Saathi is thankful of great holy guru Sh. Bhole JI Maharaj and Mata Mangla Ji for their valuable support & Blessings.
The culture of a place depends upon its inhabitants, environment and its heritage. Uttarakhand has all the things in abundance. In fact, it has every thing that any tourist could desire. The most significant donor for giving mass appeal to tourism in Uttarakhand is the state’s rich culture, an excellent intermingling of exoticism as well as the way of life. Undoubtly, it is the most precious gift of God to the people of this land of Gods. The highlights of the Uttaranchali culture should be its history, people, religion and dances. All of them are a beautiful amalgamation of different influences from all the races and dynasties it has been ruled by. Uttarakhand literally means Northern Section. Earlier it was a part of the state of Uttar Pradesh but now it is an independent state. Uttarakhand also has the sobriquet of ‘The Land of Gods’ and ‘The Heavenly Abode’..

Uttarakhand shows a distinctive pattern, with the elements from each of the ethnic groups and sub-groups that resides in this place. It can be said that the culture of Uttarakhand is a juncture where the different cultures of the Kumaoni-Garhwal meet.

Talking about the culture of Uttarakhand, we can begin with the people of Uttarakhand. Some of the important ethnic groups that form a part of the culture of Uttarakhand are:
• Jaunsari. • Bhotia. • Buksha. • Tharu. • Raji.

In this context, it can be said that the people of Uttarakhand are also known as Garhwali or Kumaoni; and in general are they are known as Paharis.

It is noteworthy that majority of the people in Uttarakhand are Hinuds, who exclusively belong to the upper class. These upper class that occupies major part in the culture of Uttarakhand, is divided into two Indo-Aryan groups, viz.:

• The original Khas tribes (that arrived in the hills in the Vedic Age), and
• Migrants from North-Central India (that settled in the Medieval Period).


The silver mountains, the sparkling streams, vivid green valleys and the cool climate have attracted many into the hills of uttarakhandl for peace and meditation . It is this beautiful land, which inspired the great writer slike Maharishi Balmiki and Kalidas. The original art of stone carving gradually died out but woodcarving still could be seen on every door of the house until only half a century ago. In addition, wood carving can be seen in hundreds of temples all over Uttarakhand.

• Languages :
b) Kumaoni
e)Bhotiya, etc.

Fair & Festivals
    • Kumbh Mela
    • Uttarayani Fair
    • Nanda Devi Fair
    • Devidhura Fair
    • Hilljatra
    • Nanda Devi Raj jat yatra
    • Purnagiri Fair
    • Jageshwari Fair
    • Kandali Festival
    • Kumaoni Holi
    • Surkanda Devi Temple
    • Kedarnath Temple
    • Badrinath Temple
    • Yamunotri Temple
    • Gangotri Temple
    • Nanda Devi Temple
    • Naina Devi Temple
    • Jawalpa Devi
    • Dhari Devi
    • Purnagiri Temple
Folk Dances
                        1. Langvir Nritya
                        2. Barada Nati
                        3. Pandva Nritya
                        4. Shotiya Tribal Folk Dances
Folk Songs Of Garwal
                        1. Chhopati
                        2. Chounphula and Jhumeila
                        3. Basanti
                        4. Mangal
                        6. Jaggar
                        7. Bajuband
                        8. Khuded
                        9. Chhura
Of Kumaon   
                        1. Ramola
                        2. Jagars
                        3. Chhapeli
                        4. Chancheri - The Mother of Jhora
                        5. Jhora
                        6. Chholiya Dance
                        7. The Thali, Jadda and Jhainta

Kumaoni Language and Literature Kumaonis speak languages belonging to the Aryan family, although some of them speak the dialects of the Tibeto - Burmese family. The influence of the Kols, Munds, Kinnar - Kirats, Dard - Khasas is also to be seen in these dialects. Almost all Kumaonis can speak Hindi and except for the Shaukas of Darma, Biyans and Chaudans, the Banrajis of Askot and Chalthi; the Tharus, Boksas, Punjabis and Bengalis, they also use Kumaoni. G.A.Grierson has mentioned the use of 13 dialects in Kumaon. These are Johari, Majh Kumaiya, Danpuriya, Askoti, Sirali, Soryali, Chaugarkhyali, Kumaiya, Gangola, Khasparjia, Phaldakoti, Pachhai, and Rauchaubhaisi. All the dialects of Garhwali and Kumaoni are called Central Pahari group of languages. To the east of these, people speak Khaskura (Nepali), to the west, Western Pahari (Himachali), to the south, Western Hindi, and to the north, languages belonging to the Tibeto - Burmese family.

