At Photo Journey, we have shared various places and events from Himachal Pradesh. Today this Photo Journey is going to introduce few interesting folks we met in this beautiful state of India...
Himachal is one of the few Indian States which had remained largely untouched by external customs, largely due to its difficult terrains. With the technological advancements the state has changed very rapidly, although many of the good things are retained as they were.
Above photograph shows a group of folks from Kullu, who are playing Himachali bands on folk-songs of this Himalayan State. It was wonderful evening with musical moments under star lit sky.
Many people in Himachal drive their income from sheep, goats, and other cattle. Here is a gentleman we met in Shimla region of Himachal Pradesh. In Himachal, there is a particular community known as 'Gaddi'. They keep moving from one place to other with hundreds of goats & sheeps during winters. During summers they move back to their land in high altitudes. Although above gentleman is not a Gaddi, but a villagers who had approximately 10 goats in the group.
Most of the people in Himachal depend on agriculture for livelihood. Above lady was working in her vegetable farms for cutting cabbage for markets.
We met this person at Gata-Kuffer village in Shimla region again and his cap was most interesting thing for us. On inquiring, we got to know that flowers on top of this cap was something that are natural, which look fresh most of the time unless we crush them. These flowers are found on one of the Himalayan trees.
I think more than ninety percent of the people live in villages and small towns of the state. Villages usually have terraced fields and small two storey houses with sloping roof. Most of the villages can be seen with houses having similar architecture, but now it's changing. The villages are mostly self-contained with a few shops to take care of basic necessities of life.
A little girl coming back from fields with her lovely cattle walking on road side. This photograph was shot on highway which connects Shimla with Kinnaur.
We were surprised to see this ! An old man coming back home with firewood weighing around 8 kgs on his back. Although he was quite comfortable because of habit of doing such activities during their daily activities. Although he looks worried in this photograph but happy face can be seen in the bottom of this Photo Journey.
The Hindu communities residing in Himachal include the Brahmins, Rajputs, Kannets, Rathis and Kolis. There are also tribal population in the state which mainly comprise Gaddis, Kinnars, Gujjars, Pangawals and Lahaulis. In some areas, like Lahaul and Spiti, there is a majority of Buddhist population since the area is located near Tibet. A percentage of people are also Tibetans. Muslim, Christian and Sikhs are in minority but they also enjoy the same rights as Hindus.
Here is a photograph of lady going towards Apple Orchards with a container on her back. This was not a season of plucking apples, so she was going to orchards for cutting grass under apple trees and bring back something to feed cattle at home. She was having this stick to guide her dog :)
Himachal Pradesh is a multireligional, multicultural as well as multilingual state like other Indian states. Some of the most commonly spoken languages includes Hindi, Punjabi, Pahari, Dogri, Mandeali, Kangri and Kinnauri... It's strange that folks from Himachal also fail to understand language spoken in other parts of the state. Event accent changes a lot within districts.
Though hindi is the state language, many people speak Pahari also. Pahari laguage itself has many dialects and all of them trace their origin to the Sanskrit language- also known as origin of all languages. Punjabi touch can be heard in lower himachal region, which is near to Punjab.
As per the traditional dressing norms the dress of the Brahmin male includes dhoti, kurta, coat, waistcoat, turban and a hand towel while that of the Rajput male consists of tight fitting churidar pyjamas, a long coat and a starched turban. With the changing time the dress up of the people has now become a mixed one. Though the above mentioned style is now hardly followed, people have started wearing western style of clothes.
Dress shown in above photograph is known as Reshta, which can be seen in Kotkhai area of Shimla district. Similarly there are various dresses which can be seen in different parts of the state.
An interesting Himachali, Mr Rohit Sharma. I met him once in Shimla and in contact with him till date. An all rounder person with a BIG smile always on his face. He is mainly into Media and also have some businesses in Shimla. A creative mind who has also worked in many of the Bollywood movies.
She is Nirgala, who is not basically from Himachal but we have met her twice in Himalayas. She is a professional Cycle rider and has won various contests in multiple countries on this earth. A cheerful girl, who is extremely passionate about Cycling. Of course, while in Himachal, you can meet lot of adventure lovers all around...
