Administration, Social and Cultural Characteristics History of Garhwal in Shah Dynasty -51
History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -240
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -488
By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Research Student)
In Garhwal, still, Rural Life has two dimensions in Garhwal. One life is Hill Rural life and other is Bhabhar or Plains Rural Life.
The village settlements in Bhabhar, plains of Dehradun were where water sources was near for irrigation. However, Maleriya, snakes, Bhut –Pret and many other diseases and attacks of Rohillas and Sikhs checked the population growth. It was said that ‘Bhabhar ku Vas ar Kul ku Nas’ meaning settling in Bhabhar destroys the generation.
In hills where valleys were wide or hills were in slower slips the people settled there. It was easy to dig contour types of farms. In normal circumstances water was available though might be one or two miles away from the village. However, if the old villages are studied, it is found that water source was just ten to twenty meters away from first house established. Slowly, due to land slide or earth quack the water sources dried and people had to go far from village to water source. Jaspur village (Malla Dhangu, Pauri Garhwal) was established on hill top in around fourteenth century and water source was in the village. However, two hundred years ago a land slide wiped away down the water source. There was no shortage of fodders and wood in hills of Garhwal. However, when in British rule the medical facilities became available and death rates came down the population increased in rural Garhwal and there became the shortage of land, water and forests.
In British rule, in Bhabhar and Plains of Dehradun, Bijnor and Haridwar, due to medical facilities and protection faculties the population increases in those regions too.
House Building Specialty in Rural Garhwal
In hills the people used build houses on a place that had hard rocks and there was no chance of land slide, glacier slip, flooding etc. Houses were built mainly at sunny side. Manly the houses were in line that sun light is available. It was said that Gad ku bas ar Kul ki Nas meaning if you reside in near river you will destroy your generation. Therefore, even the river valleys were fertile, water supply was easy, people used to stay above valley on a Dhar (hill top). River valley had many disadvantages as low sun light, less time sun light, high disease porn region in summer, cooler temperature in winter and higher temperature in summer. Houses were also build as if Fort and called Kotha Bhitar.
Bith (upper caste) used to stay at upper side of village and Doom (lower castes) used to have houses at lower side.
The subgroups stay in a locality in village and called Khwal as Bisht Khwal, Tmta Khwal etc.
In Garhwal hills, house walls were built by stones and roof too was built by slate flat stones. Grass was also used for roofing by poor people.
The Bhotantik and North side (as upper Uttarkashi, upper Tehri, Upper Rudraprayg or upper Chamoli) of Garhwalis used to build houses by wood to protect houses from earth quack and winter. In many regions as in Bhotantik region, the roof of houses was made by Bhojpatra leaves too.
Window was uncommon. The houses were usually of ground and first floor with another mezzanine floor (Dhaiper). There used to a Drawing room at first floor called Tibari. Usually Kotha Bhitar (mini fort) type was common that there would be a courtyard and surrounding it used to be houses. This was for protection purpose.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, email@example.com/11/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -489
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
History of Characteristics of Garhwal Kings Shah dynasty, to be continued
Notes on South Asian Modern Period History of Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Pauri Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Chamoli Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Rudraprayag Garhwal; South Asian Modern History of Tehri Garhwal; South Asian Modern History of Uttarkashi Garhwal; South Asian Modern Period History of Dehradun, Garhwal; Modern History of Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Manglaur, Haridwar; South Asian Modern Period History of Rurkee Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period History of Haridwar district, South Asian History of Bijnor old Garhwal
Notes on History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Dehradun Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Bhabhar Bijnor in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Haridwar Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Uttarkashi Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Tehri Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Chamoli Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Rudraprayag Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era; History Aspects of Village , Rural Life in Pauri Garhwal in Pal/ Shah Era;