Then in the year 2000, Uttarakhand (UK for short) (Uttara mearns Northern and Khand means Land) was carved out of UP and Dehradun, the land of my birth and childhood memories, became its capital.
The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is also called Devbhoomi (Land of the Gods). Funny how Gods always pick the best places to live (whether they come from Greek or Indian mythology)
I guess Gods know a good deal when they see one. Uttarakhand has it all -- in abundance: snow capped mountains, unending meadows, forests of oak, juniper, sal and sheesham, guava and mango trees to climb, valleys bursting with flowers, Ganga, Yamuna and even a tiny bit of the mythical Saraswati flow here.
This is the land where blue poppies bloom.
"Soil ours, water ours, ours are these forests.
Our forefathers raised them, it's we who must protect them."
(A snippet of a song I found while googling, it's claimed to be a translation of a Garhwali chipko song.)
The song says it all.
Women from this region hugged trees to save them from being cut down. Chipko means a hug or an embrace or clinging in Hindi.
A land such as this,
where women clung to trees
to save them--
that's where I was born.
It's called the chipko movement: This extract from women in world history gives you a glimpse of what trees and protecting them means to the people of this region:
"In one the contractor says:
“You foolish village women, do you know what these forest bear?The women answer:
Resin, timber, and therefore foreign exchange!”
“Yes, we know. What do the forests bear?One post is not enough. And I have a tendency to sound like a lovesick teenager when I start talking about Uttarakhand, so I'll stop and just share a few pictures instead.
Soil, water, and pure air,
Soil, water, and pure air.”
There are links to some older posts of places I've visited. If you have the time, check them out. I promise--you'll be happy you did:)
The Saraswati flows and rocks copy Klimt's kiss
Locals pick moss that grows on oaks and use it to make dye and medicines.
Fog fills the skies and Ganesh gets a ride
Did we make it?
We climb and live to tell the tale at Roopkund
Flowers so fragrant, they're called dhoop or incense and used in Budhhist temples.
Bhugyals or meadows that go on and on
Tea on the boil at 14000 ft.
Laundry never left this good about being left high and dry
Gurudwaras and holy lakes.
Dipping in these glacial waters will make you go brrrrr at first.
But when you come out, you'll feel new.
Where the sun rises gently,
and sets with aplomb.
What's your favourite thing about your hometown or the place you call home?
V is coming, right before W...
I'll be here, how about you?