Devbhoomi Uttarakhand was separated out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2000, but it has been the center for religion and spirituality ever since the Vedic ages. The history, culture, beliefs, and traditions of this hill state and crown of India are widely admired and celebrated. Everything here is unique and one of a kind in its own way from its landscape and wildlife to its people.
The the entire state is divided into 2 parts namely Garhwal (Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri and Haridwar) and Kumaon (Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Almora, Nainital, Champawat and Udham Singh Nagar). Both the regions are distinct from each other in the matters of traditions and beliefs which is what makes this land incomparable. What adds to the culture of this state is the fact that apart from the above mentioned 2 major inhabitants this place is also home to tribes like Bhotias, Tharus, Jaunsaries, Bokshas, etc.
Here is everything you need to know about the culture of Uttarakhand.
People of Uttarakhand:
The local people of Uttarakhand are popular all over the world for their welcoming attitude, simple and humble way of life. They consider everything to be a blessing from God and work hard in preserving their gift from the god. They are referred to as Pahari or hill people, in laymen words. This place boasts of serving as a home to a huge diversity of people belonging to different ethnicities. These people are majorly dependent on agricultural activities and handicrafts to earn their livelihood. Inhabiting the deeper parts of offbeat regions of Uttarakhand are various tribes who call Devbhoomi their home. Even if you happen to visit Uttarakhand as a tourist then be sure to interact nicely and politely with the people there and respect their way of life and nature as their own home.
Traditional Clothes of Uttarakhand:
The clothes worn by the people of Uttarakhand are very different from the rest of India. Their attire represents the traditions that they follow and the culture of their community. Apart from the Pahari community the inhabitants here also consist of Punjabis, Tibetan, and Nepalis which can be seen through their clothing. The people of the hills utilize the easily available resources here like wool which is obtained from sheep and is used to make woolen clothing like sweaters and jackets. The men and women clothing for men and women are very different from each other:
For Men: The local people who live in the villages traditionally wear a dhoti or a lungi as a lower garment. As a part of the upper garment, they wear a Kurta of any color. To complete the overall traditional attire they also wear a turban as a part of the traditional headgear. During the winter season, both men, as well as women, wear traditional and colorful jackets and sweaters. Places that have experienced commercialization due to tourism can be seen local people also wearing western clothing like track pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc.
For Women: Mostly worn by the female population of Uttarakhand, Ghagri is a long skirt made in a traditional pattern. Worn as an upper garment women wear colorful and well-designed Choli which is like a common Indian blouse. Due to strong rays of the sun women also cover their heads with an Odhani which is generally attached to the Ghagri by the waist. This particular attire is worn by women of both Kumaoni and Garhwali communities. The bridal costume is known as Ghagra Pichora which is very similar to the Lehenga Choli. A Pichora is something that is worn like a veil and is entirely covered in gold and silver embroidery work. The women also wear saris on a common and daily basis and in some other regions just like in case of men, women also wear Kurta Pajama.
Art and Craft of Uttarakhand:
The state of Uttarakhand is filled with people working full time as artisans performing and keeping the culture of arts and crafts alive in India. The urban, as well as the rural people of Uttarakhand, create some of the most awe-inspiring and astounding artwork which makes for a very good souvenir. Woodwork items are probably one of the most significant forms of art in Uttarakhand. Apart from this what truly depicts its culture are its paintings and murals that is a wonderful demonstration of the fine and intricate skills of the locals here. Another way that the people here conserve their art is in the form of Ramban handicraft which is created using jute and hemp. Embroidered carpets, cushion covers, Bed Sheets and woolen knitted wear are a particular area of expertise of the local people here.
Lifestyle of Uttarakhand:
The urban and rural life of the people of Uttarakhand are heterogeneous in nature and are very distinct from each other. The urban areas consist of Nainital, Haridwar, Almora, Dehradun, etc. these contain good schools, shopping malls, markets and hotels along with modern amenities and facilities as well. On the other hand, in rural areas, people can be seen indulging in a more peaceful way of life. Several NGOs as well as the government of Uttarakhand constant work towards enforcing an organic way of life and move towards betterment. With the advent of tourism in Uttarakhand in the past few years, people have also come in touch with a more modern way of life with the introduction of the internet and digital age.