Uttarakhand, a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas, is known for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. Rishikesh, a major centre for yoga study, was made famous by the Beatles’ 1968 visit. The city hosts the evening Ganga Aarti, a spiritual gathering on the sacred Ganges River. The state’s forested Jim Corbett National Park shelters Bengal tigers and other native wildlife.
Uttaranchal – the land of gods, the home of Himalayas and truly a paradise on earth, allures everyone from everywhere. The fresh air, the pure water, the chilling snow, the adversing mountains, the scenic beauty, the small villages, the simpler people and a tougher lifesytle is what that distinguishes Uttaranchal from rest of the world.
The State is also a treasure house of exotic flora and fauna and is an ideal location for eco-tourism, as well as wildlife tourism. The world-famous Corbett National Park is the pride of Uttaranchal. Other important sanctuaries are, Rajaji National Park, Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, Asan Barrage, Chilla etc. Last but not the least, the rich cultural traditions and the cool and invigorating climate of Uttaranchal sums up for a perfect holiday destination to relax and unwind.
Uttaranchal is composed of two words, “uttar” meaning “north” and “aanchal” meaning “blessings.” Earlier known as “Devbhumi” meaning “the land of god,” Uttaranchal also nourishes a diverse and rich culture and monuments of historical importance. Uttaranchal is broadly divided into two zones Kumaon and Garhwal.Kumaoni and Garhwali are the respective bolis of Kumaon and Garhwal widely used in day to day communication by the pople living therein. It’s widely spoken in villages and small towns. However the city culture has to much extent swallowed up Kumaoni and Garhwali, and the people prefer to use Hindi instead.
Folk God Of Uttarakhand
The people of Kumaon & Garhwal have a golden inheritance of folk deity worship. Every folk god has a unique story and every one is worshipped through some peak, temple or jagar (a form of ritual folk poem). The worshipping traditions go back to ancient legends and still follow with genuine dedication.
The Renowned folk God and Goddesses of Kumaon
Naina Devi Godess Parvati is also known as Naina Devi. According to popular legend after Sati committed suicide by jumping into a sacrfical fire, lord Shiva was taking the body with him, her eye dropped at a place near the temple of Pashan Devi in Nainital.
Bholanath He is known as the reincarnation of Lord Shiva. The Chand King, Udai Chand, handed over his kingdom to his younger surpassing the elder son. The elder son, after travelling a long period of time settled in Almora with his pregnant wife. But the king ordered to cull them. The son, wife and their unborn child became ghosts and people began worshipping them. The Bholanath temple is at Champawat.
Gwalla There are Gwalla temples at Champawat, Chitai and Ghorakhal, the temple at Chitai is however most popular of them. Banners and flags are placed up over many temples in respect of Gwalla. Gwalla is also known as Gorilaa or Golla Or Golu.
Gangnath Gangnath was the son of King Vaibhav Chand of Doti (western Nepal). He fell in love with a Joshi Brahmin woman Bhana and because of that he had a confrontation with his father. So he left his father’s home. Later Bhana’s father made a blacksmith kill Ganganath. The Jagar singers of Kumaon are heard often sharing tales abouth the love affair of Ganganath and Bhana. There are many Ganganath temples in Kumaon.