5 Most Intriguing Traditions of Himachal Pradesh

Published 3 weeks ago


Heaven lies in the Himalayas, and so does Himachal Pradesh in the lap of the Himalayas. But ever wondered about the deep secrets of Heavenly Himachal.

Here are some rituals and traditions of Himachal you didn't know about-

What LOTE VILLAGE people are known for?

People always tend to do things for which they are known for. But here is one thing that the people of Lote village, near Sainj valley, do. It's a tradition that has been followed for many years. But  first let's go through the back story.

Generally, after all the rituals are performed in a marriage, people from the bride's side go to the groom's house to have fun, eat, and dance. So, the dance which is performed is nati (their kinds vary from region to region), which a male and female can do together, beginning with slower body movements. The dancers move in a circle or in a row. The dance includes a variety of musical arrangements, and the beat varies based on the region where it is performed. People sway to the beats and rhythm brought by skilled musicians playing instruments such as shehnai, drums, cymbals, and ranasingha.

The slow beats get fast by the end, and as soon as the people of Lote Village realize that the Nati is nearing its end, they start picking up random items like utensils, chairs, dustbins, and tables from the groom's house to dance with. Be it anything, they won't resent picking it and making it a dancing partner. A friend told me that they didn't hesitate even a little bit to uproot a well-set up tandoor and dance with its pipes.

People of LOTE village dancing and enjoying the wedding with the random item/dance partner

By the way, tandoor or Bukhari is more of a cultural and traditional feature of the Kullu valley than just a way to warm up a cozy home. It's  built of iron or brass, and is oval or square in shape, which has two or three cooking apertures with a chimney to expel the smoke.

Well set up Tandoor mostly in the living rooms where all the members of the family sit and eat together ,it is also used to cook food and heat up the room.

Next time, if people pick up stuff and dance with it. We now know where they are from (i.e., Lote village) because they are known for it.

What's unique about Paragpur's Lohri?

Lohri is also known as' Maghi 'or' 'Saza' in some locations. On the 1st of Magh, it is commemorated (mid January). It is more commonly observed as a continuation of the festival season. After concluding their agricultural tasks, they feast and celebrate, taking advantage of the opportunity to see their family. This festival will last eight days. People gather on the eighth day to exhibit social unity. The music and dancing continued all night. In Punjab and Haryana, the Lohri celebration is similarly popular.

The practise of celebrating the Lohri festival for the girl child began in Punjab and certain areas of Himachal in recent years as a deterrent to female foeticide. However, Paragpur, a heritage village in Kangra district, has been commemorating the celebration for the girl child for more than three centuries. The principality of Jaswan state began celebrating Lohari at Paragpur in the late 16th century or early 17th century, according to historical records.It was commemorated for Princess "Parag Dei" of Jaswan state, who is remembered by the villagers for organising resistance to the area's raiding gangs of invaders. Hundreds of years have elapsed since the occurrence. In honour of the late princess, the people have kept up the practise of celebrating Lohri.

According to some historians, it may have been the first Lohri ceremony in North India for a girl child (princess parag). The Lohri festival in Paragpur has been designated as a state festival by the government.

The heart of Paragpur village has been designated as a heritage village, and the adjoining Garli village has been designated as a heritage zone. Paragpur was designated as a heritage zone by the state in a notification published on December 9, 1997.The character of a heritage hamlet has been preserved in Paragpur, which contains old stores and cobblestone streets. mud-plastered slate-roofed buildings and ornamental village tanks.Promoters of the Judges' Court, a small country hotel, have played an important role in preserving the area's historic identity and promoting it as a heritage monument. The hotel is on a 12-acre property and features a century-old edifice with a blend of Indian and British style.The structure was brought in by Justice Sir Jai Lal in 1918. In a secluded community in the Kangra area, his family is currently maintaining the property and running it as a country hotel. On January 13, 2010, Heritage Village Pragpur hosted the first state-level Lohri celebration.

History of Gugga Fair

Another type of snake cult is gugga worship. The deity is thought to be particularly effective in situations of snake bite. Gugga worship is quite popular in Kangra, Hamirpur, Una, Bilaspur, and Mandi districts. Gorakhnath, Machhendra-Nath, Narsingh, Bhairon, Hanuman, Sirkhand, Kailu, Fatta, Gugri, and Ghoga have idols in Gugga temples. The Gugga was a brave hero riding a horse who appeared in long ballads popular in Rajasthan, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. Many battles are said to have been fought and won by him. He is credited with fighting even after losing his head in his final battle. Gugga was thereafter acknowledged as a divinity endowed with extraordinary abilities as a result of the miracle.

According to the tale of Gugga, a Rajput king named Dev Raj married two sisters named "Bachla" and "Kachal". They were childless for a long time. One day, the elder 'Bachla' went to the shrine of "Gorakhnath," a living saint of the time. He requested that she return the next morning for a boon. Hearing about the promised boon, 'Kachla' wasted no time and went to the Baba the next morning under the guise of her sister. The Baba offered her some fruit, which she eagerly took."Bachla" was taken aback when she visited the Baba. He did, however, give her another fruit. Bachla ate half of the fruit and gave the other half to her mare. The fruits had yielded their fruit. Bachla has a son named "Gugga!" and Kachla has a daughter named 'Gugri!" The mare had a foal as well.

