uttarakhand: Society, Culture, and Pilgrimages presents an original, empirical, and holistic description of culture, customs, rituals, society, and pilgrimages. There are 16 chapters including an introduction and conclusions, and the book is enriched by colourful figures.