Understanding the Socio-cultural Experiences of Pahari Folk: The Jagar Gathas of Kumaon and Garhwal

Mily Roy Anand


Most generalisations about North Indian society and culture are in reality generalisations about the Indo-Gangetic plains. The Central Himalayan region comprising Kumaon and Garhwal (now known as Uttaranchal) has largely been neglected or ignored due to lack of information or indifference on the part of scholars towards this region. From early times, geographical factors have played a key role in shaping the history and culture of this region. Another factor which contributed towards the culture of Uttaranchal is the waves of migration to this region from the Gangetic plains, Punjab and Rajasthan particularly in the medieval period. The impact of these migrations can be seen in the religious and sociocultural practices of the people of Kumaon and Garhwal. This is particularly evident in the rich folklore of Uttaranchal, which throws a vivid light on the social and cultural conditions of this region.

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