 Kumaon also has a very rich tradition of folk literature, which deals with local/national myths, heroes, heroines, deeds of bravery and various aspects of nature. These songs were written by some anonymous poets. The songs deal with the creation of earth, the deeds of Gods - Goddesses and local dynasties / heroes, as also characters from the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. There are folk songs dealing with the well known love story of Rajula and Malushahi, the courageous deeds of the twenty two Bafaul brothers, the heroism of Sangram Singh Karki and the imaginary lands across the Himalaya as envisaged by the two Ramola brothers. Usually, these songs are based on events from local history and the bharau (ballads) are usually sung during collective agricultural activities (Hurkiabol) and other songs in different social and cultural festivals. In some prosperous valleys hurkiabol is still a living folk expression.

The pastoral, agricultural and children's songs of Kumaon also express a close relationship between man and his surroundings. In these songs the relations between man and his bullocks are almost human and children too, share a very intimate relationship with nature. In the songs dealing with the flora and fauna of the region, these often assume symbolic proportions. There are many types of folk songs e.g. the invitation songs, Neoli, Bhagnaul, Jhora, Chanchari and Chhapeli. In these songs the 'Suva' or the p'arrot symbolizes lovers, while in the 'Riturain' songs, the 'Nyoli' bird is a symbol for brothers and sisters. Neoli is also a style of singing. Even the proverbs of Kumaon are very poetic. Gopidas, Mohan Singh Reethagari, Jait Ram and Chakra Ram Damai were some of the famous folk singers of Kumaon. As far as the written literature of Kumaon is concerned Lok Ratna Pant 'Gumani', Krishna Pandey, Shiv Datt Sati, Gorda, Shyama Charan Datt Pant, Ram Dutt Pant 'Kaviraj', Chandra Lal Chaudhary, Pitambar Pandey, Bachi Ram Arya, Jeevan Chandra Joshi, Kunwar Singh Bhandari etc. are some of the well known names. Today Kumaoni poets and writers are known even outside of Kumaon.

The contribution of Kumaon to the Hindi literature and journalism is unique in many ways. From Gumani to Sumitra Nandan Pant, Laxmi Datt Joshi to Shailesh Matiyani, Ela Chandra Joshi to Ramesh Chandra Shah, Hem Chandra Joshi to Mrinal Pande and Pankaj Bisht and many others, the contribution of Hindi writing Kumaonis is well known.

Folk Gods of Kumaon
In spite of being worshippers of Lord Shiva and Shakti, the people of Kumaon have a rich tradition of folk deity worship. The heroes of some long - forgotten age have later on become folk gods and they give expression to the popular beliefs of the people. Each folk god has a separate story attached to his name and each one is remembered through some peak, temple or jagar (a form of ritual folk poem). It is believed that Kumaon once had a tradition of Yaksha worship. . Besides worshipping the usual gods and goddesses associated with Hinduism, the people of Kumaon have also worshipped Kul Devatas (family gods), Gram Devatas (village gods), Naga Devatas (snake gods), Bhumi Devatas (land gods) and Veers (the brave hroes). The following are the important folk gods & goddesses of Kumaon:
Naina Devi
Nanda Devi
Kail Bisht

Besides these, many other folk gods are worshipped in Kumaon e.g. Bhumia, Balchan, Nagnath, Bhandari Golla, Badhan, Narsingh, Lataul, Gabla, Chhurmal etc. Anyari and Ujyali are the popular goddesses. Garh Devis are to be found in cremation grounds and are worshipped on the night of Amavasya. Although Bafaul, Ramol, Sangram Karki are also mentioned as folk heroes, they are not treated like gods.

Garhwali Dance Forms

 AIPAN ART FORM Aipan is a popular art form of Uttarakhand. Various geometric and other figures belonging to gods and objects of nature are drawn on wall or paper. Read More » UTTARAKHAND RECIPIES Taste the delicious cuisine of Uttarakhand. Learn the recipies for popular Garhwali and Kumaoni Dishes. Read More » UTTARANCHAL FOLK MUSIC Discover the folk music of Uttarakhand. Popular dance forms of Garhwal and Kumaon. Read More » Garhwali Dance Forms

 Langvir Nritya
This is an acrobatic dance and is performed by the men folk only. In this dance, a long bamboo pole is fixed at a place. The dancer-acrobat climbs to the top of this pole and then balances himself on his stomach on the top. Under the pole, a band of musicians play the 'Dhol' and 'Damana', while the dancer rotates on the top of the pole, performing other feats with his hands and feet. This dance is popular in the Tehri Garhwal region.
Barada Nati
The Barada Nati folk dance is a popular dance of the Jaunsar Bhawar area of Chakrata Tehsil in Dehradun district. The folk dance is performed on the eve of some religious festivals or on the occasion of some social functions. Both boys and girls take part in the dance dressed in colourful traditional costumes.
Pandav Nritya
The Pandav Nritya, which is related to the story of the Mahabharata, has been very popular, particularly in the Garhwal region. Pandavas Nritya is nothing but a simple narration of the story of the Mahabharata in the form of dance and music. It is mostly enacted on the occasion of 'Dussehra' and Diwali. Pandavas Nritya is popular in Chamoli district and Pauri Garhwal.

