Garhwal District

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Garhwal lies in the northern region of India. It is a part of the state Uttrakhand and is bounded on four sides by Tibet (north), Uttar Pradesh(south), Kumaon region(east) and Himachal Pradesh(west). [1] Garhwal District is a former district of British India, in the Kumaon Division of the United Provinces, and had an area of 5,629 sq mi (14,580 km2).[2]

It later became a part of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Out of the 17 districts, 9 lie in the Garhwal region and the other 6 lie in the region of Kumaon. Pauri is the main administrative centre and districts of Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri (Pauri Garhwal), Rudraprayag, Tehri (Tehri Garhwal), and Uttarkashi all are a part of Garhwal.[3]


The region of Garhwal has always been growing along with the rest of the India.The first dynasty that ruled over uttrakhand was Katyuri. It marked various milestones in the area of inscriptions and temples. After the downfall of Katyuris the whole of Garhwal region was broken up into more than sixty four principalities which were ruled by a chieftain.[4] Originally Garhwal had 52 Garhs(fortress). These garhs were small and had their own chiefs who were responsible for the welfare of the garh. The Garhwal Kingdom was found by one of the chief named Ajay Pal, who reduced the petty garhs and brought them under his own chieftainship. He and his ancestors ruled over Garhwal and Tehri till 1803. During their rule they encountered various attacks from "Mughals", "Sikhs", "Rohillas" and "Gorkhas". The Gorkha invasion was marked by severe brutality and massacre. The Garhwalis started associating the term "Gorkhyani" with massacre. Despite the efforts of the Garhwalis the Gorkhas managed to capture till Langoorgarh but had to retreat due to an attack by the Chinese army.[4] In 1803 the Gurkhas invaded Kumaon and Garhwal yet again and drove the Garhwal chief away. For the next 12 years the Gurkhas ruled over Garhwal. In 1814 they got into a war with the British for encroaching on their territory. Garhwal and Kumaon then became a British district. Garhwal had an area of 5629 sq. mil and was under the Kumaon division. [1] After independence garhwal, Almora and Nainital were administered by the commissioner of Kumaon division. In 1960 Chamoli was removed out of the Garhwal region. In 1969 Garhal division was established and Pauri was made its headquarters.[4]


Pauri Garhwal is a district of Uttrakhand. It is situated between 29° 45’ to 30°15’ Latitude and 78° 24’ to 79° 23’ E Longitude and has an area of 5230 km2. It is administratively into nine tehsils and fifteen developmental blocks. The nine tehsils are Pauri, Lansdown, Kotdwar, Thalisain, Dhumakot,Srinagar, Satpuli, Chaubatta Khal and Yamkeshwar. Pauri is the administrative centre for the whole of Pauri Garhwal region and is situated at an altitude of 1650 m. and has a population of 24,743.[4] The region of Pauri Garhwal is beautiful and full of high rugged snow laden peaks and low valleys. With its culture and warmth of the Garhwali people it is often spotted with tourists from all over the world.[4]



The culture of Garhwal has evolved over time and keeps together the roots of the ancestors, the history of the people and the culture of the region within itself. Garhwal has a very rich culture. The people of Garhwal also known as Garhwalis have songs for every occasion from birth to death. They believe in the almighty and sing songs in praise of him.[5] The present Garhwal is a blend of the original settlers or the indigenous population and of the immigrants from other places who have come and settled there. The Garhwali culture is majorly influenced by Gods and Goddesses and also seasonal cycles. All art forms, dances, music are for the Gods and for the seasons.[6] The rich blend of the past and the present has always been a reason for attracting tourists. They come to experience rich culture of Garhwal and take home with them peace and tranquility.[5]

Mussorie hills


The people of Garhwal use the Garhwali language. The roots of the language originated from the Indo Aryan language and comes under the Pahari Subgroup. Garhwali is not very difficult to understand and Kumaoni language comes closest to it in terms of similarities. Kumaoni (spoken in the region of Uttrakhand) and Himachali (spoken in Himanchal Pradesh) also come under the Pahari sub group. Garhwali is influenced by Sauraseni Prakrit, who helped in development of languages like rajasthani, Brij bhasha. Garhwali is spoken in different places of Uttrakhand and the language has many regional dialects. Devanagari is used as the script for Garhwali as it doesn’t have its own script. Over 4 million people speak Garhwali in India. The language is losing its essence over the years as people are migrating from Garhwal to bigger cities where they tend to use English and Hindi as their medium of communication. Many families still use their native language but it has been noticed that very few children of today's age know their language. If it keeps on going this way then Garhwali language would become extinct soon.[7][8]


The people of Garhwal are known as Garhwalis. Very often they are called Pahari, meaning People from the mountains. Almost 90% of the Garhwalis are Hindus. Today they have migrated from the mountains to all over the world. People of almost all ethnicities can be found in the Garhwal region.[5] Following are some of them:

  1. Rajputs:: The Rajputs has been derived from the Sankrit tatpurusha " Rajaputra" meaning "son of the KIng". They belong to the Indian Subcontinent and are also found in the northern region of Garhwal. They are believed to be of Aryan origin. The Rajputs came from the Hindu Kush through Kashmir and settled in parts of Himachal Pradesh and some ares of the South. They later migrated from there to Garhwal.[9] Later they fled from the plains to the mountains when the Mughals invaded Rajasthan. They settled in the mountains and brought new skills and techniques along with them and practiced agriculture for a lot of time. Later they started joing other professions also.[9][10] The Rajputs have been a part of the Garhwal army also. Today Garhwali Rajpuuts can be found all over the world.
  2. Brahmins: The Brahmins settled in the Garhwal region are considered to be the descendants of the priests who migrated from the plains and settled in Garhwal.[9] The Brahmins are also believed to have fled from various regions to flee from the Mughal invasion.[10] They penetrated through valleys into Garhwal and found many areas named similarly to those from where they had migrated.
  3. Tribals: The Tribals of Garhwal are of Mongoloid origin and have settled in the upper tracts of Garhwal. They lead a nomadic or semi nomadic way of life and are involved in occupations like animal husbandry, trade etc. Following are some of the tribes of Garhwal: A. Jaunsaris of Jaunsar-Bawar


  1. ^ a b "Garhwal". 
  2. ^ Garhwal Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
  3. ^ "Garhawal.1.". 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Garhwal3". 
  5. ^ a b c "Garhwal4". 
  6. ^ "Garhwal5". 
  7. ^ "Garhwal6". 
  8. ^ "Garhwal7". 
  9. ^ a b c "Garhwal9". 
  10. ^ a b "Garhwal8". 

Coordinates: 30°15′N 79°20′E / 30.250°N 79.333°E / 30.250; 79.333