Chamoli

Chamoli district is the second largest district of Uttarakhand state of India.It is bounded by the Tibet region to the north, and by the Uttarakhand districts of Pithoragarh and Bageshwar to the east, Almora to the south, Garhwal to the southwest, Rudraprayag to the west, and Uttarkashi to the northwest. The administrative headquarters of the district is Gopeshwar.

The region covered by the district of Chamoli forms part of the Pauri Garhwal district of the Kumaon till 1960. It occupies the northeastern corner of the Garhwal tract and lies in the central or mid-Himalayas in the very heart of the snowy range described in ancient books as Bahirgiri, one of the three divisions of the Himalayan mountains.

According to the 2011 census Chamoli district has a population of 391,114, roughly equal to the nation of Maldives.This gives it a ranking of 559th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 49 inhabitants per square kilometre (130/sq mi) .Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 5.6%. Chamoli has a sex ratio of 1021 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 83.48%.

In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Chamoli one of the country’s 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the three districts in Uttaranchal currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF)

The houses in the district have not been built according to any town planning scheme but have been put up haphazardly in clusters on level ground at places where water springs are accessible or on the bank of the river in the valley. The houses are built of stones and are generally double-storeyed, a few having three to five storeys, the very low rooms on the ground floor, which are usually 1.8 metres high, being used for housing the cattle. Each house has in front of it a courtyard called a Chauk. A mud or stone staircase or a wooden ladder leads to the upper storey, the roof being of wood. The height of the upper storey is generally 2.1 metres and the roof is usually a sloping structures of timber covered with Patals (quartzite slabs), the well off use corrugated galvanized iron sheets. Generally the upper storey has a veranda in front of the upper rooms.

The staple grains consumed by the people of the district are wheat, rice, maze, mandua and jhanjora, the last three being coarse grains generally eaten by the poorer sections. The pulses consumed are urad, gahat, bhatt, soontha, tur, lopia and masor. The Hindus of the district mostly vegetarian by habit and preference and although the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are generally non-vegetarian, those not able to afford eating meat daily due to want of fund or local unavailability often resulting to a vegetarian diet.

The dress of the people of the district is simple, economical and well suited for the hill environment. The usual dress for men is a Kurta (long lose shirt) or shirt, Pyjama (tight from the knee down), Sadri (jacket), a cap and a knee-length coat, the last named being worn in winter. Those better off are increasingly taking to trousers and buttoned up coats. Women often wear the Sari and full sleeved shirt or Angra (a sort of jacket) in place of a shirt, the well to do wearing woolen jacket in winter. In the rural areas most of the women still wear the long full shirt, tight fitting long sleeved jacket and an Orhni (long scarf for covering the head and shoulders).

Girls students often wear the Salwar (very full pyjama narrow at the ankle), Kamiz (knee length shirt) and Dupatta ( long scarf for the head and shoulders). The Bhotiyas who lives at high altitudes generally wear woolen clothes. The usual wear for the men are pyjamas, shirt, coat and cap. The women wear gay colored Angras, a Ghagra (long full shirt), phantu (colored scarf) and a woolen shawl which is worn so as to make a pocket on each side. Both men and women wear a long piece of cotton cloth as a tight Kamarband (a sort of belt).