Garwali Language
Central Pahari languages include Garhwali and Kumauni . Garhwali, like Kumauni, has many regional dialects spoken in different places in Uttarakhand. The script used for Garhwali is Devanagari Garhwali is one of the 325 recognized languages of India spoken by over 2,267,314 people in Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar and Rudraprayag districts of Uttarakhand Garhwali is also spoken by people in other parts of India including Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to various estimates, there are at least 25 lakh Garhwali migrants living in Delhi and the National Capital Region.

In the middle period of the course of development of Indo-Aryan languages, there were many prakrit. Of these, the "Khas Prakrit" is believed to be the source of Garhwal although some scholars believe "Shaurseni Apabhransa" to be the source of the Garhwali The early form of Garhwali can be traced to the 10th century which is found in numismatics, royal seals, inscriptional writings on copper plates and temple stones containing royal orders and grants. One such early example is the temple grant inscription of King Jagatpal at Dev Prayag (1335 AD). Most of the Garhwali literature is preserved in folk form, handed down verbally from generation to generation but since the 18th century, literary traditions are flourishing.Till the 17th century, Garhwal was always a sovereign nation under the Garhwali Kings. Naturally, Garhwali was the official language of the Garhwal Kingdom for hundreds of years under the Panwar (Shah) Kings and even before them, until the Gurkhas captured Garhwal and subsequently the British occupied half of Garhwal, later called British Garhwal which was included under the United Provinces. Garhwal Kingdom acceded to the Union of India as a part of Uttar Pradesh in 1949.

Garhwali Dialects
o Srinagariya - classical Garhwali spoken in Srinagar.
o Tihriyali - spoken in Tehri Garhwal.
o Jaunsari - spoken in Jaunsar-Bhabar
o Badhani - spoken in Chamoli Garhwal.
o Dessaulya
o Lohabbya
o Majh-Kumaiya- spoken at the border of Garhwal and Kumaon.
o Nagpuriya - spoken in Rudraprayag district.
o Rathi - spoken in Rath area of Pauri Garhwal.
o Salani - spoken in Talla Salan, Malla Salan and Ganga Salan parganas of Pauri.
o Ranwalti - spoken in Ranwain ,the Yamuna valley of Uttarkashi.
o Bangani - spoken in Bangaan area of Uttarkashi.
o Jaunpuri - spoken in Uttarkashi and Tehri districts.
o Gangadi -spoken in Uttarkashi)
o Chaundkoti - spoken in Pauri.

Garhwali literature

Garhwali has a rich literature in all genres including poetry, novels, short stories and play Earlier, Garhwali literature was present only as folklore. Although Garhwali was the official language of the Kingdom of Garhwal since 8th century, the language of literature was mostly Sanskrit. The oldest manuscript that has been found is a poem named "Ranch Judya Judige Ghimsaan Ji" written by Pt. Jayadev Bahuguna (16th century). In 1828 AD, Maharaja Sudarshan Sah wrote "Sabhaasaar". In 1830 AD. Today, newspapers like "Uttarakhand Khabarsar" and "Rant Raibaar" are published entirely in Garhwali. Magazines like "Baduli", "Hilaans", "Chtthi-patri" and "Dhaad" contribute in the development of Garhwali language. Some of the important Garhwali writers and their prominent creations are:
o Abodhbandhu Bahuguna - "Ankh-Pankh", "Bhoomyal" and "Ragdwaat"
o Kanhaiyyalal Dandriyal - "Anjwaal"
o Atmaram Gairola
o Taradutt Gairola - "Sadei"
o Satyasharan Raturi - "Utha Garhwalyun!"
o Bhawanidutt Thapliyal - "Pralhad"
o Chandramohan Raturi - "Phyunli"
o Chakradhar Bahuguna - "Mochhang"
o Keshavanand Kainthola - "Chaunphal Ramaya
o Bhagbati Prasad Panthri - "Adah Patan" and "Paanch Phool"
o Mahaveer Prasad Gairola - "Parbati"
o Dr. Shivanand Nautiyal
o Lokesh Nawani - "Phanchi"
o Durga Prasad Ghildiyal - "Bwari", "Mwari" and "Gaari"
o Sudaama Prasad Premi - "Agyaal"
o Lalit Mohan Thapliyal - "Achhryunki
o Dr. Narendra Gauniyal - "Dheet"
o Pratap Shikhar - "Kuredi phategi"
o Madan Mohan Duklaan - "Aandi-jaandi saans"
o Veerendra Negi - "Inma kankwei aan basant"
o Bachan Singh Negi - "Garhwali translation of Mahabharat and Ramayan"

In 2010, the Sahitya Akademi has conferred Bhasha Samman on two Garhwali writers- Sudama Prasad 'Premi' and Premlal Bhatt. The Sahitya Akademi also organized "Garhwali Bhasha Sammelan"(Garhwali Language Convention) at Pauri Garhwal in June 2010.