Most villages of Himachal Pradesh have a temple, where people come for worship. Himalayas are also a destination for Sadhus, for various reasons :) ... We met him in Sarahn Village while he was going towards Shrikhand Mahadev, which is a pilgrimage destination in Himachal Pradesh.
Himachali people hard working and brave as well. Many of the folks from Himachal work for Indian Army and they are physically very strong because of their daily lifestyle. Most of the people in Himachal need to walk a lot for daily stuff like going to office, reaching market for grabbing general stuff for kitchen etc. Above photograph shows a man diving into the Shrikhand River near Nirmand/Baghi-pul.
Two Himachali Folk Dancers, who are mainly into other profession. Dance is their passion and they have performed in various places in the state. Even someone needs to say for a performance and they can perform for you anywhere. Above photograph is shot during trek to Sarolsar Lake near Jalori Pass. It was time to rest for us and they were entertaining us :) ... btw, great dancers are Saurabh and Rohit !
Himachal as a state always remain in top 5 states from literacy point of view. So it's obvious to see various schools en route. Above photograph is shot in one of the school, which shows two little girls cleaning their dishes after lunch. In Himachal, lunch is offered free for kids in school campus only.
The typical house in Himachal Pradesh is constructed of clay bricks and the roofs are of slate. In some areas the slate roof is also replaced by timber. Above photograph shows a school-girl looking down from first floor of the school, which has most of the parts made up of wood.
Himachal is popular destination for travellers, adventure lovers, trekkers etc. So here is one of the photographs showing a tourist capturing Himalayn Beauty in her Digital Camera.
Of course, Cricket is one of the popular sport in Himachal as well. Kids can be seen playing Cricket, Gilli-Danda, Pithoo etc. But Cricket is becoming more popular with new generation. But most of the times bat is made at home.
A majority of the population of Himachal Pradesh is engaged in agricultural practices, however the more educated of them are now moving towards tertiary sectors.
A happy kid helping us in village tour at Sarahan. There is a smal village in Kullu, which is isolated from rest of the state and situated on a hill top. This village is equipped with solar street-lights and well connected with telephone lines. This place gets snow during most of the time in an year. Good part was to know about appropriate educational infrastructure in the village. There is a high school at this place.
In general people of Himachal Pradesh are honest, truthful, gentle, and good humored. The beauty of Himachal is enhanced by its inhabitants-mostly farmers- known for their charm, tolerance and honesty. Himachal Pradesh with its sturdy hill people is well-known for its centuries old costumes & other garments.
Some parts of Himachal grow apples and these orchards need lot of people to take care of these delicate trees. Many folks from Nepal come to Shimla and join various Orchards in upper Shimla, Kinnaur and Kullu regions. This photograph was shot in market of Narkanda, when this lady was waiting for local bus towards the apple orchard where she was working.
Her companion keeping an eye of buses moving here and there...
Priest at Hatu Temple near Narkanda, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India !!!
People from other states love to try local dresses. Here is a photograph of one of my friends, who wanted to try 'Dhattu'. Dhattu is cloth she has wrapped around her head. Himachali ladies use this to cover their heads to prevent from cold waves in himalayas.
In Himachal there is a very different trend of having village-gods, usually called 'Devatas'. Especially in upper Himachal the village Gods are carried on palanquins to village fairs. On Dussehra the largest congregation of village Gods takes place at Kullu. The folk songs of Himachal Pradesh are full of charm. They are usually based on a religious or a romantic theme. People gather in a circle in village fairs and dance to the tune of these songs.
Himachali lady crossing a very thin bridge...
Kids sorting corn-seeds in upper Himachal region of India.
Potatoes of Himachal are very famous and some regions of the state export them to various countries. One of the big chips brands get potatoes on contract basis. Various villages in Kangra district produce potatoes for these big companies on pre-order basis.
With this, our Photo Journey completes for now. This journey with more people from Himalayas will continue...