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Cultural History of Uttarakhand

by: D.D. Sharma

This book gives a comprehensive account of the various aspects of the cultural history of the various tribes and races — and the significant historical incidents that have taken place in their lives — in the central Himalayan region, particularly in Uttrakhand.



ISBN: 9788124604342
Year Of Publication: 2009
Edition: 1st
Pages : xxxi, 418
Bibliographic Details : 1 folded map; 75 Coloured and b/w photographs; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Foreword By : Narayan Dutt Tiwari
Size: 29 cm.
Weight: 1750 gm.


Cultural History of Uttarakhand is an out-come of many years of keen observation of the linguistic and cultural phenomena of the whole Himalayan region, right from Ladakh in the west to Bhutan in the east and an intensive study of ancient Indian literature and of the historical incidents that have taken place in these Central Himalayan regions, particularly in the land termed as Uttarakhand. Though there are some works, both in Hindi and English, on the history and culture of this land, they pertain either to a specific region or to some particular aspect of it. This is for the first time that exhaustive chronological accounts of the history and culture of the inhabitants of Uttarakhand, including various ancient and modern tribes and races, right from Tons and Yamuna in the west to Mahakali/Sarada in the east, and from Bhotantic Himalayan regions in the north to Tarai-Bhabar area in the south, considered to be a `Cultural Area’ of Uttarakhand, have been taken into account for this study, in which an effort has been made to unfold various layers of the history of this land in a comprehensive way.
As such, this volume on the Cultural History of Uttarakhand is supposed to provide a rare opportunity to students, as well as to readers in general, to have an intimate knowledge of various aspects of the cultural history of various tribes and races inhabiting Uttarakhand from pre-historic periods to modern times.


