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Hemkunt Sahib
Panch Prayag
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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Uttarakhand >> People of Uttarakhand

People of Uttarakhand

The people of Uttarakhand come from a number of different ethnic groups, mostly fairly heterogeneous- at least at first glance- but with distinctive traditions and customs of their own. The bulk of the population is rural and lives in villages which look as if they were caught in a time-warp ancient temples, slate-roofed houses, terraced fields and traditional costumes included. They are called 'paharis' or simple translated -people from the hills. Since Uttarakhand consists of Garhwal and Kumaon, you will have the Garhwali and also the Kumaonis. Among the prominent ethnic groups of the state are the Bhotias, the Jaunsaries, the Tharus, the Bokshas and the Rajis.

In the lowlands of Uttarakhand is a sprinkling of Sikh migrants from West Punjab, and in the upper tracts of the mountains live the Van Gujjars, a nomadic tribe of Muslims whose main occupation is animal husbandry. Polygamy, bigamy and child marriages have virtually disappeared from urban and literate areas, but are still prevalent in less accessible parts of Uttarakhand. the people of Uttarakhand are simple folk and are known to be warm and welcoming.

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