From the day of Raksha Bandhan till the day of Gugga Naumi, followers of various castes sing about Gugga's heroic feats. Gugga fairs at Gehrwin village, Bilaspur district, and Balokhar, Hamirpur district, are well-known.

Why Baijnath Never Celebrates Dussehra?

Dussehra is a national holiday celebrated with great zeal across the country. People in Baijnath, in Kangra district, 60 km from Dharamshala, do not, however, burn the effigy of Ravana, the demonic symbol. Even the marketplaces in Baijnath and Paprola are closed. Residents of the town avoid burning the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakaran, and son Meghnath, as is customary on Dussehra, due to a strong belief that doing so will bring Lord Shiva's wrath upon them. Ravna was a fervent Shiva follower.

According to one tale, some residents of the town attempted to commemorate Dussehra around a decade ago (the last decade of the twentieth century) by burning Ravna's effigy. All of them, however, died before the following Dussehra. People saw it as Lord Shiva's anger, and no one dared to celebrate Dussehra again. The popular Shiva temple in the town is also linked to the people's belief that it keeps them away from the event. According to tradition,Ravna, who was said to have indestructible powers, is worshipped Lord Shiva in the Kailash mountains during the Treta yug. In the hawan kund, he even offered his ten heads.Lord Shiva was so moved by his heroic deed that he not only restored their heads, but also conferred upon him invincibility and immortality.

Ravna also asked Lord Shiva to join him on his journey to Lanka. Shiva agreed to his request and transformed into a ling. Shiva instructed him to carry the ling and warned him not to set it down on the ground on his journey. Ravna began travelling south and arrived in Baijnath, where he felt compelled to respond to nature's call. Ravna handed the ling to a shepherd and proceeded to relieve himself when he saw one.

The shepherd kept the ling on the ground after discovering it was incredibly heavy, and the ling became stuck there. Another unique feature of Baijnath is the lack of a goldsmith's store. However, no one knows why this is. Ahuka and Manyuka, two merchants, are thought to have built the Baijnath temple around 1204 AD.

Shiva temple in Baijnath

Two inscriptions on the porch of the temple indicate that it existed even before the present one was constructed. The Archaeological Survey of India has taken up the preservation of the structure.

Malana & Jamlu Devta

On the other side of Chandar Khani Pass, the lonely village of Malana in Kullu Valley is perched on the hilltop of Parvati Valley at a height of roughly 2743 m (9000 ft) above the sea. Even now, the community remains relatively introverted, isolated, and closed off from the rest of the world.

Despite being the world's oldest democracy, it is a sovereign state with conservative religious, socioeconomic, and administrative structures in which its citizens participate in village administration without accepting outside interference, despite vast changes in the political and socio-economic lives of the people in the state and the country as a whole.

About Devta Jamlu

His original name was Rishi Jamdagni, and he is the celestial ruler of the settlement known as Jamlu. All of the people who live in Malana, which is under his rule, have deep, blind, and superstitious beliefs and rarely dare to disobey him. As a result, even in the dawn of the twenty-first century, they are backward, traditional, and confined to themselves.In addition, determining the origin of Malana is difficult due to a lack of historical information. However, according to local residents, the following is how it began:

Danu is a Rakashasa (demon) who lived in this location in ancient times. The Jamdagni Rishi (now the Jamlu Devta) came from Batant in the Spiti Valley and settled in Hamta in the Kullu district's Naggar Valley before moving to Malana. He had a confrontation with Danu Rakashasa, and the latter was vanquished. As a result, he ceded his estate to Jamdagni Rishi, but asked that something substantial be kept alive to remember him and his authority in that region.

The Rishi agreed to the request and told him that the residents of Malana would continue to speak his language as long as the hamlet existed, and that the language spoken since then is incomprehensible to outsiders. Nothing was known about this settlement in the past until a hunter is supposed to have come across it while hunting and it was explored. Because visitors couldn't comprehend the hamlet's language, it was given the name "Malana," which means "to join," implying that the village had joined others outside its borders.

Sacred temple in Malana

According to revenue papers, the village's total geographical area is approximately 679 hectares. The typical snowfall is between 5 and 10 feet. The village is placed in such a peculiar location that it is not visible from other places, despite the fact that it is on a hill. The Kullu Valley's relative remoteness has aided locals in preserving their particular cultural heritage while also providing an environment of spiritual peace that no visitor fails to recognise and wish to keep.

Let's sum up

Himachal, in fact, can be termed as a "mini India". People of many racial backgrounds have mixed in the mainstream of national life, resulting in a place that is a mash-up of various cultures. Festivals bring people together in joyful celebration of historic events and shared recall of a common history, enlivening social life and uniting them.

Category: Information


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Winterfell Camps

2 weeks ago

Very interesting, thank you for sharing.

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Jasleen Chawla

2 weeks ago

Thank you so much

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Mohammad Abdulla

2 weeks ago

Excellent job

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Bhupesh Thakur

2 weeks ago

Amazing write-up