Key to Transliteration
List of Illustrations
Map of Uttarakhand
I. The Land and the People
Nomenclature of Uttarakhand
Geographical Perspective
Human Settlement in the Central Himalayas
Archaeological Remains of Early Settlements
Early Aryan Settlements in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand at a Glance
II. The Scope and Sources of the Study
Problems of Cultural Reconstruction
Sources of Cultural History of Uttarakhand
Cultural Manifestation through Linguistic Elements in Central Pahari
Cultural Manifestation in the Light of Pronominal Terms of Address
Importance of Terms of Reference to Kin-related Places of Residence
III. Historical Retrospection
Ancient Geographical Scenario
Geographical Divisions (Ancient)
Ancient Racial Scenario
Political Scenario of Ancient and Medieval Uttarakhand
Decline of Katyuris
Post Katyuri Historical Scenario of Uttarakhand
Resume of Earlier Works
1. The Glory of the Central Himalayas
The Land of Spiritual Merits
The Cradle of Vedic Culture
The Original Home of the Vedas
Centres of Vedic Cultures
The Asramas
Continuity of Vedic Traditions
2. Culture: Its Formation and Assimilation
Importance of Culture
Culture Defined
Fundamentals of Culture
Cultural Systems and Sub-systems
Components of Culture
Cultural Traditions
Formation and Manifestation of Cultural Traits
Cultural Traits
Transmission of Cultural Traits
Cultural Patterns
Cultural Fusion and Assimilation
Ethnic Acculturation
Role of the Himalayas in the Enrichment of the Cultural Panorama of Uttarakhand
Role of Geographical Features and Ecological Environment in the Formation of the Culture of Uttarakhand
Cultural Fusion vis-…-vis Uttarakhand
Acculturation Through Inter-Mixture of Blood
Problems of Re-Construction of Cultural History
3. Ages and Stages of Cultural Evolution of Uttarakhand
Early Human Habitation in the Himalayas
Human Habitats
Primitive Age (Cave Dwellers)
Neolithic Age
Burial Practices
Megalithic Palaeolithic Age Cultural Spectrum of Megalithic and Palaeolithic People
Painted Grey Ware Culture
4. Ethno-Cultural Sub-Strata of Uttarakhand
Proto-historic Races
Mythical Races
Struggle for the Supremacy over Himalayan Territories
Subjugation and Denunciation of Non-Aryans
Characteristics of Asuras
Asura Culture
Asuras’ Association with Uttarakhand
Cultural Legacy of Asuras and Danavas in Uttarakhand
Legacy of Raksasas in the Himalayan Regions
The Yaksas
Socio-Cultural Perspective of the Yaksas
Impact of Yaksas on Himalayan Regions
Footprints of Yaksas in Uttarakhand
Cultural Impact of Yaksas
Socio-Cultural Traits of Gandharvapsaras
Cultural Relics of Kinnaras
5. Prehistoric Period: Races and Cultures
Cultural Impact of Kolas on Uttarakhand
Imprints of Kolas in the Central and Western Himalaya
Linguistic Contribution of Kolas in the Enrichment of Central Pahari Languages
Position of Kiratas in the Central Himalayan Region
Cultural Impact of Kiratas on Uttarakhand
Footprints of Kiratas in Uttarakhand
Linguistic Contribution of Kiratas to Central Pahari Languages
Impact of Dravidian Culture on the Pan-Indian, including Uttarakhand Culture
Nagas in the Himalayas
Nagas in Uttarakhand
Naga Culture
Imprints of Nagas in the Himalaya Regions
Worship and the Places of Worship Associated with Naga
Iconographic Presentation
6. The Khasas
Khasas in Ancient Literature
Epic Period
Historical Period
Advent of Khasas in the Indian Sub-continent and Subsequent Expansion
Expansion of the Khasas in the Indian Sub-Continent
Himalayan Habitats of the Khasas
North-Western India
Khasas in the Western and Central Himalaya
Characteristics of the Khasas
Expertise in the Mountain Warfare
Racial Affiliation of the Khasas
Kinfolks of the Khasas
Ascendancy of Khasas
Decline of Khasas
Social Organization of the Khasas
Social Institutions
Socio-Cultural Practices of the Khasas
Khasa Culture: A Repository of Ancient Aryan Culture
Position of the Women Among the Khasas
Contribution of the Khasas to the Culture of Uttarakhand
Socio-Cultural Changes Among the Khasas
Footprints of the Khasas
7. Early Historical Races
Daradas and Tusaras
Linguistic Affinity between Dardic and Pahari Languages
General Phonetic Tendencies Between Kumauni and Dardic Languages Sakas
Sakas in Uttarakhand
Cultural Contribution of Sakas to Uttarakhand
Minor Ethnic Groups
Yavanas (Greeks)
Smaller Principalities
Rulers of Mitra Dynasty
Varman Rulers of Brahmapura
8. New Era of Cultural Evolution
Ascendancy of Katyuris
Growth of Art and Architecture Architecture
Metallic Craft
Religious Expansion
Post-Katyuri Cultural Scenario
9. Panorama of Folk Culture
Folk Religion
Religious Faith and Beliefs
Folk Beliefs and Superstitions
Folk Art
10. Socio-Cultural Changes
Cultural Change
Forces Activising Social Changes
Socio-Cultural Changes Among Tribal Communities
Socio-cultural Changes Among Scheduled Castes
Plates Selected Bibliography

Meet the Author
Prof. D.D. Sharma (b. 1924) is a renowned scholar of Sanskrit and Linguistics. Besides a PhD in Sanskrit from the Benaras Hindu University, PhD and D.Litt in Linguistics from the Panjab University, Chandigarh - where he served for nearly 28 years - he holds diplomas in French, German and Persian. He also earned the highest Oriental title of Sahityacarya. Prof. Sharma is well acquainted with nearly two dozen Indian and foreign languages and has to his credit 48 research volumes and scores of research papers on the subjects of different languages, cultures and literatures. He was awarded the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1984-86) to undertake the linguistic survey of the Himalayan languages from Ladakh in the west to Bhutan in the east. On his retirement (1989), he was awarded Emeritus Fellowship by the UGC for the completion of his 12-volume research project on Himalayan languages, of which 10 volumes have already appeared. He is also working on a 9-volume project on Socio-Cultural History of Uttarakhand, of which 5 volumes have already been published. His ambitious project, Cultural Encyclopaedia of Uttarakhand (5 vols.) is also under preparation. The present volume is an outcome of the research project for which he was awarded the Indira Gandhi Memorial Fellowship for the years 2001-2003 by IGNCA.
Books of D.D. Sharma